iamamiwhoami; sever

4

That’s why I am one and I am many,
I am two, three, I am four
I am honey and jar, I am sun and shade
I am light tear and uncontrolled passion
I am a figment of your imagination

love

sever - (v.t.) 1. To set or keep apart; divide or separate. 2. To cut off (a part) from a whole. 3. To break up (a relationship, for example); dissolve. (v. intr.) 1. To become cut or broken apart. 2. To become separated or divided from each other. Detach, disconnect, part, divide.

Lyrics (approx.):

My look so grand from a distance that you need to touch.
It gives a vision of the simple but it isn’t much.

I won’t be fooled by its touch,
an emotional supply,
The scent of a fail
in heavy love we dry,
The cold and the bare grass
so delicate by one’s eye,
It’s why we can’t ally
and elope tonight.

Almost forgotten the way we used to live for play.
To be accepted, I must blend into convention’s way
and sing the universal ways.

I won’t be fooled by its touch,
an emotional supply,
The scent of a fail
in heavy love we dry,
The cold in the bare grass
so delicate by one’s eye,
it’s why we can’t ally
and elope tonight.

The beginning of the track/video is quite interesting because it reminds me of the wailing part in the In Concert, right before Y, where MO was entering some sort of trance. It’s such a great parallel because it immediately tells me how this woman in sever feels. She’s distraught. She seems sad, anxious, close to being mentally ill. Actually, anxiety and depression were the first things that came into my mind when I first watched it. Her expression depicts a sense of loss and this is beautifully rendered by the lack of make up, clothes and of reference points. Her sight is void, if there’s something she looks at, it’s definitely not something from this world. Her mouth is half open, her lips are sometimes shaky, as if she’s trying to utter something. If there’s something she says, it’s definitely heard only in her mind. Her face is pale and it looks drained, a clear sign of exhaustion (mental), the lack of facial expressions – a sign of apathy, indifference.

There’s also a sense of pride and understanding. She raises both her eyebrows and her chin, pushing her jaw out and she starts nodding her head along the beat, in a disturbing, yet self-comforting ‘alright’. She understands the situation she’s in, she knows there’s now way out of it besides creating another situation, of her own. Because with sever, we’re dealing with two realities again, just like in B: objective and subjective.

While sever could mean so many things, including cutting the umbilical chord of a baby to detach him from his mother, at birth, the predominant feeling I am given by the images in this video is that of being confined, being separated from the outside. I see the verb used in both transitive and intransitive form. The woman is clearly trapped in this flat by someone. And she clearly separated herself from the subjective reality by entering the realm of her own imagination. Signs of separation:  she’s alone in the flat, the flat is empty, no furniture, so she could not use it to escape; lack of freedom, suggested by the antithesis outside (birds flying – flying birds are a sign of freedom and to place their imagery next to the one of the closed blinds is definitely an intention to portray an antithesis destined to enhance the feeling of being separated, confined. If you want, compare this image to the one in ‘kin‘, with the  white sheet of paper enclosed in the announcement box and the flight of the birds outside; trees) – inside (blinds being drawn)/ inwards (she keeps herself away from reality by escaping it via her imagination).

When she starts singing, her face begins to give away feelings. If you want, she looks as if she’s hiding the intention to run. By the way she moves her eyes to the left and right, keeping them down most of the time, she seems to have a secret plan. But where will she run?

The clump of hair is an instrument to me. It’s part of her imagination, of course. She first sits on it, as if on an armchair, playing indifferently with the strands of its hair. When it comes to life, there’s an easiness on MO’s face. It’s almost as if she’s aware of the power her imagination has and she’s sort of unleashing it, releasing it from the grasp of her arm.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this clump of hair stands for. After watching the video for the first time, I thought it stands for her fears, for depression and anxiety themselves. As in at the beginning, she feels fear surrounding her, but doesn’t really sees it; then when she sees it she denies it, thus making it disappear trough the door, but only temporarily, because just when she thinks she’s free of it, it comes behind her and hits her hard, grabbing her in a dance. She first rejects it (pushes it away from her body), but then she learns its steps (dances along), then she acknowledges it (literally embraces it), after which she gently disposes of it (she dances by herself in the end). If so, it’s a nice allegory which depicts the inner fight of a depressive individual.

