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Intervista a Van Morrison



Intervista del 1986 del giornalista di Mick Brown a Van Morrison sui significati dell'album “No Guru No Method No Teacher” e sulla teoria e tecnica della meditazione.


L'intervista: prima parte tradotta


MB: Can we talk a little about the latest record? (You hear Van mm hum in the background). The latest Van Morrison record's called No Guru, No Method, No Teacher. What is the meaning behind the title?

... qual è il significato che si nasconde dietro a questo titolo?

VM: Uhm (long pause) Well - its actually in one of the songs. Where there's a song on the album called "In the Garden" where I actually take, uhm, I take you through the meditation program. From about half way through the song until the end.

Effettivamente in una delle canzoni (si parla di meditazione). Nella canzone “In The Garden” io ti conduco verso un programma di meditazione. Questo avviene da circa la metà della canzone sino alla fine.

But I take you through a DEFINITE meditation process. Which is a form of transcendental meditation.

Ma io ti porto dentro un PRECISO processo di meditazione. Che è una forma di meditazione trascendentale.

It’s not TM. So forget about that. That takes you right from the middle to the end.

Non è meditazione trascendentale (piena). Scordatela. Ti conduce giusto dalla metà alla conclusione.

Uhm, and there's some sort of, you know, uhm, (pause) ...what you should have, if you listen to the thing carefully, you should have gotten yourself some sort of tranquillity by the time you get to the end.

Quello che tu dovresti acquisire, se ascolti attentamente, è una sorta di serenità, di pace, quando arrivi alla fine.

So when this happens in the song, I say, "And I turn to you and I said, 'No Guru, No Method, No Teacher. Just you and I and nature, and the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost'".

Così quando questo accade nel pezzo io dico e ripeto “'No Guru, No Method, No Teacher. Just you and I and nature, and the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost”

So really - you have to do the whole line to know what it means. And we were going put the rest [the whole line] on the album.

Così tu hai la corretta interpretazione di quello che significa. E noi possiamo applicarla a tutto l’album.

But we realized that would be too long. But that's the whole thing.

Ma abbiamo capito che sarebbe stato troppo lungo. Ma è questo il concetto completo.

"No Guru, No Method, No Teacher. Just you and I and nature, and the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost". Its the whole thing in a nutshell. Its much longer than THAT.

'No Guru, No Method, No Teacher. Just you and I and nature, and the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost”. É il concetto completo in estrema sintesi. E’ molto più lungo di QUELLO.

So that's what it is saying.

Così questo è quello che viene detto.

And on another level what its says is that... uhm, due to what popular opinion says and all this sort of stuff... uhm,...

E un altro livello … riguarda la pubblica opinione e tutta quella roba

its been implied that I - you know, this guy and that guy and the other organization was my guru.

riguardo il fatto che quello e quell’altro o quell’altra organizzazione erano il mio guru

Uhm, when I don't have, you know when this is saying, well I mean, you know, that's all uhm, speculative uhm, and its not real.

Tu capisci quello che voglio dire, è tutta speculativo, artificioso, non è reale

So you know this is a statement. You know you could call this a press statement.

Così tu sai che questa è una affermazione. È come una dichiarazione alla stampa

Also a press release. You - its making it quite clear that I'm not affiliated with anyone or organization.

È un modo per mettere in chiaro che io non sono iscritto a nessuna organizzazione [probabile riferimento a Scientology o altre sette dispensatrici di filosofie di vita basata su adesione acritica e disciplina] o a nessun maestro

I don't have a guru. I don't have any teacher.

Io non  ho un guru. Io non ho alcun maestro.

And there's no method that I subscribe to.

E non c’è nessuna filosofia di vita che io ho sottoscritto.

And that's really what its saying as well.

E questo è quanto ho detto chiaramente.

So that's what it saying in the song.

Così questo è quello che dico nella canzone.


L'intervista continua, sulla composizione e sulle scelte musicali


MB: So it was rejecting dogma, in a word.

VM: Uhm, you could put it like that. Yeah.

MB: What is shares in common with previous albums is, is the very strong strain of what might be called poetic mysticism. Which is an acknowledgment of the desire for a state of transcendence. Or a yearning for a state of transcendence which has come through in particularly in writings of people like W. B. Yeats and John Donne, Walt Whitman. I wonder do you see your writing as being as much in a literary tradition as in a musical tradition? Or do you share with those writers a sense of, a window through to transcendence if you like.

VM: Well, uhm, well no. I see it more of, more of in a poetic tradition than a writing tradition. Than a literary tradition. I mean that's - I think a literary tradition is got sort of as much dogma attached to it as you know, various other things. But you know I see it more as like an instinctual intuition feeling thing that uhm,... that this is more what I get from these people like Donne, Whitman or something which is about them. They were writing about a sort of definite uhm, you know, states of transcendental mysticism. The best way they knew how. So, this is not to me, literature. This is something else, you know. Its like,...Ah.... (long pause) you know its a way of putting down an experience. But I mean you don't necessarily, uhm, you know it can be in a literate frame work or it can be in a, uh, in any oral framework really I mean. It doesn't - it's not really specific - its not literature as far as I can see. Its more like experiential. Its like trying to come close to, you know, putting down your experience so that somebody can read it an have another experience. I mean to me Blake is not uh... it's not a literary exercise. William Blake for instance. I mean his poems I wouldn't call them literature. I would - I get a direct experience from reading one of his poems. You know, that I wouldn't get from say, from reading something Green, Green or something. So to me its not literature in there.

