program airs weekly on KUSP 88.9 FM and streams live on kusp.org, from
12 - 2 a. m. Mondays (formerly Wednesdays; then Mondays 2 - 5 a.m.).
This website is conceived of as a kind of cyberspace Imaginarium and Conceptual/Performance-Art Museum. On a purely visual level, this website is also designed as a kind of cyberspace Illuminated Manuscript. And since the Gypsy Scholar (a.k.a. DJ Orfeo) designed this webpage in cyberspace to be an integral part of the radio program—synergistic
with it—, he would suggest that this ToS
website, with its animated images, could be described as (to borrow a technical term from early
animated features on the silver screen and TV) "Illustrated Radio" (in the sense of the concept behind the program—Re-Vision Radio).
"See what I mean by the acoustic architecture of the Tower of Song"
Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey I ache in the places where I used to play And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on I'm just paying my rent every day Oh in the Tower of Song
I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get? Hank Williams hasn't answered yet But I hear him coughing all night long A hundred floors above me In the Tower of Song
I was born like this, I had no choice I was born with the gift of a golden voice And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond They tied me to this table right here In the Tower of Song
So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all I'm standing by the window where the light is strong Ah they don't let a woman kill you Not in the Tower of Song
Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong You see, you hear these funny voices In the Tower of Song
I see you standing on the other side I don't know how the river got so wide I loved you baby, way back when And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed But I feel so close to everything that we lost We'll never have to lose it again
Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone I'll be speaking to you sweetly From a window in the Tower of Song
Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey I ache in the places where I used to play And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on I'm just paying my rent every day Oh in the Tower of Song
"I live my life in growing orbits which move out over things of this world. . . . I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song."
Known to the Renaissance occultists as “The Temple of Music,” it was written that: “No other invention, ancient or modern, is more seemly for consorts nor more desirable for symphonies, nor more admirable to the ears of listeners. Time destroys not the sweetness of its sounds, neither do fickle inventions seduce men’s affections from it, however rare, unusual, or more easily learnt these may be.” This “pagan mystery” of the Renaissance was a magical device whereby the Magus, using hermetic/kabbalistic interpretation, contemplated the harmonic relationships (of which the musical was itself a metaphor) and entered the Temple of Music in order to “hear Apollo’s lyre, i.e. experience the celestial worlds” in a scaled flight of soul through the cosmos. Pythagoras can be seen through the main archway on the bottom floor, entering through a door. Directly above, in the alcove beneath the twin portals representing ears, a Muse stands pointing at a musical phrase in three parts. Above and to the left, the god of music and father of the Muses, Apollo, plays his lyre in the archway below the clock.
Today, we may be witnessing the revival of Pythagorean musical mathematics and its Renaissance towering music magic by way of the music generated by the fractal chaos mathematics.
If you can't sleep and are searching "in the middle of the night" for the Tower of Song, it's one of those in-between places that cultural anthropologists call "liminal," or "threshold," zones—in between sleeping and waking, night and day (at the midnight witching hour), inside and outside—that are located at the crossroads of dreaming and reality, where the laws of time and space and causality (instead, synchronicity) are attenuated. The Tower of Song is that imaginal place other than the one of our daytime routine—"a somewhere else, where we also long to belong and need to go to from time to time." Thus everybody knows that "we are reminded of this place by a song we hear on the radio” and that we can even go there through the gateway of song to the "Invisible Landscape" of the Tower of Song.
The Background & History of the Tower of Song Program
The TOWER OF SONG program is designed to harken back--"way, way back"--to the early days of what was called "underground" (or "freeform," or "alternative," or "progressive") radio of the 1960s, most especially nocturnal (FM) radio, with its experimental "non-format" format of mixing not only different musical genres but also music and talk (of the new "flower-power" radio stations). It is predicated on the notion that there is not only an economic difference between commercial and non-commercial radio, but also a biological difference between the diurnal rhythms of day and night; the night having a special reality of magic that is absent from the day (and the noisy busyness of daytime radio). Therefore, the TOWER OF SONG program is about a different radio sensibility, one designed to cater to a special kind of listener--"the people of the night." [See page 11, "School of the Night"]
The TOWER OF SONGis the great metaphor/symbol for my once-and-future program, "Everybody Knows / Tower of Song," which I conducted for seven years, beginning in 1989. Conceived on the model of sixties "underground radio," its range covered topics from the spiritual to the political. With this midnight program, I sought to invent a new genre of the "Radio-Text" by an alternating program format of dialectics (interviews or spoken-word essays) and popular music—commingling ideas and love. Word-playing on my name, I read out on-air the"Re-Vision Radio Manifesto":
The noetic EVERYBODY KNOWS segment alternates with the mythopoetic TOWER OF SONG segment--an eclectic mixing of music and spoken-word readings from a variety of texts. It's hosted by -----------, with flower in one hand (or name) and sword in the other. Thus, Everybody Knows, it's "flower-power" radio—with the philosophic power of Blakean "Staminal Virtue." It is, then, RE-VISION RADIO: a "Soul-making" Philosophical & Literary inter-view program that re-views—looks once again in-depth at—ideas, books, issues people in the news religion and politics movements and movies. RE-VISION RADIO is, as Everybody Knows, not for everyone but for "Romantic Outsiders" only (like its counterpart, the 1960s "Magic Theater" of the Imagination—"for madmen only").