There’s an unexplained softness characterizing this monster. Apart from its size and lack of human features, it’s quite gentle both in texture and in movements. There are no sudden moves in its kinetics. When it runs, it seems to be flying, when it dances, it flows. It’s quite harmless, even when he jumps at MO and forces her into dancing, he’s still not harming her. He even has one side conversations with her, ha! It’s so like Carol from Where the Wild Things Are!!! MO’s best (imaginary) friend. And there’s the explanation. When one fears a monster/anything, the only way to get over this fear is to portray that monster/anything by diminishing its negative features, thus imagining it as being… well cute and cuddly.

Another approach to Clump is that it stands for the fans, the main argument being once more the lyrics. Of course they could send to us, iam is known for including such references, look at the previous songs and at the interview in Bullett Magazine. But do I think they’re blatantly telling us we’re suffocating them? Not really… First because it wasn’t the case and second because… well they’re releasing a lot of stuff in the immediate future.

Getting back to the video, when Clump raises from the ground and moves away from MO, we can feel a sense of detachment in her gestures. She sees the thing, but refuses to acknowledge it as it is. And this, in my opinion, is the moment she starts imagining. The cardboard boxes in front of her are a representation of her mind/imagination. Remember u-2 and my post CU’s A-LOC – Down the honeycomb and back ? That’s what he was doing, he was hallucinating, trapped inside his tormented mind, affected by the mandrake poison. When the boxes dissapear, we’re already in another world.

In this world, the Clump is talking to her, its gestures suggest he might be asking her to do something, or he might be trying to explain something to her, with MO refusing to do it (she nods ‘no’) or maybe negating its existence entirely (she turns her face away from it – ‘no, you’re not here’), hence Clump’s disappearing (for now).

When she sits on the floor and bends forward, it’s like she’s resting a little, overwhelmed by exhaustion. When she tries to move, it’s only a crawl she manages to get. But that’s still good. Notice how she doesn’t look towards the door when she does that. The presence of water in such little quantity is the presence of objective reality influence in subjective reality. Remember she just got out of the tub in reality (wet hair, towel around her body). Water is also a sign of the freedom the initial self had (notice how she touches it, trying to feel it, to move on and in it).

The next images are an example of great video editing. We have this sequence of the camera approaching the door, which creates the illusion that the door approaches MO, as if inviting her to open it and run. Yet she would only give it a look and then turn away. This is her safe place. Her imagination is not a thing to run from. As she moves along the corridor, she feels at ease, she lets her head fall backwards, as if relieved. The only time she seems afraid is when she enters the next room. Again, it’s not this place she fears, but the possibility of this place being invaded. Unaware of the movement taking place behind her, she goes at the window and looks outside, hopeful, placing her hands on her womb. In this world, she would conceive a child and she’d be happy.

Nonetheless, the door knob moves and Clump is back again, literally sneaking, running towards MO, grasping her, almost taking her down. This is the realization of the fact that her dream of happiness could be shattered. The dance that follows is such a beautiful metaphor for embracing your fears. Negating the existence of something does not make that thing go away. Acknowledging its existence and learning about it (she learns the steps of the dance) is the way to overcome it. Hence she becomes free of Clump in the end. Not by negating it, not by killing it, but by dancing it away.

