THE ORGASMIC IMPULSE IN THE AUDIO ARTS
NO MORE SHAME
Are we a community of eunuchs? Before you answer this question let us spend a day skateboarding through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Are you embarrassed by all of the naked bodies portrayed in pictures and statues? Can you experience the sexuality that the masters have endowed in their work? How is it possible to separate our sexuality from our artistic expression? Have you been watching MTV, or gone to a rock concert lately? How many pelvises were pumping to the most ancient beat? Of all the modern art forms, the audio arts is doing the best job of expanding and uplifting the expression of our sexuality, yet this industry is completely terrified, let me repeat this, TERRIFIED of connecting our art to the most primal and sublime force of our humanity.
For good reason our Mother Nature made us men the most sexually charged creature on the face of her Earth. Our sexuality is the engine of civilization. It is the fire of our spirituality. Our sexuality is the yeomen of the arts, and that includes the building of pyramids to the building of single-ended triode amplifiers, et. al. How long does it take you to experience Beethovens, Stravinskys or Princes sexuality, and if this energy werent in the music, what would you be listening to?
I think the most exciting breakthrough in the audio arts is that there is now a small community of us who have matured and are capable of honest adult male expression of emotion. I am certain of this because the word "orgasmic" is sneaking in as a description of "a state of being" stimulated by an audio system. Adult men feel no shame in embracing the significance of this omnipresent orgasmic impulse, and feel no embarrassment in jiving and dialoging how this humongous omnipresence infiltrates our art.
Please jump on the back of my 48 Panhead chopper for a "perspective trip" so we can get far enough away from the forest so we can see the trees, and what do we sees? We see the beginning of the internalization of audio arts. We notice a shift away from the externalizing aesthetic of "Lets reproduce a live event in our living room" to "Lets create audio technology that stimulates an out of body experience; an ecstatic state with music". Here the audio artist is striving to achieve boundary dissolution qua dematerialization, which, if I understand Picasso correctly is exactly what he was striving for....just like so many other artists of the twentieth century.
You might claim that the high end audio arts have always been subjective, but I am asking you to take subjectivism to a much more mature and profound level. I am not now talking about our comfort in making personal judgments without need for technical justification, but our ability to make a direct emotional connection between what we create in our livings rooms to what we clearly expressed in the late Paleolithic caves in France forty thousand years ago. This theme of "connection" I shall repeat over and over again, ad nauseum, because this capacity to listen in the present to forty thousand years of our musicification is the real frontier of the audio arts that needs exploring.
The audio arts are shifting towards a very intimate, personal expression. Now that everyone has mastered neutrality we can move on up and become personal. This is real growth. For example, Jonathan Sculls wonderful interview in Stereophile of Kondo of Audio Note, revealed how personal and intimate the audio arts are in Japan. This emotional intimacy takes enormous courage amidst the mealy minded mediocrity of mainstream audio dogma, which describes art in terms of attributes. There is a natural transition of courage from "I dont care how it measures, this sounds right to me", to, "This is my own very personal vision of musical ecstasy, warts and all, dig it if you can, if not, thats cool".
THERE IS NO GENUINE MUSICAL EXPERIENCE WITHOUT ECSTASY
The audio arts is a male art form because, et al, they expresses the uniquely male orgasmic impulse; the impulse to dematerialize and become one with a greater force.. But there is much more, as you know, to sex than sexual pleasure. And there is much more to music than just musical pleasure. I am certain that all of you have experienced orgasmic union with another soul where, for a few brief moments, souls dissolved into each other and there is only one ecstatic energy, and this energy is the combined harmonics of two souls. Language is completely feeble to describe this primal experience, yet it is out of this most ancient sublime moment of grace and mysterious self-knowledge that the impulse to create art/great audio systems arises.
I suggest that the job of audio artist is to craft tools, tuning tools, tools that help us to tune into this our most primal sexual harmonic....when our harmonic and the music become one. This is when we get beyond the intellectual knowing of "goodness", and are just a trembling gelatinous glob of oneness with the music. The motivation that drives us to sweat and suffer over equipment is this ancient pre-conscious impulse for experiential meltdown, boundary dissolution; when we are the hot chocolate syrup and the music is Virgin chocolate ice cream, and we become one gooey yumminess. This urge to merge is an elephant of an impulse compared to the gnat that is our rational intelligence.
Now at last I can redefine "state of the art audio technology": when an audio system reflects, liberates and uplifts our orgasmic impulse, .......when and audio system stimulates our complete dematerilization it is state of the arts. No more four stars. Now we have to use the four "O" rating.
LIVE CONCERTS ARE TOO LIMITED
Which is why I have been claiming for decades that the experiential possibilities for musical ecstasy in the home are far greater than at live concerts. Concerts are cool, but in our homes there is the possibility of a far more profound and creative relationship to music because the context of the experience is expanded, i.e. we can be emotionally and physically freer. Our home listening room is our cave, and here we are freer, and we can go places and do things that would get us arrested at a live concert. But you know what I mean, so I will not waste your time convincing you that the audio arts are taking us way beyond the ecstasy potential of live concerts.
