A Journal Of The Dark Arts
The Gardens And Groves Amidst The Immensity; The Transmission of Lunacy and its Aftermath, by harsh noise artist Princess Haultaine III under their Homeless Princess guise, is comprised of one hefty (and heftily monikred) bleak noise exploration, “I’m a PTSD suffering piece of shit and I don’t deserve your help, yet here I am asking for it.” It’s a mammoth, byzantine 20-minute, 23-second sound poem of yowling static, scraping metal, shattered nerves, disembodied voices, drones, paranoia, and decay.
Princess Haultaine III is a resident of an in-patient PTSD clinic in Denton, TX., out of which their disturbingly honest clamour emanates, as well as their excellent Voidcastle blog. Haultaine III discusses their condition, and their treatment, amidst tons of excellent and interesting harsh noise and extreme music reviews and speculations. I have yet to make my way through all of Voidcastle, so i can’t speak to what the cause of PHIII’s PTSD may be (i seem to recall them being in the military, in some capacity), but taken together, with both words and sounds, the project is an interesting sonic exploration of what happens when a sensitive and artistic person gets exposed and forced to deal with things they shouldn’t.
Whether it’s due to abuse, or seeing extreme violence, or it’s just a lifetime of subtle microaggressions and increasing pressure and tension, many of us feel traumatized. It’s like having a ghost, living inside yr bones, pulling yr strings like a damned demented puppet, as Schulthies comments on. For a lot of us, especially the noise fringe out there, just staying fed and clothed is a total IF, and our livelihood could be yanked away at any second. I have been living at the edge of oblivion, the whole time i’ve been writing this blog, for instance.
Speaking to the origin and impetus behind The Gardens And Groves Amidst The Immensity, Princess Haultaine III says:
“Humanity is a perpetual let down; what can one expect from a virus? I make this fucking art and can’t even make $20 a year off of it. I literally have no income and I am currently in a residential treatment facility for veterans with PTSD, and after I leave here I have no home to go to. If you enjoy my sounds at all, please donate what you can.
This is dedicated to my true friends, and is in protest to this fucked up world.”
Although charity alone is never reason enough to support an artist or enjoy a work, Princess Haultaine III’s entreaty is a too-common cry for far too many experimental musicians out there. It’s a game of diminishing returns, with so many experimental albums hitting the world, each and every day. But Princess Haultaine III’s soundscapes stand alone, on their own, without a backstory. Their tones are lovingly rendered, with burning low end and high-frequencies that pierce but never become grating. Their longform sound sculptures have a sense of narrative to them, as well, like watching some bizarre, surreal arthouse horrorshow.
While it seems that PHIII is almost apologetic for “the transmission of lunacy and its aftermath,” this is a plague of madness that needs to be spread. Princess Haultaine III’s scraping, hissing, drilling cacophany gets inside yr body, inside yr cerebellum, inside yr skin, and makes you FEEL what it’s like to be someone else. PTSD makes you see the world in a distorted funhouse mirror, where every face is a potential enemy, when the bottom could drop at any second and the true, raw, animal violence of reality asserts itself. You are never safe; you are never at home. You can never rest.
Like almost everybody, i’ve been having a hard time, this week, as i’ve discovered Princess Haultaine III. There have been several nights where i’ve sat at a desk, shellshocked, staring out dark windows as insane post-industrial meltdowns blister my consciousness. Sometimes i wonder why i do it to myself, but it truly just comes up. Bleak, unrelenting hnw, in the dead of night – its natural habitat, when the dream factories are all dead, dormant, and un-dreaming.
If you want to see the continued exploration of abnormal psychology (pardon the phrase) and the depths of the human psyche and spirit, you’ll support Princess Haultaine III. And as many artists as you can find like them.
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Tune into every Sunday night/Monday morning for Morningstar: The Light In The Darkness @ Freeform Portland! Exploring the dark side of techno, hip-hop, shoegaze, metal, psych, folk, and soundtrack. You can listen to the archives online at mixcloud.com/for3stpunk.