Pictures speak louder than words in conveying Nikolas’s 3 June 2017 lecture on Sonic Magic, held at Leipzig’s Black Whitsun event in conjunction with his WGT concert. If you were there that afternoon, you may well find yourself immortalized below. Thanks to Heathen Rae, Monopol Gallery, Ronny Light, Laetitia Mantis and the others who contributed photos to this gallery. CLICK on photo to see larger image, – ADMIN NSHQ
CASPAR DAVID FRIEDRICH FRIEDHOF
The Black Whitsun event also featured a 3-D recreation of a cemetery scene of German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich created by Dresden artist Vinsterwan.
On June 3, 2017, the day after his WGT concert at the Volkspalast, Nikolas gave a lecture entitled Sonic Magic In Theory & Praxis – A Lecture on Music and Magic at the Black Whitsun event hosted by Monopol Leipzig. For those of you were not there, we have translated this perceptive review by Der schwarze Planet’s Shan Dark: see original German article herehttp://der-schwarze-planet.de/mein-schreckliches-wgt-2017/
” Maybe a few words in advance to Nikolas Schreck and to his background for this lecture. You can find more about him in this very readable portrait (in German – here you also learn why an ear is missing) http://www.evolver.at/stories/Nikolas_Schreck_Portraet_01_1592014 . Nikolas has always been a very spiritual person who moved in pagan satanic circles during the ’80s, and during the Satanic Panic, with his wife, Zeena Schreck, daughter of Anton La Vey, defended the freedom of religious faith against the Christian-inspired media theories in the USA. After spending years in the depths of ritual-diabolic occultism, he and Zeena realized that there is much better in life than to be absorbed by destructive, negative powers. Since 2003 he is now a practicing tantric Buddhist. In this current of Buddhism, magic is not necessarily associated with a ritual, but rather a deeply conscious everyday occurrence.
”Magic is a very pragmatic and practical thing.”
Nikolas Schreck began his lecture in a humorously pragmatic manner, saying:”First sonic magic is: we will see if the microphone works.” It worked.
Sonic Magic – „Akustische Magie“ – what did it mean?
First of all Nikolas made it clear that a sound is only an expression of silence. Every sound is, so to speak, a proof for the silence.
”Sound only exists as a manifestation in silence.”
Then, right at the beginning, he asked us to observe three minutes of silence. That’s quite a long time. And the silence was not necessarily “silence”, because different sounds flowed from the outside or they could only be perceived in the silence of the room.. Just like the zoom drive-in noise of my camera, which makes a hellish noise when surrounded by silence. After these 3 minutes, which we all experienced differently, Nikolas Schreck asked us what we felt or noticed. I found one listener’s answer very apt: silence is also only a sound (like other noises).
Nikolas recommended to us for the WGT that we should more often listen and consciously perceive the silence in between the sounds in the songs being played, between the pieces and in different locations. That became a buzzword between email@example.com and me, especially in the case of noisy Elektro stuff: “You have to listen to the silence.” Is not easy, but in itself a good practical tip that helps us sharpen the awareness of sounds.
”With every sound you pay attention to you, you change your consciousness.”
”Language is a system of music. It would be only sounds if you do not understand the language. Then it’s just like music to you.”
According to Nikolas, every human being practices acoustic magic every day, in that we all communicate with internal or external sounds (with ourselves or others) or when playing music. But only very few are aware of the associated magical powers involved with this process. Most of us walk through the world like sleepwalkers. I fully share this view with regard to the consciousness of many people regarding themselves. They live, we sleep – so to speak …
‘‘Most artists in ritual or esoteric music are just like children playing house, but they do not make magic happen, they only use magic as decoration.”
Blunt words, but I can also agree with that. Many bands simply set up a “mask”, giving themselves an image to please the public or because it is expected in a certain audience target group. Or because it is “evil”. It does not come from within, it is not an expression of their inner selves. Then it would sound different, possibly more intense, maladjusted, dissonant. There was also a cool practical sound exercise with two people from the audience, who let us bravely listen to their interior (I found that great!).
Nikolas Schreck ended with 3 recommendations to discover our sonic magic:
If you believe in gods and work with them so you are oriented towards them, feel their power, your magic will be 3,000x more effective because they have already reached a state that we are still looking for. (This is not the best tip for atheists like me �� but I can understand it.)
Drugs, Nikolas said, are more of an obstacle than a tool. They can help to penetrate certain spheres and thus to expand the state of consciousness, but in case of constant / too frequent use they lead rather to anesthesia and blockade of your own creation. (My personal comment: F ** k Drugs!)
Nikolas also recommended: To be yourself, not to copy the magic of someone else, but to discover your own magic. (I do not copy anyway, but to discover my own magic – I am still working on it.)