So this was the "Everybody Knows/Tower of Song" program, with its unique mix of talk (dialogue/interviews with phone-calls from listeners) and essays put to popular music—high philosophy & deep song. Little did I know then that around the same time a film by a well-known director had come out, telling the story of a popular and controversial radio host. Viewing it later on video, I couldn't help but feel that the coincidence of the host's name with mine was too uncanny! But this weird coincidence was shortly to be matched by another. Significantly enough, not long after I began my "underground" style of radio out of a station in a converted garage, I received another uncanny tribute to my novel radio conception when the 1990 film, Pump Up the Volume, hit the theaters. It opened with the protagonist starting a pirate radio program in his "basement." And his theme-song? You guessed it—"Everybody Knows"!
Everybody knows the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor and the rich get rich That's how it goes--everybody knows.
Everybody knows the boat is leaking Everybody knows the captain lied Everybody's got this broken feeling Like their father or their dog just died Everybody talkin' to their pockets Everybody wants a box of chocolates And a long-stemmed rose--everybody knows.... Everybody knows, everybody knows That's how it goes--everybody knows [repeat chorus].
And everybody knows that it's now or never Everybody knows that it's me or you And everybody knows that you live forever When you've done a line or two Everybody knows the deal is rotten Old black joe's still pickin' cotton For your ribbons and bows--and everybody knows.
And everybody knows that the plague is comin' Everybody knows that it's movin' fast Everybody knows that the naked man and woman Are just the shinning artifact of the past Everybody knows, everybody knows That's how it goes--everybody knows. [repeat chorus]
And everybody knows that you're in trouble Everybody knows what you've been through From the bloody cross on top of Calvary to the beach at Malibu Everybody knows it's comin' apart Take one last look at this sacred heart Before it blows--and everybody knows. Everybody knows, everybody knows That's how it goes--and everybody knows Oh, everybody knows, everybody knows. [repeat]
The TOWER OF SONG was conceived as a kind of musekal “strange attractor” in cyberspace for the post-religious mystic “dweller on the threshold,” who feels the need to enter, now and then, a novel alternate dimension of mind (by whatever name—the Romantic Imagination?). I prefer to metaphorically call it . . . the "TOWER OF SONG—an imaginal "place to give the soul its contemplation." [See p.3, "Metaphorical Key to Tower of Song."]
I’m a dweller on the threshold
And I’m waiting at the door
And I’m standing in the darkness
I don’t want to wait no more
I have seen without perceiving
I have been another man
Let me pierce the realm of glamor
So I know just what I am.
I’m a dweller on the threshold ....
The purpose of Re-Vision Radio'sTOWER OF SONG program (and its imaginal window) is to help guide its listeners—“in the middle of the night”—in searching for, by following the song (the "songlines" of the planet), and entering into that long-abandoned Romantic “Lonely Tower,” situated "on the banks of the river of dreams" in that alternative mental dimension—the“invisible landscape.”[See subpage to page 11, "Invisible Landscape".]
Oh let my Lamp at midnight hour Be seen in some high Lonely Towr Where I may oft out-watch the Bear With thrice great Hermes. —John Milton, Il Penseroso
Fenestra Aeternitatis (Window to Eternity)
"The truth of things can only be expressed aesthetically—in story, pictures, film, dance, and music. Only when ideas are poetic do they reach the depths and express the reality."
To the Gypsy Scholar, "The Life of the Mind" means the Imaginationand the Inner/Interior Life.
A Philosophical & Musekal program—trafficking between the night and the dawn, and exploring the interface between philosophy & popular culture—underwritten by the TOWER OF SONG's two presiding deities:
Hermes-Mercury & Orpheus
and hosted by the Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist, presenting "Mental Studies & Performances" (Blake) in the shape of the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack,
As a Philosophical program, it's about Ideas. As a Musical program, it's about Music as Idea (and, conversely, the Idea of Music). Thus the TOWER OF SONG program is finally about a Musekal Philosophy—"Philosophy in a New Key."
And Everybody Knows that the Ideas broadcast from the TOWER OF SONG are not just the usual abstract kind of ideas; they are poetical ideas (not abstract, but "poetic thinking"). And, when channeled through the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack,they are also musical ideas, ideas which issue not in a discursive but a lyrical knowledge. Therefore, in the TOWER OF SONG the "Life of the Mind" is actually the life of the imaginal mind, or what the Romantics called "Imagination." And the imaginal mind makes the TOWER OF SONG a "Soul-making" program.
