Mercury in Retrograde - Live @ the Spotty Dog, 12​.​10​.​10

by Summer Mummy

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    I recently attended a concert at the Spotty Dog in Hudson, NY to
    perform with a group of local musicians who preform regularly under
    the name "Summer Mummy". Knowing well the band's distorted drones and
    their dark, unforgiving landscapes, it was bizarre to witness such a
    calm and attentive reception from a rather diverse audience inside
    this intimate, Old Hudson book store. I realized that night that the
    strong wave of NYC anti-folk / electronic-doom-noise, in all of its
    ironic, pseudo-rebellious glory may have actually mutated under a rock
    and climbed out in upstate, NY to change the way the surrounding area
    appreciates music and the process behind listening and creating. What
    excites me the most is the synchronicity with which these sounds are
    appearing all over the world.
           There was a time in our country when music paved a social and
    political pathway for true freedom, love and understanding. The late
    culture of the 60's and early 70's was about action, exposing the war
    on consciousness and the powers responsible for mankind's never ending
    cycle of slavery. With their backs against the wall, these big
    corporations, government agencies and entertainment industry hacks
    found ways to manipulate and capitalize on all of our sweet ideas.
    Anti-war philosophies, holistic medicine, alternative lifestyles, new
    age beliefs, mind altering drugs, and perhaps most obviously music
    were widely accepted and practiced by millions of people. However, any
    lasting change was lost in the laws of supply and demand and became
    what they originally intended to supersede - trends. Monetized frauds
    and tacky propaganda prove to be easily accessible and convenient, but
    as most of us are figuring out, obtaining spiritual enlightenment
    through Apple's latest piece of plastic is about as likely as getting
    high off of legally synthesized marijuana substitutes you can purchase
    on the web. Yet we are told everyday that our status and our material
    possessions will bring us happiness. Musicians worldwide have given
    their lives to do there part in defeating this poisonous
    misconception. We know there can be no real evolution nor positive
    change in the mind unless it comes from within the individual and
    manifests through a creative process.
           Empathy for others, unconditional love, caring and humble
    understanding, all the good shit comes from the heart - the source of
    our humanness, our connection with the spirit of the Earth, whose
    heart beats from her core as does ours. We've heard this new age
    rhetoric before, but listening to and learning from our inner psyche
    can be nearly impossible in a world of endless clatter and
    overwhelming stimuli. Whether we realize it or not, our minds are
    constantly bombarded with information - most of which gets stored in
    the subconscious. Musicians have struggled for years to compete with
    this noise - deconstructing, decomposing, sampling and reaarranging.
    The remix generation will stop at nothing to combat the forces of
    falsehood with our ever-growing abilities to create truth out of lies.
    But only when the mind is quiet can the voice within be heard. The act
    of careful, attentive listening should be practiced by everyone, both
    individually and in small groups. I believe the patience required to
    dig on music like that of Summer Mummy and groups with similar
    aspirations, is a key element needed for an individual's spiritual
    transition into silence. Just as traditional chanting resonates
    through monastery corridors and the campsites of indigenous tribes, so
    should the modern Drone envelope our venues, cafes an taverns. After
    all, concerts, plays, festivals and performances of any kind are
    ceremonial in nature and they deserve our undivided attention,
    patience and participation.
           Musical innovation is believed by many to be directly in sync with
    the various states of human consciousness. Jazz legends like Ayler an
    Coltrane believed their improvisational talents to be rooted in
    spiritual energy. Scientists like Dr. Robert Beck have discovered
    methods by which electronic tones can be used to alter people's
    brainwaves, to heal sometimes even fatal illnesses from the inside
    out. Modern-day alchemists and "New Age Shamans" like the McKenna
    brothers used vibrations in the nasal and throat passages to harness
    the psychedelic effects of the teaching plants of the Amazon. Each of
    these amazing pursuits is founded on the basic practices of meditation
    and listening. Nothing can be known without the desire to experience
    and learn. Summer Mummy is a collaborative effort to manifest organic,
    improvised music, and when trying to achieve a unified sound with
    little to no preconceived structure, listening is even more important
    than playing. This process isn't new, but its originality lies in a
    thought-provoking statement concerning our abilities to come together
    and combine noises that supersede spoken word. To truly innovate is to
    produce what comes from within - to bring forth a celebration of the
    self - free from language, form or systematic structure. This is a
    campaign to change the way we jam out to our tunes and for that matter
    - the ways in which we communicate with one another.
           Like all mathematical patterns contained within sacred geometrical
    shapes, emotional and spiritual energies seem to be contained within
    music. The Food of Love, the Language of the Soul with practice can be
    mastered and replace the dualistic means by which we attempt to know
    God. We need no longer to rely on the complex system of languages, the
    traditional dialects, the ever-changing slangs, the latest text
    abbreviations or internet lingo. Nor should the love of music be
    limited by obsessive, instinctual behavior - excessive downloading,
    mindless name dropping, and the jealousy of others' success. We should
    work towards embracing not the will, but the willingness to take part
    - to simultaneously listen and create.

    Phillip S.R. Allison
    ... more

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(this incarnation of) Summer Mummy is: Phill Allison, Anastasia Clarke, Colin LaClair, Michael Rexhouse, Logan Visscher


released December 23, 2010

Artwork by Anastasia Clarke




Summer Mummy Hudson, New York

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