Bart Hawkins’ newest album, Vision of Eden, is a visionary tour through the ancient Garden of Eden. As with his previous album with Spotted Peccary, 21 Pulse Eclipse, and his self-produced album Last Ride in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Helicopter, Vision of Eden was created on a modular synth.
Incorporating the sounds of energy with field recordings, Bart Hawkins has created a meditation inspired by the ancient story of the Garden of Eden. In this new album, there are five visions that take the listener on a musical journey from the peace and unity found inside the Garden of Eden, to the serpent’s temptation of a ‘better’ world of all-knowing power, to eating the forbidden fruit that contains a ‘virus’ of an illusionary world of separation and the loss of innocence. The last vision returns the listener to the garden with a message that the Tree of Life and its experience of the totality of unity has never left.
This journey begins where…
…the conscious and unconscious mind meet to create a playground where the totality of unity can be experienced and is held together by the grace of the Tree of Life. Ambient landscapes with distant melodies that echo with the sounds of children playing blend with soft and warm tones that surround the listener in this angelic Garden of sound. This harmony and suspense foreshadow the rest of this album. Structures of experience and consciousness, of abundant fertility and luxuriant vegetation emerge playfully, “Garden of Grace” (7:40) is sparkling with life, bird calls and waterfalls, the sounds of children frolicking bring about a greater understanding of nature as the universe evolves in time, more and more of its energy becomes transformed.
Out of chaos comes order and creation. Trance-like patterns overlap to create evolving and shifting layers that give rise to new patterns and graceful melodies. There is a circular quality with its bright and airy passages. “Orbital Eccentricity” (9:12) emerges with looping keyboards arpeggiating, representing the apparent motions of the planets dominated by the gravity of a central source. Planets and satellites follow elliptic orbits, with the center of mass being orbited at a focal point of the ellipse. These circular fractal-based loops provide the structure that defines all matter. What gives rise to the diversity and creation of new forms lies in the degree of its orbital eccentricity as they evolve into diverse self-organizing systems.
A dream-like and mysterious guitar…
…echoes patterns and textures that weave through deep powerful drones. I can hear chanting in the distance as it invokes mystery and magic. Primitive yet techno, this snake dance organically builds up the intensity of the temptation, as the sly rhythms drive the storm to a climax. “Sidewinder” (13:31) blends rushing synth winds and guitar sounds, mechanical activity on the strings, the emerging rhythm of a machine, merging into a wonderfully scary sound with all that mechanical string and experimental textural stuff going on.
“Descent Into The Forbidden Fruit” (11:28) “I wanted to play with a single tone, how far can I push it and still be interesting and powerful? I wanted this piece to be like a ‘bad’ psychedelic experience, where you take a bite of the ‘fruit’ and the descent or fall into separation madness begins. It begs the question of old sages, are we hallucinating our separate reality right now as we continue to eat from the Tree of Good/Evil?”
Some Pueblo, Hopi, and Zuni traditions associate dragonflies with transformation, and are said to refer to dragonflies as “snake doctors” because they believe dragonflies follow snakes into the ground to heal them if they become injured. “Dragonfly Speaks” (12:17) becomes a return to nature. An ancient healing drum beat with warm overtones in the background give way to bright shafts of light appearing and disappearing as sounds of fluting wings dance from ear to ear. Yet the temptation to take another bite from the forbidden fruit still lingers with tension. The natural attitude that consciousness is part of nature as experienced by the person experiencing it, which invites systematic reflection on and study of the structures of consciousness and the phenomena that appear in acts of consciousness.
Humanity has built all social, political, religious, economic, scientific and any organizational systems entirely based on the human illusionary perception of separation. We are in an endless fractal loop, an echo chamber, of our own making. This limited perception of reality keeps humanity on the road to Hell that is paved with ‘good’ intentions. Until we understand and experience that all our problems/solutions are one manifestation that can only be perceived as separate, we will continue to be subjected to an ever-cascading reality in which we exist separate from source. Now how to put this into a musical form?
Behold this Vision of Eden.
Originally published at https://www.brainvoyagermusic.com on June 10, 2021.