MB: I wonder if its the same experience you get from hearing the gospel sung by the Clark sisters or hearing a sax quin solo by John Coltrane.

VM: It could be similar but its different. I mean you see there you're getting into different areas but you know. (Long pause). Uhm, I mean its in the same area but its not exactly the same thing, you know what I mean? It all depends who's doing it. And all that kind of thing.

MB: The experience that those kind of writers are defining, that moment that your talking about, is that the point at which a lot of your songs take off from. Do you think?

VM: Actually, I take people through this process in the songs. But the things about is like, it's like, ...., you know it only takes uhm... it only takes about ten minutes to do this process. So then you ask yourself I mean, why, why make albums, why tour? When the whole thing, the whole thing I'm saying, it only takes ten minutes to do it actually. If I can take the people through a meditation process, which is what I'm really about, which is what I'm saying. So, its very difficult to do this. You know, the bigger the audience is, you know then the harder and the more difficult it is to put across what you're doing. Because just in terms of when you got intimacy then you got more of a chance of, you know, taking people through this, experiental, experientally.

Uhm, so this is really it. Uhm, so like, this is what I'm doing in this one song. Uh, "In The Garden" but I used to do that quite a bit you see. Like, but for instance, when I did this in the 60's, we'd get you to a place where there's the meditation part, right, say at the end of "Cypress Avenue" or something, but the whole "Cypress Avenue" was just a build up to bring it to a point where we could go into meditation.

Now, uh, maybe this wasn't explained to people properly. Or maybe if it had been explained to people - But it wasn't that in the air that we could come and say to people, well you know this is - if you mention anything like that - I mean but what actually what really happened was when it got to that point some people got that this was about meditation. And they were willing to receive it and other people thought that this was a chance to say uh,... "Right on" or something. You know? So, it didn't really come across you see. It was just, there was just so much other stuff going on. Politically and uh drug wise and all this that uhm, I mean people, you know couldn't really relate, alot of people on that level for this so that's why uh, you understand that this is very difficult to do this is a situation where its rock and roll because rock and roll is not set up that way. Its set up to do the opposite. It is set up to stimulate. Its got to be very exciting, uhm, all this kind of stuff. Well that's got nothing to do with the meditation process. Which is what I'm about. And what ultimately the songs and every thing else is all about. And that's not what rock and roll is about. So at some point I'll have to make that split from rock and roll you see. Because that's just not what I'm about. Uhm..., does that answer it?

MB: Yes, very much so. I wonder, I mean, do you see live performances as an extension of that then. As, is there a way of doing the same thing on a more....

VM: Yeah, I see it as live performances as an extension of that but what I don't see is that, I mean, you don't have to have an album out to do this. And you don't have to be on the charts, you know? And you don't have to necessarily be famous to do this, you see. So, what I'm talking about is trying to eliminate ALL the bullshit, you know? Because that's all in the way. I mean the fact that, that I can do this you see if I have an album out or something, you know, or I get the right promo or something, you know, it has nothing to do with anything. So, I mean all that, all that stuff is got to be all lot more defined from my situation. At this point. Because, uhm, why should you want to do something like that within this other game? Because that's just uh..., I mean that's just like everything else, I mean thats like uhm... may as well watch MTV.

MB: It like trying to grow a rose in a sewage tip.

VM: Well I mean its not really the market place to do that. You know what I mean? Its not really the-- you know you don't really want to do that in that market place because that's not what that market place is. That market place is fine for THAT. Plenty of people want to see that and jump around, but my thing is that I don't really feel that I should do my thing because if I can come up with another load of songs and another album then uh, that's an excuse to do it. I mean, you know life is happening all year round in every day that we live, 24 hours a day, usually, and meditation is happening more than an album being out and all this kind of stuff. So, uh, that's something I'm working with at the moment . I mean I'm having to struggle with like, Why should I only do my thing, you know when this is happening? You know, when maybe I could do it with a smaller lot of people which is what I really want, smaller lot of people without having to go through this sort of game about playing an album and having to deal with all these other this that detract away from the thing itself. So that's what I'm having to think about now.

MB: So then you think that ultimately music could just fall away... completely?

VM: Well I mean what I have to say is got nothing to do with being on the charts or anything like this, is what I'm saying. You know, so I mean after that it has to break down at some point you see. Because I'm not willing to go through this process just to say whether - cuz I can say what I have to say, like I said, in ten minutes.

(intervista trascritta da Tricia Sonne)

Vedi anche: La discografia di Van Morrison


© Musica & Memoria Novembre 2001


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