Robert Furtkamp

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. And in those sounds, the proto-sounds that came out of the void, the first form from formlessness, there is beauty.

Music for me has always been a spiritual pursuit — before I ever picked up an instrument, I found the ever-living spirit of the void in a fountain pen. And as I wrote, and read the works of Crowley and Spare and whatever a young man could scrounge before the Internet was young, words began to fail at times to convey the spirit of the Voice in the Void.

It wasn’t about verse-chorus-verse or format or key or even a definited note — if the Voice wanted to speak in those terms, it would just use words. But there were things I found, things I woke up with dancing in between my ears, that would not stop until I committed them to tape, that led to years of work with “automatic music”, the equivalent of automatic writing or drawing but with sound.

Sometimes it’s harsh, sometimes it’s beautiful. Sometimes the Angel sings. And sometimes it’s smaller than the moment and bigger than me. Hook up the recorder, plug in an instrument, hit record, bell, book, and candle, and it’s there.

The best things that come from my hands and my lips and my eyes aren’t mine. I don’t dare claim them as anything but the literal product of the Work. Even as my body has failed me and blessed formlessness is near, the Voice and the music and the echo is there.

These days I am a magician and musician and dreamer, mystic and idiot, effectively locked away from the world by the curse of failed flesh, but in the Voice and the sound and the music, I am free.

I have played absolutely free for twenty years — I have only broken this rule once, just to break it. I do not play covers or set songs or even my own material twice. It is a thing of the moment, living, breathing, dying, and remaining as a record of that thing, that intent. It is a sigil of the pain, the joy of existence, the sound of the moment.

It is generally recorded live or as live as it can be given that there are times when to satisfy the piece and the moment I cannot clone myself. Overdubs are limited to complete passes and what I call “pseudo-live” in that it’s “use what’s committed to record” or “scrap the whole thing” to prevent losing the moment in the pursuit of perfection.

If at all possible, I record live in one pass, 24 tracks available at a time to allow me to focus on performance rather than mixing (and to use totally wet processing where needed live, not in post production).

Magick, Music and Ritual 14 - Twin Pillars Crumble and Shake

Twin Pillars Crumble and Shake

A previously unreleased track …

Magick, Music and Ritual 14 - Invoke Me Under My Stars for the Darkness Shines

Invoke Me Under My Stars for the Darkness Shines

A previously unreleased track …

Magick, Music and Ritual 13 - All things hidden and alight 04:37

All things hidden and alight

This year's contribution, written and performed as part of my leadup to the total eclipse of August 21st.

Magick, Music and Ritual 12 - Robert Furtkamp - A rose cross at dawn

A rose cross at dawn

Written and performed during my yearly re-examination of “The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz”, this piece is an exclusive for the 20th Anniversary Compilation.

Stairs upon stairs, and universes upon universes always await me within.

Magick, Music and Ritual 10 - Robert Furtkamp - Follow the Moon

Follow the Moon

“Follow the Moon” is an outgrowth of recent work. Every year around this time, I take stock in what I’ve done, where I’m going, and what I’m doing, and listen to the Voice in the Void.

This was a song in my head after a particularly grueling session of self-analysis, conjuring, and lucid dreaming — I woke with it and got it out before it hand a chance to change into something else.

It is a moment in time, born of the fragments where it was best to leap off the cliff, to take an oath, to follow the whispers in the woods to the place from whence they came.

This track is exclusive to the Hermetic Library compilation for Fall Equinox 2014.

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