Phosphorous Heads

Lit by Atma Anur


I put together a few fragments taken from a recording I made of Atma  walking and talking with a friend in Krakow’s Main Market Square, in 2011. I decided to place them under the heading “A Visionary in His Own words,” as “Take 1,” to which I intend to add further takes in the future, including transcripts of Atma Anur’s interviews for my radio show of last year. These random thoughts on music and life are all meant to shed light onto the overall vision shaped by this great musician over the years. I wish you a pleasant journey towards the light source.


… insights into the human condition, overall, not the personal one, not the one that I am experiencing, not the one that you are experiencing,  but the human condition which, and this is the crux of what I am saying, as humanity understands human condition, just melt away in truth, and of any judgement. It allows us to see each other, and to love and understand each other. Why? Because each of us can more deeply relate to each other… on the most visceral level, to the human experience. […]

… the point is: how do we get past those barriers? because every artists tries to communicate, that’s why we are doing our art. The poet, the songwriter, the painter, the architect, we are all trying to communicate something; sometimes we know what we’re trying to communicate, and sometimes we’re not consciously aware of what we’re trying to communicate, but, still in all, it’s the act of communication, and that communication is the key to open the bridge to the “we” experience, and to the “me” experience. 

The truth of the matter is the “we” experience is what life is. It IS life. Look at the people in here. This is a big “we” experience. Even us, at this table is “we”, but you can expand the perspective to, something like, “Look at all the people in the Rynek,” then expand that to “Look at all these people in Poland,” and then “Look at all these people in Europe.” […]

[ON BEING “not like the others” & “still working on myself”]

… I can really relate to what you’re saying. By the way, a lot of musicians have your same seemingly individual experience. A lot of musicians. No question. You know what’s funny? So it’s like we’re this kind of spirit… in our youth we’re usually outcasts, but we become some of the most important people on earth. So imagine that! Imagine being so in pain, and being so misunderstood…



… I love this quote, “you are a beggar in your own city, but a prophet in foreign lands.” 


… “If you speak for yourself, it’s just an opinion. If someone speaks for you, it becomes the truth.” And advertising does that all the time… In America, advertising is all about “the experts have said,” it’s always like that. “Nine out of ten experts say…,” we didn’t say it, but “nine out of ten experts said…”

It’s the same perspective theory that some live under, that goes something like: I went on YouTube, and I saw a guy who posted a video of himself playing, and he’s got hundreds of thousands of views. In this viewer’s mind, it means that hundreds of thousands of people think that this guy is the most amazing player in the world. That’s what he sees. Apart from the fact that another musician has been in bands for years playing music in front of people, won awards for this music in his country, and had frequent appearances on national television and so on, if this musician has only a few thousand views, the one with hundreds of thousands of views seems to be way better than him. It is just not true, what is better anyway? and how did YouTube views become the plum line? It’s just a fantasy.


… “Everyone is rooting for the second man, the underdog.” Not the first guy. It means that everyone is in favour of, or secretly rooting for, the “number 2” guy, not the “number 1.” Advertising just picks up on that. Every company says, “the reason that we surpass the leading company is…,” “the reason that we are better than the leading company is…,” even if they ARE the leading company, they write those words. In the States, advertising is all about “us against the leading brand,” including if you are the leading brand. […]


… It’s not about egos, it’s not only about shredding. We’re writing beautiful songs, melodies… That’s what’s going on. This is music… not playing. Not someone shredding alone in a room, which is a completely different way of looking at music, more personal and mostly for practice. You asked me about my buddy. Look, the guy is a shredder. He is just a deeply beautiful human being, very humble, very hard-working… an excited person about music, really, at his core. This is where you, and he, and someone like a Jason Becker are the same type of musician.  What I saw in Jason when I met him, was his desire to do something good, and beautiful. He was not thinking about being a huge rock star. The thing about most guys that I want to work with is something I also see in you, that you want to do something that is good, something that brings joy. I look at this and it melts my heart, and, you know, this is the first quality that I am interested in. The first quality in a musician. All the rest comes after that.  

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