Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wounded Birds of a Feather

I am pleased to announce my full length LP "Wounded Birds of a Feather" will be released March 3rd on Alternate Audio, a fantastic label from Vienna, Austria.

Wounded Birds of a Feather by Salem:1976

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas!

I think the gift of hugs are appropriate on this festive day, and what better than the gift that keeps on giving!?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Au Revoir

You have conquered, and I yield.

Yet henceforward art thou also dead- dead to the world, to heaven, and to hope!

In me didst thou exist-and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own,
How utterly thou hast murdered thyself.

- Edgar Allen Poe

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hello. My Name is Kris and I am a Melancholic.

Portrait of the author as a melancholic child.
My name is Kris and I am a melancholic. There. I said it. For my entire life I have lived with an emptiness that has an insatiable hunger to consume whatever joy I attempt to experience. It sucks, but you know what? Its me. Its who I am. I have to accept it and see what I can do to make it work for me. My life's beginnings hardwired a world view that has been a struggle to reverse. 

My saturnian outlook on life is rooted in abandonment, a pebble in a placid pond that has rippled continuously throughout my life, only to finally reach itself in this thought. It takes on many forms. First and foremost, it has manifested an utter distrust of humans in general. Not any culture or race, gender or creed, but all of humanity. Although there is a small nugget in there, firmly nestled between doubt and exasperation. A nugget that humanity is not inherently evil, but conditioned by millenia of oppression and exploitation. We are adaptable creatures, capable of many beautiful, kind, creative and altruistic gestures, but I feel too much negative profiteering has evolved us into a creature that is too self serving, too greedy, and too ignorant to see otherwise. A part of me wants to believe, to allow myself a fractured ray of hope that we will pull ourselves from it and live in the world we have always dreamed of. I used to believe that life exists to destroy itself and be reborn in a different configuration, a phoenix from the ashes, but now I think the mechanisms at work are not negative, but it is her greatest achievement (in this solar system anyway) that cannot continue on its current course of self-destruction.

Secondly, I tend to expect the worst in situations that involve people. Do I enjoy this? Not really, but it has served me well in certain circumstances. In others, not so much. I really wish people could get a "Being John Malkovich" view of how difficult it is to manage. This constant battling back and forth between a mind that defaults to negativity while fighting to be positive can be crippling. I have heard the phrase "paralysis by analysis" and I am guilty as charged. I will ruminate and analyse a situation into neutrinos. I used to hide behind a deluded notion that expecting the worst sets you up for feeling good when anything else happens, but the fact that there is an inkling of negative emotion there to begin with sets the whole practice up to fail. 

Thirdly, ah fuck it. There are a hundred heads to this hydra that we can cut off, but now methinks it be better to focus on the positive and what I can do to nurture my withered and grey little blessing. That's what I like to picture my melancholic muse as. A withered and grey old lady. Kinda like a Hans Bellmer doll come to life. So I began following the Dali Lama and trying to adhere to some of his teachings. I find him to be a refreshing case of "Keep on the Sunnyside". I also use my music as a means to express these emotions that can be suffocating to endure. Music and melancholia go back a long way. All the way back to ancient Greece. In Robert Burtons treatise "The Anatomy of Melancholy" written in 1621, he states, " But to leave all declamatory speeches in praise of divine music, I will confine myself to my proper subject: besides that excellent power it hath to expel many other diseases, it is a sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy, and will drive away the devil himself. Canus, a Rhodian fiddler, in Philostratus, when Apollonius was inquisitive to know what he could do with his pipe, told him, "That he would make a melancholy man merry, and him that was merry much merrier than before, a lover more enamoured, a religious man more devout." Ismenias the Theban, Chiron the centaur, is said to have cured this and many other diseases by music alone: as now they do those, saith Bodine, that are troubled with St. Vitus's Bedlam dance." I prefer sad music, I can't help it. Would it be bizarre to say it makes me feel good? Like Burton states above, "a sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy..." Music is usually the first thing I turn to in a mental crisis and often helps me expunge the pain away. So I turn to composing music, writing poems, and studying the history of a planet that birthed a man with no history.

Anyway, I'm rambling and I am sure getting through this has been an arduous read, but I will leave you with this poem by John Keats.

Ode on Melancholy

By John Keats

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
       Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
       Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
       And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
       Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
               Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
       Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
               And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
       And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
       Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
       Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
               Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
       Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,
               And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

Hopefully it will become easier to manage in the future, but this is me. It is who I am and anyone who bitches about it can simply not talk to me, because in the end that's probably what I want anyway :)


Friday, August 2, 2013

Paradise or Oblivion


I recently became aware of this movement and support it fully. It is the most pragmatic, logical, and scientifically aligned visions of the future I have seen. A resource based economy is the only viable way for civilization to reattach itself to the source from which we came and synthesize in harmony with the Earth. I am looking forward to assisting Jaques and the project in any way I can.

We have become a species that has stepped outside of nature and its balance. Taking more than we can give back while the plutocracy hoards wealth and cripples the world with the current broken system. We are a special species that can cultivate and nurture the world we live in while promoting intellectual, spiritual, and cultural growth.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Poetry on the Brain

Here are some poems that have been expelled from my tumultuous mind. This is an excellent tool for clearing the mind and getting in touch with my feelings. 

To The Goddess of the Night

When I close my eyes, the visions they see
So focused on you, lie misdirected
But I long for sleep, in dreams you’re with me
Your visage is in my eyes reflected.

Oh Nyx, whose movements turn the pitch black bright
Grant me audience to your lunar show
Remove the clouds with your radiant light
So I may bask in the warmth of your glow

I feel so blessed and unafraid 
By musing on you in the sunlight day
When in the moonlit nights your flawless shade
Shines through sleep and in dreaming eyes you stay

Allow me passage to your midnight shores
To enjoy dreams that never awaken
And to allow a kiss from lips azure
proves truly a poor heart has been taken.

To The Mortal Confused

Pry open your eyes and tell me what’s seen
Ever confused and yes, misdirected
And I’ll speak of love and what may have been
To prove your vision is indeed infected.

I am shadow and turn the days to night
Born in darkness and blessed with this glow
I breathe nightmares to eyes clenched so tight
That their tears polish the path of your show

Fear me, naturally your thoughts betrayed
They grow inside you, in me they decay
Ill fated lover, you've failed your crusade
Blinded, this beckon has forced me away

Only one passage brings you to my shores
And from that dream you will never awaken
An eternity in my arms you’ll endure
And through these lips, your life will be taken.

Tomorrow Hides Itself In Yesterdays Shadow

Is this my fate to be masked in darkness?
To dawdle through days like a restless shade?
To sunder my defense and be heartless?
Or grovel before you cold and afraid?

I recall the clamor of crow faced birds
that tempted me with tales of fancy dreams
It is not the earth that claimed me, but words
and dizzied my perceptions with their schemes

Faulty projections, untidy ideals
a churning restless drive to be wanted
burned away, unearths what was concealed
and leaves my memories to be haunted

So I project, my heart on tomorrow
where the green of spring gives itself to air
and yesterdays cast a saddened shadow
onto what was once so alive and fair.

Allow me to atone, to redeem light
to bask in the glow of a present true
and leave the melancholy to the night
so my heart can find its way to you.