Written by Rhys Powers

Shredding through the prog, in a one source open sleigh, to venues we go, improving all the way hahaha, bass and kick drum lock, making pocket grooves oh what fun it is to let them melt my face tonight, considering, considering, considering the source oh what fun it is to ride in a one source open sleigh.

Photo of John Ferrara by Phrazz

PORTHACUDEKABOOMOJO!!! Thunder erupted, undulating through the crowd, not from lightning, but from The Source cracking open the jamstone, a metaphorical “rock of ages” which capitulates the mechanism of music within time. The skill with which The Source unlocked its key and turned the gears revolving the facets of sound-shape so that they would interlock with the energy field into which the audience was dancing, channeling their intention, allowed a hyper type 4 jam to ensue, leaving the jam-stone, as of yet, still in pieces, and forever proving The Source is the beginning of music at the end of music.

Consider the Source is a trio from Brooklyn, but upon listening one would guess a more distant place accessible only through meditation and a stargate, in which ancient sand beaten monuments, and visits from alien starships were commonplace. As prog as prog gets, The Source, formed in 2004, is comprised of: Gabriel Marin, playing a doubleneck fretless guitar through a massive pedalboard, John Ferrara, whose slapping and tapping is paralleled only by his functional bass chords, and Jeff Mann, the only drummer in the scene who can always be found in the pocket of an odd time signature. Together they are smudging us in eastern melodies and ushering in contact through synth harmonic frequencies.

Consider the Source is the epitome of a band that is greater than the sum of its parts. The music they make is only the tip of the iceberg; underneath the surface, barely observable, they are unlocking doors in the mind that are only loosely associated with music. It is kind of like the difference between a Phish cover band, and a band that travels the world learning rhythms and melodies used in other cultures (oh wow i am having deja vu right now). The former can be a great example of well composed music, even at times inspiring the listener towards higher ideas, but the latter is a practice in interacting with the algorithm of human perception. As  fans my friends and I have had incredible experiences listening to The Source, experiences that are on the cusp of impossibility but were often shared and convincingly real. The only explanation is that whatever energy The Source is playing with has the ability to destroy concepts and create new archetypal monuments in the mind.

We have seen them build a wall of sound, the air teeming with vibration, visibly, and topple it unleashing a wave extending out into the crowd, that I can only describe as “very healing.” My best friend saw me disappear while dancing in the rain at an outdoor show one year, seemingly abducted into the torrent of prog data that The Source was relinquishing from the stage. The way he tells it is that I was so closely mimicking the landscapes of the melody in their song with my dancing that I was actually pushing on the vibration of the music as much as it was pushing on me, in effect acting as another musician in the band, having a hand in directing the course of the music, I was between the stick and the snare so to speak. He said I evaporated into the mist, became a part of the music and popped out of the speaker at the end of the riff. That is the nature of a type 4 jam, for the audience to be able to affect the music as much as the music is affecting the audience. This is a disconnect for a lot of bands, but The Source is esoteric enough to be in touch with the few they have been revealed to.

One night on a the way to a show the GPS I was using for navigation took me in a complete circle around a massive power plant and back onto the same road, I can only imagine this was an attempt by  some agency of the universe to channel energy. On arrival, outside the venue every top 40 pop song ever written could be heard in unison combining to create a very confusing and sexy feeling. Upon entering I discovered they were playing an original song and I what I had heard from the outside was from my ear perceiving one of the weak pulses of the music to be the strong beat and my brain just filled in the rest. I was further surprised to see the three of them with magazine cutout eyeballs taped to their foreheads during their set. I peered around the single room venue occupied by only about 23 or 30 people, and caught glimpse of strange sight. Behind a column there was a fractal version of the same room, a portal if you will, and inside another 50 or so people from another reality all there to see The Source too. On another occasion my friend and I watched a live set from my phone in his living room. Somehow the phone got turned upside down and what we saw was like a combination of Stranger Things and Rick and Morty. Monstrous aliens floating in a galactic orgy of colors and comets, as though, through the function of the eye flipping the image it sees before reaching the brain, we were seeing them for what they truly were.

The experience from the introduction of this piece is a great example of every Source show but was inspired by a  festival they played at a friends farm. As night set in after their set I ended up trying to get in the horses’ fenced off field. It was starting to storm up on the mountain and the horse, named Sorceress, was mad running all around in the dark neighing and she had a mane of lightning and fire in her eyes. From my first time hearing them 12 years ago, to my first time seeing them 7 years back to latest shows I saw this year, they have undeniably been the most inspiring thing in my life.

As a fan, and a friend of both The Source and the scene i can say that my only hope is to bring this band to those who are not familiar, and to impress those who are. I am wishing everybody happy holidays. It is a great time of the year to give yourself and others the gift of Consider the Source.