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5 Questions to: Colin H. van Eeckhout (CHVE, AMENRA, Church of Ra).

Colin H. van Eeckhout (CHVE) is the founder of the belgian band AMENRA and the art construct named Church of Ra (COR). By his intense soloproject CHVE Colin H. van Eeckhout flanks Church of Ra and enriches thereby their artistically aesthetic.
In addition Colin H. van Eeckhout is also involved into musical projects such as KINGDOM, SEMBLER DEAH, HARLOWE and CAAN.

The music of CHVE is a dark, ritual experience. A revelation. Hypnotic and sacred. A spiritual energy, born at a sea of pain and suffering. A metamorphosis of light and shade.


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Colin H. van Eeckhout. Photographer: Olli Bery (olli-bery.com)


Reset Black: For some of us Church of Ra is just a collective. Consisting of artists completing each other and sharing equal philosophical ideas. For some the inner circle of Church of Ra is a dark sea with majestic bridges leading to the centre named temple of AMEMRA. It is said that each thought falling into the sea becomes a whispering. The more those whisperings spread the louder and more hypnotic it will be. Which of both theories is the best description of Church of Ra and what does the existing of Church of Ra means for you individually?

Colin H. van Eeckhout: COR will never be just a collective, to me. To others maybe. But I have the impression that we are building something bigger, something substantial.

At its origin is AMENRA indeed. And as we were building what some could see as our temple our church, other likeminded people joined us and are still joining us. It saddens me to hear people talk about just a summation of bands. It is about more than that, it’s a bout a moral mindset, an approach to life. That we will never write down. it is open to all interpretation. At is base lies the essence of life, in all it’s glory and Light, and subsequently all its Darkness and misschief.

It is a view, a stance in life, that we try to portray through art instead of scripture or ruling. Sharing experience and wisdom. Beauty within the Ugliness.

Reset Black: The consequent musically development since AMENRA’s brute masterpiece MASS V is leading in your history to 2 extraordinary releases. First there is AMENRA’s unique acoustic album Alive. And next there is the first longplayer RASA from your soloproject CHVE. Especially RASA is a dark, ritual revelation – a sacred oeuvre. It sounds as if deep suffering and infinite pain are transforming into spiritual energy and salvation. What are the reasons to create RASA as intense and gritty? It almost sounds like a broken soul …

Colin H. van Eeckhout: “Reason” it is an abstract force that forces you into creation, I sometimes have ideas or images in my head, that I simply ‘feel’ it is my duty to make it real. Or share it with others. There is no strategic marketing involved, we simply feel ‘we have to’ …

Alive grew out of the pure necessity to document this phase in our existence. We had released an acoustic ep called ‘Afterlife’ in 2009, as a living testament to our children. Acoustic Live shows came more numerous after a few years, and we felt as if we had entered a new chapter in our existence. I truly believe it completes us as a band, the use of ‘less’ volume and more vulnerability of all of us, obliges us to reach out to a new emotional palet that we don’t necessarily use in AMENRA’s heavy form. I believe it enriches us. We tell our story in a different way, as we do with everything art related.

Rasa, came instinctively. I had bought a hurdy gurdy together with Lennart (Amenra, Oathbreaker) and we were looking for ways to incorporate the instrument in AMENRA’s new material. I was the first one to claim the instrument for a while and started experimenting with effects and amps and so forth, everything was new and open, since we don’t really have anyone close to us whom knew the instrument, and how to work around it.

The freedom worked liberatingly well, and pretty soon I had created the first work, Rasa. Only because Mathieu (AMENRA, Syndrome) and Dehn Sora (Treha Sektori, Sdeah) persuaded me in making an actual release out of it, my first solo album was born. But only with lots of help from Dehn, whom gave me confidence and helped me with the producing part.

Rasa, mainly, questions a mans position in life. A father reduced from patriarch to child. Sometimes ideas like that linger inside my head, and instead of losing myself inside my own head, I use the thought and tension, to create music, or make art in general. It got triggered when one of my family members got really sick a couple of years back now, changing the lives from everyone around him.

