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matthu stull interview part 1

>> Friday, September 19, 2008




dear readers... i present to you one of the most fascinating, talented and intense persons i have ever encountered, a good friend, occasional collaborator and initiatrix, Matthu Stull.

this is part one, conducted over a two month period via email...


james gyre:

well, you mention future platinum-selling album... i can't tell if that gives you or future audiences too much credit. talk a little now about your unique music and touch on how this tension between the severe requirements of "art" blends with your desires to sell it big.

Matthu Stull
:

In Response to the Question Concerning
the 'Selling Big' of
Matthu Stull
Artistic and Musical Merchandise

Well, I admit it, I am a little ashamed of my juvenile vanity and superficial grandiosity. It is easy for me to be humbled by the real masters
of art. But I can only defend my position by looking at current examples of extreme banality in the field of music especially where one can only wonder at the low standards of large masses of people. Mediocrity seems to be in extreme demand throughout all periods of history, and possibly the truly ardent enthusiasts of sublime mastery or even clever genius do not measure up to this mass of mediocre expectations in dollars or numbers.........The issue, I guess, is to reach that smaller number of those who have the capacity to support a superior product--and there are many examples of this.
If we look back a little in history and to different cultures, we will find that the business of art and music has followed unsteady tracks. I will question a few situations now. Franz Joseph Haydn: He happened to get a pretty good job in the royal court of the Esterhazy dynasty of the Austro Hungarian empire. Not bad, considering the alternative of being some hack chorus master in some backwater town in the middle of nowhere. Haydn was able to pretty much do his own thing, producing many symphonies and string quartets over what was, I think, about a 40 year period. On the other hand, W.A. Mozart was not fortunate enough to fall into a similar situation. I have many times been unable to identify whether a piece was written by the one or the other, so there is no question to the very similar abilities. (Some of the Mozart of course is absolutely too distinct to confuse.) I guess ultimately this does not matter now, the different financial successes of these composers. But I think about these scenarios on occasion.
But what about the music of Africa, let's just take Nigeria for example. And let's time travel backwards about 500 years. I can't claim to have done enough research into this matter to know the situation. But I have to assume that there would be people who played music in a leisurely or even religious way while still functioning in other duties such as hunting or making jewelry. Many folk music traditions would probably fall into this same category. (I don't expect this to be rocket science to anybody, it just helps to lay out the pattern for what might be the future.) So maybe there is an incredible drummer in one community, and he is recognized as an incredible drummer, he can induce a deep trance within the revellers at a fireside jam session. And the next morning he takes part in the same berry gathering expedition as 20 other people in his community and interacts with them as equals. Is there any need to be anything more? Or to 'have' more?
My next example will take us back in time to India about 200 years ago. Okay, this time it is a tabla master who has a relatively successful tabla playing father. This father knows a master of the instrument and can afford to pay him to give his son extra training. And this extra training lasts for 11 years. Now the boy is about 19 and he's pretty damn good, but not quite a master. So he walks 150 miles to train with another super tabla master for the next 4 years. That master dies suddenly one day, so then the young player decides to just go around touring little villages, playing on the street for donations and food, maybe getting into some 'jams' with local musicians. This continues for 3 more years, during which time there has been sleeping on floors, all day walks in rain, and maybe the odd venereal disease. Eventually he stumbles upon a palace of amazing opulence and asks to perform in exchange for food and maybe a few nights rest. He does this and meets the prince of the palace and the prince's tabla master.........so he gets even more training. After several years of training this elderly master too dies, he was 79 years old. The lead protagonist of this epic story is now 35 and he's pretty much the 'sickest' drummer in the country. He is now the master drummer of the palace and is dating the cousin of the prince. He goes on to train a few disciples over the years, keeping the tradition alive......

Alright, enough of that. My point is, if I have a point, that I don't really have the same ambitions that the current American pop system suggests are necessary for success. Of course I have major ambitions, perhaps even 'Wagnerian' in scope, but more futuristic and intergalactic.
These ambitions don't really include the validation of selling many records or riding in a limo. It is more like-'If I make something cool enough, the Gods will ask me to join them in eternity'.

james gyre:


i really feel quite moved by the historical models you propose. i would love to be a fruit picker who gets to drum at night... it would really be quite an honor. i think it's particularly sad that the artist/musician isn't a super-exalted position in mainstream society... in ways other than commerce... they listen to them, idolize them, but don't respect the role they play as divine channels, as global re-tuners, music makers!

so take a stab at describing your music to readers... you unique expression, influences, etc...

Matthu Stull
:

(EDITOR's NOTE: no response given... some miscommunication via email)

james gyre:


WHILE MANY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO FOCUS MORE WITHIN SPECIFIC STYLES, YOU WORK IN WHAT COULD BE DESCRIBED AS "ABSTRACT" AND "REPRESENTATIONAL" STYLES IN BOTH VISUAL ART AND MUSIC, SOMETIMES INTERMIXING... GIVEN THIS BREADTH, DO YOU HAVE ANY INSIGHT INTO THE RELATIVE VALUE (OR "VALUES") OF "REPRESENTATION" OR "ABSTRACTION"?

