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PRÆTER: A DREAM BEYOND with the sound of empusae

Minoár introduces a fruitful encounter with the distinctive and multi-layered work of empusae, blending the relation between music & fashion in 5 distinctive songs visualized by choreography artist Diego de la Rosa through a series of nomadic performance parts.

It is truly remarkable how music and sound can affect one’s mood, perceptions and even understandings, reinventing meanings. Such raw, yet complex chemistry occurred between Minoár and the peculiar art of Empusae.

Once we dived deeper into his distinctive and multi-layered work a symbiosis was established. Whilst sharing mutual understanding of art and aesthetic in general it is quite mesmerizing that it is still not possible to fully comprehend the essence of it all.

The symbiosis of Empusae’s work and the functional appearance of Minoár is a distinctive and memorable concept of deep understanding of creativity, both in music and in fashion.

 Minoár - For the one who does not belong 

The fruitful outcome of this experience confirms a crucial manifesto to not belong – nor to the past nor the future. A reason why the direct relation to particular musical genre or fashion culture is non-existent.

The authentic sounds generated by Empusae give special attention to Minoár’s single signature technique and that is the ‘Fiber Bond’ technique. Concentrating on long monotonous and twisted, layered sounds bonded through calculated creative patterns resemble the feeling of the peculiar appearance and feel of the ‘Fiber Bond’. A fabric technique which is not knitted nor woven, born out of desire to create an unbelonging, one of a kind experience.

‘REDEMPTIO æTERNA’

Despite all the complexity in Empusae’s music, a single man is at the core, mindfully conducting – Nicolas Van Meirhaeghe, known as Sal-Ocin. For more than 20 years Empusae exercises a surreal science of structure which beats and pulsates almost obsessively.

The composed work of the artist recreates the feeling of mystical events evolving into chaotic and structured rhythm rediscovering, reshaping the Fiber Bond appearance into the art of sound. The outcome is unexpected, yet it feels familiar, innate. An invisible fiber bonding two arts and crafts – music and human appearance.

One can simply enjoy the correlation between the peculiar appearance and movement of the Fiber Bond garment series and the profound expression through Empusae’s music which require almost a meditative state to fully immerse and comprehend.

‘VIRAGO’

Music like mantra elevates the listener into a ghostly landscape of memories with each song gone by. The avant-garde style of his music is built as an architecture with solid foundation for itself, yet it feels like as if it is trying to break apart any moment. We felt this as such a realistic understanding of the complexity of human souls.

The collaboration between Empusae and Minoár is an interaction of energy aiming to change one’s inner being. From the feeling of each Fiber Bond garment and its quality and functionality to how it derives one’s emotional states in it. Empusae uses a technique that he skillfully handles to create magnetic melodies by combining an array of peculiar sound elements. Software plug-ins, hardware synthesizers, field recorder sampling, electroacoustic experiments, traditional acoustic instruments such as electric guitar, mandolin, ukulele, clarinet, sitar, bodran, drums, djembe and others.

‘PROGRESSUS MYSTERIUM’

We seem to be lost in dark melancholy, electronic atmosphere and occult ritual scene. The sound of drums evolves from a rhythmic instrument into shamanic elements. Empusae is music for the unbelonging souls, indeed. For those eager to know, feel and understand what is it all about in this life full of philosophical concepts and layers and layers of beauty

The inspiration which Empusae draws from the physical presence of Minoár comes from different angles. The color gamut and shades used in all Fiber Bond garments is another direction translating into mystical, ancient and future state in the same time. The touch and texture of the Fiber Bond has a direct impact on the sound leading to the final state of a primordial inspiration.

‘ABSOLUTUS’

Empusae describes the feeling of such clothing and appearance as merging with them, leading to symbiosis with his craft. Obsessed with their spirit he is guided to work in his music studio. The feeling of this collaboration is like a spiritual connection. Finding an artistic counterpart, Minoár and Empusae complete each other’s emotional experience of art, syncing two worlds where they belong.

‘FIBER ALCHEMY’

“If your inner being changes, your whole outer life will be totally different. It will have a different fragrance, a different beauty, a different grace. And when your inner being is changed and becomes a flame of light, you will become a light unto others too. You will become a beckoning light, a great herald of a new dawn. Your very presence will trigger revolutions in other people’s lives.”

– Acharya Rajneesh – Osho

From numerous conversations with Nicolas we share some of his insights and thoughts.

