Soundtrack for a Dark Enlightenment: A Numinous YouTube Playlist

"Searching" by Parée under Creative Commons

“Searching” by Parée under Creative Commons

Thomas Ligotti once spoke of having been subject to a “craving for enlightenment in darkness” that never worked out in real life, but that he channeled into various aspects of his horror stories.

If you, like me, happen to be someone who has shared this craving with Tom, and if by chance you’re searching for some aural accompaniment to take you deeper into the shadowy and mournful soulspace of that dark awakening, then please know that the following playlist is for you. It knits together over two and a half hours of music that has been profoundly meaningful to me personally over a span of years, and that has been involved in various ways with my own authorial and existential explorations of the dark and gloomy route to transcendence. I hope it may prove meaningful to you as well.

N.B., you should wear headphones or earbuds as you listen to these tracks, or else use a speaker system with plenty of bass capability, since that’s the range where much of the texture of this particular music comes through. I put a lot of thought into the order and progression of the different tracks with their specific themes, tones, and moods, the better to create a subtly structured progression through different chambers and modes of unfolding awakening to the inward reality of the mysterium tremendum and the silent, staring void.

Because we engage with this reality from the particular conditioned state of consciousness that we call “the human point of view,” it necessarily and alternately strikes us as threatening, fearsome, exquisitely beautiful, starkly horrifying, unutterably sad, and numinously mesmerizing. Those shadings and more are all represented in this music.

CONTENTS:

  1. “The Host of Seraphim” by Dead Can Dance (6:19)
  2. “Abraham’s Theme” by Vangelis, from the soundtrack for Chariots of Fire (3:18)
  3. “Migrations” by Jocelyn Pook (3:45)
  4. “The Rocket Builder (Io Pan!)” by Jóhann Jóhannsson (6:29)
  5. “Heaven in a Wildflower” by Bill Douglas (4:37)
  6. “Trent Makes the Map” by John Carpenter and Jim Lang, from the soundtrack for In the Mouth of Madness (2:15)
  7. “Blood for Dracula” by Claudio Gizzi, from the soundtrack for Blood for Dracula/Andy Warhol’s Dracula
  8. “Masked Ball” by Jocelyn Pook (6:14)
  9. “Bibo No Aozora” by Ryuichi Sakamoto (7:24)
  10. “Broken Vows / A Prayer Of Kala Rupa / An Daorach Bheag”” by Michael Stearns, from the soundtrack for Baraka (4:43)
  11. “The Cave” by Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman, from the soundtrack for Ravenous (8:00)
  12. “Towards the Within” by Dead Can Dance (7:08)
  13. “Untitled #6 (a.k.a. ‘E-Bow’)” by Sigur Rós (8:50)
  14. “Libera Me” by Elliot Goldenthal, from the soundtrack for Interview with the Vampire (2:52)
  15. “In Doubt” and “A Different Drum” by Peter Gabriel, from Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ (6:14)
  16. “Children” by David Darling (5:53)
  17. “Opium” by Dead Can Dance (5:45)
  18. “Back to the Rivers of Belief: Way to Eternity / Hallelujah / Rivers of Belief” by Enigma (10:33)
  19. “Saveoursoulissa” by Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman, from the soundtrack for Ravenous (8:42)
  20. “The Great God Pan Is Dead” by Jóhann Jóhannsson (4:47)
  21. “Elysium / Honor Him / Now We Are Free” by Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard, and Klaus Badelt, from the soundtrack for Gladiator (8:16)
  22. “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten” by Arvo Pärt (5:09)
  23. “Twilight Twilight Nihil Nihil” by Current93 (8:23)
  24. “Across the Waters” by Byron Metcalf and Mark Seelig with Steve Roach (10:38)
  25. “Patripassian” by Current93, featuring Nick Cave (5:52)

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on August 15, 2013, in Arts & Entertainment, Religion & Philosophy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. LAIBACH

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjsKQ_nAUeU

    From VOLK, meditations on the idea of nationhood and identity

    Dunno if you know this band but you might really dig them

  2. They’ve also done spectacular cover albums and songs like Let It Be by the Beatles

  3. When you listen to Laibach, they elevate your consciousness to a different awareness of humanity. Their goal is to inoculate you through the symptoms of disease.

    Documentary film about this band, done in the total service of the imagery of the band, because they are that kind of a group

  4. http://youtu.be/MedDLPxhe0U

    “They take NATO where NATO refuses to go”

  5. This is my go to piece music for ethereal darkness. Unfortunately I can’t find a video of the Aly Bain version which is what I listen to on CD — he gives it a nice Psycho-meets-Jaws vibe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HUCJ7DYBGg

  6. Another fantastic Slovene band,
    numinous

  7. Devil Doll kind of remind me of Meatloaf crossed with Laibach and Smashing Pumpkins or some weird mix like that. I’ve never heard any other music like that before. The vocalist and composer is eccentric and refuses to create any more music. He signed himself to his own record label without any promotion whatsoever and his music percolated in P2P file sharing online. If he had even offered this music to anyone the biggest record producers would have wanted this guy’s stuff it was so original

    and I don’t understand why there isn’t more music made like this. I really don’t. It’s rock opera crossed with neo classical but really bridges the two brilliantly well

    the production quality is out of this world, the guitar tone is like nothing I’ve heard

  8. I have all this guy’s stuff on CD imported from Italy. and I have the leatherbound Dies Irae box set. and I have a really worn out t shirt

  9. Oh and pipe organ, because, why not!?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL–7DdHJHY

    This album is the most intense thing they’ve done. It’s apparently officially the longest song ever put to one CD. Kind of funny.
    This album is my favourite by them it’s the story of a guy looking back on his life after being buried from inside of his coffin.

    and again, the guitar tone is wicked sick
    but especially on this album

  10. Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ-CdPRcQAA

    Actually had the same producer as Dead Can Dance. This is more dance-clubby . Darkwave .

  11. Lots of great stuff here. I’ve really enjoyed seeing lots of recent crossover enthusiasm between my two great loves: weird dark fiction, and weird dark music. A great example is the upcoming Lustmord & Neurosis concert in connection with the NecronomiCon Providence event.

  12. I was trying to find this documentary about Laibach called Predictions Of Fire the other day. It was a really excellent documentary that you used to be able to find easily on youtube. But now it seems to be have taken down. There is still a lot of Laibach stuff that you can watch on youtube. I found it uploaded to this website though that you can stream.

    http://videa.hu/videok/kreativ/laibach-predictions-of-fire-xvtdK1x3dXuVdi6A

    It has great special effects, using miniatures, and great footage and interviews

  13. It takes a minute or two to load but works.

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