Again… I can’t stay away from the Alraune reference, and I will say that MO looks and acts like Alma Raune, the designated wife, Alraune’s mother, the same one in 20101104 and Clump, artificially inseminated with the semen of a hanged man and kept confined in a white room until she gave birth. Until the child was born, Alma would only think of ways to escape, she refused to talk to her let’s call kidnappers (to me the men in B), looking apathetic and indifferent whenever they tried to calm her down, sometimes would scream and smash things around and she often threatened to commit suicide. One important thing regarding Alma is that she fancied the idea of having a child – this is why she agreed (well… she was tricked into it actually) to be a part of the experiment in the first place -, but she soon finds the truth and she knows she would be set apart from it. This is where the sense of loss comes from.

It’s the cover of sever which prevents me from not mentioning Alraune. You can clearly distinguish a woman’s womb if you look closer. This is still about pregnancy. About a child growing inside.

womb

Since we’ve touched the matter of covers, there’s a new trend of releasing images which, when altered, reveal more than the eye can see. It’s so iamamiwhoami! I love it! There are also other changes regarding the covers. They now lack the ‘to whom it may concern’ tag, which, of course, suggests a sense of belonging now, with iam being signed. The good thing is that sever seems to be the first in another series – recently confirmed by the announcement of the kin album in June aaaaand the release of drops on February 29th (what a convenient day!!!). Speaking of which:

drops cover

drops cover

I am not sure what drops refers at. Due to the fact that it looks more like a plural noun, I am inclined it to consider it as such, meaning drips. I could think of the sandals looking bottles in that futuristic image in Bullet Magazine. They seemed to contain liquid. But the verb to drop sends to abandonment, deterioration and even downfall. Another meaning which would be interesting to consider is that of the drops in music, which describe a section where the music will crescendo to a climax, pause briefly, then resume. So what could it be?

Also, here’s kin 20120611:

Purchase ’sever’ on Amazon
Purchase ’sever’ on iTunes
Purchase ’sever’ on JunoDownload (lossless)

Read 2020k’s audio analysis of ’sever’ here
We’re waiting for the first remixes to emerge, as well as for all beautiful unplugged covers.

Sever cover by Unplugged70:

Inscrutable I

4

An Inscrutable Interview with Iamamiwhoami – bullettmedia.com

I’ve been expecting for an interview with iamamiwhoami for quite a long time now, I even had the intention of posting some questions myself, but something prevented me from doing it. Probably the exact feeling I am having when reading the interview in bullett.

It’s sort of sad that they had to offer these answers. Because they still want to keep their misty auras, hence their answers may look gimmicky. I bet they always hope there’s an easier way towards understanding than explanation itself, but they know they need not kid themselves.

I don’t think there are too many things to say about this interview. I am more excited about the photos accompanying it, they seem to be more revealing and to offer the perspective of many things to come in the future.

This project has chosen not to confirm or comment on the creators’ involvement for the reason of letting their music and film speak for itself.

I suppose that we’ve been told once and for all that they do not wish to confirm or comment upon their physical identities. What’s important is the mentioning of both ‘music’ and ‘film’, which means sound and image are as important in the project and attention should be paid to both.

BULLETT: What is your bounty?
Iamamiwhoami: My mind, my dream that grows inside of me. I’m on a hunt to find the cure.

See, I think she just told us that the journey (hunt) is, or has first started as an inwards journey of self discovery.

Who is the small child you dream of?
Something for us to nurse and grow that thrives from me and you both. Is it a sad, sad sight viewed from afar?

A new old thought, pure, clean, innocent and beautiful as a child. It’s inside of each of us and we should protect it and help it grow unspoiled by any outside influence.

Do you think nature is at all allied with human civilization?
You can either accept or deny the task that has been given you.

It’s a given fact that the best way is communion – you’re born out of it, nature is nourishing you throughout your entire existence and it even accepts you back into it when you die – but you can either accept this or deny it.

Is purity precious to you?
I grow up to be just like that.

It’s funny that ‘purity’ is what iam would like to be defined by, taking into account all those unclean things in the videos. However, didn’t we always know it’s not about filth?

What is your relationship to the earth? To the spiritual world?
It’s where it all began. Who knew what I would turn into?

