Its been a couple of weeks now since the intimate dinner party at Danny Lohner's beautiful castle house. All of those present that have kept in touch have turned into a little IAMX family of fans that shared a very special moment in time. We've all felt the same way about the event: a private party with our music idols in a beautifully decorated castle house. It was magic! I'm so happy I got to make it to the party.
Now, let's talk about the new album. I've been following its progress closely through Pledgemusic for the last ten months. Every little snippet they shared fed the curiosity. It was like following a trail of clues to a super secret treasure, and now the final product is here. Rejoice!
From the start, the intro sets the mood and the mind set for a transcendental sound experience. I love all the dance elements and the vocals. This is an album best enjoyed in low lights with candles, chocolate and wine. It will take you somewhere. Of course, nothing wrong with listening to it in the car on your drive to and from work, or while you are in the actual process of working. I've given it a test drive at work, and love it!
Metanoia offers some of IAMX’s most personal and expressive music to date. The first new IAMX release in two and a half years, it’s largely the product of a challenging, often harrowing period during which Corner battled, and ultimately prevailed over, a variety of personal demons that caused him to reexamine his personal and artistic priorities—and to briefly consider abandoning music altogether.
“It was a combination of despair and depression and insomnia, and it was very difficult,” Corner explains, “It took me a long time to get through it, but I learned a lot about myself, and I developed a new set of mental tools that allowed me to survive.”
“For about a year, I really thought that music was one of the things that was hurting me psychologically,” he continues. “I went through a lot of therapy, and eventually I realized that it’s all down to my own choices. And I realized that it wasn’t the music that was hurting me, it was just that I had to reprogram myself to approach things in a different way, and it became very clear to me that I still wanted to make music more than ever.”
Corner emerged from this period of intense self-examination with a new attitude towards his role as a musician and artist. He also relocated from Berlin, which had served as the London native’s base since 2008, to the sunnier environs of Los Angeles. The change of scene, and the artist’s renewed enthusiasm, are reflected throughout Metanoia.
As Metanoia demonstrates, Chris Corner has emerged from his personal travails with a renewed sense of musical purpose.
“Making this record has given me a lot of confidence and strength,” he says, adding, “I’m seeing things really clearly now. I see how music nourishes me, and I’ll never let myself forget that. You make your own happiness, and you have to work every day to stay focused on the things that matter.”
—From the IAMX web site
The general consensus of us at the party was that the album was indeed dark, intense and dancey. It's a great 6th piece in the IAMX body of work, and has some elements that I enjoy from Chris Corner's earlier work. This is a beautiful album, a worthwhile listen and an intense personal experience. Metanoia did not disappoint!
The tour is just about to start, and sadly I won't be in town by the time he plays. I'm sure that it will be a lovely experience, and hopefully I can catch videos of his new performances online. For all those that are attending, a treat of an experience awaits! Bring glitter.
I can't encourage you enough to buy a copy and support an artist you'll love. Metanoia has been on repeat ever since I downloaded it this morning. Treasure boxes soon to follow!
Thank you, Chris Corner and all of IAMX!
Photos compliments of the official IAMX social networks and the Pledgemusic site.
Get your own copy for an experience immersed in a lustful dystopian man versus the machine.
Trying to wrap my mind around a night like this is very hard. How is it possible to remember everything? Especially when there were so many intimate and personal moments that lasted only as long as the happening in real time. I’m still so very star struck from these events.
When we got there, Danny Lohner himself opened the for for us and greeted us in. He said, “Oh no, more dark people!!!” We laughed and shook his hand as he let us in. It went totally over my head that he has made remixes to songs that I really enjoy. We felt as if our hearts would be coming out of our throats.
I took only a few more steps before I ran into Rev John, a personal friend that I met since I first moved to Los Angeles. He owns Complex in Glendale. The house was decorated with candles all around. It had deep hues of red on the walls and various curio figures or creepy decorations. To my delight, the bathroom was dark and had some vintage utilities in it. There was a bar in the basement that was also candlelit and decorated with dark embellishments. I wish I had thought to get a photo.
