Oho | Die Before You Die

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Die Before You Die

by Oho

Like The Smithereens landing on top of Genesis, then taking a time machine ride with Little Steven to play At H.G. Wells' birthday party.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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1. Die Before You Die
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Place: Baptist Camp Lebanon (NJ), U.S.A./Person: Jay Graboski/Circumstance: Guitar Craft Course

Arriving at Camp Lebanon a day after the course began, thus missing that morning’s group sitting; most noticeable (from Sunday through Tuesday) was the gradually diminishing levels of visual and aural distraction, the sitting space getting quieter with each passing day. By Wednesday a degree of quietude was achieved that, for me, lasted the duration of this course.
Wednesday AM, 2005-03-23: A rumbling at the base of the spine interrupted that morning’s attempt to accord myself with the flow of life coursing through this body. Fearing an unfortunate gastrointestinal event due likely to four days’ ingestion of customary Guitar Craft cuisine, this anxiety was soon quelled by an intuition that this “activity” might be something else entirely: the beginning of a sequence of inner and outer “events” experienced neither before this course nor, to date, after.
Here was something new, joyous: a nether-region party complete with light show, fireworks and Chinese dragons on parade. This celebration lasted throughout this sitting until, legs asleep, I toppled to one side in an awkward attempt to rise. Eventually getting to my feet, I left that space encouraged, wondering, “Would there be more to follow?”

Thursday AM, 2005-03-24: Emerging out of the West, moving eastward from the left periphery and boring a pipeline through the darkness one perceives with eyes closed, there appeared a gradual and slowly spiraling beam of fluorescent, red light that undulated, vibrating with a tremolo and/or vibrato and so producing an audible, sustaining tone. Like the coiled winding of a heavier-gauged, wound guitar string, only here stretched like a “slinky” toy, one beheld there between the strands of stretched wire: a full view of the beam. This winding cut through the darkness like a drill into the wall of a coal mine, clearing a channel through which this laser-like illumination travelled. Uncertain whether or not its vibration was consistent with the note it sounded, I suppressed a notion to verify its pitch on a nearby piano, wishing to name it and identify its location on an octave of the C Major scale. Perhaps this “tone” was 528Hz (very close to C5), referred to as the “Love Frequency,” similar to the sustained vibration of “Om.” 582Hz is called the “miracle note” on the Solfeggio musical scale, used by ancient priests and healers for its deeply impactful, healing properties.

What was this light, this tone and with what faculties was I able to perceive them? Was this the early manifestation of Tinnitus? Why was this light red in hue? Did I see this light and hear this tone with my eyes and ears, or had other, more subtle, inner sensors been activated? Were they generated with the collective help of this group of attendees (where two or more have gathered), trying to sit quietly in the same room, in a unity of intention with attention? Finally, was this the elusive note I had been absent from? The question is its answer. The mystery presented itself: seen, heard and felt via light, sound and movement respectively.

Astrologist Rob Brezny writes: “In his book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, religious scholar Mircea Eliade speaks of Qaumaneq, a capacity that may be magically obtained by Eskimo shamans. It’s a mysterious light the shaman feels inside his head, an inexplicable searchlight, a luminous fire, enabling him to see in the dark, both literally and metaphorically speaking, even with eyes closed, allowing vision in darkness and the perception of things hidden from others.”
The lower half of my body, unaccustomed to remaining still for long periods, had again fallen asleep. After the space was cleared by those making their way to breakfast, I managed to stand, moving about to regain sensation in my legs and feet. Where the downwardly inclined sidewalk met the road that ran though the camp, I lost balance, my fall broken by the director catching me, having braced himself as if in anticipation that this would indeed happen (leading me to consider whether this experience was somehow triggered by our director).

Tangentially thinking of the Guitar Craft application questions one is asked to answer prior to her/his course acceptance, I see at least two aims: one in common, the other specific to each attendee, culled perhaps from his/her answers to these questions. The staff, I suggest, at the behest of and with full participation of the director, appeared to have constructed a flexible curriculum that fulfilled both group and individually idiosyncratic aims, organically allowing coarse and fine-tuned adjustments/corrections to reveal themselves as unforeseen challenges and opportunities arose in real time in either or both overlapping/intersecting spheres of endeavor.

So, we are illuminated, basking in front of the inner light of our own mystery/being. We now have our note, to be sounded when we intuit that it is appropriate to do so (and occasionally, although this should happen rarely, when that note’s inappropriate sounding may be required due to a lack in availability of any right and proper alternative). Revealed now for certain, we align ourselves with what we suspected and hoped for all along; confirmed by a startling inner display of sound and vision. “This is the moment of knowing.” (“The Reality of Being” by Jeanne De Salzman, 2010, Shambala Publications, Inc., pg. 207)
Friday AM, 2005-03-25: My non-participation in that morning’s sitting did not prevent what occurred after our final breakfast together. My head exploded into a spinning crown of leaping/dancing flames around its circumference, extending from what seemed to be their source at the level of my eyes. There was a subsequent recurrence shortly thereafter and I experienced difficulty in keeping track of linear time, disorienting as this event was for me. “A sound came from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting and there appeared to them tongues of fire, resting on each one of them.” (Acts 2:1-13) “In his book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, religious scholar Mircea Eliade speaks of Qaumaneq, a capacity that may be magically obtained by Eskimo shamans. It’s a mysterious light the shaman feels inside his head, an inexplicable searchlight, a luminous fire, enabling him to see in the dark, both literally and metaphorically speaking, even with eyes closed, allowing vision in darkness and the perception of things hidden from others.” (Astrologist Rob Brezny) Carl Jung called this Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon (C.E.T.), where one burns with yogic heat, experiencing waves of energy.” “…this energy is…what I am.” (ibid. De Salzman, pg. 212)

Still somewhat disoriented and driving South on the New Jersey Turnpike I remembered having vacated the camp sans my guitar; and so returned to retrieve it, adding 117 miles to the journey home. Also of note was a sense of exhaustion accompanied by a heightened mental alertness. I recall “invisible hands” gently pulling back my head at the temples every time it began to nod, nudged gently but effectively into wakefulness without the usual startle of an adrenalin rush.
Relaying my “wondrous story” to my spouse and daughter after arriving home, Julie (the latter) suggested I had found my “Chi,” whatever that is. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.”

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Gary Schwartz

"The usual greatness."
Very cool tune and the arrangements are of the usual greatness.
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Matty Rose

Awesome track!
This is an awesome track ! That guitar tone! Especially around 2:19 when the horns and guitar are riffing together!
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Steptoe the Magnificent

Love the...sound
Love the early 80's Brit sound!
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Ronald "Top" Barker

GREAT!
Great, timeless, decades-and-century-spanning musical legacy.
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