The Music Of Poligraf : Juggernaut part 2


(Ratha Yatra Festival in Puri, India / Painting by James Fergusson)



Juggernaut. Lots to say about this one. Make sure your seat is confortable...


I’ve started the writing for this singular piece on November 2, strangely enough beginning with the epilogue. I “completed” it over the following weekend, on November 9. The lyrics, and thus the vocal melodies, remain to be addressed, mainly because I’m not sure which approach is best : the symbolical, the theoretical, or the experiential. The vocals will be accompanied by the alternating organ and guitar arpeggios vamps, the first of three beginning at around 1:10 of the clip embedded above.


In its totality, the composition clocks in at a little under 18 minutes, and is made up of the following six parts :

1. Prologue
2. Heedlessness / Status Quo
3. Procession
4. Steamroller
5. Resilience
6. Epilogue


The clip presents the second part, the title of which I’m not quite sure at this point, but it will probably either be “Heedlessness” or “Status Quo.” The clip starts with the end of the prologue, and the section ends on the timpani signalling the beginning of “Procession.”


“Juggernaut” has originally been inspired by a most painful experience that took place in the spring of 2000, if my memory serves me right. At the time, I was living in a huge rented house with five other persons. There was a problem with mildew accumulating on the ceiling of one of the bathrooms, so we asked the owner to fix it by installing a fan. But he had other plans. Although he was renting the cottage, his intention was to sell it, and since he had received no offer over the course of my stay there, which meant two and a half years at that point, he decided that a makeover would improve his chances of getting rid of it. So he went ahead and made plans, without consulting us, for revamping the building, while we were living in it. In theory it must have seemed like a good plan, but in practice it meant among other things : almost constant noise, moving our stuff around for a few days and then back in their original place, not having access to certain rooms like the bathrooms or the kitchen for extended periods, and dealing with the workers and with an overbearing and not-totally-honest designer-team-leader. And let me remind you that we were six mostly human beings living under that roof. In other words, a suffering experience of high quality.


Yet it generated its fair share of musical inspiration, ten MIDI sequences or so, more than enough for a suite, along with a concept to tie it all up, the idea of a juggernaut running us over.


“Heedlessness / Status Quo,” presents the situation before the traumatic experience, where the protagonists aren’t aware of what could come their way, although the signs are definitely there. The situation is characterized by its frailty, following incidents that remained unresolved either by sheer ignorance, lack of courage, or a poorly implemented ideal of tolerance that trod upon some of the needs of some of the protagonists.


Since errors have been committed and signs are being ignored and/or unrecognized, life, being what it is, constantly bound by the synchronicity principle, has no choice but to respond with an experience strong enough to insure that errors are rectified, communications take place, and incidents are resolved, so that everybody involved is redirected on their proper course.


From David Bohm’s Unfolding Meaning :


Bohm : “(…) – you see, there is the word ’sin’, and apparently there was a Greek word in the bible meaning….

Q. : “Harmatia, missing the point.”

Bohm : “Missing the point. Yes, hamartia which meant missing the point, missing the mark. Now that got translated as sin. And repentance was metanoia, meaning a transformation of the mind, and got translated as pain, right? Penitence, repentance. The point is that repentance is merely to understand that you missed the mark, you see? (laughter) Therefore evil is missing the mark, basically. It is confusion, right? Its ultimate source is the kind of confusion I described about thought.”


Also found on the net :


In Greek, the word “hamartia” was used to signify sin. It means “missing the mark”. This was equated with ignorance. In effect, an individual would not sin if he understood what he was doing. It may be true that some sins are due to ignorance, but it does not follow the Christian concept of deliberate sin. – John Eberts


So basically, in the chronology of the song, at the time of “Heedlessness / Status Quo,” the mark has been missed, the harmatia has been made, and so life responds with a metanoia in order to change the mind of those involved who needs their minds changed in relation with the incidents under consideration. And thus the advent of the juggernaut.


By the way, in our case the incidents were on their own innocuous house-sharing frictions, but as they accumulated led to communication breakdowns, cliques, and a dangerously inharmonious living atmosphere. The situation had to be rectified, we needed reharmonization. In practice, the pain caused by the makeover process was stronger than our differences, enough to get us working together against our “common enemy,” and thus reestablishing communication, respect, and the overall harmony in the house.


One last juggernaut-related point, while writing the present post I had the following insight :


Things are not what they seem. Things are what they mean.


The Music Of Poligraf series are reposts of writings and audio clips that have been originally published on The Goal Was So Near from November 2008 to April 2009, made available for those who missed the original Clip Of The Day series.

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