Discussing the birth of Shibalba, collaborations, the role of consciousness and cultures, the shadow-self and Shamanism.
Why Shibalba as a name, and what is behind it?
Shibalba was always a very unique name, besides the obvious mythological and historic meaning of the term. It was not meant to be solely denoting the passage to the underworld of the certain religious context, but overall to create a metaphysical portal to the planes that our Art conjures.
Was there a laid-down concept for how Shibalba would sound like? Or how did Shibalba imagine their sound prior to becoming the entity itself?
The concept is beyond any plan or setting, as our way of creation and summoning the elements that compile our work is not always pre-designed or planned. The general concept is combined with our personal spiritual work; thus, it cannot be easily explained in musical terms with the strict definition of the word, it is a mirroring of soul and will to musical landscapes and pads of atmospheres.
The music enacted as a ritualistic instrument, as well as the paraphernalia used in recording s or live ritual shows, everything serves the purpose of channelling the inner void and conception.
Being totally involved in other projects prior to Shibalba, that marched towards the black metal direction, what provoked the idea of Shibalba?
As it was natural, the several projects within the metal genre were somewhat restricting in terms of musical directions, it is not always easy to express the spiritual energies that are hidden beneath the subconscious using only one or limited elements.
The sound planes of Shibalba passed to us the opportunity to enact multiple sounds and vibrations, the sort of that metal genres would never have been near to accomplish. Of course, the metal genres are still a powerful carry of sentiments and raw energy, one that we still implement in our other projects and bands.
Yet still, Shibalba had to be relentless and spiritually unbound by any means, musically and spiritually. Our Sound is a vessel for the Individual to transform himself into a dreamlike experience.
How does the sound creation process take place for Shibalba members?
It is a synergy of will and inspiration, to be honest, one that cannot be easily translated into words. As stated before, there is no certain plan or prejudice before entering the recording process, just plain motivation and a spiritual impulse that has to be made in flesh and bones, to be given form in mundane, symbolizing non-mundane vibrations.
With that in mind, the recording begins and ends without any certain processing or limitation. The beauty of the experimental genre is that knows no bounds. It is a liberal expression of hidden truths and metaphors.
Live performances are energy demanding, can you mark out the psychological preparation Shibalba undergoes in order to connect their consciousness with the energy vibrations that are accordingly emitted?
Live performances and recording sessions are not very different or separated for us, the way we use to work and create. It is more or less the same levels of energy in terms of demanding and devoting, every act of Shibalba arches toward the inner parts of the soul, whether it is before the audience or before the recording paraphernalia, we are set to channel the forces and give them form.
We are a vessel for the listener to dream behind the skin of matter, above below and beyond.
Our consciousness levels alter themselves as we personally develop and become more aware; what role did consciousness play when it comes to the sound of Shibalba, and did it change over time?
The role of consciousness isn’t always that of alteration, but also that of directing the channeling.
Other times the conscious mind is dulled on purpose, in order to give place to the subconscious to dwell deeper in the psyche, other times the conscious become a brazen shield for the Will to be made manifest.
It balances between the two levels and several lanes of understanding, no less than a boat choosing different ways to navigate the winds of the sea.
How does Shibalba select its collaborations, especially with the wide range of artists on lots of the Shibalba releases?
There is nothing made or decided out of plain rush, or just to make another release. Our collaborators are people or acts/groups that hold much of our respect towards them and vice versa and their vision helps us to create and inspire us to explore the genre deeper, to make new and uncharted sounds and voyages into their ways and them to ours.
Every release is somewhat a new journey, this is our main cause and task when making collaborations. It is also for us a new crossroad of experience to express our Spiritual Empiricism.
What pushed Shibalba towards collaborating once more with Nam-Khar and Alone in The Hollow garden through the releases, Yang Trol Lé and the recently launched Conjuring The Elements?
Some of the tracks were recorded as a “soundtrack”(Digital version) for the visionary Entering The Desert Grimoire by the author Craig Williams, brought to light by Anathema Publishing. For the current digipack edition released by Zazen Sounds, three new rituals were recorded.
They all work as a sonic guide, an audio map through the listener’s own inner desert. Highly recommended for Meditative Rites!
There is a very powerful connection and a strong impulse to create when you notice that certain soundscapes magnetize each, in a way that you are inclined to make more, work more and create more.
It is not an often occasion, rather rare I would say, but on this occasion, we decided to explore this bond deeper and create one more sonic amalgam in this direction.
With Greek roots and very rich civilization and culture, what did that add to Shibalba?
It is not only our Greek roots of both of us that add up to our pool of sentiments and spiritual tools, practical or theoretical that push us forward to create, but our respect for every civilization that holds the keys to reach beyond the sphere of noesis and become one with the other planes.
The Greek culture and ancient civilization hold a major portion of knowledge, one that is mirrored to countless systems and cultures, creating a web of cultural points to be explored. We search for the footprints of the Gods in numerous fields, holing no prejudice, with eyes and hearts open to new discoveries.