We ran into Janine Gezang, who gave us a hug and asked us about ourselves. She promptly walked us over to Chris Corner to introduce us. My smile was going from ear to ear. I told him it was wonderful to meet him. It's amazing to meet someone you admire and have them be so incredibly humble and attentive to you. He was very curious and he asked us both personal questions, and remained open for us to ask him anything we liked. He also asked us where we were from, and the night flowed from there. Eye contact alone was a huge treat.
I had a few freakout moments, realizing I was at Renholdër’s house with none other than Gary Numan and his family, members of NIN and Skinny Puppy... and of course, all of IAMX. It took a little while to get over the massive internal freakout. How can you be yourself when you're just a normal person around all these people you admire? My hands were shaking, and I was holding cups of IAMX wine. Delicious! It was so good.
Throughout the night we had many chances to get our photos taken with band members. It was hard not to be giddy in such a special event. We had a lovely time, meeting people who flew in from all over the world to meet their idols. One lady was from Berlin and had gone to the very first dinner party in Europe. Her story was lovely.
When we all sat in the living room to listen to the album, some people started to cry. I was busy eating my dinner, but enjoyed the music all the same. At some point, we were all feeling the music so much that we got up and danced to about three songs. I got a video snippet of one of the songs, and I listen to it to take myself back to that special moment.
It was very tense to ask Gary Numan for his photo, but I love his music and I couldn’t fathom passing it up. He really tried to be courteous with us, but I could tell he preferred to be left his privacy. I still can’t believe I met him, though. He’s such a great influence on my life with his beautiful music.
I met a man that flew in from New York from the event, his name is Erik. We talked about Lustmord and underground music. He was nice enough to put me on the guest list for the Front 242 concert. It’s so crazy when you meet people that see the world the same way you do and share your same appreciation for music.
To wind down, we went back to the basement bar to say goodbye to everybody. I saw Chris Corner standing by himself, so I went up for some parting words and a few questions. I first asked which programs he uses. He did confirm he uses Ableton, but he also mentioned Logic. He did say he also likes to work with analog gear.
The second question was more personal. I asked him if he kept a diary and he told me he does writing of what happened during the day. I wish I'd have thought to ask them all more about themselves, but I am of the feeling that people deserve their privacy. That is not something for others to intrude upon.
When I said goodbye, I very timidly asked him for a hug. He hugged me twice, very obliging. I squealed on the inside. All the people that I met were very wonderful, and the house itself was lovely. Walking back down the steps felt like leaving a fantasy behind, the kind that fades away when you wake up and the dream is over. It was very special, I doubt anybody would understand the magic of the party unless they were there.
I am so grateful for this opportunity and so happy that I got to meet not one but two of my favorite musicians. Thank you for reading this and for your interest in sharing memories of a special night.
My friend Tina Constantine aka Lady Nocturne is a Graphic Designer living in Puerto Rico. On her spare time she dreamed up a Zodiac editorial series which I want to share with you. I love how sexy some of these can be while still being classy. Great work! I have some amazingly talented friends!
Aries ★ Taurus ★ Gemini ★ Cancer ★ Leo ★ Virgo ★ Libra
What really impressed me about this spread is that all of my signifiers are present. From the ones I started out with, to the ones I’ve been seeing a lot of lately. I could even spot my card for the Ritual of Triumph I was participating in. Whenever I feel myself falling into a state in which it all feels the same and I start to wonder if the cards I am pulling at the right ones, this is a HUGE confirmation that they are! Super relevant Tarotscope for your host, a Libra.
I have decided to complete one year of horoscopes devoted to each zodiac sign. I offer personalized Annual Review readings at my Samhain Moon Etsy shop. It is a very popular reading on this blog and in my work life, and now I am offering all 12 signs of the zodiac their own loose horoscope calendar to refer to.