Matthu Stull
:

there are a lot of people to reference, in terms of music style. i'm thinking of innovations that really seemed to shake things up........jazz as a genre for example, you would know much more about the whole history of electronic and hip-hop I presume......but, y'know there's a tradition and an innovation......god I hope I manage to slightly answer this question!! the thing is, lately, on guitar, I've been in a new territory, the same style that you know, in terms of abstraction, but it is becoming more refined, I don't know if it's a gas in a glass vial, getting less dense or more dense, like Coltrane, did he play more notes in 1961 or 1963, show me the stats...but the pattern is more developed, to the point that i can't really relate to any pre-existing style. i might 'hear' richard strauss in my head, but since I'm not inclined to learn the actual way to play it, the motivation gets all permutated.......maybe a sick Picasso or something...man Picasso blows my mind at times, I really don't like much of it, but there's so goddam much, some of them are just staggering......I'm sending a new landscape too,
so there is still the representational aspect going on. the temple in the mountains drawing was directly copied from a vision i had during a meditation. this method almost never happens, but the results seem to verify the benefit of using at least that much discipline...
I'm wondering a lot lately about osmosis, learning through denying.....sort of a Gurdjieffian principle, Holy Denying, it seems to sharpen the blade a little, but I have a long way to go, towards controlling myself and actual choice....hence, the drawings just happen, I have no control over it, not sure if that is good or bad, on one hand i love the idea of the trance, where the artist or shaman goes into some Astryl Portal and comes out with the jewels, but, believe it or not, there is a rational, pragmatic, side to Matthu's brain!!!
so with music, i am really caught between the debates over soul and technique...fripp stresses that they go together, like probably most sufis.....the technique of the hands, the intellectual grasp of the mind, and the throbbing feeling nodes of the solar plexus (or heart), working together........so, who why not work them all.......also on the fripp note, he seems to have conquered his ego enough to say, 'i am just a vessel' for the music....if i believe that, it actually gives me much more power than to say, 'dude, Iäm the shit, check out these skill', there one can be humble to something far more powerful.....now i have to have the balls to say,, this fucking music must get out, at all costs, not for my own gratification, but because it is a functional living force on this planet that we humans happen to facilitate and we have a responsibility to make it known.........sorry, if i got a little religious there!!!

james gyre:


"politics. new world order. anarchism. barrack obama. john insane. america. afghanistan.... GO!"

Matthu Stull
:

Bracka Bahamma, Iluminoma, and Demon-strayshuuunz

Got some wu-tang on right now, take it back from 8 diagrams....

so, yeah, uh.....shit, man.....NWO all kind'za crazy-ass shit, electionations, wazza, uhmmm,
can yall pass the fuckin' rule book ovah heee'ah...

i've been a little obsessed with the obama thing. first, i liked him about 18 months ago, liked his krizzma, n' shit....but he will represent the same world government that has been in the process of coming to birth-- albert pike, WWIII, population reduction,,,,,yeah, that will all come to pass, and i think barack is an energy suck......if there are black(haaha, you know, like 'evil'!!) magicians who suck adrenal power from traumatic situations, then the coming election could be a feast for that kind of thing. imagine the chaos if there would be an assassination, chaos is 'THEIR' greatest ally, in the words of G-dub, clearly a slip there.
not that there aren't plenty of blacks or whites who would completely resist the urge to get involved in horrible riots and whatnot, but civilization is so tenuous if you add a little adversity. i'm not tryin' to be overly negative, there is hope, for sure, but i had a dream recently that scared the shit out of me, there was a sort of 'black' pope who sucked my soul out,,,,i realized that there are some serious dogs out there.....like when luke says he's not afraid, and yoda says, oh you will be!!!,,,,some FUCKED up video on youtube featuring blackwater goons shooting at cars randomly on the highway in iraq....totally insane....the cauldron is really stirred up.....and i'm not the cheesist of christians but i feel like we might have to dig deep into some seriously meditations, control the urge to get absorbed in hate.......'if the eye offend thee, pluck it out' ie...have choice with one's actions.......if your friend gets blown in half by a mortar, how do you respond? this is why cointelpro is so effective, once you get the shit stirred up, and no one trusts anybody, there is a real divide and conquer.......so my goal is to chameleonize when ever possible.......is that a form of deception, probably, but i don't feel guilty about it......
back to brakka Bahamma, i think this is funny OBAMA-OSAMA,,, BIDEN-Bin Laden
Obama-Biden
Osama-Bin Laden I mean, you can't get too much more similar looking

the technology to fake things like assassinations is totally available right? I'm really seeing a chance for that, just to test the waters, the powers that be create this passion play, and check out the results...O'bamma goes into a coma for 3 weeks, then comes out of it, and in the meantime, all hell has broken loose.....
the blackblock people at the republican convention seemed totally fake, I recommend that everyone wear business suits to the next protest, seriously!!!!! and those fake blackblockers must be captured!!! not by police, you know, by regular citizens....everyone with a video camera is being fucked with, it's hard to say how close it is to the major event that will spin it all into the next phase.....i think bush will get out of office as some kind of hero for keeping 'us' 'safe',, who know's though, there might be some kind of lame duck shit too...

Codex allimentarius is supposed to be put in place by the end of next year, that means that the food crisis will hit sometime in the next 8 months or so, I would seriously recommend that everyone network and have a gameplan in case something cataclysmic happens and the immediate chaos prevents people from putting shit together----food stashes, etc......I want to get about 4 or 5 german shepherds as my personal body guards ahahhahh ahah, again, i repeat, i believe in the goodwill of humanity on one hand, but when fundamental necessities are at stake the rules change........

can't really come up with much on mccain, he's a complete idiot in my opinion, maybe even more retarded than Bush, at least there was something horribly sinister and captivating about g-dub.....I don't see him as the president

EDITOR's NOTE: end of part 1...
i'll show this to matthu get some approved art and audio up to flesh out the media aspect of this stull education... if you can't wait, and need to get more matthu NOW, head over to trashfactory.net/matthustull

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