Interview with an Astronaut (While Riffing on an Improv Treatise in Hendrix Valley)
Peaches En Randalia #47
Q. You appear to have a different definition of ‘space’ than the normal artist.
A. I don’t really have a definition. I mean, what is truth? what is definition?
Q. Definition kills.
A. Right. I’ve always said that. To be a Holy Roller, you must gamble with Fate.
Q. Why? What is it about ‘definition’ that is so abhorrent to you?
A. Well…I mean, just look at how one views the meaning of ‘space’. Space should be an open playground where an artist puts one’s own colors, textures, imagery within a framework, a sense datum: a result of stimulation of a sense receptor. One reacts based upon individual genetic and experiential evidence. We see what we create.
Q. Tangents within a framework. You got that from Page, Jimmy Page, right?
A. Right. Hence, the horse and rider that breaks free from the frame to explore other dimensions. A sense datum is my own take on the crucial wedding between rebellion and creativity. Study that concept, if you like. Study anything about the union of persecution and identity, too. It’s all right there—the clues about space and definition, the opposing dilemma of particle and mass total. To break free from restraints, one must isolate and focus, conjure and accept, breed and dissect, purge with a sense of complete being. Exploration should be random, yet precise.
Q. Random, yet precise?
A. Right. Take Page. He’s a musician. When he plays a guitar solo, his fingers are flying through space upon notes that appear precise to the ear. Yet, contrarily, they are, again, random.
Q. Who is guiding his fingers? Predetermined fate? Genetic coding?
A. His mind. I think his mind existed before his corporeal body came into being.
Q. He was here before?
A. Right—his mind is a continual flow of information from many, many past lives.
Q. Does everyone have this pre-body memory bank of knowledge?
A. Not sure. I…I really don’t know about that. Some people just don’t have any clue. They stumble through their lives. They never fly. They never sing. They just absorb manmade rules. I think most do. They are born dead.
Q. What do you mean by manmade rules?
A. I guess that’s anything told by anyone anywhere on this planet about doing this, doing that. Ignorant showboats. Manmade rules have always been laws that defy internal physics; knee-jerk reactions to societal development. In order for a village to grow and be contained, citizens were given rules to obey. These rules were never applied to the leaders. Thus, artists (far from being the leaders—they were outsiders in the villages, hip shamans) saw their intellectual progress maimed and crippled. Then again, exploration has never been for everyone; I guess only the artists truly suffered.
Q. Most people don’t care for exploration?
A. Right. Why should they? It’s too hard. I mean…all of my writing is about how difficult it is to attain so-called ‘enlightenment’. And then, POOF, it’s gone again. That idea is extremely…it’s downright disturbing to the masses. It is much more stable
for the human mind to feel that someone is watching over you. People want to know that if they perform in a certain way they will be rewarded with everlasting positive things and man…it just doesn’t happen that way. If people knew that when they died they would have to go through it all over again…and nothing, I mean, absolutely nothing is gained or lost by all of the effort, that there is no central ‘good God’ creature that will relieve one’s pain—I mean, if people knew this, they would go mad; it would be anarchy of the worst flavor; it would be action without thought, existence without hope. People want to be controlled. Breaking free from that control is just not worth the hassle. Not worth the hassle at all.
Q. Is that meant literally—to break free to explore The Great Unknown?
A. Yeah, well, symbolically. Everything I do is symbolic; voodoo sleepwalking past trees with fruit. I mean, let’s get this right: it’s all symbolic. Everything. Nothing is real, you know? Space is a metaphysical surface filled with surreal illusions. And to improvise, to attempt to create something ON THE SPOT, man, that’s the whole deal right there. As I said, to be a Holy Roller, you must gamble with Fate. No other way.