Psychedelic Jews Harp
The origins of the magical Jew's Harp may be lost in the depths
of prehistory, but the breadth of its presence in human culture
ranges far and wide. The Jew's Harp does not actually derive its
name from Jewish culture. One etymological thread traces "Jew's
Harp" to an Elizabethan pun on the French "jouer au trompe"
[to play the trumpet]. The Jew's Harp was an instrument of lackeys,
paupers, and witches low-tech in the lofty musical milieu
of the 16th century.
an ancient shamanic instrument, the Jew's Harp continues to be used
for healing by the peoples of Mongolia and Siberia. Groundbreaking
hypnotist Dr. Franz Mesmer incorporated the instrument into his
early psychotherapy experiments. The Jews Harps power
as a courtship instrument from Bavaria to the Philippines alludes
to a potent psychosexual association. Compare the erotic shape of
the Jew's Harp to that of the Shiva Lingam, Indias sacred
spiritual symbol for the Creative Principle.
essential intimacy of the Jews Harp derives from sensual vibrational
interplay with your mouth. Plucking the metal tongue, breathing
rhythmically and moving your tongue, shapes the mesmerizing and
melodic sound of the Jews Harp.
Psychedelic Jews Harp journey begins by marrying the rival
demands of singing with simultaneous melodic twanging. This challenging
innovation fuses with sophisticated electronics to realize the music
of The Psychedelic Jews Harp.
this music live. No multi-tracking, no playback of pre-recorded
material, no sampling. The raw signal of voice and Jews Harp
feeds into a portable bank of automated processors. Here, various
programmatic, architectonic sound spaces frame rhythmic zones within
which certain acoustic potentialities reside. These sonic holograms
manifest my musical explorations as shape-shifted sound. Seminal
acoustics are gestated into new aural forms to birth multi- dimensional
soundscapes of interpenetrating pulses and harmonics.
many may know, "psychedelic" means mind manifesting. The
Psychedelic Jews Harp project appeared as a vision several
years ago and continues to serve my life as a navigator and teacher.
My wish would be that this music manifest inspiration in the mind
and heart of the listener.
J. M. Nasim, Dec. 2002