On the last point, for whose explanation Nikolas Schreck turned to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album by the Beatles as an example, on which they portrayed Aleister Crowley he came to speak of Satan. Nikolas, and you can believe him without doubt, since he has dealt extensively and intensively with Satan, denounced Satan as a “lawyer of God,” as his representative assigned to test people to make them believe in the Abrahamic God . I always say that the devil and God are part of the same faith (system), they can not be separated. To believe in the devil, one must also believe in God.
To think that paying homage to the devil somehow harms Christians or others, therefore makes no sense. It would be like worshiping Mars for a love charm and not Venus. Nikolas’s next example was even more practical: Satanism is like you want to order a pizza and you indiscriminately call anyone from the phone book (the man does not really do much on the internet, I think :)). The probability of getting a pizza delivered is extremely low. Sorry, wrong number!
I’d say there’s not much left of the old occultist in Nikolas. Perhaps a bit of a pity, because the gloomy / Abysmal/ Diabolic does exude a certain fascination. But he remains just as interesting, only in another way.. I think, however, that these new topics need a certain maturity. I do not know if I had personally found it as useful 5 years ago. As one girlfriend of mind said: the session has given her strength. It did us good. We felt magically excited.
Afterwards, Nikolas Schreck gave autograms on the upper floor (as a precaution, we had taken a few RW recordings for signing) and I took the opportunity to talk briefly with him about Bruce Lee’s philosophy (of which I am very impressed since this year and which Nikolas Schreck’s words often reminded me of) … �� I very much hope that he and his band return to perform and that he gives another lecture soon at WGT.”
Thanks to Shan Dark for permission to reprint her article and photos.
Nikolas and his band's performance one month ago today was singled out as one of the ''Best Concerts at WGT 2017'' by Shan Dark of DER SCHWARZE PLANETin her article ''Mein SCHRECKliches WGT 2017''. For those who don't read German,we translated some excerpts into English for you:
''On Friday, a long-awaited concert: Nikolas Schreck, the former founder and singer of the band Radio Werewolf (1984-92). I stumbled over Radio Werewolf's genius piece "Buried Alive" about 10 years ago and then got stuck on the band. In 2015, Zeena Schreck had already performed at the WGT with a "Tantric Ritual Performance" ... Now, then, Nikolas Schreck. I really did not expect to see him or Radio Werewolf songs live on stage. It was like a resurrection! I THANK the WGT Organizing Team for booking him. Nikolas Schreck joked onstage that he thought after the booking at the WGT, the abbreviation stood for "World Golfing Tournament". Somehow I like Nikolas's humor!Nikolas Schreck, a Buddhist since the end of the 1990s, stood barefoot on the stage in an I-do-not-what-to-call-it Buddhist (?) robe. It was a refreshingly different appearance. Just like the concert, which covered a musically very wide range from old Radio Werewolf pieces (very Goth!) to orientally influenced and ritually atmospheric pieces to a song which seems to me almost a Harlem Blues accompanied on the electric piano. Along with, Nikolas's magic gestures, it was simply never boring to watch him. And I think that every one of his gestures, every pointed finger or hand position was deliberate … It's very unusual and honestly said also somewhat creepy how in this manner he ''attracts'' the audience, drawing them in to his spell. Mr. Schreck is a phenomenon with strong charisma that one must somehow be up to. Some songs were from the upcoming album, on which the Nikolas Schreck band is currently working. Nikolas has three very good musicians at the start, I was particularly impressed by Drummer & Percussionist Heathen Rae - really very cool performance! Last but not least: I thank Nikolas for the performance of "Buried Alive" live - it made my day! This old piece was so authentic, with gothic-theatrical gestures as it was done at the time. ... I am glad that no modified, "modernized" version was played, but everything just as I know and love.It was a terrific concert - it touched me and made me happy. In itsmanner and style incomparable with everything else on the WGT 2017 and one of my highlights of this WGT. ... I hope very much that he will be back at WGT with his band soon.''
To read full Report in German
We are very pleased to announce that on the day after his Friday June 2 concert at WGT Leipzig, Nikolas Schreck will be part of the BLACK WHITSUN https://www.black-whitsun.com/deutsch-1/programm/samstag-03-06-2017/event in Leipzig with a lecture about Sonic Magic. Make sure to visit us at WGT Saturday, 3 June, 2pm at the MONOPOL Leipzig, Haferkornstr. 15. After his talk, there will be also the possibility to buy some merch and have it autographed by Nikolas.
