E.I.E. is an electronic music and spoken word album based on the novel of the same name by Derek Hunter. The words spoken on the album are passages from the novel, performed by Hunter.
The album has selections from specific parts of the novel to give the listener an overview of the general story. One can simply listen to the album and understand the story of the novel, and the album can be enjoyed as a work onto itself.
The novel though, of course, goes into more depth, has more layers and richness of characters, language, and narrative. if you enjoy this album, the author highly recommends reading the book as well.
What is the book about? What is E.I.E.?
E.I.E. Eye. I. Eye. The Middle Eye, the one not seen, the one in-between the two physical eyes is what is known as the Third Eye, the window to true insight. E.I.E. (pronounced the same as "eye") is not a boring self-help book, not a guide through spiritual nor esoteric nor mystic living. E.I.E. is a novel and however much it wishes to help the reader through life, it's main focus is telling a story.
E.I.E. is also a rambunctious, unconventional, some may say sinister celebration of being out of touch with the armies of social acceptability, all the while cherishing and valuing and esteeming Innocence of Soul, even in the midst of a "Satanic" rebellion against "God" and "God's Laws" ...
Robert Robillard is facing a crisis. He's never contemplated suicide before but now he is. Instead of killing himself, though, he decides to leave town, to leave Los Angeles, with no destination whatsoever, only to get away from his life and his desperation. Unfortunately, while in the midst of his travels, he ends up murdering a couple in an Arizona small town. While committed in self-defense, he grapples with not only the legal ramifications but moral.
He goes back to Los Angeles, not knowing if he should, but that he wanted to see the people he knew one last time before disappearing possibly forever and starting a new life somewhere else. A girl who he was dating helps him with a destination: a friend in Montreal, Quebec, Canada who can alter his identity. Before going there, though, he decides to go to Texas to see Alma, the older woman who he had been in love with for the last three years.
The father of the murdered couple, humble, old, and unpopular Abe McAndrews, is on the hunt for his son and daughter's killer. Because of the sheriff's lack of interest in finding the killer, Abe resorts to getting the aid of the "man-child" Gary to help him hunt down the killer.
This coming of age novel is a tale of 23 year old Robert Robillard, his loves, his lust, his madness, his sanity, his heroic struggle to combat the inequities of ironic iron in this ice-cold ionosphere of the world's commonplace "i."
It is an adventurous adventure story, exploring the depths of the mind, the pleasures of sex, the proper use of drugs, the moral dilemma of social obligation, and a spiritual slight of hand that includes no less than the breaking of all Ten Commandments.
- BLACK LIGHT WHITE DARK
Black Light White Dark is a spoken word electronic music album based on the book of the same name also by Derek Hunter. For each track Hunter reads/performs passages from the book, which is a collection of short stories. There are 18 short stories in the collection, and each of the 18 tracks on the album are taken from the individual short stories. So the track Doris Day's Hat is taken from the short story by the same name, La Ciudad del Diablo is taken from the short story of the same name, and so on.
The order in which the tracks are listed in this album are not quite the same as they are ordered in the book. The book begins with the Black Light stories, 5 female tales then 4 male tales (the division of stories will be explained below), but the album here begins with the 9 White Dark tales, 4 female and 5 male. The reason for this was that the White Dark tracks give a better sense of the separate stories being told, making it easier on the listener to tell that each track is a separate story. Each track/story is told in first person, both female and male characters.
On the individual page for each track click on "info" next to the title to be taken to the page. There is the text of the passage read by Hunter and also the section the story is found in (White Dark - The Women for example). The 18 tales are divided into two main sections, 9 romantic comedies within the realm of Black Light, and 9 dark comedies within White Dark. They are all written in Chaos Riddle Prose and take place in the City of Angels - Los Angeles.
The two sections are further divided between female and male. The 9 romantic comedies (Black Light) have 5 female stories (the narrator is a female), 4 male (the narrator, obviously, is a male). The 9 dark comedies (White Dark) have 4 female and 5 male stories.