I definitely see ‘Who knew what I would turn into?’ as possible lyrics for a future track.

Have you fulfilled the circle of life several times?
There’s a hunt. Who’s standing tall? Someone who dares to lose it all.

Someone who dares lose it all, and multiple times. Who’s standing tall? JL on jonnalee.com is standing tall for example. So I guess one circle is definitely fulfilled. The hunt to find a cure is the hunt to find the appropriate art shape that would deliver the cure towards its receivers.

Is this a spiritual journey?
You keep pace.

Yeeees.

Is it important to define a boundary between the immortal soul and the body?
My worst fear is real life. When all this is done we can do the things we said we would.

This sounds so familiar, lol. The immortal soul and the body. Ah, I know… I was talking about it in T, with the Elizabethan collar reference? Alright… so her worst fear is real life, which means she feels comfortable inside this persona. For now.

Are you free?
Until morning forces us to climb back down.

Will nature conquer all?
You and I, we walk about, we know about the hole in the floor. I wanted us to live in times of bliss.

An essential message and a hidden warning. Nothing new. I like ‘the hole in the floor’ thing.

Do you resent science?
They guard their secret with their lives. We raise our children to the beat of its comforting pounding.

Who guards whose secret with whose lives? I could go into conspiracy theories for ages, but I won’t do that.

How did you first learn of your origins?
Sprung from necessity when something changed in you. And the purest of hearts let their spirits be consumed.

This is probably referring at the epiphany every artist has in his life, when an inside change is being produced and he decides to create in a certain way. The act of creation is a consuming process, mostly on a spiritual level. If I were to make an Alraune reference, the last sentence represents the spirit of Alraune consumed by fire.

Do you have the ability to love? If so, were you born with it or was it learned?
As I stay a little while longer I am damaged in the making but I force myself towards departing. I have to be the rascal taking all.

The loveless offspring question. A rascal. A brat, a bully, a domineering person, a charlatan? This sounds like the Alraune type.

Would you ever hang a man just to produce a child?
It’s how it goes.

Do you feel alone in the universe?
The farthest one can come too close.

No. Hopes again these words become new lyrics. I am even imagining the ; john CU approaching the clump MO.

Do you feel that animals are more sympathetic to your predicament than humans?
A heavy sigh then not a sound.

Well I wouldn’t say sympathetic or aware, but given by nature and unspoiled by humane traits.

Do you think you’ll ever be quite understood?
You see the overall of what we are.

That’s cute. So yes.

Would you like to be?
This want is making me soar.

Beautiful! To be. Which is to be born, to become, to exist etc. The road from I to Officinarum.

When you commune with nature, do you trust it?
Weakness, loss, and greed are the proceeds of your reality. Now we built a fort so strong to hold the ashes of your town.

Love how the dichotomy ‘my reality’ – ‘your reality’ is right in your face there. Weakness, loss and greed are things which define the subjective reality and we’ve encountered them in the linked videos of the pre-vids.

Do you seek revenge?
Listen to the words I sing that for this occasion I chose.

In return I’llyou watch it burn… but we will build it back down. So?

Can you be trusted?
You never had a true friend like I. Now I’m granting you all.

Who sent the hair, wood, and coded message to MTV’s James Montgomery?
There was need for a reply.

Teheh, and that wasn’t the answer bullett was expecting. But it’s good to know that it was a reply and not iam’s want to reach MTV for promotion.

What does a cat represent to you? A dog?
A pinion of labors men as capable as trust.

Nice way of describing the mechanics of iamamiwhoami. Hard working people, dedicated and reliable as trust, once gained. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. That’s all.

Do you feel safer in nature or in the anonymity of cyberspace?
This is home. This is wealth. I can watch from a distance with the greatest view.

Why do you communicate with the outside world?
If there’s a want for something new you might find me at the start or where it ends for you. We know about the chance of more.

Why speak in codes?
What is expected, to carry you in my arms?