Reset Black: Contrasting AMENRA and CHVE some things are evident. On the one hand we have this 4 year old, very physical and brute album MASS V – and on the other hand there is these much more fragile and soulful album RASA. Although the differing styles there are lots of linking elements. Both oevres are wafted by a spiritual nebula and become merged by a kind of ethereal affinity. Especially their visual aesthetic is remarkable. Are those works only rhetorical devices to enrich the music by an additional emotional momentum? Or is the idea to come into existence of something "bigger". Further levels and spaces seem to be created …  

Colin H. van Eeckhout: I think I semi answered this question above. :) 

Both really, I like how you refer to the rhetorical nature of it, that is beautifully put. It is actually as simple as that, a lot of the artistic works, be it video or music, where we question ourselves, might not ever need to be answered. It is the process that sometimes enriches us most as human beings.
The visuals and video, are merely additional mediums to tell the story, visualize the sentiment. The moment, I genuinely believe that they make it a more memorable piece of art.

I do believe that all different artistic media combined, make of it a ‘bigger’ creation, a stronger one. We need to take it as far as we humanly can.

No matter what style I will most likely create, it will always be the same story, I am not a man of concepts. I am who I am. I have my life, and I only have my story to tell, no one elses. But maybe if we succeed to stay true to its essence we succeed in making it everyones story. That is what I believe to be its true strength.

Reset Black: Currently you are on tour. Beside Syndrome, a further project from the environment of Church of Ra, you are on stage with the terrific Jozef van Wissem. Quite recently you were live on stage with the legend of neofolk: Death in June. Considering both projects there are very probably similarities. Otherwise CHVE seems to be more free and spread in its musically work. How does this exceptional musical rendezvous happens?  

Colin H. van Eeckhout: Difficult to explain, through our ‘careers’ we simply come across kindred spirits time and time again. I believe there is an unconditional respect between all artists who paved their own (long) paths. And sometimes they cross, it is a beautiful thing really. Be it Douglas or Jozef, I was truly honored to share those moments with them. When there is a connection, you always know new things might come from that. You simply feed off each others inspiration, and come to new ideas way quicker. You learn from each other. Its beautiful really. You learn a lot when on the road.

Reset Black: On november 11 the time has come: Release date of your latest solo album 10910. Attending you are on tour – also in Germany. The official teaser trailer is already awesome. What exactly do we have to expect? A musical continuation of RASA? Or do you break open a completely new room inside the universe of Church of Ra?

Colin H. van Eeckhout: Not yet :) It is indeed a continuation of what I started with Rasa. You see, Rasa was written and then reconstructed in the studio, whereas the studio is a totally different world from ‘a stage’. You simply have more control and a zillion more options, to work with. You can keep on building and there are no restrictions. Whereas live, when on your own. You only have the options you allow yourself to have. So you have to deconstruct again, but always work with that essence.

10910 is a stripped down, honest representation of what CHVE does live for the moment now. Thats why I wanted it to be a one take recording, no compromise. From the gut. The ‘moment’ is a very powerful thing. You instantly feel it. Aaron Harris (Isis etc) took it to a higher level with his mix, together with my friend Jerboa, who mastered it.

Artwork was done by Tine Guns and Aline Gorsen, with whom I feel a strong connection. I am really happy that all of them were willing to work with me on this one.

I am extremely happy with its outcome, I might even like it better than the first one. Its different yet the same. Difficult to say.


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CHVE life. Photographer: @thefoxismine (The Fox Is Mine)


For more informations visit:
CHVE @
Facebook
Amenra
Official
Church of RA
Official



"Le Petit Chevalier" from the new CHVE album "100910" @
Consouling Sounds
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© by Reset Black. "Reset Black" is a Radioshow for those who enjoy sounds on the periphery of silence.