The aim of Re-VsionRadio--with its remix ethos--is to defy traditional categories, confound stylistic classification and make a hash out of genre conventions (as in conventional radio formats) either/or "music"/ "news and information"), especially the boundaries between high or so-called high (academic) culture and low (pop-culture). The music is an eclectic mix ranging from rock to operatic; from folk to fado. Thus, the Gypsy Scholar's programme of "scholarship as performance art" ("Mental Studies & Performances": Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack) points to the main idea behind the program: the mixing of high academic culture and low pop-culture--"high argument" (Wordsworth) and "deep song" (Lorca). As that Orphic Scholar himself put it a century and a half ago:
"I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low." (R. W. Emerson)
“. . . . A history of a man's dreams is not inconceivable; . . . or of all the moments when he imagined the pyramids; or of his traffic with night and with dawn.” –Jorge Luis Borges
The "history of a man's dreams is not inconceivable," because the Gypsy Scholar, in "his traffic with night and with dawn,” has imagined not only the pyramids but, most importantly, the TOWER OF SONG.
Il Penseroso (William Blake)
The Tower of Song program deals in Ideas—the ideas in music and the music in ideas. The office of the [Orphic] scholar is to cheer, to raise and to guide men by showing them facts amid appearances. He plies the slow, unhonored, and unpaid task of observation. –Emerson
The Gypsy Scholar—broadcasting in exile (from the "Ivory Tower")—has taken Emerson's advice, and is studying for the ("another office") degree of the "Orphic Scholar." It's not so much that the academic scholar becomes a "popularizer," but more that he becomes the public (outsider) intellectual: ". . . the public role of the intellectual as outsider, 'amateur,' and disturber of the status quo." [Edward Said)] Therefore, the "Gypsy Scholar" radio handle stands for the outsider intellectual and the affirmation of "unpaid," or "amateur" (for the love of it), status of scholarship, and this is a down-and-out status:
Sometimes—most time—I think that the way down and out leads out of the university, out of the academy. But perhaps it is rather that we should recover the Academy of earlier days—the Academy of Plato in Athens, the Academy of Ficino in Florence. . . . At any rate, the point is first of all to find again the mysteries. –N. O. Brown [Phi Beta Kappa Graduation Address, Columbia University, 1968. For Platonic Academy, see p.11, "School of the Night".]
More plainly and accurately stated, scholarship moving down and out (to that "tower down the track") means that the Gypsy Scholar's field of study is the phenomenon of "the vulgar," "the profane," "the common"—popular culture (as expressed in today's popular song, especially "sixties" and post-sixties music; that historical "triumph of vulgarity"). Emerson's advice to the young scholar: “I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low.” In this neo-Troubadourean /Dantean move to the "vulgar," the Gypsy Scholar doesn't leave behind high culture (traditional philosophy, poetry, literature, arts and letters), but subordinates it to a blend/mix of the high and the low. As stated in his 'Re-Vision Radio Manifesto & Visionary Recital': high academic culture and low pop-culture—high argument & deep song—not from the Ivory Tower, but from “that tower down the track”: the TOWER OF SONG.... [See p. 7, "Re-Vision Radio"] Therefore, the Gypsy Scholar, broadcasting in exile from the Ivory Tower, seeks "another office"—the higher office of the Orphic Scholar: "Ah ye old ghosts! ye builders of dungeons in the air! why do I ever allow you to encroach on me a moment; a moment to win me to your hapless company? In every week there is some hour when I read my commission in every cipher of nature, and I know that I was made for another office, a professor of the Joyous Science, a detector & delineator of occult harmonies & unpublished beauties, a herald of civility, nobility, learning, & wisdom; an affirmer of the One Law, yet as one who should affirm it in music or dancing, a priest of the Soul yet one who would better love to celebrate it through the beauty of health & [the] harmonious power [of music].”[See Emerson section on p. 8, "Musekal Philosophy"]
Orphic Scholarship, then, ever mindful of Wordsworth's Romantic complaint—"murders to dissect"—, re-visions a scholarship that synthesizes and celebrates; a scholarship not in service to thanatos, but in service to eros—“Reason in its most exalted mood.” Ergo, the Orphic Scholar in our new age logically becomes the Radio-scholar of the "Joyous Science," which is the practice of scholarship as performance art: a mode of scholarship as artistic endeavor, wherein the modern-day "Gypsy Scholar" is distinguished by the ability to synthesize and "play with knowledge"—to create “a collage of ideas” in a musical context. For the scholar-artist, or "Orphic Scholar," on radio the literary text becomes "radio-text." [See "Why the Gypsy Scholar: A Note To Listeners from a Lyrical Scholar Working With Music," on p. 7, "Re-Vision Radio"] To cite the 'Vision Radio Manifesto & Visionary Recital' once more in rethinking or re-visioning radio:
RE-VISION RADIO is a Philosophical and Musical program broadcast from an imaginal window at 88.9 on your radio dial from the TOWER OF SONG. It’s hosted by the Gypsy Scholar and Bohemian Essayist, with a flower in one hand (or name) and a sword in the other. RE-VISION RADIO is a “Soul-making” program, because it’s essentially an “underworld perspective”—a seeing below surface appearances to the occult or symbolic truth of things. Thus, Everybody Knows, RE-VISION RADIO is truly Underground Radio.... RE-VISION RADIO’s musical inter-textuality, because it reads metaphorically between the lines of Philosophy & Song, becomes the imaginal hyper-textuality of a Soul-text.