Sonic Magic In Theory & Praxis
A Lecture on Music and Magic
Acclaimed by Evolver magazine as “schon zu Lebzeiten eine Legende”, the American singer-songwriter, author and film-maker Nikolas Schreck’s initiatory application of music, ritual and theater formally began in 1984 when he returned to the West from a life-changing spiritual pilgrimage in Egypt to found the shapeshifting musical ensemble Radio Werewolf, a nine-year sonic magic operation which concluded in 1993. After pioneering early Los Angeles Gothic and deathrock with the band’s first incarnation, Radio Werewolf’s European phase was hailed by Christopher Walton of the band Endura for “simultaneously pre-empting and giving birth to the dark-ambient and ritual-industrial scene of the 1990’s.” Before embarking on his current solo career, Schreck has previously collaborated musically with Zeena, John Murphy, Death in June, Non, Kingdom of Heaven and Sir Christopher Lee, whose first album he produced. In this exclusive teaching held in conjunction with his concert at WGT, Nikolas will speak on the mystical art of applying ritual magic, consciousness alteration and spiritual initiation to music.
Music has always played an important part in the world’s magical and mystical traditions. The lost legacies of the Bard, the Troubadour and the Shaman were based on the sacred power of the vibrations of song to transform, ennoble, and heal consciousness. In this teaching, Nikolas Schreck draws on over 30 years of experience as a sonic magician to offer you practical instruction in methods and skills designed to empower your own musical creations with spiritual depth and power, while also illuminating the function of sonic magic for the listener. Participants will be taught how to apply techniques integrating the process of spiritual development into all aspects of music as an initiatory medium. Special concerns of both advanced and beginner musician-initiates, such as inspiration, live performance, stage presence, stamina, and establishing the discipline to complete projects is provided from an initiatory perspective. The techniques Nikolas teaches in this course enable musicians and practitioners from any background to enhance their work with new spiritual significance and expand the consciousness of both creator and listener. https://www.black-whitsun.com/deutsch-1/programm/text-nikolas-schreck-deutsch/
40 years ago today, on March 18, 1977, Iggy Pop’s first solo album The Idiot was released. From the moment I gazed upon its stark monochrome cover in the racks of the long-gone Tower Records on Sunset Strip on the day of its release, that recording cast a spell on me that endures to this day, and profoundly influenced my music. To celebrate the anniversary of Mr. Pop’s powerful solo debut, this slightly abridged sneak preview from my forthcoming memoir, a work in progress:
In March of ’77, in the wake of my still ongoing Low high, the long vanished Iggy Pop returned from the realm of the living dead with his bleak comeback solo album, The Idiot.
Even if they were too heavy on electric guitar for me, some of Pop’s weirder and moodier work with the Stooges had a certain undeniable, well, raw power, that spoke to me. But this new slice of jaunty gloom and doom was a beast of a different color altogether.
Essentially a Bowie album with Iggy on vocals, it was drenched in the same sinister electronic sludge and harsh menacing ambiance I so loved in Low, only grittier and meaner. As cold as most of Low‘s music was, it hinted that some human warmth, however damaged, might survive in the bleak tomorrow that was surely coming. The Idiot‘s dehumanized jaded vocals and broken down robotics had much worse news to impart: the mass produced future the 80s would bring wouldn’t work at all.
In 1977, nobody else was singing, as Iggy did, about ”Talkin’ with Dracula and his crew” let alone having ”Visions of swastikas in my head and plans for everyone.” Lyrical themes guaranteed to sink their fangs as firmly into my adolescent influence artery as Low had in January, and as Kraftwerk’s Tran-Europe Express would a little later in that very same memorable March.
The Idiot’s proud advertisement of its spawning in haunted and walled West Berlin’s Hansa Studios only added to its appeal to me. I recognized the name Hansa from another much-played soundscape recorded in Berlin, the previous year’s Tangerine Dream disc Stratosfear.
The 1920s mythos of sexually depraved anything goes doomed and decadent Berlin cast its powerful spell on me since my childhood. Marlene Dietrich’s many bittersweet songs dedicated to the city of her birth were never far from my turntable, along with the Brecht/Weill modernist operas which provided part of the Weimar Republic’s soundtrack. The city’s particular mood of nightmare angst preserved in the UFA films of the 20s and early 30s had long since shaped my sense of aesthetics. Dr. Mabuse, M, and the Blue Angel were central cultural touchstones. Influences incarnated earlier that semester when I played Cabaret’s sinister nightclub Master of Ceremonies in drama class.
That heady backdrop helped me imagine Iggy crooning his disaffected dirges in an artfully monochrome fantasy West Berlin I created in my mind. A desolate war-scorched ruin as grainy gray and cold as the album cover’s color scheme. The grim city I invented appealed to my morbidity as the polar opposite of the sunny and vacuous ”have a nice day” L.A. I detested. I liked to think I could see an echo of the anguished Expressionist spirit of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari‘s Cesare the somnambulist in Iggy’s stylized pose on the cover.
