For his final performance of the 2012 Artist-in-Residence series, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix will present selections from the ever-in-progress libretto for the opera OIOION, including the poem "Stations of the Arkwork", which follows in the wake of his controversial 2009 essay "Transcendental Black Metal: A Vision of Apocalyptic Humanism".
OIOION is an ongoing gesamtkunstwork loosely tethered to William Blake's penultimate illuminated epic, Milton. This opera, or passion play, is comprised of poetic and musical compositions along with indexical visual and textual materials related to actions beginning with the inception of the Transcendental Black Metal band Liturgy in 2008. It includes poetry and dramatic dialogues, email threads, message board comments and abortive stabs at speculative philosophy. Imagined characters and places (Heilegen-Cryogen, Kel Valhaal, Aesthethica, The Genesis Caul) interpenetrate with figures extracted from reality (Dave Adelson, Joseph Beuys, Ben Ratliff, Jeff Tandy, Scriabin, Cedar House), and from Blake's world (Ololon, Los, Palamabron, Generation, The Sandal). The narrative follows the path of the ARKWORK, a journey towards or becoming-vessel for the reincarnation of Joseph Beuys via the conduit of Transcendental Black Metal: reactivating the archetypal fusion between William Blake and John Milton mediated by Los and the Golden Sandal which reconciles Milton with his emanation, Ololon, and clears the way for the apocalyptic Great Vintage.
Regions of Imagination, also all men on Earth
And all in Heaven saw in the nether regions of the Imagination,
in Ulro beneath Beulah, the vast breach of Milton's descent.
But I knew not that it was Milton, for man cannot know
What passes in his members till periods of Space & Time
Reveal the secrets of Eternity; for more extensive
Than any other earthy lungs are Man's earthly lineaments.
And all this Vegetable World appeard'd on my left Foot
As a bright sandal form'd immortal of precious stones & gold:
I stooped down & bound it on to talk forward thro' Eternity.
And Ololon lamented for Milton with a great lamentation.
While Los heard indistinct in fear, what time I bound my sandals
On to walk forward thro' Eternity, Los descended to me
And Los behind me stood, a terrible flaming Sun, just close
Behind my back. I turned round in terror, and behold!
Los stood in that fierce glowing fire, & he also stoop'd down
ANd bound my sandals on in Udan Adan; trembling I stood
Exceedingly with fear & terror, standing in the Vale
Of Lambeth, but he kissed me and wish'd me health.
And I became One Man with him arising in my strength.
'Twas too late now to recede. Los had enter'd my soul:
His terrors now possess'd me whole! I arose in fury and strength.
Hunter Hunt-Hendrix is the singer, guitarist and songwriter for Brooklyn-based black metal band Liturgy. Born 1985 in NYC, he matriculated at Columbia University, earning a B.A. in philosophy. During that time, he also studied contemporary composition (electroacoustics, extended techniques and a seminar with Tristan Murail) while also maintaining a close connection to the D.I.Y. Brooklyn music scene, playing in hardcore, metal and math rock bands. In 2008 he formed Liturgy, a self-christened “Transcendental Black Metal” band committed to developing and enhancing resonances between black metal and various domains of avant-garde culture: serious music, contemporary art and contemporary philosophy.