The lead characters in Black Light, both female and male, however different they are from each other, share a strength of character defined by unconventional innocence. Thus the "black light." The "light" refers to innocence, and the "black" points to an individual who, despite their innocence/Light, are deemed as outcasts.
Also, black, depending on who you ask, is the creative color behind all other colors and so represents the creative force behind everything. At the same time black, as most people see it, represents death, the after-life, the place we all go when we die. In both cases black represents the spiritual, non-materialistic "force" (God, The Tao, Nirvana, Heaven) behind the materialist world. All nine characters have a certain purity and awareness about them because they are more in touch with that "black light."
The tone of the tales in White Dark are much darker, more satirical, less forgiving of the characters. All 9 lead characters/narrators in White Dark are not lawbreakers, not criminals, they in fact mold themselves into whichever role society asks them to play.
There lies the "white" in them just as the color white is commonly associated with Purity, Innocence, Good, Truth, and Honesty. These characters at first appear to the world around them to be "Good Guys" and "Good Girls." The "dark," the hatred for others and themselves is not easily seen. It comes out through normalcy and conventionality, through their "whiteness" through the very things that is commonly accepted as being the "Right" way to be. Thus, White Dark.
Life is a spoken-word electronic music album based on the novel of the same. The album was created and produced by Derek Hunter and the novel was written by Hunter. Each track on the album has Hunter reading selected passages from the novel set to electronic music. The name of each track corresponds with Parts of the same name in the novel. Prologue - Death, the first track, corresponds to the Prologue of the novel, For My Son and Part One - Cindy corresponds to For My Son and Part One - Cindy in the novel, and so on.
LIFE is a murder mystery, a novel about a man in his twenties, Thomas Timons, as he is readying to be a father, coming to grips with his life thus far. The story begins with Thomas being murdered by an unknown yet strong assailant. From that point on the novel is told to us through Timons' manuscript.
Several months before Thomas was murdered, he had a strange feeling he was going to die soon. A couple things made him feel this way, and this strange premonition happened to occur around the time when Thomas found out he would soon be a father. Thomas decided that if it were to really happen, if he were to really die soon, before his son was born, then he had to leave something behind.
He had to leave something for his son, something that gave as much as possible to his son of who he was ... he didn't want to leave nothing for his son, nothing except other people's stories, other people's perceptions ... he needed to leave his soul, his spirit, his identity for his son.
Thomas set himself the task of writing about the last few years of his life, his loves, his pain, his disappointments, his failures, his triumphs even in the midst of seeming failure, his heartbreak, his loss, his vitality, his spirit, his soul ... The work is a personal testament, a protest, a confession, as we travel with Thomas through his various relationships and adventures, all of which leads up to his murder on the beach.
One note - Life is different from the other books by Hunter in that Life was not written in Chaos Riddle Prose, but in standard, naturalistic prose. Life's focus is on realism and therefore the surreal nature of Chaos Riddle Prose does not suit the subject matter of the novel.
Each track on the Bandcamp site has the written passage from the novel that Hunter reads. Simply click on either the title of the track or "Info" which is right next to the title of the track. You'll be taken to a separate page for the individual track and there is the text of the passage used.
LOVE AND DEATH
Love and Death is based on 3 books by Derek Hunter - E.I.E., Black Light White Dark, and Life. There are three tracks for each book on the album and for each track's separate page there is the text from the book. Simply click on the title of the track or "info" next to the title of the track and you will see the separate page. Along with the text it tells you what book the track/text is from.
The electronic music and vocal reading/performance is by Derek Hunter. There are separate albums for each book on Bandcamp, but the tracks here on Love and Death are not to be found on the other albums. If you like what you hear, definitely check the books and other albums out here on the Chaos Riddler website (click on "Books" above for separate pages for each book).