LIBRA TAROT HOROSCOPE FOR 2015: ANCIENT ITALIAN TAROT
♡ September. Temperance.A great lesson for the month is to be patient and wait things out. Not everything is instant or produced within the snap of a finger, some processes take time to churn and turn into what we want them to be. It requires concentration, being grounded in the present, even if it is a temporary thing, and feeling. Let your intuition dictate your next few steps, commune with spirit and with the mundane and allow your life be an eclectic mix of magic. And love.
♡ October. Ace of Wands.
Excitement, fire and passion are swirling. You can feel it in the air on your favorite season, causing the hair on your arms to stand on end. Using your acquired wisdom, look to inspire others with your zest for life and your fire. It all come and goes so fast; make sure you’re paying attention!
♡ November. Six of Coins.
Gift giving and gift planning. We’re good at that. We’re also good at being attentive to others and making sure that they find the things they need. We love to spoil our loved ones, to make their lives a little better if we can.
♡ December. King of Cups.
Embrace love and all that it has given you. Send it off with hopes. Be thankful for the time you have had it. This is a very emotional month for you. You’re digging deep into yourself and finding emotions activated that hurt or leave you vulnerable. Accept it, honor it and move on.
♡ January. Queen of Swords.
You start the year off feeling disconnected from others, or perhaps feeling disconnected from yourself. The truth is that you are known for your sharp intellect and being remarkably fast in rearranging your thoughts. Your wording of concepts is unparalleled. You don’t need many justifications to stand up for yourself.
♡ February. The Devil.
It’s a good time to enjoy yourself. Throw care to the wind and focus instead on finding amusement, good parties and enough time to get ready before them. Go all out with extravagant costumes and try to show off the best of what you can do. Take pride in what you do; chances are nobody else does it better!
♡ March. The High Priestess.
Things have died down. Find yourself in long periods of contemplation, with yourself and by yourself. Relish the time that you get to formulate ideas. Seek out a proper moment to inspire yourself and harness your energy into projects that you can keep under control. It’s great to dream, but be mindful to do so within spaces that make your dreams easy enough for you to accomplish. Go get ‘em!
♡ April. Seven of Wands.
There are so many things that you need to tend to. I feel like you’re going off and keeping yourself just above reach so as not to have to do anything. Quit procrastinating! You’ve got such a long to-do list, it’s no wonder you might be running away from it! Try to focus and tend to your things.
♡ May. The Moon.
Inspiration comes at night. You might be living it up so much that you forget you also need time to sleep. Embrace your intuition, the fluidity of it and also its madness. Intuition without harness is the most beautiful thing that there is; it echoes creation. You’ve got amazing dreams… follow them!
♡ June. Queen of Coins.
Pamper yourself. Nurture the aspects of you that are simply begging for more attention. Hop to it! You’ve got so much yet to do. I see this card as one of hard work and yet reaping the benefits of that hard work.
♡ July. The Tower.
Things come tumbling down. Once you clear the rubble and tidy up in your life, you have a clean slate through which to begin anew. Some breakthroughs are hard to shake. You might be going through something this month that really shakes you to your core. Keep going!!
♡ August. Eight of Cups.
I read this as “fuck this, I’m going home.”
Some projects, like habits we no longer wish to keep, just slow us down. If you feel this way, release that which no longer serves you and move on. You don’t need to drag dead weight just because of promises you’ve made for yourself. Move on!
♡ Clarifier. Four of Wands.
This year is centered around grounding yourself and trying to find the niche in which you best fit. Try not to be so concerned with the things that are not working out, focus instead on the aspects of your life that strengthen you and your goals. Work to build something that will enhance your future life.
Fantasy worlds somehow compliment ours with magic and whimsy, even though they are so far removed from our reality. Imagination fuels our life with magic, and certainly with power. That is why I enjoy using fantasy decks, even if some of the elements they show couldn’t possibly happen in reality. Who doesn’t like a good story?
