PACT OF STEEL (CONFERENCE 2016) – WHAT IS MUSIC FOR IN A DESTITUTE TIME?
The first international “Pact of Steel” conference was successfully held in Kiev on December 17, 2016, the day prior to the Asgardsrei V fest. A fruitful synthesis between arts and metapolitics, the conference laid the foundation for future studies of the ideocratic, worldview-shaping potential of Black Metal in response to the sociocultural challenges of today. A large audience from Western and Eastern Europe united by a passion for extreme arts attended the following presentations:
WHAT IS MUSIC FOR IN A DESTITUTE TIME?
«…And to sing in our poor age — for what?», — asks the XIXth century German Romantic poet Friedrich Hölderlin. After the Second World War, this question is repeated by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger: “What are poets for in destitute times?» — «Wozu Dichter in dürftiger Zeit?»
Heidegger says: «The world epoch, which has no foundation, is suspended in the abyss. We can imagine that the turn is still possible in destitute times, only if we assume that the world will touch the base again, but this means that the change of course is possible solely starting from the abyss. In the global era of the night the night of the world must be proved and offered for contemplation. It requires those who reach the bottom of the abyss».
Thus, poetry, understood in a broad sense – as the penetration into the essence of creation, in the essence of created things – is the way of opening the world, which is hidden behind the «lattice» of the language, behind the «lattice» of the mind, behind the «lattice» of consciousness. Poetry is the gateway to the unconscious, poetry through the word indicates a wordless, unspoken and inexpressible in the language.
What is the word, apart from its meaning? The word is the sound, the vibration, the pure – and tangible – expression of will. We do not only hear the language, but we listen to it. We do not only understand the word but also listen to the word. The word sings, the word is rhythmical, the word – is musical.
«What is sound?», — twenty years after Heidegger asks an American composer John Cage, the pioneer of experimental noise music. The sound — that is all. The sound — this is the music. All that sounds, all that reveals the hidden rhythms of Being, all that speaks the language of sound – is musical. The sound — is the Being. Every sound – is the music. And every music — is the face of Being.
Poetry and music, in the unity of thought and feeling, reveal the essence of Being, the essence of reality, allowing the poet – to touch the inexpressible, to live and to pass it through. In the word and in the sound to become the part of Being. Because silence does not exist, all the life sounds, silence is death.
Arguing on the metal culture, a culture of rock’n’roll, Varg Vikernes points to the dark essence that lies at its base – to decadence of the «loud music». To the decadence of the “black metal” itself, to the Negro roots of all rock’n’roll. Is he right? – He is right, of course.
What is Black Metal, but the music of the black times – but the sound of the Iron Age itself? The inter-war and post-war period of the XX century – is the time of final destruction of the traditional order and the triumph of nihilism. The time, which the German thinker Ernst Jünger called the approximation to the «zero point» of history.
The destruction of the Tradition, the opening of the gates of Chaos, entering the twilight time are changing us too. We accept the darkness as an initiatory examination, we challenge the demonic – and put the demonic masks ourselves, as our ancestors did before the Solstice in the Universal Night. Now the cosmic Night, which came only once a year before, spread throughout the year and for all the years, it has become all-encompassing.
With onset of the Night, the familiar outlines of reality erase, the contours of objectivity become blurred, mise en scene changes – and along with this the Night changes the perception and sensitivity. The classical art extinguished along with our ability to understand it, to listen to it – as the faded Light, it departed from the scene. Traditional and classical music of the West was replaced by the musical avant-garde, rock’n’roll music and arrhythmic music of the depths. The era after the First and Second World Wars is a time of the birth of a new art and new music.
The new music descends from high tones to low rhythms, in order then to overcome the rhythm itself – and straighten itself to the clear sound. It is no coincidence that the original Black Metal is arrhythmic music, its original «raw» sound – is a guitar ambient, noise, where even the beats create arrhythmic «wall of sound». The rhythm, which measures off, orders in the usual music – in Black Metal can be accelerated so much that the vibrations themselves transform into a straight wave.
