Hypnagogia Interview with Andrew M. McKenzie

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Solo LP Hypnagogia

by Nola Ranallo

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In and out. First, in.

Oxygen and air are different, I guess, but don’t really understand. Body and mind take care of those definitions, a function of its same temporary, hurting machinery. You pull in what is needed, full and true. Big production, forgotten most moments. A dolphin wouldn’t last a day like this. Not you. Swell with a gift. Give the whole vessel a lap around the track, toes to teeth, 23,000 times a day. Casual frequency jabbed by occasional memories of dire absence: a wave pool at an amusement park in north Texas, uselessly hitting the bottom of the water and yanked luckily, choking, onto an inflatable toy –or– intentional and with merit, contemplating why to draw in more, head a barrage of bursting magnesium thoughts, each sparkling black, alone in a room and on this entire fucking planet.

It all ends up however, one breath at a time. Besides, who wants to be first to a bad idea? (Better than last to a good one; still …) With every molecule in, a realization. Here, we hear the triumphant ethereal. Defiant, unknowable, those rare moments where human life can be glorious. How? A suggestion, from Anonymous, in “Are You Mediumistic?” (1932 – Columbus): “The medium enters the trance by placing command of her body, and vocal cords, which reproduce the spirit voices thru the medium’s mouth, or thru the trumpet without employing the medium’s vocal cords. In some cases, the trumpet will float about the room, carried by spiritual forces, delivering messages to the spectators.”

Some inventions are pre-dated by a way around, a way to break, a way through. Beat you to it before you even built it. Whoever invented the prison never figured out how to solitarily confine the air, to sentence the stars you’ve already seen.

Then, out – the only way.

You go. A penetrating sense of permanence, bones that need little holes for mushy exchanges and alveoli begging for the outdoors that replenish until evisceration. You reach a small party, where everyone is given a scrap of paper upon entrance that drives each person to a different emotion than anyone else throughout the night. Tough crowd, soft in our thoughts that almost universally miss the point of this exact moment. One perspective, from Olga Tokarczuk (1996- Warsaw): “People – who themselves are in fact a process – are afraid of whatever is impermanent and always changing, which is why they have invented something that doesn’t exist – invariability, and recognized that whatever is eternal and unchanging is perfect. So they have ascribed invariability to God, and that was how they lost the ability to understand Him.”

Empty yourself unto G-d, into hell, onto the lazy heavens that hide away your melodic moments and drumbeat every-days. Starve yourself no matter how much you eat, like the hungry ghosts. Chopin’s show-piece heart, locked away to forever beat out spooky action at a distance. All that it’s cracked up to be. Cracked up to be. Air out and seeping through the cracks in you. To be is to tell what came in and what went out from the drapery of glimmering particles shown in an unknown light. Sing along with the trumpet’s voice and surrender to the rhythm sounded out by your heaving chest. Allow yourself sonic peace and breathe deeply with every marching step toward unending openness.

-Justin Kern, in advocacy for this music and musical person, July 2021

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