TUNING OUR ECSTATIC HARMONIC
Which is why I call this "tuning our harmonic" and our sexuality demands it, in the same way our Fender guitars demand to be tuned before they can be used properly. This "tuning of our harmonic" is what we must do if we are going to play at the top of our game. In my searching to understand this ancient process, which has been so compelling in my life, as it is in yours, I have, like so many others, sat for hours in the lotus position, with my thighs and back aching with pain, listening to the droning of an Indian masters sitar. This little brown saintly crafter of harmonics knew exactly how to pry me free from my leaden soul and lift me out and up and twirl me in a dance with Shivas kid sister. The Yogic arts are all about taking the base male sexual energy and moving up the spine so it can fire us to higher deeds. Anyone who plays an instrument knows the feeling when they, their instrument and the music becomes one. And then there is the hyper-magic when the performer and the audiences becomes one. Glenn Gould, the great pianists said, "There is no genuine musical experience, without ecstasy"
Ancients knew, hundreds of generations ago, the importance of having a great audio system, one that generated exactly the right kind of harmonics; the vibrating keys that would open the doors to the higher place where all the really powerful knowledge hangs out (this is the same place that Miles Davis now hangs at with Mr. Big and Prokofiev). For as long as we have been creating culture and long before there was mind and thought we have been using rhythmic patterns of harmonics to refine our intelligence. We chanted in bellowing caves, making rhythmic patterns of harmonics because this is how we dematerialized and became the spirit of the animals we hunted. Make the sound of the bear and become the bear. Become the bear and you will be a better bear hunter. This is how we tuned our pre-linguistic mind: just give me the right vibe and I do a better job....especially when it is charged with the fire of male sexuality. How different is my living room with its flickering candlelight from the caves at Lascaux, France where forty thousand years ago men sat in flickering light listening to the harmonics of their grunts? And what about one of the greatest audio system/audio caves ever created, the cathedral? Want to experience the dematerialization of Jesus Christ? No, let me say that another way. Do you want to feel the concrete presence of God, yet there is no concrete form only harmonics moving through space? Let me repeat my point: connect your impulse expressed in your living room, to the impulse expressed in those ancient caves, to the impulse to build those majestic cathedrals. It is the same impulse. It is male sexuality doing the right thing.
GETTING DOWN WITH THE TAO
If our audio system doesnt express our primal organic orgasmic harmonic it is not helping us tune ourselves to an increasingly subtle harmonic, and we are going to get frustrated, restless, and angry or numb. No matter how perfectly coordinated our megabuck system, if we are not sexually connected to what this system is creating, we must move on, get a divorce, or start the process of heavy duty tweaking. If this seems like a sexually radical notion to you, may I point to the Tao, the most ancient Chinese way of spirituality, which states that a mans health is dependent on the positive expression of this orgasmic energy.
For those of you who are still attached to counting orgasm, you are in for a shock. The Way of the Tao preaches the benefits of making love very often, but only one orgasm a month is allowed, Never have an orgasm each time you make love. In other words, the purpose of this type of passion is to keep you very spiritually stiff or as you might say "elevated in sexually energy" I dont think the ancient Chinese wanted us to bounce all over the place constantly wanting nooky. No, their idea was that this state of elevated being was going to make us better at creating subtle audio systems, or more competent at some other equally important ask.
Can you imagine what happens to your energy if you followed the way of the Tao? I suggest you read one of the most marvelously entertaining books on the Tao (pronounced Dow), The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity, by Daniel P. Reid, for a more expansive and non-Western insight into this ancient vision of male sexuality. This book also explains some very cool sexual rituals that every repressed white boy in America ought to learn and some recipes for really effective aphrodisiacs. Must reading!
Creating aphrodisiacs and creating great audio systems is the same type of art because both are the creation of magic charms to release what is the repressed in our souls, and we all suffer from massive harmonic repression.
I can hear a hysterical shrieking audio nerd saying, "Yikes, Dr. Gizmo is telling us to hold on to our sperm because it will help us create better audio systems". Right on Mohandes Ghandhi, who also followed this advice. Monks are celibate, not to deny their sexuality, but to focus it. The theory being that their sperm becomes the rocket fuel they need to get boosted up to God. We are doing the same thing in our living rooms with our audio systems. We are being transported to another place outside Disneyland by our audio systems. And we are being transported back back deep into our ancient never forgotten ancient longing.
IT WAS GOOD FOR ME, WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU?
Make love twice a day, but remember dont have an orgasm. At first this will be hard to do, which is why I recommend reading Reids book, especially Chapter 6, page 277 "Semen Retention". Take careful notes about what happens to your experience of your sound system during this month. Does it get better or worse? Do you begin to hear new things? What are you discovering? Let the readers of Positive Feedback now the results of your experiment.
I would like to suggest that if every piece of audio gear came with these Tao "semen retention" instruction that the women of the world would immediately encourage their men to buy more, not less, audio equipment. I believe what I am suggesting, for the first in the history of the high end audio industry, is something that is equally beneficial for audiomaniacs and their wives, and will be responsible for the next golden age of the high end audio industry. It also puts the importance of the liquid midrange in the proper perspective.
In closing, a summary: Mother Nature made us the horniest creature on the face of Her Earth which gives us the potential of transforming our sexuality into the desire to build cathedrals or home audio systems. The audio arts, the newest of modern art forms, is the first art form to successfully achieve the ultimate goal of modern art: dematerialization and the presentation of the pure essence of beauty qua spirit. Make love twice a day, but only have one orgasm a month. Eat lots of (low fat) ice cream and let us know how the transformation of your sexuality is effecting your audio artification process. And most importantly remember that your orgasmic energy expressed in your audio system is what state of the art is all about...no other judgment is relevant.
And remember Be Very Simple, and Be Very Stiff.