Let it not be misunderstood (by any of this explanation of what the concept of the radio program is about) that the Gypsy Scholar negates, puts down, the high arts and letters. No, alas, it must be admitted that the Gypsy Scholar, even in an age of high tech popular culture forms, is still a lover of books—and even "bookish." But let it be known that (through a somewhat Hegelian dialectic—negation, integration, re-affirmation on a higher level) the old "book" is not replaced by the electronic media, but, paradoxically, the new media becomes another manifestation of the archetype of The Book. "The Book" or "Library" has been, since time immemorial, understood as "sacred" and portrayed as a metaphor/symbol for the "Creation" in the Mind of God. [See "The Magdalene Musekal-Memorial Library" section p. 2, "Library & Imaginarium."] Ergo, what this means for the cyberspace text is that in the TOWER OF SONG's Magdalene Musekal-Memorial Library (that "more complex space") the Archetypal Book, from the perspective of the Gypsy ["Orphic"] Scholar, turns daytime reality on its head—to reveal Soul (making/manifesting). (This is part of the radical inversion of body and soul dreamed of by the Romantic poets of "Poetic Genius": the "exteriorizing of the soul and the internalizing of the body.") "The structure of the narrative will, therefore, not be revealed in the linear narrative of this book, but in the hypertext in which all the texts are stacked in the imagination of the reader. In this more complex space, permissible and forbidden knowledge cross in ways that excite the artists but disturb the academic clergy." –William Irwin Thompson
I think it's part of our tradition, which is quite different from the American literary tradition, that prose should have music. There's always an acknowledgment in Ireland that music really touches the secret places of the heart. There really isn't another art form that moves us, or excites us, or touches us in quite the way that music does. It's the original obstruct art. Music doesn't sound like anything; it just sounds like itself. . . . You know that language, when you use it at its most intense, does things that are more than just descriptive--you know, it can actually touch you. But it's there in the Irish language and the Gaelic language, and that's another thing that's so important as part of our inheritance. We have a different tradition from you. . . . So what I've tried to do in my own work, I suppose, is to bring those two traditions together [the American and the Irish]. I write for everybody. I want everybody to to be able to read my work. . . . So come into the circle and we'll tell this story together. Because, of course, what the reader does is the really radical thing; the really creative thing is done by the reader. The reader takes a book, a collection of pieces of paper on which there are little black ink-stains called words, and the reader brings the story to life. What you're doing as the writer is you're giving the reader sheet music and the reader is going to play the song. You know, so I try in write in a way that has a three-dimensionality that invites the reader to walk in--you help me make the story rather than be in the pulpit or on the stage and talk down to the audience. . . . --Joseph O'Connor (Novelist and brother of Sinead O'Connor. Radio interview 3/10/11)
For the Romantics, "the business of philosophy was no longer to argue and clarify but to expand and alter our vision." This Romantic project is the Philosophical quest-romance that the "literary" Gypsy Scholar holds out to his readers / listeners of "Poetic Genius"—to search for and enter the imaginal TOWER OF SONG ("a three-dimensionality that invites the reader to walk in"). In this "invisible landscape" "in the middle of the night," "by the banks of the river of dreams," "readers" in the "Magdalene Memorial-Musekal Library" can see what I mean: how a summer night can make you a conscious being of a book:
The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book —Wallace Stevens
For the full view of the archetypal book and its imaginal library, see p. 2, "Magdalene Memorial-Musekal Library".