Better yet, the stories we can craft with it are directly related to us. Through these tools we can have fun while we trace connections back from the cards to our personal happenings. I love that about my practice. The craft allows for a wide net of beliefs and tastes, from the whimsical to the serious.
Sometimes, putting off getting a title that you like can be a problem. Especially when they change something about it that happens to be what you like about it the most! That was the case for me with this deck. I put it off for years. One day, I finally decided to get it… and when I did, I found that the card backs that had attracted me to this deck so much were no longer being printed. Instead, they were replaced with something that seemed less appropriate to me. So the search for the elusive purple backs started.
This deck has an Art Nouveau style of illustration with what appears to be watercolor technique applied for color. There are lots of complex decorative motifs framing and otherwise decorating the cards, which I happen to love.
Fanning these cards out is a total delight. I have always been a fan of Lo Scarabeo’s card stock, even though it takes me a little longer to connect with their deck selections for my readings. Truthfully, Lo Scarabeo decks merit sitting with them and meditating on them carefully to be able to truly enjoy the divergence from the traditional Rider-Waite Smith system of reading. I love how they fuse their fantasy theme with traditional tarot meanings to deliver something that is narrative. It gives you a lot to work with in terms of imagination, and of course intuition.
Something that I really like about this deck is how it is centered around dynamic portraiture. It also features a selection of animals, some interacting with the people in the deck. This makes it sing!
The only animal I found by itself is in The Tower, which gives the card a lonely feeling I quite like. It adds to the traditional meaning of the card and will likely point to some subtle hints in future readings.
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
Four of Cups.
Emotional assurance comes from going through the notions and toughing it out. When you are not sure, enlist a friend to help you find your way through the problems. I am such friend, and I will provide moral support and emotional sustenance to anybody enlisting my services. That is my purpose for existence.
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Queen of Cups.
I provide emotional support to those who seek it. You will have tools through which to reflect on your options to find out what is better for you. Life is so much sweeter when you have a caring friend backing you up.
♡ What are your limits?
Page of Swords.
Some messages come fast towards you. Now you see them, now you don’t. You have to be conscious when you are reading; if you are distracted, you won’t be able to keep up. Put your books away, your journal, your pens. All you need is your mind sharpened and the attentiveness to see a reading through in its entirety.
♡ What are you here to teach me?
I am here to teach you to take pride in your craft and your projects. Success comes from believing something so much on the inside that it radiates out of you. Positivity becomes contagious when it is grounded upon reality.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Ten of Swords.
Sacrifice what you know to make room for something new.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Page of Wands.
Passion burns, inspiring all those in sight. A burst of creativity will send you writing long hours into the night! Enjoy the feast that is offered and give thanks for your blessings.
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
Eight of Coins.
Study and practice ensure you go a long way. Enduring long nights of work are a necessity for all of those who are serious about their practice. Doing what you love with diligence will develop the skills you always dream of.
♡ How do you see me?
Knight of Swords.
As a seeker, one who dives into the future with assurance and with sword ready. Your thoughts soar at incredible speeds and make you not only responsive, but also active.
♡ How do you see yourself?
Six of Swords.
I am the assortment of people you encounter along your journey. The animals, the monsters and the helpers all rolled into one. The variety of personalities contained herein are your company for the journey you have embarked on. While your voyages are actually carried out alone, you also have the advantage of having a sidekick.
I really love this deck! The illustrations give me very different interpretations than I am used to. I like the challenge and the personalities coming through in the reading.
I’ve decided to try devoting spaces in my tarot journal to it. A new go-to deck in the future!
Everybody needs role-models, someone to look up to in your industry, or perhaps someone whose work you really admire. I personally love combing through the Internet to discover tarot blogs and online journals. It is very inspiring for me to see what other readers are up to, and how they present their personal worlds of tarot reading.
I can't remember how long ago I stumbled upon Whimsically-Intuitive, but it was love from the moment I saw the delicate and elegant photos evoking a fairy forest tale. Her evocative photos are to die for! I love it when bloggers create a fantasy world for you to retreat to through their photographs. It's almost as if stepping through a portal into a world of magic.
