Sea Changes and Coelacanths: A Young Person’s Guide to John Fahey
The Great Koonaklaster Speaks: A John Fahey Celebration
CREDIT: Graphic design
Since I began working with Table of the Elements I’ve been lucky enough to work on two records for the iconic John Fahey. Sea Changes and Coelacanths: A Young Person’s Guide to John Fahey, is a mammoth of a box set that was released as both a CD and LP and The Great Koonaklaster Speaks: A John Fahey Celebration, an all-star tribute album. Before working on these albums I wasn’t aware of how prolific Fahey was. Not only was he one of the most influential musician and composers of our time but has also reached a near mythical status among his fans.
“John Fahey’s death is shrouded in confusion and camouflage. He is believed to have died in the explosion of a house during the filming of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point in 1969. His remains were never found, and the question remains: did Fahey purposely stage his own death for his own occlusive purposes?
A collusion of folk, blues, ethnic and modern classical methods, Fahey’s music suggests both the trickster and the shaman, and has attracted a cult of musician followers over the years, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. His unsolved disappearance has inspired another cult that worships Count Saint Germain, a Rosicrucian adept who is said to have never died and assumed various identities over the centuries. Disciples of this sect, heard on this record, believe Fahey, “The Great Koonaklaster,” to be the most recent incarnation of Saint Germain. They view Fahey’s music as a synthesis of Saint Germain’s abilities as a classical composer and skills as an alchemist, and have absorbed his guitar style in order to pay homage to him.
There is much to be gleaned from the Koonaklasterians’ rites contained within; whether or not you choose to accept this “Immortal Motherf#cker of the 20th century” as Saint Germain is up to you.”