(« Morel in eastern West Virginia » by Gzirk)once, there was a guy named Gus. and although Gus was without a passion, Gus's head liked to think that Gus was a passionate guy. Gus's head also liked to think that it was bright. in fact, Gus's head just liked to think.through apparently fortuitous circumstances, Gus was lonely most of the time. often, during that time, mostly because it just liked to…See More
« Creativity and artistic endeavors have a mission that goes far beyond just making music for the sake of music. » — Herbie Hancock
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.
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i am a former software engineer turned indie prog rocker turning sci-fi author... i began studying and practicing Buddhism in the mid-nineties, and immediately felt a connection with the philosophy... most of my efforts are aimed at sharing the knowledge i am acquiring along my journey, via various artistic media including music and poetry, and writing...
Your Teachers and/or Spiritual Sources of Inspiration
Books You have Read and Would Recommend
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, Isaac Asimov, David Bohm, Buddhist Sutras
Movies and Music you Would Recommend
Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, Deus Ex Machina, Arena, Mr. Bungle, Yes , King Crimson, Rush, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa, Mike Keneally, Opeth, Devin Townsend, UKZ, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Steve Vai, The Police, U2, Vissarion Shebalin, Igor Stravinsky, Dream Theater, Trey Gunn, Voivod / Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I Robot, The Lord of the Rings, Punch-Drunk Love, Magnolia, Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain, The Matrix, The Fifth Element, Forrest Gump, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, Blade Runner, Highlander, Dune, Star Wars, Tron, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Fantasia, The Wizard of Oz
Your Goals, Visions and Desires
realization of my life long dream of becoming a full-time independent artist so i can have more time to create and share my work...
Comment Wall (23 comments)
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Yes, its very common that PRI party give "gifts" for the poorest people to get their votes, even more now that economic situation in México is terrible. Chris yuo can't imagine how poor are now the poor people ( including me). Some natives that live in the mountains (The tarahumara tribe), they are jumping into the void, commiting suicide because they can not be more time so hungry. They have not even a few beans or corn or chile. Its very sad and tragic.
The situation with the PRI party was worse around 25years ago, many people were threatened about lose their jobs or suspend government support if they didn't vote for them.
About the videos they were in the first, 132 young students who spoke against Enrique Peña Nieto but hundreds more were added to that motion. The situation is that He is very handsome and charismatic. So weak people feel atracted to him. But the other ones (thinking people) kow that he is really a kind of sadistic demon. Even my mother likes him!!.
The second video is even more interesting, the initial 132 students say that they didn't participate in this particular march against Enrique Peña Nieto but they, at the same time, call for another march against the sold media. (to the PRI party), They now ask for a neutral media and a free internet.
They also allude that behind Enrique PN, there are another two powerful demons: Carlos Salinas de Gortari (former president of México) and Elba Esther Gordillo: leader of the national Union of Teachers.
I've been investigating and the article that Sylvain posted is right.
Recently have been several protest marches against the PRI political party's candidate called Enrique Peña Nieto, because we have to elect a new president of the nation in the next July 1st. 2012.
This person have a very dark past. He has done terrible thinks acording to some testimonies (testimony? )that I´ve seen and aproved like true. he is even suspect of to hae killed his first wife. So Its very scary to think he could gain the elections.
This candidate has edited videos from youtube trying to hide the fact that many people don't like him. The recently protest marches Have not had the coverage of the media, Because all people know that somebody going against Enrique Peña Nieto is in danger
Hey Chris!, I need to investigate what has happened in México city. There are often protest marches at M.City but this one is too big. Sylvain gave me a link to I can know what. and i can talk with somebody here that know about it. I'll tell you what is abot later. God bless you. ;-)
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