Shoku Beat Retreat Manifesto

Beat Retreat is about deepening and strengthening our relationship with the physical and metaphysical world through art. Though deeply personal to us, we experience a sense of oneness through music and our collective participation, and we honour our ancestors and the architects of our chosen craft through our practice. Throughout beat retreat we endeavour to nourish our truest self from a reservoir of experiences which may be drawn upon long after the conclusion of the retreat.

“the devotee at the moment of the entry into the temple undergoes a metamorphosis. His secular character remains without; he sheds it as a snake its slough. Once inside he may be said to have died to time and returned to the World Womb, the World Navel, the Earthly Paradise.”

Joseph Campbell

In putting together the Beat Retreat 2022 experience we have considered what it is that Beat Retreat embodies and what our vision for the future could be. We sought to capture Beat Retreat in 5 words that succinctly describe past retreats, yet propel us toward the aspiration of deepening the experience for each of you starting now and extending into the future:

Discover. Explore. Nourish. Connect. Release.

Each word is as applicable to single moments, as it is the entire experience; a single point and full circle from physical to metaphysical.

1. Discover a new chord or sampling technique, or discover a more nuanced sense of your truest self. 

2. Explore new techniques, or a new portal into the relationship you have with your craft.

3. Nourish yourself with the sounds of nature, soulful food, or nourish your soul by entertaining a musical idea you had hidden behind your current aesthetic.

4. Connect new techniques with your craft. Connect with other creatives that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. 

5. Release writers block, stylistic inhibitions, and your music. Release the Beat Retreat experience only to return back to where you started to discovery again within your own studio.

“with a new lease on life like Andy Dufresne”

Jay Electronica – Exhibit A (transformations prod. Just Blaze)

You could be forgiven for wondering whether you are more than a insta-reel, spotify roundup, showcase, EP, LP.. MP3, groupie, corporate merch stand, support act, advertising backing track? These incentive structures have a strong influence on our decision making. These and other distractions funnel our attention away from intuition toward external forces. This can be thought of as the top-down approach, as opposed to a bottom-up approach, where we connect to a sense of inner-knowing. We are not advocating for one or the other. Not at beat retreat. You won’t find a dogma of steps to success. 

“truth is a pathless land” 

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Please join us for a moment in considering your journey as an artisan in the context of a craft developed over a lifetime. It is what it means to be a Shokunin. Craft – Old English cræft ‘strength, skill’. Our collective’s name, Shoku originates from the Japanese Shokunin, which is loosely defined as an artisan. 

“We don’t control the skies we navigate them”

Lisa Miller

Life expectancy in Australia in 1900 was 51. Now it is 81 years (85 for females). As Chip Connley put it, In the past 100 years mid-life has expanded exponentially. Never in history have we had so much time to create, however society is still predicated on the idea that we learn skills early, amass ‘things’ in the middle, and chew the fat until we die.

“The two — the hero and his ultimate god, the seeker and the found — are thus understood as the outside and inside of a single, self-mirrored mystery, which is identical with the mystery of the manifest world. The great deed of the supreme hero is to come to the knowledge of this unity in multiplicity and then to make it known.”

Joseph Campbell

Just like athletes exercising, and monks meditating. – artists practice. Experiencing variance in themselves from day to day. German producer Roman Flugel says that the studio is a mirror. All your weaknesses and strengths lay before you, staring you in the face. Your practice is a reflection of yourself, your hopes, dreams and fears.

So how can Beat Retreat improve our practice?

·  Self-other Connection

·  Collaboration and shared experience

·  Non-judgemental exploration

·  Engagement with nature

Through a series of transformations, from vibration to contemplation; individual to collective, we experience a deeper connection between the physical and metaphysical through concentrated involvement with music. Music fuses with us physically, most obviously as sensory input, and metaphysically as part of our soul, being, knowing, identity and more broadly as part of human culture. From the entry of vibrations into our ear canal, the ear drum then amplifying the soundwaves, to the cochlea which transduces the waves into electrical signals, received and diffused throughout neuronal networks, giving birth to its comprehension.

so the what? And more importantly the why?

Develop our selves so that our music can say what our spirit is calling. So that our soul can connect to others in that intangible way that our favourite music speaks to your our own souls. In doing so place your link in the block-chain of humanity.