Mozart was treated with a strange mixture of mistrust and fear.
— Bruno Manz, Memoir of a Son and Soldier of the Third Reich
Mozart’s Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C Major is an egregious piece of Age of Enlightenment schmalz. It’s the only misdemeanor The Beloved of God ever committed in his life. Yet it holds a most illustrious place in the annals of psychedelia. The first LSD writing of all time was conceived to the accompaniment of this concerto’s excessive tunefulness.
How’s it possible? The composer himself, had he been acquainted with Albert Hofmann’s “problem child,” would be more puzzled than any of us. The ex-wunderkind of Number 9 Getreidegasse was clearly on nothing resembling an acid trip, good or bad, when, with little thought and less bother, he dashed off the piece at the behest of Adrien-Louis de Bonnières, the Duke of Guînes, one of those eternal moneyed types to whom artists are karma-fucked to owe mortality’s continuance.
Given the most superficial exposure to this flabby and paradoxically unMozartean noise, it’s possible, even for the untrained ear, the barbarous ear, the transfat- and cerumen-compacted auditory meatus, to divine not only the character but the physique of the patron who ordered, though only half paid for, the Flarpathon (as it’s unaffectionately known among musicians). I’ve always wondered, if only fifty percent of the promised fee was forthcoming, which half went unpaid for? The harpist’s part or the flautist’s?
Listen to the Flarpathon’s opening theme as it jiggles like sebaceous cellulite layered in dimples on thighs that prance in gold lame brocade tights. You will synaestheticize with your tympanic eyes someone morbidly obese, yet a bangled dandy for all his surplus avoirdupois. Like so many moneyed walruses, the Duke of Guînes, Adrien-Louis de Bonnières, suffers from a peacock complex proportional to his girth. If he wasn’t costumed like an Eighteenth Century blue-blood, you’d swear Mozart’s stingy patron was a contemporary American.
Though his budgetary concerns denied Mozart much more than two kreutzer to rub together, you’ll be relieved to learn that the Duke of Guînes, Adrien-Louis de Bonnières, was able to muster the wherewithal to have two pairs of breeches tailored for each of his resplendent suits of clothes. Every morning his secretary would scrutinize the schedule and determine if it was to be a stand-up or sit-down day. Tight breeches were prescribed for the former, loose for the latter. A man doesn’t achieve such prosperous proportions without a festering oral fixation. And this douche–excuse me, duke–just happens to have been the flautist in our rudimentary equation. I bet you can guess who was saddled–rather, played the saddle–to the other solo instrument.
It’s likely le duc considered a daughter, like tight breeches, to be nothing more or less than a beautification of his inflated presentation self. Hence his causing Mozart to teach his penis-unencumbered offspring to play a golden instrument possessing more furniture value than musical utility. The daughter of a duke is entitled to be called “Lady” no matter how simian her brow or prognathous her jaw. And, even though she was barely post-pubescent, my Lady is how Mozart was obliged to address the no-talent slag during their private lessons together.
As you suffer through the concerto commissioned as a vehicle for this Oedipal pairing, please wince in sympathy for Mozart. Hear him plumb such abysses of boredom as only rare genius can spelunk, particularly in the Andantino. He never knew the bowels conducted their own peristalsis till this slow torture stopped his. One can just picture the Beloved of God’s guts paralyzing with each delayed twitch of the metronome.
“Girlfriend,” he seems to moan, “you daughter of first cousins, who have taught me the meaning of the phrase hybrid vigor–why are you so sluggishly autoeroticizing this dildo ‘twixt your tween twat? At your age you should be dashing around causing trouble like the Contessa’s naughty chambermaid in the new comic opera which I’d like to get back to work on, if you’ll only die of sudden apoplexy, please, my La-a-a-a-a-ady.”
