TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Adon of Accurst was done by e-mail by Grimma in November 2005.
“Accurst is a concept project exploring the nightmares of existence and the horrors of the subconscious.”
Thus spoke Adon; the sole entity behind Accurst’s abject realm. After taken aback by ‘Fragments of a Nightmare’s mind-jarring imagery (Accurst’s only release to date) a mandatory interview ensued with the man behind the beast. Enjoy…
First of all, could you please give a brief chronicle of Accurst's history?
Melmoth and I were working on a similar project back in 1998 but a clash of interests forced us to disband, which had as a result Melmoth moving on creating Holocaust Machine and myself creating Accurst in 1999.
A few sound experiments were carried through in the following years although no demo was ‘compiled’; only a few scattered remnants of an idea in the making.
In 2002, I shot a short film entitled Ghost in the Mirror, and that’s what helped me realize how Accurst should sound, ‘feel’, and ‘look’.
Accurst slowly started taking form as an experimental project soon thereafter, and by the debut in 2003 it had taken its own path.
Your first album 'Fragments of a Nightmare' was imbued with a mesmerizing sense of desolation and fear, a truly harrowing experience indeed. Was this the prime intent of the album or did you aim for a wider range of induced sentiments?
With 'Fragments…' I attempted delving into the subconscious and bringing forth images that may gnaw on one’s sense of security. Even though the Surrealists’ automatic writing process is nigh impossible to translate into the slow process of sound creation, a certain state of trance helped in simulating such an effect; meaning that the tracks in Fragments… came mostly from a collaboration between the conscious and the subconscious, and therefore making the attempt, I would assume, to connect to the listener’s subconscious slightly easier.
I am not implying that this is not a personal piece of work. On the contrary, it was an extremely personal journey at the time of creation; demons I managed to partly exorcise upon the completion of said album.
As a direct answer to your question, my intentions were to express certain feelings and images that were ‘tormenting’ my psyche at that specific point in time.
Dark Ambient can be regarded as a fertile ground for entrancing creations of obscure soundscapes and sound experimentation. Do you see Accurst as a dark ambient project per se, pertaining to a certain musical framework or simply as a means to express a certain facet of your artistic creativity which can expand into other areas as well?
Although Accurst’s foot is planted firmly in Ambient music, subsequent works will incorporate other musical styles as well in order to being closer in expressing each album’s concept behind the music.
Whether it is even with the debut release, considered as an Ambient project or not, does not directly concern me.
In relation to the previous question do you see Accurst as part of any sort of musical scene?
Would that sort of assumption help in anything other than how the album is marketed? Having said that, it is up to the label releasing any of the works brought forth to categorize and advertise said work however they see fit.
Although influences on such a musically intangible genre as dark ambient remain on a subtle level, I have to say that there is tinge of Aghast's ritualistic ambience on the more minimalistic and brooding parts of 'Fragments'. Would you care to cite any other 'influences'?
Even though I appreciate the work of Aghast, Lustmord, Caul, I Burn, Amon, and other artists of said genre immensely, I cannot say that the main influence is any of such projects.
Accurst’s main influences are the images coming from my subconscious (and therefore, as some would argue, from everything I’ve ever experienced), and various sounds one hears throughout any given day. The coincidence of a variety of sounds working in unison often produces a peculiar sense of satisfaction for one reason or another. A keen ear, and a sharp mind’s eye is all that is needed in order to ‘gather’ such sounds and attempt to reproduce them (sometimes with slight variations) in a piece of work.
If I had to be more specific, I’d name Goya as one of Accurst’s most vivid influences.
Can a listener be gratified in a cathartic sense after listening to your work? In other words, do you see Accurst as something of an audio jigsaw puzzle comprising of many sound elements simply aiming to project a grey-hued image of perdition or do you see it as more of a music-trip passing through various soundscapes before the listener can attain that certain Accurst feel of Horror as you describe it?
I cannot speak for the few people who’ve experienced the work. I am aware of the fact that some people have been unable to ‘piece together’ the sounds in any given track off Fragments, and coined it simply as noise. It would be a romantic misconception thinking that it would produce the same effect in everyone.
I personally consider it as a journey with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The part about the jigsaw puzzle can be found in the tracks when separated from each other I’d think, but as a whole I don’t consider it as a jigsaw puzzle.
One could argue that Accurst's sound can not be tagged as music per se and that it is more of a coalition of discordant soundscapes clashing with each other in mid-air, petrifying the senses with their audial vibrations. Would you describe Accurst's sound as essentially music in the purist sense of the word?
We’ve had a similar discussion (on “What is Music?”) amongst the Sérpéné Héli Music Collective, and needless to say that we never reached an adequate conclusion.
To some it might be music, to others it might appear as noise (as has happened).
