LP Cover by Patti Smith
Soundwalk Collective ‘Four Cardinal Times’ featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg & Patti Smith
Directed By Stephan Crasneanscki
Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith featuring Anoushkar Shankar ‘The Knowledge Of The Self’
Directed by Stephan Crasneanscki
Editing: Anastasia Ivanova
Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith ‘Peradam’
Directed by Stephan Crasneanscki
Editing and visual collage by Jenn Ruff
Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith ‘Vera’
Directed by Stephan Crasneanscki
Editing: Anastasia Ivanova


Featuring Patti Smith, Anoushka Shankar, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tenzin Choegyal

Available via Bella Union
Order HERE

Peradam takes as its entry point René Daumal’s early 1940s novel Mount Analogue: a Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing, in which the French writer, critic and poet mapped a metaphysical journey to “the ultimate symbolic mountain” in search of meaning. In it, Daumal introduced the idea of the “peradam”, a rare, crystalline stone – harbouring profound truths – that is only visible to seekers on a true spiritual path.

Peradam arrives as “the final stone”, says Soundwalk Collective’s Stephan Crasneanscki, in The Perfect Vision, a triptych of albums that evoke and explore the sainted spaces of thought and creativity opened by the three French writers and poets. After albums devoted to Antonin Artaud (The Peyote Dance) and Arthur Rimbaud (Mummer Love), Peradam expands on “the living space”, says Smith, that Daumal left for future seekers to enter and create out of. 

Daumal’s spiritual quests ranged wide and deep. Part-influenced by Rimbaud, he also identified with the Pataphysicians, followers of the avant-garde absurdist Alfred Jarry. Daumal experimented with hallucinogens to the detriment of his health, though he would later transfer his passions to the purity of work as he nurtured a fascination with Hindu philosophies and taught himself Sanskrit; Peradam features some of his translations. While Daumal embraced the idea of self-abnegation as the key to internal awakening, he was also drawn to the syntheses of Eastern/Western thought in Greek-Armenian philosopher GI Gurdjieff’s teachings. Daumal’s greatest works include the novels A Night of Serious Drinking and Mount Analogue, which – though unfinished at the time of his death from TB at 36 in 1944 – inspired psychedelic magus Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain as well as the creative journeys undertaken by Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith. 

Following recordings in the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico and Harar, Ethiopia for their albums devoted to Artaud and Rimbaud, Soundwalk Collective (Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli) travelled to Nanda Devi in the Himalayas, Rishikesh, Varanasi and Kingdom of Lo (Upper Mustang) to channel Daumal’s metaphysical quest in physical sound. “And through our physical travels,” says Crasneanscki, “we discovered the most humble objects of meaning that carry the spirit of what he searched for and found. It can be as simple as a stone, which can inhabit a power almost like a talisman.” 

Soundwalk Collective’s musical and field-recording based compositions help to flesh out the enfolding soundscapes of Peradam, alongside contributions from simpatico collaborators. Tenzin Choegyal brought his voice, Tibetan drums, singing bowls, dranyen and damru to the title-track, “Spiritual Death” and closer “The Rat”, a poem by Smith that journeys across a fecund metaphorical landscape of life, death and cyclical nature. “Knowledge of the Self” features the sitar of Anoushka Shankar, who brings with her a family connection to the album’s subject: Daumal toured America as an impassioned spokesman for Uday Shankar, the Indian dancer whose siblings included the great musician Ravi Shankar, Anoushka’s late father. 

The actor and singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg contributes to “The Four Cardinal Times”, while “Nanda Devi” features Dhan Singh Rana, a Sherpa in his 70s who gently encouraged Crasneanscki up the mountain. “And meter after meter, hour after hour, slowly but surely I got there,” says Crasneanscki. The experience proved enlightening, he adds: “The mountain teaches us the slowness and calmness that Daumal wrote of. When you finally arrive and look up at the magistral Nanda Devi summit, Daumal’s words resonate: ‘The Mountain is the connection between Earth and Sky. Its highest summit touches the sphere of eternity, and its base branches out in manifold foothills into the world of mortals. It is the path by which humanity can raise itself to the divine and the divine reveal itself to humanity.’” 

The sounds captured and composed by Soundwalk Collective helped Smith in her tough, tender and tactile voicework: readings that dive so much deeper than mere readings. “It’s just attempting to create a breathing body of work that keeps growing as you do it; it’s alive,” she says. “You can’t just do it because you say you’re going to. People can go out to Central Park and record the wind, but we have wind from the top of sacred mountains, we have the sound of stones from the most dangerous parts of the Copper Canyon in Mexico.” 

The result is a perfect conclusion to The Perfect Vision, a triptych that reaches beyond the physical, across time and space, to channel the spiritual and philosophical energies and work of earlier seekers. “We are not trying to make a living, we are not trying to have physical gold in our hands – it’s a different type of gold, it’s metaphysical gold,” says Smith. “It’s like a peradam in Daumal’s world. The only time we’re able to hold onto it is during the process. We don’t even get to hold it through our life; only the process.” Out of that process emerges new spaces: living landscapes in which willing explorers may find treasures. The project is complete but the spiritual quest it honours remains open, a process ready for continuation. “In the end,” Smith says, “it goes out into the world and becomes whatever it becomes – perhaps one person in the year 2070 uses it as a springboard for another work.” 