WAITING FOR AMANDA
Waiting for Amanda is based on the three act play of the same name by John Wisdom Dancer. Derek Hunter - Dancer's son - reads/performs passages from the play set to electronic music by Hunter. For each track the text used from the passage is shown in each track's separate page. Simply click on the title of the track or "info" to be taken to the separate page. The writing by Dancer is excellent and the play is a lot of fun to read so if you enjoy the album, definitely check out the play itself.
- SURREALIST SAINTS
Surrealist Saints is a covers album, each track a cover of original songs by the late and great band, Coil.
Band members of Coil included Jhonn Balance, Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, Thighpaulsandra, and others. (NOTE * - For the individuals involved with the original songs covered here on this album, credit listings are given on the separate page for each track.)
This album is dedicated to the late and great originators of Coil, Balance and Christopherson, and to the others who worked with them.
This album is called Surrealist Saints because it is my view that besides being one of the greatest bands that ever existed, they were exactly that: Surrealist Saints.
Balance especially pushed himself to the limits of experiences in the same tradition as the Surrealists he so admired and was influenced by and by others who followed such as Burroughs and Gysin.
Aleister Crowley, while never associated with Surrealism and known more for his Esoteric and Occult status, was another influence on Balance and Coil in general.
I think that Balance's particular admiration for Crowley stems from Crowley's shared belief with the Surrealists: humanity needed to be jolted, shocked, psychically hit hard to free them from the constraints of The Shrine of Mediocrity.
And so too did Balance follow this same sense of adventure and exploration in his life and in his music, as the two were closely intertwined.
The Living of Life was also the Living of Art and when one gets immersed into the music of Coil more and more, one becomes fully cognizant of this fact.
Balance and Christopherson in particular, but the others who worked with them as well, were indeed "Saints" in this way.
They lived their lives and did their work with no compromise, pushing full steam ahead in the Name of Exploration.
They did not take life for granted and while alive brought their lives and their art to the fullest capacity of expression.
They were Lights to be Followed.
This album is in no way, shape, or form an attempt to create something as good as what Coil created. It is simply one individual, me Derek Hunter (along with exceptional cover art by Brad Crothers), creating a work in their Honor.
Please take the time to check their music and their lives out. it will be more than worth your time.
The most comprehensive list of Coil's discography is to be found on Brainwashed:
Balance's lyrics to each track is included here. Simply click on the title of the track or "Info" to be taken to a separate page for each of the nine tracks and there will be the lyrics to the song.
Also, track credits for the people involved for each song are also listed on the separate page for each track.
- MAJOR ARCANA
Major Arcana is an electronic music concept album based on Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot deck. The 22 tracks represent each of the 22 Major Arcana (Trump) cards in Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot deck.
The album is entirely instrumental, with use of my voice only as another instrument and like much of the musical elements, distorted to effect.
Each track has been an attempt by me to express the meaning of the 22 Major Arcana in Crowley's deck in purely musical terms.
On the separate page for each track on Bandcamp is an image of each card.
Simply click on the title of each track/card (or "info") and you'll be taken to that track's/card's individual page where the individual card will be shown.
Along with this is Aleister Crowley's description for each of the 22 Major Arcana cards, all descriptions quoted from his book, The Book of Thoth.
In addition, here on the Chaos Riddler website, there is a page devoted to the Tarot (click on 'TAROT' above), discussing Crowley's Thoth deck and also Chaos Riddle Tarot, a form of divination that I do and how it relates with Crowley's interpretation of the Tarot and others.
The art on the cards was by Lady Frieda Harris, who worked with Crowley for many years on the deck and executed his ideas brilliantly in visual forms.
- THE LIGHT AND THE DARK
The Light and the Dark is a 38 track 2 hours and 24 minute electronic music album exploring William Shakespeare's plays and poems. It's the first one of its kind I've ever seen. I've been studying and enjoying Shakespeare's works for the last 20 years and have been inspired and thrilled by hundreds of different productions, and really cannot remember coming across a project like this one you're about to hear.
