New views on given themes: We comment on Movement of Static’s Naegleria and they comment on our approach
* για Ελληνικά πατήστε εδώ
by Maria Kouvarou (m.ouv.)
Movement of Static, the cinematic post-rock band from Thessaloniki, released Naegleria in October 2018. On becoming aware of the album, I realised that it is not simply an album of notable musical interest, it is also an album built on a specific thematic line, which unfolds in two dimensions. Writes the accompanying text:
«The concept behind “Naegleria” is based on the journey to knowledge. From this journey you will be able to learn who you are and the reasons of your existence and how your existence interacts with the universe and nature. The whole story takes place in two parallel dimensions.
Dimension #1: Is the life that you already live.
Dimension #2: Is a surreal story about a girl who traveled a long way to find an ancient secret about the meaning of life. Every track of this album depends from the previous one and each one has its own story.»
Nonetheless, the more I listened the album, the more I found that my listening experience awakened an individual reading of the whole, that other times was in tandem with the album’s concept, and others was different. So the idea to write this article was born. To write my reading of the album and send to MoS to review it. That would result to a cross-over between an interview and a review. Call it an inter-review, that aims to strengthen the point that, as much as the artist might have a set image and thought when creating, the audience can travel to other terrains, despite being aware of the artist’s intention (i.e, via a music programme). So… let’s see what the band had to say about my journey through their music.
* you can read the accompanying text in its entirety on Movement of Static’s bandcamp, where they posit the story in both dimensions song by song
** translations of the band’s comments is the author’s responsibility
MoS response: First of all, we need to explain that the album’s concept is based on, and structured according, to our own views of the circle of life and is not meant to act in an intervening way for the listener. We want the listeners to find their own explanation and interpretation, to make this bi-dimensional journey according to their own experiences, and to try to incorporate it in their own reasons for being. This is why, when the story reaches its end, we never reveal what the meaning of life is, as it is different for every one.
«Slowly we are…»
Author’s comment: Each journey begins reluctantly with one small step. After you have made the first step, you start making discoveries. You breathe, you absorb, you inhale, you transform to something bigger – richer in experience. You arm yourslef with knowledge, and gain the ability to apply that knowledge and experience. You use it just like a musician uses the effects, in order to fill your journey. You recognise your path and start finding ways to conquer your own life. You start mastering the ability of isolating your various parts, feeling the possibilities that each one has, and letting each take the lead whenever this is necessary. Exactly like an intruding guitar solo playing over a solid musical structure. Then you calm down, you keep your rhythm stable, and when you find the opportunity you start building again. Agony mixed with enthusiasm, you start anticipating. You have already reached far, but you still have a long way until you become...
MoS response: What is imprinted in this piece, is the notion of Genesis, the birth, that is accompanied by the first breath, the first light and the first emotions that someone experiences. The purest stage of life.
Interlude57 084 INICIAL76 16 56 79
Author’s comment: There are moments when you feel that nothing can beat you. You arm yourself with strong will, with the urge to make it. Solid walls, even solid sonic walls, become your companions. Your destination is uncertain, but you know you are going to make it there. Because you have to. Even more so, because you want to. And as soon as you make this realisation, you let your guards down, you destroy your own walls, you inhale again and you start praising the universe. Nothing can stop you. And that obstacle you have found, you will overcome... and then again, and again, and somewhere you get tired of meeting obstacles which you overcome. Unavoidably, curiosity creeps in. A dose of unrest. Is this the right path? Will you really make it to your «there»? Does it matter? Where is your «there» anyway? You will keep pushing, hoping, pushing, overcoming, pushing, elevating, and then a final push. Powerful, intense, unstoppable. Is this the right path? The only way to find out is to rush towards its end.
MoS response: As an album piece, “ThePassage” acts as a kick-off for the listeners’ entry into the two different, parallel dimentions. Each person, during her/his life journey, «chooses» the path that she/he «wants» to follow in order to reach the ultimate, complete self.
