Yves Tumor Experiencing the Deposit of Faith

[Self-Released; 2017]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: limerence, liminality, luminosity
Others: Deux Filles

“Essence of faith: It is impossible really to desire the good and not obtain it.”
– Simone Weil, “The Things of the World”

“Baptism is only the desire for new birth. When an infant is baptized, those who love it express their desire that one day it shall be born from on high. When an adult is baptized, he himself expresses this desire.”
– Simone Weil — Last Notebook

“God created me as a non-being which has the appearance of existing, in order that through love I should renounce this apparent existence / in order that through love I should renounce what I think is my existence / and be annihilated by the plenitude of being / and so emerge from non-being.”
– Simone Weil, “The Father’s Silence”

What is the deposit of faith? Renunciation perhaps, though a peculiar rendering of renunciation. To renounce one’s life is to accept it as a death, a nothingness. To renounce one’s life is therefore to desire to be reborn. Though if one is nothing, how is there self enough to renounce, let alone desire? If one is nothing, how can one experience one’s nothingness, let alone one’s renunciation?

So, we humbly ask, what is the experience of this deposit1, this laying down, this letting go of the soul? What does one experience while immersed in the waters of baptism, between the death one lived and renounced and the longed-for but impossible rebirth? What is Experiencing the Deposit of Faith?


So, we continue the ontology of Yves Tumor / by Sean Bowie.

Looking again at the field of cultural signifiers that include NON, PAN, and perhaps Warp’s new direction, Yves Tumor’s Sean Bowie is — among the disciples and the defeatists — John the Baptist, the witness par excellence2, the witness as the untimely contemporary, the surveyor of one’s century, who, forsaken from one’s time and one’s self, can so see each its particular darkness and perhaps heal, perhaps atone. Even though he is not present on the album cover as the one who baptizes — by withdrawing self, he raises other — his absence is thoroughly imbued in the act of looking, the act of pointing away from himself: the one who renounces oneself can’t experience the renunciation, the one who experiences it can’t be the one who is renounced.

It was said of John that he was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light3. Experiencing the Deposit of Faith is the testimony — part monument, part prophecy — of the one who, renouncing one’s life, recanting the light, can be purified and can purify — self to pseudonym, auteur to zeitgeist, messiah to the world — self withdrawn to other raised.

(As a name, a title) Experiencing the Deposit of Faith connotes the act of renunciation that’s so consuming there is not distance enough to witness it, and despite it all, (as a proper name, an album) it intimates that self remains after self-destruction to witness one’s destruction as a purification.

In other words, the deposit of faith is the descent into the waters of baptism. And experiencing the deposit? Faith itself? The impossible, the absurd, ascent from self-abandoned into self-awaits. Faith is the paradox of faith’s deposit — the experience of the deposit — that, leaving behind one’s self, one finds that one was always already what one wanted to be: a self.


As we have noted before, Bowie denies the self its longed-for coherence, preferring fraught, fleeting gestures that do not attempt to circumscribe a self that would vanish beneath its own grasp, but rather intimate the margins blurring mask into void. Slathered in sleek veils and sheets — the mask enshrouding the void — Bowie’s music sounds neither from the self de-subjectified and silenced nor from the self re-subjectified and insincerely spoken; it instead resounds from the peripheral precipice between them, their blurring each into the other.

On “Synecdoche,” for instance, as a droplet in the sea dissolves, we plunge into a state of immersion in which we will be suspended throughout. Yet, even though the edges between form and fluidity have dimmed, as from a marble shard a temple can be resurrected, the drowned human intimates the ultimate absurdity: breath. Usually meaning the representation of the whole with a part, Synecdoche here, where whole is a fabulous myth and parts are torn apart and ravaged, resurrects the absence of the whole, intimates beyond fulfillment’s infinite postponement.

The remainder of the album is a gathering up of these shards of, a re-sounding of “Synecdoche’s” fragmentation. (Like as The Brothers Karamazov, the 13th book is missing.) We hear re-sound its chimes and peals on “Ayxita, Wake Up” with the opening appoggiaturas of Ravel’s “Prelude” to Le tombeau de Couperin4 looping sprightly like a river glimpsed from an urban puddle. Or else the ethereal murmuring, the prelude to the tomb that is a monument, a fading memory, and, whispering those gentle words, “Talitha cumi,” an awakening from sleep. In “E. Eternal,” we hear re-sound string-like ambient flourishes become Latin chants, writhing above the otherworldly longing of a guitar loop plucked from Woo’s “It’s Love,” while crass applause in the background displaces the listener from yearning to satiety without realizing either. Or else, the thoroughly inundated beats of “AfricaAshes” and “Groan.” Or else, the submerged strings in “Dry Guillotine” and “Prosperity Awareness.” Or else, the utter fragility of “Love Is The Law,” slowly rupturing into silence.

Whereas the wraith-like Serpent Music was a portraiture of disparate moods, Experiencing the Deposit of Faith clarifies amid the blurring of sound and noise the place from which they resound: the liminal subject of baptism, the one who cries in the wilderness, between life and death.

But we already knew all of this listening to “Limerence.” The cry of unrequited love is the voice silenced from the dialogue, striving to sing but enclosed in an ever-recurring loop. Renunciation is re-annunciation: repetition as erasure: the self silencing itself:     s     ilenc      e   :     s     i     ng   s. And rebirth? ascendance? We will have to wait.

1. Perhaps we can’t escape the legal and monetary connotations of words like deposit, depose, deposition, witness, testimony. But in any case, punning on Pascal’s pecuniary wager, this deposit is neither a game for thought nor for stakes. It is, as the title says, experienced.

2. On the Isenheim Altarpiece, beside the crucifixion, John the Baptist, pointing away from himself, withdraws into darkness, accompanied by the words: fillum oportet crescere me autem minui, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John, 3:30).

3. John, 1:8.

4. With this piece, Ravel memorializes the death of French music rendered obsolete through the real deaths of WWI. Though, there is no horror here; corpses having become objects once more, a battlefield is seen at the moment birds begin to sing again, as the water continues to murmur, though stained with blood, it flows. He raises a hollow tomb in which the past is abolished at the moment the present is constituted. Bowie’s impressionism is profoundly similar in project.

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