Nobody with more than subnormal levels of neural organization would come within a single index finger’s width of this glorified egg slicer, this Rube Goldberg maze of pedals and clamps and attenuated strands of feline digestive tract. Anyone with half an eardrum and no financial interest would react like a garlicked Bela Lugosi to its sour mockery of well-temperedness.
These days, when a sharp or a flat is required, the performer’s foot must be stomped on one of seven pedals that peek ever so coquettishly out from amongst the gold leafing at his or her tootsies. But if, like a porn star, you can suppress your autonomic gag reflex, force your mind to feature the following notion: the Eighteenth-Century harp was even more fucked. It could only play sharps, no flats, so the harmonic possibilities were choked like a chicken. Mozart tried to make up for the imposed tedium by jigger-rigging a disproportionately large number of catchy melodic motifs, much like a screenwriter who has access neither to omniscience nor soliloquy to speak of, and must rely on superficial sights and sounds to earn his beans for the day.
Mozart didn’t bother to write any cadenzas for either flute or harp (both of which gizmos he openly loathed and only went near when gulden were promised), so it’s a chance for the performers to kill some paid time without even pretending to make music: lots and lots of random glissandi dignified as “improvised.”
With that sensation in mind, please hear our particular solar system’s very first LSD writing, as inspired by this self-same Concerto for Flute, Harp and agga-blagga-gagga—
A blue plume ascended from the tip of the [incense] stick. He looked at it first with astonishment, then with delight, as if a new power of the eyes had come to him. It revealed itself in the play of this fragrant smoke, which ascended from the slender stick and then branched out into a delicate crown. It was as if his imagination had created it–a pallid web of sea lilies in the depths, that scarcely trembled from the beat of the surf.
That comes from the purplish pen of a war-worshiping hater of democracy and loather of Hebrews, a Mut und Tod cultist, a zillion-times wounded World War One hero and Iron Cross honoree who, though courted slavishly as a national treasure by the Nazis, treated Hitler with disdain and possibly even pitched in on the plot to assassinate him–but only as a tiresome vulgarian upstart.
What does this tell you about psychedelic scribbling? Imagine what could be written by a modest, unintoxicated, pacifistic philosemite listening to an actual symphony.
Hear the remainder of the quotation–
Time was active in this creation–it had circled it, whirled about it, wreathed it, as if imaginary coins rapidly piled up one on top of another. The abundance of space revealed itself in the fiber work, the nerves, which stretched and unfolded in the height, in a vast number of filaments.
So, who do you reckon quilled this great-grampappy of all acid writing, to the lilting strains of earwaxy Q-tip fluff Mozart twiddled with one harmonic hand tied behind his back in return for pocket money that wound up being mostly unforthcoming? None other than Ernst Junger.
He was contacted by Albert Hofmann and recruited to come on over to the house for the “first planned psychedelic test.” The latter was confident that the former, an entheonaut since the early years of the twentieth century, would be persuaded to eat some of the “new phantasticum,” especially if the host promised to put some tunes on the phonograph and gussy up the experience in other ways.
What they dropped wasn’t smeared on squares of blotter paper. Their stuff was, by definition, more than ultra-connoisseur-quality. It was the first hearty burgundy Dionysus ever strained between his toes; it was the original Soma, the good stuff that made for a cleanly and wholesome drunk, before the identity of the secret ingredient was forgotten, and the Rig Vedic Indra could get rat-assed with sublime dignity. (We will soon see the irony of Hofmann’s Vedic phantasticum being wasted on Junger’s post-Vedic nature.)
A trip was prepared to please even the snootiest would-be aristokratisch palate. The arrangement of ambiance was just as impeccable as the chemical constitution of the intoxicant. For all his Blut und Boden blustering against bourgeois complacency, Herr Storm and Steel surrendered his hallucinogenic cherry in comfy-snug conditions. Listen to Hofmann, who sounds like Mark Helprin being interviewed at Salon.com–
We gathered in the fashionable living room, with dark wooden ceiling, white tile fireplace, period furniture, old French engravings on the walls, a gorgeous bouquet of tulips on the table.