After many years since theRe-Vision Radioprogram was last on the air—"too long in exile / too long not singing my song / too long in exile"—, this website at last allows folks to virtually"SEE WHAT I MEAN."(Through a kind of Cyber "Illuminated Manuscript." See p. #11) Thus, Re-Vision Radio seamlessly mixing Philosophy & Song (dialectics/argument and music, logos and mythos), would invite, by Orpheus’ magical allure, today’s non-aligned, outsider-mystics, "to hear," like the mystics of old, "Apollo’s lyre, i.e. experience the celestial worlds." It is this musekal kind of Orphean/Dionysian gnosis that theRe-Vision Radioprogram strives to attain, with the aid of its bards or troubadours—the "Singers and Keepers of the Dream"—and all the great "singing masters of my soul" (Yeats): "Soul-music"—from the Bacchae to the Grateful Dead; from Orpheus to Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen. This is the basis of my"Musekal Philosophy,"a musical sense of philosophy. Thus, philosophical texts or essays on Re-Vision Radio are presented in an elevated, or rhapsodic, discourse ("Reason in her most exalted mood"-Wordsworth), and thusaspire to the condition of music or song; that is, to the condition of music translated into words—a soul-text.
And Everybody Knows that Re-Vision Radio—mixing Argument & Song in itsOrphic Essay - with - Soundtrack—is a program dedicated to Orpheus, re-visioning the role of Orphic Scholarship for radio:scholarship-as-performance art(Blake's "Mental Studies & Performances")."The ability to put complex [philosophical] ideas into lyrics [of song] is the gift of Orpheus."
Therefore, if you’re like me—"too long in exile"and back on the"mystic avenue,"even though "it’s a hard road, / a hard road, daddy-o!"—, and you’re singing"I’m knockin’ with my heart,"then you’ll be glad to know that this ancient, esoteric "Temple of Music" has now been transformed—through the Orphic magic ofRe-Vision Radio—to the resonating figure of speech you can virtually walk into:theTOWER OF SONG.
"If you know that a life of supreme beauty is possible how can you help but want to enter it?"
Down the mystic avenue, I walk again Remembering the days gone by And I’m knockin’ with my heart.... And the Angel of Imagination, She opened up the gate. She said, “Come right in, I saw you knockin’ with your heart.” And the Angel of Imagination, She lit your fiery vision bright. She said, “Let your flame burn into the night, I saw you knockin’ with your heart.” (Van Morrison, ‘She Gives Me Religion’)
One by one, the guests arrive The guests are coming through The open-hearted many The broken-hearted few
And no one knows where the night is going And no one knows why the wine is flowing Oh love I need you I need you I need you I need you Oh . . . I need you now
And those who dance, begin to dance Those who weep begin And "Welcome, welcome" cries a voice "Let all my guests come in."
And no one knows where the night is going ...
And all go stumbling through that house in lonely secrecy Saying "Do reveal yourself" or "Why has thou forsaken me?"
And no one knows where the night is going ...
All at once the torches flare The inner door flies open One by one they enter there In every style of passion
And no one knows where the night is going ...
And here they take their sweet repast While house and grounds dissolve And one by one the guests are cast Beyond the garden wall
And no one knows where the night is going ...
Those who dance, begin to dance Those who weep begin Those who earnestly are lost Are lost and lost again
And no one knows where the night is going ...
One by the guests arrive The guests are coming through The broken-hearted many The open-hearted few
And no one knows where the night is going ...
(Leonard Cohen, 'The Guests')
The purpose of Re-Vision Radio and its cyberspace website is to aid those post-religious, anarchist/mystic seekers on their own nocturnal vision-quests; that is, to help guide its "guests" to find and enter into that "invisible landscape" in order to discover the magic door (le porte magique) that opens out into the TOWER OF SONG,"where the poetic champions compose", and where all mystic hallways (syn-aesthetically lined with intricate tapestries of spoken-word and song) lead to Soul-making connexions--an imaginal soulscape where all meanings, through the magic synergy of effects (ideas+music+images), are finally and wonderfully visible—so you see what they mean! And, if the Orphic deep-song is really "heard"—by entering into its unfolding—, then the radio "guests" might completely enter theTOWER OF SONG and see what it means.
Re-Vision Radio's Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack creates an imaginal space where Argument & Song interface—a kind of (Neptunian) radio clearing, where its listeners can virtually enter to find "nothing but a song." The Orphic Essay -with - Soundtrack (haunted by song) is designed to "leave your senses reeling." Thus, when you finally "try the handle" and enter the ancient musekal sanctuary (for the guests "too long in exile")—the TOWER OF SONG—, you will see what I mean and cry out: "I Understand!" You will join the chorus of "twenty-seven angels / from the great beyond" who sing from one hundred floors above—"Oh, Sweet release!"
Because Everybody Knows (since the Sixties) about the magical power of music "That’s why I’m telling you in song" –Van Morrison)—the power of Orpheus—, let my Re-Vision Radio Magus of Ceremonies Jester (a.k.a. "Sir Primal Form Magnifico") lead you "down the mystic avenue," where the Angel of Imagination waits to open the magic door into the TOWER OF SONG, wherein dialectics and music—Argument & Song—reign supreme. And Everybody Knows that there's a song hermetically hidden in an essay and, conversely, an essay waiting to be revealed in a song.
