17 dicembre 2013

Dopo Black Sky, White Sky - ma in forma breve, e in chiave meno narrativa - Ken Hyder torna a scrivere e a riflettere sul proprio lungo percorso di esperienze e conoscenze musicali e spirituali: How to Know: Spirit Music - Crazy Wisdom, Shamanism And Trips To The Black Sky.

This is a memoir of a musician from Dundee, Scotland who began exploring spiritual energy before his teens when he embarked on a lifetime journey of connecting spirit through music. Ken Hyder's musical explorations took him through over 30 albums of jazz and various ethnic musics. The spiritual path included encounters with Japanese and Tibetan Buddhist monks and finally, in Siberia with shamans.
Ken Hyder's memoir is unusual. It is short, and tight. And it reflects the way he gained insights along his path...from Dundee, Scotland to the heart of Siberia and the shamans of Tuva, on the border with Mongolia. He said: "Of course I read books. Lots of books. And I learned a lot from books. But what really struck me was that all along the way, everyone who gave me insights did it and a simple, brief way. They did not go on and on, deluging me with words, nor binding me with coils of instructions. So that is why the memoir is brief and to the point. It is more about showing how to find the knowledge rather than giving a booklist."
He argues that most of what we need to know, we already know inside ourselves. But we are unaware of that fact. So we need to know how to find the knowledge which is often so simple, we just don't see it.
Hyder examines how spirit manifests itself in different musics - including Gaelic psalm singing which was the fore-runner of American gospel -  and how musicians working in spirit music put themselves in the right frame of mind to create that fusion of spirit and music. He says: "There is no single right way, though there are plenty of wrong ways. Individuals need to find the right way for themselves. Some people may do better with peaceful meditation, while others will thrive better on active meditation."
The insights of Siberian shamanic practice were gained just as shamans were coming out into the open after decades of oppression under the old Soviet regime.