SILENT TEMPLE: In Worship of Mother Earth

Silent Temple

Portland, Oregon-based prog/folk rock act Silent Temple has recently launched their fifth full-length entitled ‘Faery Revolution.’ Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Amos Hart speaks for Prog Sphere about the new release, following the band’s participation on Progotronics 38 compilation.

Describe the musical frameworks your new album “Faery Revolution” explores.

Musically, this record was spelled from maps of modal and chromatic runes. In more conventional terms, chord symbols arranged in long-form charts. Since I was blessed with the same interpreters as the previous album, I was able to write these maps with the instruments my bandmates and I had skill in playing in mind. The Lute, Banjo, Fretless Bass Guitar, and Grand Piano are staples of the timbral palette therefore.

Your music kinda feels as a homage to Mother Nature. Coming from Oregon, which offers some of the most striking nature sceneries, would you say that this connection between you and nature is something that has always been there?

I have always felt a deep connection with Nature. The Earth calls to me through the primordial beauty of its growth, its waves, its breath. In 2015 I had the opportunity to play 3 shows and stay a week in Portland, OR while on tour with Progressive Folk Metal band Eikthyrnir. The natural realm there indeed struck me, so profoundly I could not resist returning to reside there, now here! I believe that the forest, the seaside, the open plains, the majestic mountains, are truly sacred. Priceless and precious jewels of an artistry beyond mortal comprehension. My music is a homage, indeed, however I would go so far as to say it is made in worship of Mother Earth. Singing praise to a glorious psychedelia of the spheres, making some attempt at description of its marvels and its higher LOVE.

Silent Temple - Faery Revolution

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and lessons learned during the creative process for “Faery Revolution”?

This music was written in the winter of 2020/2021. Everyone was facing hardship during this time, I’m sure. Mine personally was in the justice struggle happening in Portland. Marching, standing guard, providing aid, housing, mental health services… Using my white, male, able bodied privilege as a literal shield between the empire’s vicious hired thugs and the less privileged humans in American society the order-followers are most programmed to oppress and brutalize. The lyrics for the title track were actually written while I was incapacitated after a night of protesting the murder of Daunte Wright by Minneapolis pigs. I was shot by a rubber bullet and trampled by dozens of people fleeing the police, brandishing guns of various levels of lethality, barking orders as is their way. Knowing my hands could have been destroyed in such an incident, I knew I had to give this energy of revolt to a different outlet. So I went around performing this protest song during 2021 and through to the present. It has been well received, for the most part! The lesson I suppose is that music and justice work can in fact be simultaneous.

Is there a message you try to convey with the album?

De-colonize. End HIStory. The great Goddess Mother Earth is awaiting our awakening. The pagan spirits of our ancient ancestors are calling to us, gracing us with a chance to break out of the confines of cultural programming. We must heed the call! An Earth of peace, love, HARMONY, grace and compassion is possible. It exists right now, in fact. Do we have the courage to seek it within ourselves, and let it out? In other words, I am in pain. I love you.

To someone who hasn’t heard the album, what can he or she expect from it?

You can expect some high energy soul music! A wide array of instrumentation, while keeping mostly acoustic and analogue. You can expect poetic lyrics, skillful and creative instrumentalism, and fantastic audio production. You can expect an emotional journey of divinely inspired energy, delivered by a group of dreamers, actors, justice seekers and party animals!

How has your perspective on the possibilities of song arrangement expanded over the years?

The first music I ever heard that inspired me beyond an aesthetic level was Symphony X, Rhapsody of Fire, Kansas, and Opeth. So progressive/symphonic songwriting and composition is really the basis for the way I like to write music for the rock band setting. However, only 2 or so years ago did I become skilled enough at the piano to play Jazz convincingly. With that ability came a certain level of understanding of the approach and technique of creating great Jazz. I have been writing my music with that technique in mind ever since. More solo sections, less part writing and more symbolic interpretation. The more styles of music I can have an understanding of both technically and emotionally, the more places I can go in a composition without “breaking the spell”, so to speak.

What types of change do you feel this music can initiate?

Personally, part of this spell casting is intended to transmute energies acting within my own heart, mind and spirit. I feel I can become less bound to rage and sorrow. I feel I can open myself more to Earth spirits and ancient ancestors. I feel the masculine energy within me, tainted by the disease of male dominance, can be worked on in a healing way.

Most of these pieces were directly inspired by psychedelic experiences deep within the forest. Some of the themes, progressions, and melodies were given to me by entities I cannot presume to name. I believe this music can open a portal to the sacred grove, where souls can heal, and remember where they came from. I believe this music will play some part, large or small, in the emancipation of humanity and all earthly creatures from the dark age of consumption we now suffer within.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

No. There are certain basic ideas I like to re-play, but I try to let a piece of music define its own structure rather than trying to get it to fit a preconceived definition.

Silent Temple

What non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on your music?

-The great Goddess Mother Earth – The idea of building temples to her beauty as a basic function of our existence.
-The psychedelic experience – The idea that the Fates are not outside of our modes of communication. That is, if we can learn language on a runic level…
-The Revolution – Indigenous Sovereignty. Black Liberation. Women’s empowerment. LGBTQ people’s empowerment.
-Magic – the idea that the imperceivable is influencing our reality, and can be understood and directed by the magician’s will.
-Mythology – the stories and sensibilities of the ancients are a wonderful way to wrench ourselves from the mire of industrialized culture’s relentless advertising campaign.

What advice or philosophy might you impart to other musicians, be it in forms of creativity, technical stuff, the business side of it, or anything else?

Let us be servants of the MUSE. The MUSE, also known as Sophia, is our guiding light in the dark tumult of the abyss of existence. The MUSE lights up the eyes of the weary, calms the storms of the aggravated, and brings tears and the flowing of blood to those whose pain has hardened their heart. The MUSE is our spiritual sustenance, that which we need to live an inspired life and express our love and our beauty! Different musicians will need different techniques and practice methods to achieve their goals. What I think every musician will benefit from is a mind and heart-set of service and learning. To know and put into practice that your ability as a musician is just as much external as it is internal. There is only so much that you can know or do without studying, learning, serving, that which is not your first predilection or desire. There is something musically that you don’t understand, that once you do, will empower your expression beyond your previous ability to imagine. Keep learning, practice diligently, play passionately!

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