Because, truth be told, why would anyone question the ways an artist wants to express himself? An artist is not supposed to become an instrument of one’s healing, he’s supposed to find his own cure and share it. As for the one, one’s supposed to maybe empathize with the artist, therefore coming to use the same instrument/cure on himself, by himself, at his own risk.

Are you hesitant to reveal something?
This is the way we do things. Take a bite. Let it sink in for a new beginning.

A continuation of the above idea that this is the way they’re expressing themselves. ‘Take a bite. Let it sink…’ is actually a stimulus, a provocation, if you want, to just try it and experience it. It’s really sad when one rejects something without even trying it.

Do you live in “our” world? Where do you live?
I belong with my self-built grounds. We make a neat and tidy house but the walls keep growing thinner.

Hmmm… An ideal house is trying to be portrayed. Who doesn’t dream of such a thing? Anyway, this is clearly making the difference between artist and persona.

Where is ShootUpTheStation?
Heading home to where days are nights. Now I’m as good as can be.

Dead. Get over it. And don’t worry, I behave now. No more killings. :)

Why bring an outsider into your world to participate?
Who knows my world who shares my view?

To know my world and share my view, of course. It’s what we intend to do with each and every person who takes a bite out of us.

What was his purpose?
His methods were all tried and true.

He was a dependable worker, his methods were tested and proven to be reliable. He was the perfect container to pour our delicious amber in. He did such a great job becoming such a great example.

Who terrifies you the most?
The one molded like she’s shaped in size with anyone.

Death? MANDRAGORA herself?

Do you like men?
Who’s ready to take the fall for it?

I can only think of the fall from the roof top in the last pre-vid right now.

Are you searching for your identity?
Who am I when all I am is your designated wife.

A yes, the one who does the dirty laundry, washing your underpants and socks. There’s definitely a want to become more than a ‘designated wife’. ‘All’ implies boundaries, as in is this ‘all’ I can be? I suppose we’re in to discover more about who she could be in the future. Also, notice the dichotomy ‘designated wife’ vs. ’slut/prostitute’.

Is there anything of greater value than identity?
If my hands weren’t so very sharp. You feel better now?

At the end of it all, in spite of the ambiguity that reeks from this interview, we’ve been clarified some of the lyrics which have been bugging us and we’ve been given a confirmation of continuity.

The three images accompanying the bullett interview belong both to the organic and the inorganic. Two images show MO in nature. They portray her as a ‘designated wife’, as in a woman who keeps her house ‘neat’ and ‘tidy’. She washes white socks in nature’s washing machine and she dries her laundry on a 4 sided (sorry!) clothesline in the forest. Again, it’s the socks and the underwear she’s cleaning. The most ‘dirty’ yet intimate items. I wonder if there’s a direct connection to CU’s clothes in the plastic bag from ; john. There must be. But if she’s the designated wife who keeps her house clean, where is her house? Which are the walls she said were growing thinner and thinner? Could it be nature itself?

The box she’s holding in the second image definitely reminds me of the cardboard box containing strands of Alraune’s hair. But I am so feeling the desire to leave the realms of this story! It must be another gift. And maybe the fact that she’s holding it in front of her womb could symbolize it might be another product coming out of herself. I am curious of this box’s destiny for sure.

That definitely looks like the spring from ; john, only cleaner and more refreshing.

The third image looks more industrial (even though the materials it is made of are far from being that), it reminds me of the clump house/room. If so, is this the tidy house then? MO does seem to be the queen of this house. If you take a closer look at the image, you can clearly see she appears to be holding her T regalia items: the crown, scepter and orb.

In the close up of the image, we notice two plastic bottles containing a liquid. Or is it actually four bottles arranged two by two, liquid dripping from one bottle into another, just like sand in sandals. The image is constructed in such a way that, if reversed, it would portray the same idea, liquid would start dripping again and again and again, never lost, just measuring something.

See the BULLETT Full of Secrets teaser here. It contains more new images of iamamiwhoami.

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