DEATH MUST DIE, LP
Available via Marionette
For the 8th Marionette publication, Soundwalk Collective present ‘Death Must Die’. This is a sound piece that began 5 years ago and ended up as a radio play, as well as a one time live performance in a temple in New York. More recently, the trio found the drive to revive the project and re-translate and reflect on what these recordings mean to all of them, and to revisit the piece in a more musical way.
‘Death Must Die’ is based on Stephan’s multiple visits to the sacred Indian city of Varanasi, known as the place where thousands of people go to die. This journey was sparked by a fascination of trying to understand what happens at such a place, and how the idea of death is approached both in practical and spiritual terms. Through recording sounds from each visit and participating in different kinds of ceremonies, Stephan re-imagined his understanding of how to perceive, approach, and accept death. ‘Death Must Die’ is meant to demystify the concept of death while finding a means to relate to it visually and sonically through the energy, scents, and setting.
The idea is for the mind to dwell a world away from pain. That only in such a state of acceptance can one be most uninhibited and most free to decompose without resistance. That all suffering originates from craving, from attachment or from desire, which leads to both head and blood refusing to be pacified. From what I gather, the people in Varanasi, whether in ecstasy or burning, throw their arms up in the air. They are in a constant state of seeing what they are, and not calculating what they should become.
‘Death Must Die’ begins before the rising of the sun and reproduces the cycle of a day in Varanasi, ironically and coincidentally, much like the process the Collective approached in reviving this project.
It is here that Hindus come to die and burn their dead. It is here, on the river’s edges, that the wrath and the grace of Shiva are expressed. Intoxicating as death itself, it is a hammering song of the dead, playing until one is transfixed, and it is the murmuring of the Ganges…the power of silence.
This release is set to come out sometime in September on vinyl (distributed by Honest Jon’s) and digital. A photograph shot by Stephan Crasneanscki of a native in Varanasi playing the flute is printed with a Risograph and included as an insert with complementing words extracted from the Nasadiya Sukta – also known as the Hymn of Creation – it is the 129th hymn of the 10th mandala of the Rigveda – which is the ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns concerned with cosmology and the origin of the universe.
All music composed, performed and produced by Soundwalk Collective [Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, Kamran Sadeghi]
Field Recordings: Stephan Crasneanscki, Dug Winningham
Arrangement and Mix: Kamran Sadeghi
Mastering: Noel Summerville
Photography: Stephan Crasneanscki
Artwork: Benjamin Kilchhofer
Special Thanks: Dr. Robert E. Svoboda, Eddie Stern, Veer Bhadra Mishra