Chan from Whimsically-Intuitive is a tarot reader from the Netherlands who offers very reasonably priced readings with a theme, and with strong intent. Her tarot shop is called Whimsical Woods. She also collects tarot and oracle decks, which gives her blog variety and allows for many people to resonate with. She is very knowledgeable about tarot titles and oracles to pair them with. Her wishlist is amazing!
INTERVIEW WITH CHAN FROM WHIMSICALLY-INTUITIVE:
01. What got you started with tarot?
Honestly? This story goes way back. I grew up in a very open environment. My mother was very much into spirituality and studied Wicca when I was around ten to eleven years old. Naturally a Rider-Waite Smith deck showed up at the house and as the curious little kid I was, I played around with that deck a lot. Honestly, at that time I didn't learn much from it and didn't really bother to do so either. It was just this magical little thing that me and my friends loved to play around with. It gave us a sense of wonder.. and let's not lie about it: A few good scares too! We took everything way too literal. Death card, anyone?
With age, I kind of lost touch with the deck and didn't touch the cards anymore but it somehow did always stay with me. It's like the draw towards Tarot never really left. It only took a really long break. Then a few years ago, one of my friends had taken up Tarot. She did readings for me a lot. That's when I got that feeling back and slowly but surely, I went hunting the internet for my own deck.
02. What would you advise to someone just starting out reading cards?
Just keep going and keep practicing. Tarot knows many ups and downs but don't let it hold you back. There will be days where you don't feel like reaching for your deck. There will be burn-outs and breaks. You can get drained and you will get it wrong sometime. It's all part of the journey, so don't let it discourage you. Don't expect to be a pro right away. These things take time and it's important to not forget that Tarot is something you never stop studying on and learning from. Just keep on going. The rest will come in time.
Another thing that I, personally, find important is to really go with a deck that you feel connected to. Don't just get the Rider-Waite Smith because it's traditional. If you can't connect with it or don't feel a bond at all, it can discourage you so much. Go hunt that perfect deck down! Get drawn to the images. There's so many out there. Live it up!
03. Which decks do you find yourself reaching out for the most?
I have quite a lot of decks right now. It's impossible to stick with just one but I will always have a soft spot for my Joie de Vivre deck and Paulina Tarot by Paulina Cassidy. I started my journey with these two and I feel like these decks and I have this mutual understanding. I still find myself reaching for them the most because I know I can rely on them to do a great job and give me an accurate result. Plus, the artwork is something I can really enjoy.
04. In a reading, how do you approach the cards? How do you translate what they are saying?
That truly depends on what kind of reading I am doing. When I use a spread, I usually connect and tie the dots to the corresponding question for that position. At the end, you can really view the bigger picture that way and create a story. However, sometimes you just don't feel like using a spread at all and just pull the cards. When I go about that, I look at what suit comes up most, what kind of cards, what was the initial question and how do these cards combine together.
It's truly a matter of sensing the vibes they give off and recognizing them. I also find it very important to have information about the issue or question at hand. When you read for yourself you already have that but when you're reading for someone else, the quality of a reading can change so much depending on the querents will to share with you and trust you. Like I said, it really depends on all kinds of factors when approaching the cards.
05. How do you get around particularly difficult cards?
I don't think there really are difficult cards. I feel like it mostly depends on the time you perceive one to be difficult. Sometimes a card will pop up and you'll have no clue how it even applies to what you asked or it'll completely leave you blank. That's what makes a card difficult to me and that changes constantly. Usually when this happens, I leave it alone for awhile. Note them down or keep them on stand to refer to later. You never know when you get that aha-moment. It's also good to spend time with that particular card and try to keep your eye out to what kind of significance it has in your life that moment. Though, that is something I mostly do for daily draws should a blank happen. When it's a full-blown reading, I check the surrounding cards and take note of where the connection to the difficult one lies. Usually that does the trick and gives me clarity on how to continue.