Simply gorgeous. No mention is made of flooring, but I feel safe assuming it leaned toward the Persian rug end of the spectrum. As for costume–
Ernst Junger wore a long, broad, dark blue striped kaftan-like garment that he had brought from Egypt. The everyday reality should be laid aside, along with everyday clothing.
You can see how an elegant gold-leaf furniture piece would fit right in. Indeed, I am beginning to wonder if the Duke of Guînes, Adrien-Louis de Bonnières, might have been floating around Hofmann’s parlor in spirit–but not his daughter, for they were also fastidious in their selection of animate accompaniment.
Herr Professor-Doktor Hofmann told any and all screwy broads to vacate the premises before the acid started taking effect. Only one head trip at a time for these brilliant yet narcissistic Aryans, with their low pigmentation egos draped in the sort of post-Prussian brass and bangles that appear so gay to an Anglo Saxon eye such as mine. They preferred no Kali avatar to be present, no yowling Crowleyite crone. Nor was there a beautiful servant girl to flare nostrils over this steamed brain buffet.
Latter Day Saints may funk the hot drink, but not Ernie and Al. “The old chronicles,” explains Hofmann, “described how the Aztecs drank chocolatl before they ate teonanacatl. Thus [my Hausfrau] served us hot chocolate, to set the mood. Then she abandoned the men to their fate.”
So much for four of the five senses. But what condescending conclusions can we draw regarding the tympanic membranes of our two old dope fiends of yesteryear? Maybe none. Perhaps the Flöte- und Harfekonzert was the only phonograph record Hofmann could find around the house with no Jewish involvement. Despite the honored guest’s disdain for unsere israelitische Brüder, that no less fastidious than talented tribe were busy in the fifties, as now, mounting performances of proper Mozart–for example, the Jupiter Symphony (which we will consider presently). Check any number of album notes, keeping in mind what you have learned from the preceding paragraphs, and you will not be astonished at the overwhelmingly goyische personnel on harp records.
These two prepuce-encumbered Schweineschnitzel-eaters listened to the most embarrassing thing any harpist ever did with his or her hands. And, according to the Father of LSD, they “perceived its celestial beauty as heavenly music.” Both Ernie and Al lived into their hundreds. One can only suspect some salubrious quality in such one-hand-tied-behind-the-back Muzak.
And now, if you are ready, let’s elevate ourselves and our discourse. Let’s take a proper jumbo jet to no less a bastion of taste and lawfulness and high old civilization than the glamorous Stauffenberg Castle in scenic Wilflingen. It’s the Deutschland domicile of a family of thirteenth-century-vintage Imperial Knights, not the least of whom is the would-be Hitler-killer portrayed so poignantly by handsome, talented Tom Cruise in the Hollywood blockbuster.
There, if we behave ourselves, we may drop in upon Herren Junger und Hofmann. The former is reciprocating the latter’s earlier invitation, and is hosting a replay of the “first planned psychedelic test.”
Once again, Mozart spirals on the phonographic spindle. But which Mozart? Dare we hope this time to overhear some proper music for a change? As we take our brain-jaunt to the land of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, is it too much to ask that we be allowed to eavesdrop on a composition which redounds not with shame but unparalleled glory upon the composer’s name? Will we be subjected again to the Flarp-Flop? Or will our blood-brain barrier get the boon of a proper symphony? Dare we aspire to be put in mind of this pertinent passage from the Sage Parashara–
…the minds of some who live at the end of Kali Yuga shall be awakened and become as pellucid as crystal.