Interlude 77 56 01 51 AGGRADACIYA05 51 55 97
«Mountain Of Life»
Author’s comment: Our whole life is made of struggles. A repetitive circle of emotions interchanging, interrupted by sudden dissonances, diminished chords, between us and our surroundings, between us and the ones we love. Sometimes we feel stagnant, until we manage to take a deep breath and start listening to the top layers. Truth is revealed when we escape our routine, when we focus on the change that happens within our sameness. And which, when noticed, disrupts our feelings of stillness, just like a drum break and the upward movement of chords. Then it all becomes quieter as you get glimpses of what life is. Life is what happens when you notice. Even if what interrupts your “sameness” causes you sadness. And, finally, you start experiencing life at all its layers. And you decide to live it to the full, back to full band again, because that is your journey. This is life. A struggle worth experiencing.
MoS response: The mountain is the difficulties you will meet in your life. From the death of a loved one, to anything that will intervene as an obstacle that will divert you from your destination. But it is this mountain that you will have to climb and its level of difficulty that will define your character and being.
Author’s comment: You have no roots. You are a part of the world, a tiny fraction of the universe. You could fit well in the East, in the West, higher or lower, there are no boundaries for you. Human and divine all at once. You have the potential to be everything and nothing. Janus face. Good and evil at will, menacing and comforting by choice. Probably the true meaning of life lays exactly with one’s capacity to allow good to dominate, even if evil is the easiest option. The internal fight that results from this is one of significance. It can take place within a second, but in that second the time magnifies (just like the doubling of the music pace), and you get transferred to places unknown, unheard of before. It is your moment in time. The moment when you hold the ultimate responsibility towards yourself and the universe. Your music conquers any semantic voices, words become nothing but noise. You cut through the clutter, even if the clutter will keep existing well after your fight ceases and your victory is achieved. Failure to cut through the clutter is most likely to result into you being a part of that very clutter. Insignificant, indifferent, a voice inexistent.
MoS response: Communication is an integral part of nature. Anything that happens around us is trying to transmit various information to us, and all of us, consciously or not are accepting these information. Organically, our hard disc stores them all. The ones that matter less take less space, but they still exist. The purpose of 6EQUJ5 is to make us realise that communication between us should be more substantial and more objective.
Interlude80 516 GANOMATIT21 23 86 25
Author’s comment: Atoms, molecules, cells, organisms. Everything moves, everything flows. Everything evolves. Develops. At points they coalesce, at points they collide. They construct a being, forming a new entity just to prove that, in essence, they might mean nothing for that entity. Nothing but a mere cover, the shell of the actual self, the material home. Out, in the outer space, the vastness of the universe indicates that you are nothing on your own, and yet you remain indispensable to the whole. And it is only when you escape your wrapping that you become able to figure this out. Ye are built from repetitive fractions of sound, then your individual particles start forming – violently at moments. You pass through different phases of becoming. You spread, you learn, you wise up, and eventually you dissolve.
MoS response: We want to believe that as soon as we experience death, everything stops. But is death the end or a new beginning? Are we becoming one with the universe and from there, the ultimate knowledge is transmitted to us? Is death the feeling that we have to experience in order to reach our highest purpose? And if so, which is that purpose?
Interlude 93 882 NAIMINA 74 14 35 74
«…Fading from our existence»
Author’s comment: As we are fading from our existence, we leave everything behind. We embrace our universality, our uniqueness and our nothingness. Our earthly beliefs mean nothing anymore (not a coincidental choice here George Carlin’s words about God), because we become one with the truth and everything becomes clearly revealed to us. As we awaken, while fading, fading becomes our utmost empowerment, our source of genuine exhilaration… but is this fading our end, or the beginning of our real being?
MoS response: Basically, it is the connection between the first song and the last, reading as a whole «Slowly we are fading from our existence». The completion of the whole, that of closing a circle and returning to the original form of our being. Life-Death. Beginning-End. Good-Evil. Everything is interconnected and each depends on the other. The ultimate truth, however, exists outside that circle. The place where we come from, and the place where we end up.
Naegleria is an impressive, well-studied and well-constructed thematic post-rock testimony, with masterful use of repetitions, breaks and build ups. The moments of psy repetition are invaluable for allowing the information to sink in and give time and space for reflection. Minimal and maximal at once, Movement of Static have once more proven that the mental and emotional journey can be valuably conducted, even while one remains seated on a chair, staring at a wall.