Through some glitch in my unformed adolescent brain, until The Idiot fell into my hands, I conceived of the Berlin whose cultural legacy so bewitched me as being as lost as Atlantis. An urban void erased from time and space in 1945, no more worthy of visiting than a parking lot where once stood a razed palace. In 1977, Germany’s ghostly former capital wasn’t hip or trendy in the least. It was a nearly forgotten backwater, save when it showed up as the uninviting setting for the previous decade’s already dated Cold War thrillers.
I’d already worn out the grooves of Lou Reed’s album Berlin, which certainly made an impression too. But it was the fact that Pop’s music was actually recorded there that got me thinking about Berlin as a tangible locale where innovative art was still being created by the last of the bohemians. The Idiot, which I’ve always seen as the unfairly unacknowledged missing part of what should really be remembered as Bowie’s Berlin Quartet was probably the first consciously noticed catalyst drawing me to the city I’d end up spending more of my life in than any other.
I say ”conscious”, because deeper psychic deposits would later be stirred suggesting that this music and its associations only reawakened some pre-existing karmic connection between my mindstream and Berlin.
Some years later, I learned that Pop and Bowie had only briefly visited Berlin when they recorded The Idiot in 1976. So my fantasy of a ”real Berlin” which the album triggered in me was itself only based on the shaky ground of their fantasies of a mythic metropolis they barely knew. But that’s okay. I’d discover that Berlin doesn’t really exist anyway.
Much of The Idiot, like Low before it, was actually recorded in the Chateau d’Herouville near Paris. But we’re dealing here with the potent effect of myth to move the adolescent imagination, not anything so prosaic and ambiguous as fact. Worth noting but rarely mentioned: parts of the haunting Low and The Idiot were recorded in a studio famously rumored to be literally haunted.
I have mostly refused to interpret my music, preferring to allow listeners to come to their own conclusions. This has inevitably sparked some confusion. Despite several recent interviews I’ve granted detailing my apolitical stance, I notice that the current atmosphere of divisive partisan dualism has led some to again project erroneous worldly political conceptions on my work. As clarification, perhaps it will be instructive to cite this Open Letter that Zeena and I released in June 1991 under the auspices of Radio Werewolf via Gymnastic Records, the record label who released our albums at that time. While the Radio Werewolf Operation ceased in 1993, the following statement still accurately represents my point of view:
“As there has been so much unfounded and misinformed controversy over Radio Werewolf‘s supposed ‘political’ beliefs, allow this statement to clearly present our personal opinion. Radio Werewolf is against all forms of politics, right, left, or middle. Politics has absolutely nothing to do with our music! Politics is the concern of the small-minded masses, who cannot see the greater artistic picture we present. Politics of any kind we find boring, monotonous and totally lacking in importance. We a re against all forms of mass control, censorship, mindless conformism, economic and banking exploitation (which is the root of all politics) Our vision of human potential goes much higher than the restrictions of social and political issues can ever hope to contain. Our only social concern is for the welfare of the environment, threatened by capitalist corporations. The world of money, politics, ideology seems meaningless and empty to us, compared to the disastrous environmental situation our planet is in, as well as the endangerment and extinction of millions of animal species by a truly destructive humanity. We consider ourselves artists first and foremost, and refuse the glib name-calling and rumor-mongering the so-called ‘media’ has used to sell magazines at our expense. RW, June 1991″
Celebrate International Women’s Day with the official film of NIKOLAS SCHRECK’s 2014 sonic magic concert “In Her Thrall: Evokation des Ewig-Weiblichen” paying tribute to some of his most inspirational female singers, including NICO, MARLENE DIETRICH, DEBBIE HARRY, ZEENA, GRACE SLICK, DANIELLE DAX, AC MARIAS, etc. while casting an eternal musical spell against misogyny. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHKft53rJzI
Pictured above, Nikolas performing “In Her Thrall: Evokation des Ewig-Weiblichen” in Dresden. Photo by Andreas Kah.
One of the greatest drummers ever, the percussion engineer who invented the Motorik beat with Can and broke the Anglo-American music monopoly, light years ahead of his time. OM AMI DEWA HRI! NS
Jaki Liebezeit of Can
“This is the first time you hear some music which does not come from the United States.’ It was more European-based, I think. … It was not a typical American music anymore. I was very much interested in another way to play music and then I started to give up the traditional jazz and rock drumkit. I changed it to something else in a new configuration and also with a different drum technique. – Jaki Liebezeit”
Twenty-five years ago today, Radio Werewolf ceremonially concluded the public performance aspect of its sonic-magic cycle with The Zürich Experiment, held at the historic Kaufleuten concert hall, Zurich, Switzerland at Midnight, December 30, 1991. Pictured below, the poster for the event, and a still from the Zurich Experiment video showing Nikolas, Zeena & RW percussionist Christoph D on stage