This means Re-Vision Radio’s essays con-textualize its songs, and,
conversely, its songs compose the essay. Thus, the fusion of song and
argument is the rhyme and reason for the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack.
The Orphic Essay - with - Soundtrack functions as that which in the history of Rock 'n' Roll is described as “lyrics that make one think”.
Thus, Re-Vision Radio's Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, mixing Philosophy & Song, is designed to facilitate
philosophical enchantment (through ideas setting the mood, amplified by the song)
guiding its listeners into the Tower of Song.
Works of literature also move in time like music and spread out in images like painting. The word narrative or mythos conveys the sense of movement caught by the ear, and the word meaning or dianoia conveys, or at least preserves, the sense of simultaneity caught by the eye. We listen to the poem as it moves from beginning to end, but as soon as the whole of it is in our minds at once we ‘see’ what it means. More exactly, this response is not simply to the whole of it, but to a whole in it: we have a vision of meaning or dianoia whenever any simultaneous apprehension is possible. —Northrop Frye
.... Long for midnight Long for darkness--sweet release ....
Left my senses reeling As he cried, "I Understand!"
Sweet release Sweet release....
Try the handle Try the doorway Try the past Try to enter, to enter And to find some solace there.
Sweet release Sweet release....
In this clearing, in this clearing You’ll find nothing but a song. Give it breath, give it sunshine And with you it will belong. It will whisper It will stir a gentle breeze Its hands are your hands They will take you where you please.
Sweet release Sweet release Sweet release....
(Boz Scaggs, 'Sweet Release')
Everybody Knows, because it broadcasts through the "middle of the night" from theTower of Song,Re-Vision Radioeclectically mixesArgument & Song—logos and mythos, dialectics and music, analysis and synthesis—in itsOrphic Essay-with-Soundtrack,wherein a central idea or theme is sounded musically to create an overall mood. And becauseRe-Vision Radioparticipates in the great Romantic project of the"re-enchantment of the world"(through New Paradigm thinking), theGypsy Scholarwould invite guests/listeners to enter the center ofenchantment(en-song-ment) by following, "in the middle of the night" of extravagant delight, the song on the (Dionysian) path of wild abandon, the path of awe and wonder, where on wings of sublime segues you can soar on imaginative musical flights—into theTower of Song. Therefore, before the dawn breaks and theOrphic magicends (the archetypal theme in "Renaissance Music Magic" [see subpage of p. 8, "Musekal Philosophy".], as in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, [see p. 11, "School of the Night" and its "Romantic Nightworld"]), after the last analysis and after the last song, theGypsy Scholar—Master of Ceremonies, a.k.a. DJ Orfeo—has only one last question; wants to know this from the guests/listeners:
I wanna know did you get the feelin'? Did you get it down in your soul? I wanna know did you get the feelin'? And did the feelin' grow and grow Did ye get healed?
Re-Vision Radio, open to all non-aligned seekers (democratic mysticism), wants you to know what Everybody Gnosis: that it's all about an altered way of seeing things. To discover again that long-lost (Romantic) TOWER OF SONG (and see what it means) in that "Invisible Landscape" of the archetypal Poet-Mystic’s (shaman's) soul—this is our Quest!
Re-Vision Radio's alternative views:
may be times when what is most needed is, not so much a new discovery
or a new idea as a different "slant;" I mean a comparatively slight
readjustment in our way of looking at the things and ideas on which
attention is already fixed. (O. Barfield) By approaching the familiar from a different angle, we see the shape of the subject change dramatically. (W. I. Thompson)
We are not contributing curiosities, but observations which no one has
doubted, but which have escaped remark only because they are always
before our eyes. (L. Wittgenstein) The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answer. (J. Baldwin)
The trick of being a visionary is to slightly alter your vision as to
what's going on. The clue is to slightly change your perspective. (T. McKenna)
If you're looking for a different kind of radio experience—the novelty of Radio-text as Soul-text—, tune into Re-Vision Radio's TOWER OF SONG program, hosted by the Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist.
If "in the middle of the night / I go walking in my sleep," and you've "been searching for something / Taken out of my soul / Something I would never lose / Something somebody stole," and you "don't
know why I go walking at night / But now I'm tired and I don't want to
walk anymore / I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life / Until I
find what it is that I've been looking for," then listen up! to Re-Vision Radio, where you may "hear those funny voices" (of the "visiting" Muses), because its co-host, "The Angel of Imagination & Music" (aka, the Angel of Enchantment), may be playing your song; to help you "find what it is that I've been looking for / in the middle of the night"—the TOWER OF SONG.
