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Luis Gabriel Aguilera | A New Approach

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Electronic: Experimental Electronic: Ambient Moods: Spiritual
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A New Approach

by Luis Gabriel Aguilera

A fusion of experimental, minimal and ambient compositions that encapsulate emotional catharsis, spiritual awakening, and conscious-raising by the composer.
Genre: Electronic: Experimental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Sustain
5:38 $1.99
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2. Awake Now
9:57 $1.99
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3. Ganesha
7:52 $1.99
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4. Taking Root
9:20 $1.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"A New Approach" is my second digital EP album. It is also the second installment in a three-part series that began with the "Sketches of Pains and Forgiveness" EP release in 2013, with the final installment not yet completed.

Audio-wise, "A New Approach" stays close to the format of "Sketches of Pains and Forgiveness," in that it is a continued amalgamation of ambient, experimental and minimal styles of music. The difference in this latest release is in the increase of stereoscopic play, where audio spacing and volume is utilized to clearly define juxtaposed musical themes and styles. In terms of artistry as a conduit for personal revelation, if “Sketches..." is, as I wrote in 2013, "...the audio expression of the varying stages of depression I experienced from my days as a youth to my late 20s, culminating in climactic tribulation, intense catharsis, and leading to spiritual and emotional re-awakening" then "A New Approach" is the audio expression of the composer (and really the individual) spiritually and emotionally awake, with each of its four compositions depicting distinct epiphanies in this next phase of my personal development and spiritual evolution.

It's important to note that whatever merits exist for this current release are not merely results of advances made along some technical learning curve, advances propelled by individual effort and the intermittent assistance (deliberate or not) of my three sound gurus: Chad Miller, Michael Kuszynski, and my son Loki Aguilera-Keifert, all three of whom I am humbly grateful for their respective insights, moral support, and constructive feedback over the years. What I am pleasantly convinced of is that the advances made in "A New Approach" also came about due to those spiritual and psychological practices put in place when production work for "Sketches..." was first initiated in November of 2006, in what I consider my first major fall as an adult.

It was in late 2006 that I first recognized deeply entrenched depression in myself and faced severe real-life consequences stemming from it - an extraordinary one-two punch. Something had to be done. So I began a set of practices that consisted of weekly talk therapy sessions; followed up with hour-long mindful reflections that took place in an inconspicuous Chicago café; and a weekly Hatha yoga practice. The therapy, regular reflection, and yoga, I committed to for a year. And beginning in 2009, I would begin pouring over scriptural texts (the "Bhagavad Gita" at first and subsequently the "Tao Te Ching"). This "good regimen," as Loki called it in the summer of 2013, when ironically I had also reduced the yoga and reading of the scriptures to slim levels, is what I could tell rapidly advanced the creative flow most, resulting in "Sketches..." first and then, with the effects of these practices ripening within me from 2013-2016, bringing forth "A New Approach."

To be clear, I am not minimizing, much less dismissing, the daily contributions others have in our lives and the impact this has on us improving our technique for x, y, or z (or all of the above). A rugged individualist I am not. Nor am I minimizing my own individual efforts to put together "better" compositions. What I am saying is that it is at our core where we tap into our most creative forces, and with that core being nurtured and sustained is how things best come to be. It is to my understanding now that once in a good place, one can appreciate most whatever amount of insight, support, and constructive feedback one receives, making the most of these things for oneself to transmute them if one desires. This might not come as a startling surprise to some of you. But as someone who entertained himself as a teen on the tumultuous streets of Chicago's South Side in the 90s, often coming home in the latest of hours on the weekends, with a low-income Latino immigrant background, it has been a pleasant discovery to see what a place of peace has to offer and can further produce.

