I’ve met with Kakophonix around Los Angeles a few times. He’s a local composer, and is responsible for the ritual chamber music project called “Hvile I Kaos.” He is also a bit of a mystic.
Kakophonix released his latest album, Agios O Fotiá, under Deathwave Nexion, a publishing company devoted to darker themed occult texts and music. Going to a Hvile I Kaos show is interesting in the sense that you’ll observe metalheads behaving as if they weren’t listening to classical music. I saw lots of horns thrown, and heads thrashing to the intensity of the sounds and intentions being shown onstage.
Hvile I Kaos certainly generates curiousity, but what most people don’t know about this project is that each track on the new album is directly related to experiences that Kakophonix has had with corresponding entities. I asked him to give Disinformation a run down on the magic that he’s doing concerning his music.
Alright, let’s start by you explaining which tracks correlate to which entity, and what the circumstances are; meaning, are they simply songs as tributes, or inspiration from contact?
The contact with each deity or group of deities was actually part of the composing and recording process itself. While recording I had a sigil or image representing the subject of my focus present. The music making became a sort of dialogue. The deity would transmit messages or ideas to me which I would process and subsequently communicate back to them via the music. I had some pretty eye-opening interactions.
“Consecration” is my musical interpretation of an encircling rite that I perform prior to any magickal working. Each cello voice corresponds to each of the archetypes the surround the magickian, which include lesser spirits at the beginning and greater/more overarching Dark Gods as the rite progresses. I appreciate this particular rite because it covers a lot of ground with the various points of power an aspiring sorcerer can use to his/her advantage, both within and without. It seemed fitting to begin the album with this one.
“The Ride of Kundak”, as the name suggests, is for Kundak, the steed of sorcerers. Essentially the equestrian form of Kundag, a Daeva relating to mind control. The experience behind this one was one of literally riding my own subconscious as a wild, damn-near uncontrollable horse. If I could do this, the world was mine for the taking. Definitely an interaction worth holding on to.
“Revelry and Revelation” is for the Morrigan, the Celtic Goddess of Battle, Strife, and Fertility. I was introduced to her by Emerson Sinclair, the live violinist for Hvile I Kaos and also an extremely prolific musician and magickian in her own right. My genetic makeup is largely Irish and Scottish, so this working with the Morrigan was my first time really tapping into that side of my ancestral subconscious. Rest assured, the Goddess kicked my ass. I needed to prove myself as a true son of the Celts. By the end of it, I felt myself covered in blood and returning to the heat of battle, while witches and druids stirred the cauldron of the Chaos with their incantations. I became very aware that the same earthy, life-giving force of ancient magick and nature worship is also what has inspired people and cultures to kill one another for millennia. Womb and Tomb. I believe it was when I finished guitar tracking for this piece that I looked to her to ask how I had done. Her response was “it’s not perfect. However, neither are you. Therefore, it is suitable”. Goes to show how much of a trial by fire the whole ordeal was.
“Vessel 333” is of course for Choronzon, meant literally as a Vessel to house him, to get him to fuck off away from me. Early in 2017 I made a really dumb decision and tried to use Choronzon in a destruction ritual to “disperse” my seething anger at someone who had really fucked me over. Instead, the damn thing latched onto my head and proceeded to gorge himself. Before long this feeding process had morphed into a definite degree of possession. My rage had escalated into an uncontrollable bloodlust for vendetta. I had a couple episodes where I clearly felt these thoughts take on a life of their own, apart from me, as a separate being. After receiving magickal pointers from a couple of esteemed colleagues of mine, I decided to use some riff ideas I’d been sitting on as a means of self-exorcism, and channel Choronzon into the piece. The first thing I noticed was that trying to get him to cooperate was like trying to shove a small child out the door to school. He would constantly try to worm his way out with distractions and general resistance. Of course, thanks not only to my efforts, but also those of all the people who generously submitted vocal and spoken word samples, he now has plenty of psychic sewage to feed off in the context of the piece, and now lives there. Rather than inside me.
“Hermetitude: A Wrathful Reclamation” is for the greater, overarching archetype of the Adversary. That Divinity born of fire and suffering. Purified. A tragic hero, beaten down and yet defiant. That latent potential which lives inside all of us, yet so suppressed. Wrathfully reclaiming that which is yours. At the end of this one I received the words “Rise to Fall, Fall to Rise. Become as Kether. Accept yourself.” Words I now try to remember and live by.
Naturally, being an arrangement of an existing Sinister Chant, “Agios O Baphomet” is for Baphomet. Any and all representations of Baphomet, ranging from the Goat of Mendes to the ONA depiction. What I became extremely aware of here was all the correlations and similarities that lie beneath the surface of all these various interpretations. All things considered we still have utter balance between masculine and feminine, nature and humanity, order and chaos, creation and destruction all rolled into one. What I was left with during this interaction was an extreme understanding of existing at the center of all. That defiant usurping of Divine power. Absolute Becoming. It felt truer than true.
We don’t really regard our live performances as “shows” per se, but rather as rituals in a very real sense. The evocation triangle and candles function as magickal tools as opposed to stage props, just as essential to the performance as microphones or amplifiers. The Black Altar Candle at the rear is the Acausal, the inverse plane and dwelling place of those we wish to contact. The Red Offertory Candle on the left is our heightened, burning passions, that which is utilized directly by the music itself, which serves as a catalyst for those with which we work to make themselves known. The White Zodiac Candle on the right is the audience members, their spiritual purity and innocence, in a state of utter reception. With all this set in place, when we play our energy is transferred into the triangle and then out towards the audience, in an earnest attempt to conjure and confront
Some may see this as “invasive” or as a type of spiritual assault, which isn’t necessarily an incorrect assumption. However, as discomforting as it may be, removing the veil from the eyes of as many as I can is something I see as my artistic and spiritual calling in a way. To light the beacon is subversive indeed. I just hope to turn as many hearts and minds as I can. Too long have we slumbered.
I remember at the performance I was at, a man went up to the stage and muttered audibly “They’re opening up a portal”, and then promptly seemed to have left or disappeared to somewhere else inside the venue.
Do you close the portal or take any sort of reasonable precautions?
Oh yes. That night at the Regal might actually be my favorite live ritual of ours so far. The energy in the room between the performers and the audience was special indeed.
I always cast the circle around the stage before we perform and banish afterwards. While the intent is to reveal entities and phenomena to those who may not have been exposed to them before, we certainly don’t want anything following anyone home and making lives difficult for shits and giggles.
That’s appreciated. How did you come to do this line of work?
My immediate family are all classically trained musicians in some capacity. I’m not sure what initially drew me to the cello as a kid, it just seemed to make sense for some reason. Early on I was always a bit on the fence about it, but discovering Apocalyptica in high school changed that. I’ve always enjoyed darker and more extreme forms of metal and rock, so both with Hvile I Kaos and the various session jobs I’ve taken, I’ve been able to find a balance between my rigorous training and the music I listen to for personal enjoyment.
My interest in magick and the occult came later on when I was in college. While I’d always had a fascination with religion and spirituality, for the longest time I didn’t have any real access to the darker and more “dangerous” side of things. Coming full circle, music is what really changed that. My discovery of bands like Dissection and the Devil’s Blood opened my mind to what music can really be used for, as well as what my options were on religious and philosophical front. It was only a matter of time before I began to wonder what my love of occult-themed music might possibly say about me.
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