But still if we were to confine music to strictly as any means of expression then Accurst’s sound can be definitely categorized as such. On the other hand if music is something that pertains to a predefined song structure paved on a coherent rhythm then we can henceforth dismiss drone, ambient and even some of Schoenberg’s serialist compositions as mere noise. Would you say that music as such, even though subjective to its interpretation, can attain its certain musical stature simply when undergoing a thorough mental processing or does it necessarily have to be expressed always within conventional musical concepts?
I wouldn’t be quick in generalizing to that extent. There has to be a division between sound, noise, and music. We could end up with a dogmatic phrase like “all music is sound, all noise is sound, therefore music is noise, and vice versa” which could hold a grain of truth considering taste, culture, experience, and other factors.
Having said that, I am still none the wiser as to “What is Music”. If music’s aim is to connect directly to the psyche without the use of symbols and representation as in say, Painting or Poetry, then the generalization that “anything that achieves that can be called music” can be made, albeit with caution. On the other hand, that would rule out music which uses words to accentuate meaning, which would rule out music which uses words in the “opposite direction” the music is moving in to give a different meaning altogether.
Since conventional musical concepts change all the time, and as the years go by we try to compose simpler and even minimal music, the same question arises, “What is Music?” And since music has taken various forms and obeyed a variety of “rules” over time, what makes noise not being music?
Onwards to your second album which you are currently working on. How exactly does it differentiate both musically and thematically from the first album?
I would rather not comment directly on it yet. I will only say that it will be slightly more complex, more saturated, and will carry even more pictures for the mind’s eye than the debut.
If the debut was more of a “compilation” of various styles expressing one specific state of mind, the follow-up builds on that by taking various points and sculpting them into something more easily identifiable.
Accurst will follow a three-album cycle as mentioned on your website.
Could you elaborate more on the central themes underlying each album and how exactly they interconnect with each other?
The first album is supposed to represent the Primal Stage of humanity, or the first conscious years of an individual; the aural embodiment (if that oxymoron is possible) of the anxiety, the constant doubting, and the incessant fear gnawing at our psyche.
The second album is supposed to represent the Cerebral Stage of humanity, or the development stage of an individual, using the same theme as in the first album yet placed in a more ratiocinative and intelligent context.
Finally, the third album which is to be recorded in the near future, is supposed to represent the Modern, and consequently the Post-modern Stage of humanity, or the apogee, subsequently the decline of, and finally the deterioration of an individual; using the same theme as in the first album yet placed in a more structural, mechanistic, and philosophical context.
You describe the third album as being in a more "structural, mechanistic, and philosophical context".
By "mechanistic" do you mean that the album will attain a more impersonal outcome straying far from the first one’s primal intimacy or is it something else?
Taking under consideration that the third album will incorporate a post-modern style infused into a Wundtian type of structural psychology in conjunction to anthropic mechanism, I would assume that it would be far from impersonal. It would rather be more intense than the previous two albums, and maybe even incoherent to some.
It will be an attempt to ‘destroy’ the second album’s more cerebral approach (sound-wise), and therefore closing the circle.
How exactly would you describe this thematic circle as you portray it?
Bearing in mind that the first album is somewhat ‘crude’ in its form as it has been described above, with the second album being more ‘mature’ on the surface, and maybe even, dare I say, delicate in the way it portrays the subject, as if it has evolved into something more complex; the third album will be tearing apart any progress made as in using the knowledge one has acquired through such a journey in reverse therefore returning to another ‘primal stage’ yet in a more cerebral and at the same time ironic style.
Obviously, Accurst is a one-man project but are you considering any 'guest' appearances on any future releases?
It’s not an idea I rule out, so the answer to this is a simple maybe.
Coming from a musically stagnant scene such as the Cypriot one, something as obscure as dark ambient will certainly raise an eyebrow or two. Was there a significant response from the Cypriot audience?
Taking under consideration that this kind of work is not conventional music, and how Cyprus is mainly a Lilliputian conservative society, it would come as a surprise if there were any sort of response from the Cypriot audience.
What exactly is the Serpene Heli Collective that Accurst seem to be in direct relation to?
The collective is an organization of people who support and promote unsigned bands (including our own).
We have been active since roughly about 1999, and even though we started as a music organization (and seem to be limited only to that on the internet), we have plans of expanding in the future to something which embraces other forms of artistic expression as well.
Ok I guess this pretty much wraps it up, Adon. All the best to Accurst; the last words belong to you.
If interested please visit our website at this address http://www.serpenehelimusic.com/ for more information on the Sérpéné Héli Music Collective, or http://www.serpenehelimusic.com/accurst/ for more information on Accurst.
Links of interest:
Serpene Heli Collective