If anyone who has languished in this long Age of Impurity ever possessed a mind describable as pellucid and crystalline, it is Mozart. But I’m not talking about the bored hireling who piddled the whimpering Flöte- und Harfekonzert. Rather I refer, with hushed reverence, to the Seer-Revelator whose prime prophecy is named after the greatest of gods, who gave the godliest shout between Bach and Beethoven. The symphony I am referring to does the opposite of the Flarp-Flop: brooking few harmonic restraints, out-Baching Bach himself (who exhaled counterpoint like greenhouse gas), it displays crystalline pellucidity of mind unsurpassed in any field of human endeavor, if that’s not too ambitious a claim.
Since, in the subcontinental scheduling scheme, we are talking about hardly imaginable expanses of time, and since the present Kali Yuga has lasted, according to one conservative estimate, more than a myriad of years, it’s axiomatic that Mozart, like us, lived in the tail-end of the End Time. If a clear demonstration of that miserable datum is needed, consider that he composed this particular symphony for a crass casino, got fucked out of the paltry fee, and wound up never hearing it performed. Nevertheless, solely on the basis of an awestricken scan of the score, the impresario was moved to dub it Jupiter, because only the greatest of godly ears could encompass all five voices of the fourth movement’s fugato finale.
We can assume pellucidity of mind was among the goals Ernst Junger hoped to attain via the agency of Hofmann’s new Soma. So, as the acid comes on to our Master Racial entheonauts in the glam Stauffenberg Castle, do you reckon the platter they’re spinning is the Symphony No. 41 in C Major? Or is it the Flab-Fuck after all?
Before you hazard a guess, consider this bit of gossip about a former Great God from beyond the Khyber Pass. In our penultimate age of decay, our gloomy Kali Yuga, when egotism has spread like swinish influenza, Indra, the Hindu Jupiter, is degraded to a sloppy drunkard. But, in the beginning, he was among the doughtiest of the Aryan pantheon. In the Rig Veda his Soma-tripping allegorizes a vigorous, wholesome, pellucid spirituality.
Consider this hint: the Rig Vedic equivalent of the Jupiter Symphony–that is to say, the finest of all hymns to the Hindu Jupiter–was not accompanied by unmanicured nails scratching ditties from a few dozen offscourings of a dead cat’s intestine for the edification of mongrel mlecchas in evening clothes. No, indeed, when the Aryans sang the praises of Indra, a pedigreed Brahman was conscripted to ply a plectrum of the rarest rattan upon a lyre of a hundred strings dextrously spun from blades of karmically impeccable munga grass. And the only caloric intake was of Soma, in a recipe that called for clarified (which is to say pellucid) butter.
What about the recipe for the second “planned psychedelic test”? Was it well-planned as the first? Ernie, who throughout his shrapnel- and bullet-riddled WWI glory days was a big ether and cocaine man, added an ingredient that will not surprise the alert reader with its essential militarism. This old death-worshiping Iron Cross honoree, all jagged and speedy, is a stock character in the rollicking Kali Yuga skit. Who better to stride through the Age of Destruction than Destruction Personified, the Soldier? And here’s the uncannily contemporary-sounding reason Herr Mut und Tod und Blut und Boden gives for stirring in more than a soupcon of speed:
I perceive in our time less of a taste for the phantastica than for the energetica. Amphetamine, which has even been furnished to fliers and other soldiers by the armies, belongs to this group.
Now I’ll give you one more chance to predict this soiree’s musical menu–but only after you’ve heard some of the prose conceived that day in the Stauffenberg Castle–
Now a breath of air affected the vision, and softly twisted it about the shaft like a dancer. He uttered a shout of surprise. The beams and lattices of the wondrous flower wheeled around in new planes, in new fields. Myriads of molecules observed the harmony. Here the laws no longer acted under the veil of appearance; matter was so delicate and weightless that it clearly reflected them. How simple and cogent everything was. The numbers, masses and weights stood out from matter. They cast off the raiments.
Having read that, go ahead and tell me which piece of vinyl was impaled on the gramophone. But keep in mind these lines from the Sage Parashara, regarding the select few at the end of the Kali Yuga, whose minds will become “pellucid as crystal”–
The men who are thus changed…shall be the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws of…the Age of Purity.