Where does the name ‘Empusae’ originate from?

The name comes from my fetish animal insect. A praying mantis called Empusa Pennata, also known as conehad mantis or Diablotin in French, native in Mediterranean region. They are extremely elegant and have in the same way, the look of a small alienated demon. Which is exactly what my music is about, finding the beauty within darkness, melancholy within oblivion, pleasure in pain, structure in chaos, poetry within horror and atmosphere within cold serenity.

The empusae were also daughters of the Greek goddess Hekate. A kind of vampiric seductive demons, luring their victims by irresistible beauty and sensuality, only to end up as horrific tortured bodies and souls.

How music and the essence of composing specifically became important to you?

Creating sounds and composing music has been the only enjoyable and fruitful way to deeply and truly express myself. Not only artistically, it also has a therapeutic effect. It makes me travel, away from reality, from my outer- and inner demons. I enter a unique state of mind, where everything and thought inside me and around me fade away, forming a symbiosis between me and my muse/s.

These muses can come out of my passions as well as demons emerging my personal hell. It gives me a way to give shape to passions, to ideas, to elements of my life which moves me in an emotional way. But it also helps me to confront or even embrace my demons such as social anxiety. A few years back, I got connected to a new demon (named Shabriri). In other words, I was diagnosed with an incurable genetic eye disease, called Retinitis Pigmentosa. It makes affected people blind, sometimes slowly, sometimes unpredictably fast. Empusae is a powerful spell to help me accepting it and coping with it, I would have been deeply lost into oblivion otherwise. So, music is even more of vital essence for me.

What was your attraction of Minoár and how did this inspire you to write music for this project?

When I first noticed pictures of Minoár’s garments on social media, I instantly fell in love with the style. It spoke to me like hearing a very attractive and somehow familiar piece of music. I was immediately drawn to it. After receiving my first ordered pieces, it was confirmed; those were made for me, on several aspects.

Losing my sight gradually, gives me attraction to aesthetics in which I feel comfortable in, not only visually but the very important touch of fabrics and textures. Wearing them gave me confidence and makes me feel stronger in my bubble surrounded by the approaching darkness closing in. That approaching void makes my surrounding such as people and structures feel like obstacles, alienating me from human society.

Wearing Minoár helps me in this, it has a therapeutic effect, so is music, which makes it obvious for me to transcribe all this into music. Dressed in Minoár’s garments, I was guided by them into a sonic, musical and atmospheric transcription. Minoár became the muse. Composing is the ritual. It felt like a was communicating directly with the creators on the other side of Europe, in a complex yet very natural and fluid connection. A symbiosis of sonic and palpable textures, fabrics and structures, primal natural elements, native, foreign and alien tribal influences. For some moments, I had the feeling we became one. This was a unique experience, marked for life in mind and soul.

You compose music in a different and authentic manner. What is your process, where does it all start?

It is a process of many stages, never really starts nor finishes. Merely continuous, especially mentally. Every sound, melody, song or album are a continuation of what preceded it. Inspirations and muses are intertwined. Composing a melody, creating sounds, recording instruments, structuring rhythms are only one part of the process. Usually, after finishing and album or projects, there is a period of non-activeness in my studio. It can be weeks, months and sometimes years. But mentally during those periods, the inspirations do its work, usually very unconsciously.

The muse is slumbering, then suddenly, unexpectedly emerges and then they concretize while being in contact with sound sources and instruments. I have sometimes the feeling that I improvise, but I realize more and more it’s the slumbering creative process giving fruit. It is extremely satisfying. It gives me confidence each time again, that I will never lack inspiration nor lose the composer in me.

LISTEN TO præter ONLINE NOW:

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Music: Nicolas Van Meirhaeghe – Empusae
Performance Artist: Diego de la Rosa
Text & Visuals: MINOÁR

 

FOR THE ONE WHO DOES NOT BELONG

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 Minoár - For the one who does not belong 
  • Neck – This circumference is taken in relation to the place where the collar of the shirt makes a circumference around the neck and in particular where it is fastened.

  • Chest – It is measured by the entire circumference of the chest in a horizontal position. Place one end of the tape measure at the fullest part of your chest and wrap it around under your armpits and around your shoulder blades, and back to the front.

  • Waist – This is the narrowest part of the human body. Waistline is located at the level of the belly button. It is recommended when measuring legwear or skirts to measure the circumference of 10 centimeters below the belly button.

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