Therefore, Everybody Knows that the purpose of the Re-Vision Radio program is to help guide its listeners--"in the middle of the night"--in searching for, by following the song, and entering into that long-abandoned Romantic “Lonely Tower,” situated in that alternative mental dimension—the “invisible landscape.” “Oh let my Lamp at midnight hour / Be seen in some high Lonely Towr, / Where I may oft out-watch the Bear, / With thrice great Hermes.” [Milton]
"And I remember thinking to myself, 'What the fuck is this? What is this guy talking about?' It was absolutely hypnotic. It was as if I had just been changed to a different frequency, zapped right into the radio" --writer Annie Gottlieb (on first hearing underground radio)
In other words, the purpose of this "Mental Radio" program is to transport/translate you into the TOWER OF SONG.
"The Angel of Music visits me at night, in dreams, and sings songs in my head." (Christine Daae, The Phantom of the Opera.)
The Tower of Song's host, the Gypsy Scholar—"Master of (Radio) Ceremonies" & "Minister of Information & Culture" (for the "Visionary Company" in the Tower of Song)—sings along with Leonard (poet-visionary in-residence):
And twenty-seven angels
From the Great Beyond
Oh they tied me to this table
In the Tower of Song....
I'm just paying my rent every day
In the Tower of Song.
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To a river so deep
I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it's too hard to cross
And even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
And try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I've been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
And I've been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I would never lose
Something somebody stole
I don't know why I go walking at night
But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I've been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To a river so deep
I know I'm searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night
I'm not sure about a life after this
God knows I've never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That runs to the promised land
In the middle of the night
(Billy Joel, 'River of Dreams')
So, if you’re ready, followRe-Vision Radio'sMagus of Ceremoniesand join us in this virtual vision-quest; this archetypal descent journey, or "Night-ride" —presided over by the great "Queen of the Night" and musically accompanied by those legendary "People [Phantoms] of the Night"—across the "invisible landscape" of your imaginal mind—into the TOWER OF SONG! [See page 11, "School of the Night" and subpage "Our Dark Lady".]
"The Temple stands on the Mount of God; from it flows on each side the River of Life, on whose banks Grows the Tree of Life, among whose branches temples & pinnacles, tents & pavilions, Gardens & Groves, display Paradise with its Inhabitants walking up & down in Conversations concerning Mental Delights." —William Blake
Ride on Through the night Ride on Ride on Through the night Ride on
There are visions, there are memories There are echoes of thundering hooves There are fires, there is laughter There's the sound of a thousand doves
In the velvet of the darkness By the silhouette of silent trees they are watching waiting They are witnessing life's mysteries
Cascading stars on the slumbering hills They are dancing as far as the sea Riding o'er the land, you can feel its gentle hand Leading on to its destiny
Take me with you on this journey Where the boundaries of time are now tossed In cathedrals of the forest In the words of the tongues now lost
Find the answers, ask the questions Find the roots of an ancient tree Take me dancing, take me singing I'll ride on till the moon meets the sea
(Loreena McKennitt, 'Night Ride')
The Gypsy Scholar, as Master of Radio Ceremonies, would, with the aid of the Mercurial "Sir Primal Form Magnifico," take you back--"way, way back"--to the Animistic world view
(the Anima Mundi) by way of that magical time in the Midnight, wherein everything came alive and reveled till dawn, when the magic fled the scene to make way for the mundane (solar) or work-a-day world. In this, the Gypsy Scholar recognizes the nineteenth-century breakthrough paradigm of the "Romantic Nightworld" and its celebration of Lunar (imaginal) consciousness, as an antidote to excessive masculine ego (solar) consciousness and its cultural repression of the feminine principle, myth, dream, vision, and mystery. Therefore, the Gypsy Scholar follows the archetypal mountain-climbing (ascent and descent) journey of the Romantic poet Wordsworth, whose autobiographical account in The Prelude is read by the Gypsy Scholar as the journey of collective Western consciousness (an "internalized quest-romance").
Imagination-- . . . That awful Power rose from the mind's abyss Like an unfathered vapour that enwraps, At once, some lonely traveller. I was lost; Halted without an effort to break through; But to my conscious soul I now can say-- "I recognise thy glory ...."
The unfettered clouds and region of the Heavens, Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light-- Were all like workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree; Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Eternity, Of first, and last, and midst, and without end....
It was a close, warm, breezeless summer night, Wan, dull, and glaring, with a dripping fog Low-hung and thick that covered all the sky; But, undiscouraged, we began to climb The mountain-side....
The Moon hung naked in a firmament
Of azure without cloud, and at my feet
Rested a silent sea of hoary mist....
In the clear presence of the full-orbed Moon,
Who, from her sovereign elevation, gazed
Upon the billowy ocean, as it lay
All meek and silent, save that through a rift--
Not distant from the shore whereon we stood,
A fixed, abysmal, gloomy, breathing-place--
Mounted the roar of waters, torrents, streams
Innumerable, roaring with one voice!