As with the other albums in the triptych, the Collective searched for hidden, earthy sounds that hold memories and embed existence. For Mummer Love, they also found themselves recording under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar-Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. “As the rain fell, I wondered if I was hearing the drops hitting the leaves the same way Rimbaud did 140 years ago,” Crasneanscki says. These sounds and Sufi chants coexist with Patti Smith’s interpretation of Rimbaud’s poems, as she recites and sings among them in a call and response, sharing the same musical and spiritual space. Smith’s only poem is the title track Mummer Love, written to Rimbaud; her words are rooted in multiple aspects of the self: from the passion of a lover to the care of a mother, and everything in between. Further contributions to this album come from Mulatu Astatke, widely considered the father of Ethio-jazz, and Phillip Glass, who’s long felt a connection to Sufi music – here coming together and evoking a call and response between piano and vocals of the Sufi masters. It is simultaneously the first time Glass collaborates with Smith, and so Harar becomes an extraordinary meeting place for all to celebrate the beauty of Rimbaud’s work.

Referring to the overall work, Smith likens the project to a fourth mind equation. “Because we are working with other people’s work, and not just reading it but channelling these people, they become a fourth mind. We are Rimbaud, you, I, and the work,” Smith says in conversation with Crasneanscki. The unification of all minds together magnifies its power and potential. “It makes me think of Rimbaud’s energy, his strong will,” Smith says. “If we, the living, send out radio and energy waves, the energy of those last poems is still reverberating. It can’t be silenced, because we understand that this work and the artists are not dead, they find life when we are recording them.”

Entitled The Perfect Vision, this musical triptych, which has been co-produced with Leonardo Heiblum and supported by the Analogue Foundation, aims to go beyond 20/20 vision and explore a dimension that exists on a non-physical plane. What one can physically see is only the beginning – this project transcends what we think we see, by multiplying experiences, languages and energies. “We went through places like Mexico, Ethiopia and India to search for a perfect vision, in spaces where you can still feel a sacred presence – where the Gods are still among you,” says Crasneanscki. “In this idea of
perfect vision, there is the idea of oneness, and with that comes a sense of supreme love.”

Artistic direction and Realisation: Stephan Crasneanscki with Patti Smith 
All music produced by Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith in Rishikesh, Varanasi, Paris and NYC in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum 
Artistic direction and Realisation: Stephan Crasneanscki with Patti Smith

All texts and transcriptions by René Daumal, except Peradam and The Rat written by Patti Smith, copyright / © (2020) (Patti Smith) All texts performed by Patti Smith, except Nanda Devi featuring the special participation of Dhan Singh Rana ‘Knowledge Of The Self’ and ‘Hymn To The Liquid’ translated from Sanskrit by René Daumal Original English translations by Louise Landes Levi 

Music by Soundwalk Collective in collaboration with Anoushka Shankar, Leonardo Heiblum, Tenzin Choegyal, Hans Tammen 
Soundwalk Collective: field recording
Patti Smith: voice
Charlotte Gainsbourg: voice on The Four Cardinal Times
Anoushka Shankar: sitar on Knowledge Of The Self
Tenzin Choegyal: voice, Tibetan drums, dranyen, Tibetan singing bowls, damru Leonardo Heiblum: Tibetan drums, harmonium, harmonium breathing
Nicolas Becker: rocks, foley
Diego Espinosa Cruz Gonzalez: Tibetan drums, rattles, gongs, cymbals
Stan Neff: Neve 1073 3188 desk saturation Aurelien Rivière: electronic drums, additional programming
Andrew Claristidge: Doepfer, Oberheim on The Rat
Andrés Sanchez Maher: electric bass
Hans Tammen: Buchla Easel
Jon Michell: Conchs
Arda: Sarangi 

Stephan Crasneanscki: mantra, Haken Continuum, wood chopping
Simone Merli: E370 Quad Morphing VCO, Plaits, H3000, Ursa Major Space Station Additional Arrangement: Stan Neff
Additional field recording: Arnaud Marten, Dug Winningham 

Line producers: Paul Hance, Simone Merli
Production assistant: Robert Henriques
Recorded in the Nanda Devi mountain, Rishikesh, Varanasi, Kingdom of Lo (Upper Mustang) Electric Lady Studios in New York, Eastside Sound in New York
Les Studios Saint Germain in Paris
Sakha Studio in Berlin
Studio Assistant: Pierre Houlé
Knowledge Of The Self recorded at Alev Lenz Studios, London. Engineer: James Campbell Mix and additional production: Russell Elevado at Electric Garden in New York
Mastering by Noel Summerville, London 

Special thanks: Anoushka Shankar, Tenzin Choegyal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Xavier Dandoy de Casablanca, Pierre Bonnasse, Claudio Rugafiori, Eddie Stern, Angela Sulivan, Lizzy Frost, Clare Dingle, Lee Foster, Ben Kane, Tyler Friedman, Elodie Filleul, Charles Carmignac, Fondation Carmignac, Jorinde Croese, Marina Burini, Anastasia Ivanova, Brian Close, Sohichiro Matsumoto, Robert Morgan-Males, Audio-Technica 

Patti Smith appears courtesy of Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Anoushka Shankar appears courtesy of Mercury KX, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited All rights reserved 

Front Cover & Labels: artwork by Patti Smith
Back Cover and Gatefold Artwork: Stephan Crasneanscki 



With the kind support of The Analogue Foundation