Evidently, if that text is to be believed, Mozart’s dharma was to sire a new race. It follows, contrariwise, that, despite his Aryan affectations, the function of Junger, and also of that other stock character in the Kali Yugic skit, Albert Hofmann–dissolver of so many young brains in the late sixties and early seventies (as you may have noticed)–was to hasten the general decline and make room for the Mozartean spawn. Ergo, Mozart is a Vedic artist, Junger a post-Vedic. Psychedelic writing is the current degenerate Indra, pissy drunk, while Mozart is the earlier god, stoned on proper Soma, before the identity of the key ingredient in the lovely milky recipes was forgotten.
The former Indra and his avatars are the proper auditors for the Symphony No. 41 in C Major. So, you were incorrect if that was your answer. Junger’s speedy adulterant explains the Flöte- und Harfekonzert’s presence on the program this time as well. They gave that sad spewing of crap a rerun, eschewing the Jupiter, and not just because of the gentile personnel listed in the album notes. The Flarpathon turns out to be the sort of unkosher decoration with which fascists prefer to bespangle their puffy chests.
Picture this avatar of destruction, pleased with his warlike self, his own Genghis Khannishness, his Mannishness-in-Time (to use Savitri Devi’s terms), his brain-vagina pried open for the first time with history’s freshest batch of LSD. What if he gets suddenly wounded in all his post-Prussian peacock vanity by music which even the Nazis regarded with “mistrust and fear”? Who knows how a man injured umpteen times in WWI and given up for dead at least once, yet ornery enough to live more than a hundred years, would react to such a bum trip? Doilies could fly in that hoity-toity castle. Better stick to the ear tinsel.
So, it turns out there was only one choice of tunes possible. Can you imagine what would have happened if Hofmann, in his quality as deejay for the day, had been courageous enough to spin a Jewish platter? I doubt Junger would have written any brittle bits of relic Romantik, or anything else, for that matter. He would have been flat and unmilitaristically on his ass, on the floor, maybe clinging like a cockroach to the ceiling, questioning his own place in the universal muster, and realizing the mere Kali Yugic functionality of his beloved war.
If he wrote anything at all, it would have been long after the acid wore off, and it might have been astonishing. Note this passage which closes the paragraph:
The pyramids with their weight did not reach up to this revelation. That was Pythagorean luster. No spectacle had ever affected him with such a magic spell. No goddess could inform the initiates more boldly and freely.
Junger’s final denial is an affirmation. Hofmann, who shooed away his Hausfrau after she’d fetched the cocoa, certainly never imagined, in neither a positive or negative way, till his interlocutor broached it, the possibility of such a female presence hovering in the background, ever-present, sharing a shivering common spine, softly turning about the shaft like a dancer, inverted like a female crucifee, the Shakti Avatar Kali, like a beautiful servant girl with flaring nostrils.
But what of sweet old Albert? The alert reader will be no less surprised to hear that, as a result of the speed, Hofmann got fucked with the famous “horror trip,” history’s first bummer, which couldn’t have been less cleanly, poetical or Rig Vedic. Junger’s crank gave birth to LSD’s daddy’s Regan, his Goneril, his Woodstock Brown.
See the gentle Swiss chemist, drowning in the double bummer of high potency uppers and abysmal-quality Mozart. Where did he find his astral self transtemporally plopped? I wonder what unforgettable depths of blood Hofmann saw in his interlocutor’s eyes that stoned day in the Stauffenberg Castle.
When a reporter from the New York Whatever showed up on his hundredth birthday and asked him if his “problem child” had brought him any insights into death, the poor son of a bitch, even at that late date, jumped back in startlement and had nothing to offer in reply. The militaristic amphetamine still scoured those resilient old arteries long after the LSD had settled, impotent as mediocre music, in his body fat.