The concept of combining vocal performance of Shakespeare's work with this kind of modern electronic music is something I'm sure someone has done somewhere but again, in my years of enjoyment and study I have yet to come across it and so felt it should be done. The idea of merging the two art forms was very exciting to me and I thought of doing it in different ways.
One was to get multiple actors involved to play the different parts and direct them and possibly not act in any of the scenes myself. Another idea was to act in the scenes with the other actors. Another was have one female act the scenes with me, she playing the female roles and I the males, the two of us doing multiple roles but both of us doing only our own sexes.
I also thought at one stage of not having any music whatsoever, of doing this recording like a traditional radio style production, either with multiple actors or myself, but with no music.
I ultimately decided to turn this project into a One Voice, One Expression Endeavor, WITH music and with this KIND of music, to do something different and unique. I love to collaborate with others, both actors and actresses and other music creators and have done so in the past.
But then it struck me this project could be very interesting if expressed as One Voice: William Shakespeare's via mine. Essentially the project would be simplified to being about one person channeling or interpreting The Bard and not several interpretations. Now Shakespeare meant the plays to be acted on the stage by multiple players and not one person but the words came, most likely, from one person. If not entirely all his, the finished plays seem to be his achievement.
There is a certain singular vision behind Shakespeare's work running throughout, from play to play, even from comedies to tragedies, to the poetry, however different the tone and subject matter. I felt by having one actor, myself, play all the parts, both male and female, there could be some interesting things being expressed aiming for that singular vision of The Bard that multiple performers actually are not able to do.
Oddly enough, despite the difficulty of having to hit the right notes for multiple characters, both male and female, as I was performing the scenes many times I found this to be true. There is something one person can express that a normal large cast cannot. Not that it's better, just different.
There are some other gender role playing elements involved as well I thought came out that was interesting in some of the scenes between female and male characters that was not focused on sexuality - heterosexual or homosexual - but simply focusing on the EMOTIONS of the scenes.
Thus was what I was trying to go for, and also what I would imagine what Shakespeare's audience would have understood in his day since they would have been watching men play both the male and female roles without implication of homosexual love on stage (since such a love was not allowed in the late 1500's and early 1600's).
Each track in this album - except for the instrumental only ones - shows what play its from, what act and scene it is, and the dialogue from the scene between the characters. There are also 4 sonnets and are shown which ones they are and have the text from the sonnets included. In order to read the text from the plays and sonnets you must click on each individual track, which will take you to another page just for that track alone.
The style of the electronic music varies, going from Industrial to Noise to Ambient to Goth to Electro to Experimental to Jazz Electronic to Dark Ambient to more. I feel this style of music fits well with Shakespeare, both in the dramatic works and the comedies. Shakespeare's language, as has so often been noted, is extremely musical, and flows so well with the rhythms and beats of electronic music I feel that the sounds you hear reverberate in ways that heighten the drama or the humor.
Also, my voice has been distorted to give a combination of an old radio production from the 30's meets synthesized vocals found in many Industrial/Noise/Goth bands.
Not that Shakespeare needs the help but this is definitely a new and interesting and dramatic way to experience The Bard. The intensity of the Industrial music brings the listener to an audio realm that compensates the lack of the visual in ways that a traditional radio production cannot. The music on this album is another layer, another expression of the drama. It is not simply background noise but an essential element of the emotions of the characters.
Which leads me to the conclusion - as we go deeper into the 21st century and find new ways to make Shakespeare fresh and alive, this is definitely a way to make it happen. The reason: Shakespeare wrote his works meant to be HEARD. People went to LISTEN to his plays. Vocal performance is territory that is something that can be made even more electrifying by the presence of electronic music. It forces the listener to listen to The Bard.
For if the 20th century was about interpreting The Bard VISUALLY with some fantastic cinematic transformations by filmmakers such as Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Peter Brook, and many more, an unexplored realm is the area of SOUND. Shakespeare would love for us to explore this realm for this was His Kingdom. Listen to The Light and The Dark and explore that Kingdom yourself.