(« Magnetic field of two bar magnets with unlike poles » by Alexander Wilmer Duff) « Come Back » dates back to the epoch of The Fall Children, the band that was supposed to be but never really was, and whose unexpected but timely demise cleared the space which Poligraf needed to come into being.This is an enigmatic piece for me as both music and lyrics have been reworked and reorganized many times…See More
(« Guardian Angel, » sculpture by Josep Llimona, photography by P. B. Obregón) « On The Wings Of My Guardian Angel » is one of the rare pieces of the Poligrafic repertoire which follows a traditional song form. It was written in less than two days, during times of uncertainty…See More
(« Two portraits of Ryogen » - Author Unknown [Copyright Holder is Kiemon Tsuruya]) « Creeper » is an allegory wherein destructive mental processes are compared to creeping plants. It depicts a confrontation between creeper and host in four stages : introduction, growth, conquest, and extinction.Although the piece was not constructed as a suite, but rather as one long song, I present it here in two parts. The second part…See More
(« Aurora Borealis » by Frederic Edwin Church) « Child Of The Sky » is a lullaby for grown-ups, sung from the point of view of Mother Nature.The song is arranged for voices and acoustic instruments, namely, guitars, string quartet, flute, piano, clarinet, and percussions.Here are the lyrics :I am a child Of the Sky and the Stars…See More
Read on IssuuI've been nearly completely inactive in my social networks since mid-July or so. Not that I wouldn't have liked to participate, but I have been engrossed in the redaction of the above essay.When I tackled the project, I thought it would take a few weeks at most, and that I would be able to maintain my regular pace in other activities. However, I soon realized that the endeavour required great amounts of attention, and…See More
(« Climbing Plant » by Popperipopp) « Creeper » is directly inspired by the following aphorism from the Dhammapada :The streams flow everywhere; the creeper, having sprung up, becomes established. When you see that creeper sprout, sever its root by intense insight. – (XXIV. Craving, #7)and its…See More
(« SubjeKctiv » by Christopher Stewart) « SubjeKctiv » was put together in July 2004 for « The 2004 ProjeKction Music ProjeKct. » Participants were invited to submit music that included at least one of the many audio clips provided by the project initiator, ProjeKction's Darren Lock. An album with all the submissions is still available for free download here.The title comes from the recognition of…See More
("Informaëlstrom" by poligraf) 1000 Radios is a two-part piece which explores the relationship between an individual and their reality, a subject and their objective world. The second part, « Informaëlstrom, » aims to depict this reality gone awry, a maelstrom of information as it were, and the struggle of the individual endeavouring to escape the chaos and finally…See More
(« Introspection » by Alberto Baumann)« Introspection I » is the third part of « The Chrome Lake, » and its first section with vocals.As implied by the title, the piece is about looking into oneself. More precisely, it speaks of having the courage to look at the places which have been hurt, despite the pain, for this is part of the healing process.The chorus hints at the empowerment that comes from exposing oneself,…See More
(« The flying » by Anchise Picchi)i remember, once, i couldn't walk sure, i could move by myself but i couldn't walkperhaps, i didn't feel the need topossibly, i was happy crawling on hands and kneesyet, i could see and from what i could see, others were walking obviously, they had stood up, and they were walkingand i was not, but hey, i was happy crawlingand…See More
(« Newton » by William Blake) it was a path, a road, a way forward it was not just any other day yet, in a sense, it could have beenhad it been the unusual sunshine the melodies of the birds or something in the airlures material she now knew emptyshe had chosen progress it had become possibleit was a number, a goal, an ideal it was not just any other whim…See More
(« Glass of Beer and Playing Cards » by Juan Gris) everyday was the same but she wouldn't notice oblivious to the game that had become practice well, many times she had but she couldn't stand it it always felt so bad better to deny it rising up as a ghost toilet, table and toast iron, shower and post conform, comply and coast first stumper of the day what to wear to the store while lessons…See More
(« Effect of Butterfly » by Anastasiya Markovich) The third part of « The Idler » is entitled « Upward. »The idea behind the movement is quite simple : once the necessity of evolution has been recognized and accepted, there’s only one way to go and its up.To convey the feeling of somebody who is reinventing themselves, the music reintroduces some of the themes already presented earlier in the…See More
(« Between the waves » by Ivan Aivazovsky)The seventh chapter of « The Dam » is entitled « Flow » and presents the situation once the obstacle has been overcome, the dam has been levelled, and the test has successfully been passed.The protagonist/narrator is now moving forward into the dream, responding to the calling of the ocean.The lyrics are…See More
« To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. » — Zhuangzi
Music and Spiritual Practice - An Overview of Poligraf
Music has been an essential part of my life since the end of the 80s.
The adventure began during the second of my four years of studying electrical engineering at Université Laval in Québec City. Through various friends and contacts I reconnected with progressive rock, a form of music to which I had already been exposed to in my youth thanks to my older brothers and sisters. Hearing the music of bands such as Yes, Rush, Genesis, and King Crimson felt like meeting old friends, and quickly I knew I just had to do as those musicians did, although my prior experience with music had been minimal at that time.