Heard over earth and sea, and, in that hour,
For so it seemed, felt by the starry heavens....
There I beheld the emblem of a mind
That feeds upon infinity, that broods
Over the dark abyss, intent to hear
Its voices issuing forth to silent light
In one continuous stream; a mind sustained
By recognitions of transcendent power ....
[Note: The context of the autobiographical epic (of which here are only snippets) is Wordsworth's summer vacation from college walking tour of Europe. In the Alps, he and his friend had lost their way. But this leads to an epiphany of the full moon rising out of the deep mountian gorge, which to the Romantic "lost traveler" is an emblem of the Imagination. For an explanation of what the Gypsy Scholar means by "animistic" and its relation to the magic "Romantic Nightworld," see bottom of p. 11, "School of the Night".]
Your Invitation to Enter the Tower of Song: "Now I Step Inside ..."
The host for the program, the Gypsy Scholar, is in exile from the Ivory Tower, and has moved to "that tower down the track"—the TOWER of SONG.
The way I became a Gypsy Scholar is a long story, a story of an intellectual/spiritual journey that led to my discovery of the TOWER of SONG. Once I entered within, I saw what Terence McKenna meant by his notion that—since the world is really made of language (from a shaman's song) and we live through the creative imagination (in ever-increasing novelty)—we are more like characters in a novel. (This counter-cultural visionary also prophesied that the world-wide web would be an imaginal locus in cyberspace where we could each communicate our dreams/visions to each other--so you could "see what I mean.")
Our minds are doorways into an infinite labyrinth ... a kind of Borgesian library of infinite possibilities.... (Terence McKenna)
This must be the book, or Archetypal Book (which is, at once, a Cosmic Library), kept by the archangels since the beginning of time. Given all this, "reality" must be what poet Wallace Stevens called "the supreme fiction."
The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book (Wallace Stevens)
Therefore, I became a Gypsy Scholar when I "sealed my fate" and entered through that "magic door" into the Memorial-Musekal Library in the TOWER of SONG.
The Gypsy Scholar wants to share his good fortune with others. So let him tell it like it is: the purpose of the program is to help his listeners find and enter through the magic door into the TOWER of SONG.
Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist is a radio handle that expresses my ideal of the blue-collar intellectual and public intellectual, who is in "the public role of the intellectual as outsider, 'amateur,' and disturber of the status quo." My "amateur" status (the love of learning) as an "intellectual outsider" means that I don't come from the Ivory Tower, but from "that Tower down the track--the Tower of Song." It means a radio program that mixes the elite sensibilities of academia with the common sensibilities of popular music. It means a new "Orphic" scholarship wherein "Intellectual rigor [logic] and Olympian inspiration [mythopoetics] no longer stood opposed.” After what I thought was a novel invention of an epithet (an inversion of the title of the Matthew Arnold poem), I discovered the following from a biography of a radio journalist: "I was what they call in the profession a ‘gypsy scholar’—one of a multitude of excess eggheads who roam from campus to campus, teaching introductory courses like ‘Composition.’ I became practiced at moving into temporary teaching positions and other people’s offices.” My novel idea of the "Gypsy Scholar" also suggests the idea of the scholar-as-artist, meaning I enjoy a mode of scholarship as artistic endeavor, where the modern-day "Gypsy Scholar" is distinguished by the ability to synthesize (through the mode of eros) and "play with knowledge" in order to create “a collage of ideas.” This issues in a mode of popular scholarship--scholarship as performance art ("Mental Studies & Performances" -Blake). Therefore, "Gypsy Scholar" not only means the postmodern outsider intellectual (broadcasting in exile), but also the ancient "Inspired Scholar:"
In the lonely, dead of midnight In the dimness, of the twilight By the streetlight, by the lamplight . . . In the sunlight, in the daylight And I'm workin', on the insight . . . (Van Morrison)
[For picture of the "Inspired Scholar," see p. 11, "School of the Night." For a detailed explanation of radio handle, Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist, see p. 7, "Re-Vision Radio": "Why the 'Gypsy Scholar': A Note To Listeners from a Lyrical Scholar Working With Music".]
Re-Vision Radio's Magus of Ceremonies, "Sir Primal Form Magnifico" (a. k. a. DJ Orfeo), shows you the way, "in the middle of the night," to the magic door (le porte magique) leading into the Magdalene Memorial-Musekal Library of the
TOWER OF SONG
"Sir Primal Form Magnifico"
The Magic Door--click to enter
"Our minds are doorways into
an infinite labyrinth ... a kind of Borgesian library of infinite
"There was a mystique that surrounded these
[underground] stations [and late-night freeform programs]. As if some
private, magic door had been found to a new dimension .... I can't
remember anybody who didn't love the music and who didn't want to share
it with the audience."