Hyperdynamic Black Metal and arrhythmic Drone from the different poles, but equally, bring the music to pure tone, to primitive, elemental sound grounds. Going beyond extremely low and extremely high frequencies is an attempt to overcome the natural human perception diapason. This attiring in demonic robes is not only metaphorical, through the masks, but also physical, through the immersion in inhuman tone. The music of death, Death Metal, Dark Ambient and Drone Doom, and most of Black Metal – immerse in the sphere, which René Guénon referred to as «infrahuman».
Magnum opus, «the Great Work in Black», transforms the musical adept to the black magician, black magician, crying out to the death in its diverse images. «What falleth, that shall one also push!», – proclaims the great European Nihilist Friedrich Nietzsche, calling for the downfall of any and all the idols. The identification with the forces of evil in the Black Metal becomes a means of active – and destructive release. The formula of Julius Evola “Ride the tiger” means: to embrace the destructive power of the Tiger, to identify with it, not being identified with. So as the Death couldn’t distinguish it very self under the mask of Death.
The Black Metal is not Olympic, but titanic, and sometimes chthonic music. Through it we deepen into the abysses of the subconscious – and by overcoming the form we release the driving forces of consciousness. The destruction becomes the creative process; the destruction of the music becomes its highest sense and the approach to the core – the poetry.
Alike the workers in underground forges of Vulcan, undermining the very foundation, under the Soil of the Being – we are approaching the «zero point» of all the art, overcoming the forms, rejecting the resistance, turning the impoverishment itself to the art. In the «destitute times» and through the art of the «destitute times» we are approaching a true foundation – Nothing.
The realized approach to the epicenter, the identification with the destruction – is what protects from destruction. «The one, who runs away, sir, shall not escape the plague. The best way to survive is to approach the disaster», — says the character of the novel by Valery Shevchuk, «The Plague». Bal macabre, «feast at a time of plague» — is the only protection against the death.
Breaking the boundaries and breaking the order of consciousness, the poetry cleanses the seed from the glume of the old forms and approaches to the pure experience of creation, of art, to the primary sense of the sublime. Because the experience of the pure creation, as a matter of fact, is the experience of pure destruction. Transforming the dilapidated, the dark music becomes the key, opening the Abyss, in which laid the cornerstone of the renewed Being. This stone – is the approved Nothing, in which the creativity and the destruction are identical.
The Black Metal, in the Kantian sense – is the music, which is not «beautiful» but «sublime». The position of the active nihilism corresponds to it, opposing itself to the passive nihilism of the popular culture of the masses. Its ambition – is «to find» death, symbolically and sensually identify with destruction, to turn death into a musical experience – to the experience of dark colors and destructive vibrations.
The Great Work in Black is based on the necessity and inevitability of destruction. The active nihilism liberates from the fear of death (and of changes), and by devastating – it clears the space for the new century. Reaping with sickle the old music culture, leading its destructive tendencies to the absolute limit (not-music of the non-human), the Black Metal opens the way for a new culture, a new dawn, a new Light.
The dark music is part of the great mystery of death and resurrection, and not coincidentally the philosophy of the Black Arts, paradoxically, is teetering on the edge of the Tradition (the Paganism and the Nationalism) – and the Revolution (the Satanism and the Nihilism). The very definition of «orthodoxy» in the Black Metal is associated with subversion and overcoming the light Tradition, its negation, since the mission of the apocalyptic riders – is not to sow but reap, to summarize what is done.
The rider, a poet of the Dark Age, saddles the infernal horses, overtakes the Death, not to be caught by the Death itself. His song reflects the reality, hastens the reality, the poet is always one step ahead, praising the Death – surpassing the Death with the word, leaving behind its breathing. And when having reaped all the fruits, the storm settles down and the Death itself becomes silent – the poet takes off the mask and speaks the last Word. The first word of the Creator.