06. What is your idea of THE ONE deck?
I am tempted to say that such a thing doesn't exist! But if I had to pick something, I guess it would be more based on the looks of the deck and not so much symbolism, though it would still follow the RWS system. But nothing gets my intuition working like whimsical imagery. I guess it would be a mix of Tim Burton meets Alice meets Whimsical in an adult-twisted way. I wouldn't just want sweetness in those cards. I would want it to seem sweet but with a dark undertone where they are supposed to be or required to be. I know there are a few decks that come close to this but not quite hit the mark on what my "one" deck would be. Maybe someday I'll have the riches to get one designed! A girl can dream, right?
07. Do you practice any other forms of divination?
Not yet! I do have a few Lenormand decks and I am planning on learning that system sometime in the future. Not right now though, I am still very much hung up on Tarot. I used to work a bit with the pendulum but that never really stayed with me. I think it was too much of the same to really keep grasping my attention. There are some other forms of divination that do really interest me (scrying, bibliomancy etc). Those are something I'll save for when I feel a draw to it. For now, those are just interests.
08. Do you have any advice for readers who plan to or are just now opening reading stores?
One of that hardest things for me was actually opening up the store. I kept waiting for the right time and constantly told myself that that moment would come but it didn't. Truth is that when you're nervous or feel a little scared, a great timing won't be there and won't show up. Sometimes you just got to take that leap of faith, push all your insecurities aside and do the best you can do. Especially if you know, deep in your heart, that you can do it and that you are ready. To be fair though, I had great friends that really did give me that nudge forward. I feel that when you are in the business of Tarot and doing readings, this issue gets a little tougher too. It's not an everyday service and essentially, no one ever stops learning what's in those cards. This can make the process of taking that next big step so much harder than it has to be. So my advice would be to anyone that has been thinking about opening a store or just started out is to not doubt yourself. Do your thing and place trust upon your skills.
09. Out of the services you offer, which one do you feel most speaks about you and shows your creative voice?
I don't think I offer more than most readers honestly! I offer my own spreads and also some of the more known ones. I feel I don't differ much in that from others. However, when it comes to what my readings include, I always do my best to make it a great quality with high quality photographs in a setting that fit the reading that was purchased. A sort of scenery. I take high value in not only giving the clients/querents a great reading but also one that is easy on the eyes. To me, presentation is just as important as the reading itself.
10. Shout out to your friends or sources you admire.
I really want to mention Queen of Chalices and Arcane Mysteries. These two lovely people have really been a source of inspiration, aspiration and goals for me. I've never shared much of my journey in Tarot outside of Tumblr and these two have always encouraged me and supported me in everything I do from the very beginning. Not to mention that they are both amazing readers as well.
Queen of Chalices is very involved in the community and making sure everyone feels welcome and gets noticed. Arcane Mysteries is really a wonderful source for beginner readers and advanced readers alike. From spreads, to tips and tricks, cleansings, superstitions and whatnots. It's all there. If you are planning on joining Tumblr, are on Tumblr or just want a great new place to hop onto every once in a while — Definitely check them out.
There's another person that I do also feel deserves to get known more and that is a another good friend of mine: Nightkunoichi on Tumblr. I really do admire her determination on her journey in the tarot and how much she experiments on that road. It's fun to see and it is definitely inspiring on my own path. Sometimes it's easy to forget that you may mix and match things up and try out new things. I do believe she brings this special urge up in me! So please, definitely do visit her blog.
But honestly, I've build so many friendships along the way. I've found so many great blogs and people I admire that this list could go on forever. I appreciate everyone actually!
Thank you Chan for taking the time to grace us with your thoughts!
If you would like to book a reading with Chan, go to her shop Whimsical Woods.
Please respect Chan's work. Don't use or reproduce any of these images without crediting her for it. While these images are already watermarked, it is important to respect the creative visions of artists you admire.
— Mónica Laura on Monday, August 31, 2015