The feeling was so strong that not only did it led me to buy various instruments so I could learn how to play, but it was also the main force that made me decide to change direction after my first semester as a graduate student in computer vision and systems so I could build my life around music. And perhaps more importantly, when it became clear that I would compose music of my own, it spawned the question « what should the songs be about ? » which powered me into many years of exploring a multitude of domains of knowledge including science, philosophy, psychology, art, mysticism, and the occult.
Music for me is also spiritual practice. The inspiration and elevation it provides is undeniable, and the many insights I have had while practicing an instrument or rehearsing a part are too numerous to recount. Music picks me up when I let reason bring me down, restores my energy levels when I feel tired, sustains me through lengthy work sessions, and generally brings me to a state of inner peace and deep joy.
My objective as a musician is to communicate that energy in the hopes that listeners will experience that very same elevation and inspiration. It is also my intention to share my experiences and discoveries and thus hopefully help others reach understandings that can they can use on their own journey.
Buddhism has been an essential part of my life since the mid-90s.
The adventure began when I stumbled upon a feature in an encyclopedic dictionary that highlighted the Four Noble Truths. That finding immediately sparked my curiosity and a few days later I was buying a copy of The Dhammapada at a local bookstore. While slowly digesting the aphorisms in the weeks that followed, I found that its teachings were in continuity with a process of introspection that had begun during an introductory course on neural networks (i.e. systems designed to emulate some of the capabilities of the human brain, such as pattern recognition and associative memory), the study of which had triggered the question « what does this tell me about my own inner workings ? »
From then on I pursued my explorations and plunged into the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, which was quickly followed by various Mahayana sutras. I also bought a guide to learn how to meditate and started experimenting with the practice.
During the years that followed, I plowed through most of the major Mahayana sutras, progressively adjusted my lifestyle and behaviour to accord with the precepts, refined my meditation practice, memorized mantras, and became a vegetarian.
Poligraf has been an essential part of my life since its inception at the beginning of February 1998.
The adventure began after the collapse of a band that arguably never really existed as it only had a handful of rehearsals, but for which I had already written a lot of material. Left alone at the helm, I connected with a group of experienced musicians via a co-worker friend and after agreeing on a general aim and formula, we raised sail and headed to the terra incognita of progressive rock.
Over its eleven years of activity in various incarnations, Poligraf has yielded enough music for over five full-length albums, but never really had a chance to officially record any of them, although some of the material has been demoed and performed on stage on various occasions.
Most of the music documents my own spiritual path and presents some of the lessons that life has taught me on the way. Some pieces are directly inspired by Buddhist texts or teachings. For instance, « Between Worlds » is directly inspired by the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, and « The Idler » and « Creeper » have been inspired by aphorisms of The Dhammapada. « Void » illustrates the Buddhist concept of emptiness, and « SubjeKctiv » serves as a reminder of the subjectivity of experience and the coextensivity of worlds. « Entering the Stream » is a trilogy, counting a total of nine chapters, that depicts the trajectory of an individual fed up with the mundane who decides to retreat into an ashram for some heavy introspection before returning to the ordinary with a renewed perspective on life.
Throughout all these years, if the Mahayana has provided the vehicle, then Poligraf has certainly provided landscapes, path, and drive, while the buddhas have completed the picture with their timely, serendipitous, and often magical interventions.
I don't know why I feel so strongly about music, progressive rock, and Poligraf in particular, but I just know I do and I trust that feeling to the best of my ability. My connection to Poligraf runs so deep that whenever I let hardships or circumstances turn into reasons to believe that there's no viable future for the band, then I retreat into apathy. That is, until that unmistakable feeling breaks through the veil of confusion to drive me again. To the best of my present understanding, my own self-realization seems to be linked to that of the band, if not as the culmination of my spiritual practice, then at least as an essential stepping stone towards it.
Poligraf's first album is entitled « Samsara. » Traditionally, the term refers to the Buddhist concept of the cycle of birth and death in which all beings in the universe take part and which can be escaped only through enlightenment. Personally, I agree with the view that it is rather that very same process of enlightenment, in which ups and downs are in fact the appearance of constant motion towards spiritual growth.
In accordance with that perspective, the album presents a collection of pieces that depict the journey of an individual who faces a series of challenges through which they will experience various transcendences, on their way to increasingly better versions of themselves.
If you'd like to know more about the band and support us in our efforts to bring our beauty into the world, please visit our website (see the first icon below) where you can learn more about our many projects and the sponsorship opprtunities that we offer.
For Poligraf, your support represents an opportunity to go to the next level, reach a wider audience, and ultimately become a self-sustaining prog rock producing unit that can function independently of a record label.
Thank you for reading thus far, and best wishes to you on your journey.
The third chapter of the series is entitled « Lepufology 301 : Racing Spacecrafts. » This time, things get a little more complicated for Jack Babbitt as he gets abducted and taken into the alien headquarters in the Wiltshire, UK, where he…
Before we try to get help from Ning, which is tough when we all 3 can't discuss together - - can you drag and drop modules on your Ning site? See where I'm going with this? Is this just code on JenSocial that's causing the issue? Or, is it a browser thing on your local computer?
Dreamcatchers Admin of JenSocial wrote and let me know about the issue you're having moving modules around on your profile page. I have the feature turned on, and not sure why it's not working for you. Could you try an alternative browser, just so we can go through a process of elimination?