The first three practices of therapy, reflection time, and yoga came immediately in late 2006. Motivating me was the notion that if we bring misery upon ourselves by acting out (and out of) negative feedback loops, vicious cycles if you will, then we could also create positive feedback loops, what I now read are called virtuous cycles. This idea partly came about from a saying in Mexico I had heard many times from one family member in particular that goes like this: eso es su rollo. There are multiple meanings for this, but in one sense, especially when someone makes this comment with a twirling gesture, it means: that is their spin/coil/personal dilemma. In other words, that is how the indicated individual goes in circles (both externally and internally), usually meaning for the worse. It's easy to see how individuals create unfavorable spirals of activities for themselves, spiraling downwards if you'd like to think of it that way. It's easy because we see it all the time around us and with ourselves - if we pay attention closely in the long-term and appreciate cumulative processes. So at rock bottom, after my own spiraling descent, I asked myself this: Why not proactively create gentle or beneficial cycles for myself? This question then became an internal directive to generate positive feedback loops - it became my intent. And it was with that intent in mind that in 2006, I went for a multifaceted approach with the aim of becoming a better person. I recall being seated in an unassuming windowless room telling a stranger I had just met that I wanted to "completely revamp," though the therapist across from me responded with his wanting me to see what good was already within and consider making only some changes rather than a full revamp. We met halfway. And for a full year we explored, discovered, questioned, unraveled, uprooted, built, developed, and ultimately, transitioned to a better place. As a byproduct to this steady work, creative flow came.

But there was a relapse in depression. It came to head in 2013, after my failed attempts to mitigate it. It came to be from my having dropped the therapy prematurely in 2007, disposing of my spiritual and psychological practices as I found myself flush with perceived "success" and a false sense of happiness (i.e., a new job; a new relationship; etc.). I vividly recall my therapist surprised at my telling him that I was no longer going to visit. "Oh...Okay," was the response. But it wasn't okay. And over the course of the next six years, some of the work I had done became unraveled. And then the second fall came. But by the late fall of 2013, I knew what to do. And it was on my return to the good regimen, with more mindful eyes and a renewed sense of commitment, that things really took off. And so here I am today.

Briefly, the four compositions of "A New Approach," are audio encapsulations of four separate epiphanies that came to me at the onset of the second climb. The first composition, "Sustain," depicts the realization of the dance I had been having with myself at the end of the day, having dropped out of finishing what good work I had set out to do in 2006 in 2007. What was I sustaining with that approach, that proverbial song and dance? Over the course of the next six years, I had come full circle in my coil, making variations of the same mistakes yet again, completely unaware that I still needed to do some scaffolding for my soul, my ignorance a big part to blame. This reasoning isn't how I excuse myself from taking responsibility for what partly led to this second fall and its real life consequences. This reasoning is what has allowed me to take responsibility. For if our misery is ultimately based on our Egos, Desires, and Ignorance, as serious commentators of the Bhagavad Gita tell us, then a serious audit of oneself must occur across these three to isolate where the worst offenses are coming from. That I simply hadn't done. I had simply not gone deep enough to unearth the complex strands on the first round, much less resolve. But I would. And within one year's time, I was this time told by a second therapist that I was actually "done" and that what remained to occur now was "self-maintenance." My reply: "Oh. Wow." "Sustain" then speaks of narrowed paths that run close to one another, where the insight is not just about what is limiting oneself, but a very clear understanding of what to do to make it less limiting - the commencement of a second spiritual release, where the reactive stance is taken over by the proactive one.

Lying on my back in a brightly lit yoga studio in Chicago one weekday morning, with no one around, the instructor and I having just finished a session, with my being the only student there, I felt cared for. "Awake Now" encapsulates this acknowledgement: that all the needed resources were at my disposal to make for positive headway after the second fall. Despite how bleak things looked and were (i.e., financially struggling, etc.), there was this silver lining of a truly magnificent horizon, not in the distance, but in the present moment. The charge of knowing this and appreciating it on a daily level is what I wanted to evoke with "Awake Now," among other things.

"Ganesha" follows up, encapsulating the recurring sense I would get in those late-night yoga sessions in the studios that some deeper sui generis force was at my side, helping things along, removing what major obstacles I could not have removed myself. Too many serendipitous incidents advocated that thought. As a boy, I've always taken what cosmic cues have come my way with seriousness. I do not feel myself to be "special," but am aware that many events in my life could have truly been the last straw for me. So it's been in due time as if the Hindu deity Ganesha would come by and remove all obstacles and relief would come. So it is in the other-world atmosphere of this composition that a solid presence arrives.

Finally, "Taking Root" speaks of a final realization I've had at this stage of my personal journey. It is that, for me, a systematic program must be in place to truly exit my own coils that produce me misery. My path is not just one of faith. If the title of the last composition in the first EP, "Go in Peace," acts as a reminding directive for me, I also name the fourth composition to remind myself of what I must do to continue the good work because it triggers in me an important question: What is taking root?

I hope you enjoy these works and carry away new advances from it, as well as accept new arrivals in your own lives from it for the betterment of yourselves.

Namaste,

Luis Gabriel Aguilera

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