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The Idler

Artwork

Upward

Upward (tentative)

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Presentation

The Idler was born of a combination of concepts discovered while exploring various domains of knowledge during the second half of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s.

« The idler who does not arise when it is time to arise, who is full of sloth though young and strong, who is lazy and weak in thought and mind, does not find the path to insight. » – The Dhammapada

At the time, I was developing an interest in Buddhism, in the concepts of synchronicity and the collective and individual unconscious from the works of Jung, in particular in their various manifestations as guides to personal evolution :

« L’exigence de l’inconscient serait donc l’exigence de cette évolution, l’inconscient se rappelle à nous pour réaliser ce processus d’individuation, ce processus d’éveil. » – C.G. Jung

I wondered what would happen to an individual utterly oblivious to signs, or intentionally inertial. So I imagined a confrontation between a fictional character, The Idler, and their unconscious. Frustrated by the indifference of its protégé when facing dreams, somatic troubles, preoccupations, and other similar signs, the unconscious takes human form in order to convince The Idler of the necessity of evolution, not only on the material plane, but also with respect to his emotive, affective, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions.

The first movement, « In The Taste Of The Day, » depicts this confrontation.

The second movement, « Chronoscope, » is a reflection on the passage of time that culminates when the protagonist realizes the repetitiveness of his experiences, decides to stop going through the motions, and aims instead for evolution. The message of the unconscious has been heard.

The music is essentially composed of simple, repetitive parts, and the intention here is to evoke the pieces of a clockwork mechanism.

The orchestrations which we put together for the live version are very different from the working version, to say the least. The most obvious change probably being the absence of drums, which came about when Christian suggested that he play the piano part on the vibraphone. Miguel’s response was to use synths to add sound effects, and the arrangements eventually evolved to convey an entirely different, more personal mood, which is very appropriate for the piece. (see the live videos)

The idea behind the third movement, « Upward, » is quite simple : once the necessity of evolution has been recognized and accepted, there’s only one way to go and its up.

To convey the feeling of somebody who is reinventing themselves, the music reintroduces some of the themes already presented earlier in the suite, but gives them new forms or turns them completely inside out.

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Lyrics

Chapter 1 : In The Taste Of The Day

« I don’t have the time » is the lie
I will not believe
Coming from you the alibi
Will not deceive

« I have no control over it »
I will not allow
As objection to disbelief

« I just can’t change » is this hell
You just don’t leave
While heaven is ignored you’ll keep
Facing the heat

Until this point you will admit
I will uphold my aim
You let your own inertia
Ignite the flame

Distract yourself in the tasks of the day
Don’t lie I know you’re only idling
Divert yourself in the taste of the day
You know I know you are only hiding

Angels timely sent
Keep getting lost in the noise that is maze
Blind to dreams even deaf to body
Fate is left to the hands of the clock

Chapter 2 : Chronoscope

– Idler tell me, do you feel free?
– Idler’s not free, clock ticks for me

– Idler tell me, are you sorry?
– Idler’s sorry, clock ticks for me

God have mercy, clock ticks for me
Why do I keep repeating the same old I ?

Chapter 3 : Upward

{ instrumental }

Here’s the associated poetry :

I only have myself to blame
As the mirror reflects my shame
I’ve seen the past and it was lame
Yet it defined a truer aim

Walked on and on along this route
I know the place inside and out
So long a time spent in circles
I know by heart all the cycles

Exhausted of repetition
I’m ready for reinvention
I recognize elevation
Essential to perennation

Pick me the flower yet ungrown
Map me the location unknown

Tell me the joke that’s not absurd
Build me the floor undiscovered

Lead me up steps I never took
Fry me the fish I’ll never hook

Reveal the cards as yet undealt
Evoke the sentiment unfelt

Write me the story yet untold
Warp me in time yet to unfold

Push me further than my intent
Touch me farther than my extent

Sanctify sinner yet absolved
Ask me the riddle left unsolved

Draw me the shadow of a doubt
Situate me outside of out

Tailor the skin that’s yet unshed
Summon the spirit yet undead

Revive the man who never died
Mix me the color never eyed

Paint me the canvas yet unframed
Attain the goal yet to be aimed

Grant me the reward yet unearned
Teach me the lesson yet unlearned

Upward bent and forward headed
Purposeful until upgraded
Unending magic carpet ride
On winds of change unfazed I glide

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Clips

« In The Taste Of The Day » – CONGA 2008 Demo

Excerpt from Chronoscope and Upward (Live @ L’Autre Caserne – 2002)

Excerpt from Chronoscope (Live @ La Ninkasi – 2008)

Excerpt from Upward (Live @ La Ninkasi – 2008)

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Comments»

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[…] illustrations of how a composition evolves with the input of the musicians, this time using “The Idler” as […]

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[…] is the second movement of “The Idler” and second chapter of the […]

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[…] second part of the piece begins with variations on themes from “In The Taste Of The Day,” including a canon for drums, bass, and electric guitar based on the song’s chorus. […]

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[…] third part of “The Idler,” and thus also the third chapter on the album, is entitled […]


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