There is an obvious ancient Egyptian influence on Shibalba’s release titled Memphitic Invocations, starting from the cover design reaching to the tunes; how and why Egypt, and how difficult was it trying to reflect this connection in sound?
The Egyptian civilization, the cultural resemblance, the infinite strength of the spiritual background and the majestic archetype it offers, could be named as some of the main reasons behind this choice that could be characterized as obvious, but needs to be comprehended, or in order to be fully understood.
Keep in mind that Shibalba is a compilation of many more than what is obviously presented, but still, there is much more to be rooted out, as for us and the listener likewise.
What other cultures or civilizations are Shibalba fascinated with, and why?
As stated before, the cardinal points are our limits, and many times even beyond them. We strive to explore the spiritual and practical potency of every field and culture, as we strongly believe that there is much more to be understood in terms of archetypal knowledge, even to the points that we have already dived into.
Thus, we will be always fascinated by numerous cultural and spiritual paths, seeking the true elements and casting out the delusions that men set sometimes to explain and forgive their ignorance.
On your Bandcamp, it says; “The Mission behind this Esoteric Art is to Guide the Subconscious of the Individual to Dream Beyond the Skin of Matter & to Dream in Ecstasy and Exaltation” – How does your collected consciousness attempt to deliver this through the sound of Shibalba?
Wouldn’t it become an obvious statement if we just declared the mission of Shibalba as a dream within a dream? Shibalba is a Dream and a tool to dream, a path of dream workings and a map to explore the spiritual uncharted with the dreaming elements of the Soul.
The dream as in literal, as in metaphorical and as in metaphysical, would be the perfect determination of our foremost advance in the world colliding planes that Shibalba dwells in.
Has Shibalba recognized its own shadow, and how about its process of integrating it in thy self?
Being a collective arch, the entity of Shibalba has cast many shadows and yet a collective Egregore above all.
We would be very much delusional to state that we have recognized or conquered our shadow, better to say that we still hoarse toward its realization, one step at a time.
Ati Me Peta Babka is a Sumerian phrase that possibly means: Gatekeeper, Open Your Gate for Me. Can you elaborate on this phrase?
And many, many more than that. It is a phrasing and a portal towards all of the above mentioned, a call in the form of conjuring, a mantra to conjure the potential to enter and step behind the veil of perception.
Every mantra implemented makes a map that can be compiled into several maps and similar to the petals of the World formed Lotus that is life and Death.
Kalpamantra described Shibalba as inspired by the shadow-side of existence – How applicable do you see this, if true?
It can be a very good point, one very successful description of the many-faceted personas of the Shibalba collective. The shadow side of the existential journey is a very strong metaphor for the inner journey and the conquest of understanding the hidden layers of perception.
Described as the Shamanic halls of Shibalba, and in the sense of identification, does Shibalba identify themselves as Shamanic, and can you describe your path to this realization?
Shamanism, as well as Typhonian sorcery, Ancient Greek theology, Norse runosophy (runology) and tantric ritualistic tools, as stated, all become one as a form of an archetypal conjecture of power points that serve the purpose of knowledge and understanding.
The shamanic view of spirituality couldn’t be set aside since it has always been a strong force and an inspiration, especially to our dreaming side. Life is an experiment…An Intelligence Test for Those with eyes to see and feel the Potential of scarlet Portals and Rites.
If you would describe Shibalba’s members’ state-of-being pre- and post-the endorsement of Shamanism, how would you express both states in words?
We would not make the differentiation across the ore and post states, as the shamanic states describe a very atavistic part of our work and have always been across the initial stages of our work since the beginning of our personal spiritual work even before Shibalba take form.
Thus, it is not a viable concept to be answered, it is a rather co-existing path.
How does Shamanism influence the sound of Shibalba?
This is a very interesting part, as it has offered not only a spiritual view of our sound but also many different soundscapes, rhythmical and musical patterns and layers to our sound, that we could implement them across our other musical influences, creating a unique opaque of melodies that interact in a new way, similar to the way we intercept the layers of spiritual paths we follow.
“Wherever there is a dragon, there is a treasure” – what treasures have Shibalba members found throughout their spiritual progression after fighting their own dragons?
Such Dragons describe treasures that could not be discussed, rather be expressed. Otherwise, if such treasures could be revealed, they would be guarded by “Dragons”.
TAT TVAM ASI!
What is the self to Shibalba?
The Self is the Key, the core and the center, whereas our rest of the personality is the razor that constantly peels off the outer rims throughout life and its course. The Self is the “cage” that we pursue, a cage that is not imprisoning but rather liberating since the adept finally realizes that the only exit is to dive within and not strive to break through the frail perception of the” cage” that our mortal mind has set. Thus, Self becomes and is becoming, the Key.