Radio Lear Podcast 013 – Epiphany of the Numinosum
As we stand on the precipice of a new age of artistic exploration, I find myself returning to the theories of depth psychologist Erich Neumann, who astutely declared that the “appearance of a psychic image represents a synthetic interpretation of the world.” The same, he said, is true of artistic creation in its period of origination. Artistic creation, Neumann posited, wields a “magic power” that marries experience and perception, insights and differentiation in one potent potion.
The metamodern reconsideration of art’s purpose has allowed us to tap into these ideas, embracing the potential of art as a medium that transcends mere aesthetics. It is a form of expression that is driven by the archetypal content that simmers, unseen yet potent, beneath the surface of culture. Here, in the collective unconscious, art finds its true purpose: to bring to light that which exists but is not readily perceivable or explainable. As artists, our role becomes one of revelation rather than explanation.
In the latest episode of the Radio Lear Podcast, these concepts resonate beautifully across a diverse array of tracks:
1. Billow Observatory – Bright Lands Rising delivers a sonic landscape that embodies the synthetic interpretation of the world, weaving together intricate layers of sound to create a cohesive whole that is more than the sum of its parts.
2. Alberto Giurioli – Life is a testament to Neumann’s fusion of experience and perception. It takes the universal concept of life and translates it into a unique musical journey that stirs both the heart and the intellect.
3. ABBOTT, Ruben Jeyasundaram & Canea Quartett – Father epitomises the power of artistic creation to articulate the unconscious archetypes of the collective psyche. The track’s exploration of fatherhood delves into our shared experiences and perceptions of this role, offering a new perspective on a familiar theme.
4. The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Let Us Dance (Arca Remix) challenges our preconceptions and invites us to engage with the unconscious. It is an invitation to dance with the unfamiliar, a celebration of the unconscious made conscious through music.
5. Aleksander Dębicz – The Portals serves as a metaphorical gateway to the unconscious, bridging the gap between what we see and what lies beneath. It is a musical journey into the depths of the psyche, guided by the universal symbolism of the portal.
6. Angèle Dubeau & Alex Baranowski – Don’t Quit echoes the resilience inherent in the human spirit. It’s a musical testament to our collective desire to persevere, an archetype that resonates with our shared experiences.
7. Joakim Kepler – 39 (808 State Remix) is a reflection of the dynamic nature of the unconscious, with its shifting patterns and unexpected transformations. The remix embodies the constant evolution of our collective psyche.
8. Re: Member by Ólafur Arnalds – This track is from Arnalds’ solo project, his first since 2013. The album, Re: Member, involves a mix of post-minimalist repetition, indie swoon, film score frisson, and ambient drifts. The music is composed with a software called Stratus connected to two player pianos, and the album is described as a conversation between Arnalds and algorithms.
9. Angelus Novus by Hatis Noit – This song is named after a monoprint by the artist Paul Klee, as mentioned in the essay Angel of History by German philosopher Walter Benjamin. The song is about personal and social struggles, and the outro is intended to give a sense of healing. The music video for the song was generated by AI and explores the fluidity of identity. Hatis Noit is a Japanese artist living in the UK, and her music often addresses themes of identity and cultural differences.
10. Forgiveness by Allen Constantine – Allen Constantine is a contemporary film/media composer, producer, and sound designer. His work involves a blend of traditional orchestration with contemporary electronic elements.
11. Solace by Aukai – Aukai is a project by Markus Sieber that brings together instrumentalists to collaborate on music designed to accompany film, video, theater, and visual arts. The music involves ambient acoustic soundscapes with subtle electronic touches.
12. Nobody Knows by Birds Of The West, Dario Lessing – This track is from the Pattern EP, released in 2021, and was written and produced by Birds Of The West & Dario Lessing.
As we listen, we must allow ourselves to become explorers, journeying into the rich landscape of our collective unconscious. It is there, in the realm of the unseen, that the true power of artistic creation lies. And as we delve into these depths, we get a sense of how we can navigate the boundaries of the collective unconscious, probing the depths and bringing to the surface that which remains unseen.
It is with a sense of profound wonder and curiosity that we delve into the realm of art, not as mere spectators, but as participants in a metamodern journey of discovery. Guided by Erich Neumann’s ideas of the numinous and the collective unconscious, we look at how a re-evaluation of art’s purpose within our metamodern society has begun to incorporate insights gained from Depth Psychology. Art and creative activity have emerged as forms of expression, driven by archetypal content that remains unconscious within the culture. It falls to the artists to make these elusive elements explicit, yet they may remain inexplicable – a paradox that only adds to their allure.
Let us mark our exploration with “Inconsist” by Ólafur Arnalds, an Icelandic composer known for his fusion of post-minimalist repetition, indie swoon, film score frisson, and ambient drifts. His unique use of a software called Stratus, connected to two player pianos, blurs the line between the programmed and the human, offering a dialogue between Arnalds and algorithms. The result is a gentle pulse of melancholy, a conversation between the archetypal and the personal, mirroring Neumann’s concept of the collective unconscious surfacing through art.
Next, we have Angelus Novus’s “Aura”, which transcends the boundaries of identity and nationality. The artist, Hatis Noit, utilises AI in the creation of the music video for this track. It serves as a response to her self-alienated sensation, an exploration of the borderlines and fluidity of identity. This deeply personal exploration is reflective of the artist’s struggle with cultural identity, bringing to light the archetypal theme of the outsider or the stranger.
In “Forgiveness”, Allen Constantine merges traditional orchestration with contemporary electronic elements. The track resonates with the archetypal theme of reconciliation and forgiveness, two potent symbols in the collective unconscious. The subtle yet dynamic blend of styles embodies the metamodern spirit of synthesis and reconciliation.
Aukai’s “Solace” is an ambient acoustic soundscape that combines subtle electronic touches. The artist, Markus Sieber, has created a track that works in tandem with film, video, theatre, and the visual arts. It offers a sense of solace and comfort, an archetypal sanctuary within the collective unconscious, providing an intimate space for introspection and healing.
The last track in this exploration, “Nobody Knows” by Birds Of The West, reflects the archetypal theme of uncertainty and mystery. The title itself encapsulates the human experience of the unknown, a theme that is eternally resonant within the collective unconscious.
These selected examples offer a glimpse into how Neumann’s ideas of the numinous and the collective unconscious are being incorporated into the metamodern reevaluation of art’s purpose. These pieces of music act as conduits, allowing archetypal content that remains unconscious in our culture to surface, offering listeners an opportunity to engage with these elements in a way that transcends explanation. They offer a testament to the power of art in shaping our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Note: This is a fictional post that has no connection with any person or organisation, it was created using ChatGPT and the image using Midjourney.