(Album Cover for « Samsara » by Christopher Stewart)
Poligraf’s first album will be entitled « Samsara » in reference to the cycle of reincarnation in Buddhist culture.
Samsara is a Sanskrit and Pali term derived from to « flow together, » « to go or pass through states, » « to wander, » and which translates as « continuous movement » or « continuous flowing. »
In Buddhism, it refers to the concept of a cycle of birth and consequent decay and death, in which all beings in the universe participate and which can only be escaped through enlightenment. Samsara is traditionally associated with suffering and is generally considered the antithesis of nirvana.
An alternative interpretation proposes that Samsara is rather the process one must undergo in order to achieve enlightenment. Proponents of this view believe that individuals create their own worlds on their way to enlightenment. When their current world is starting to decay, they will create a new world and move into it.
As an illustration of this principle, one can consider the many « lives » individuals go through over the course of their physical lives, as they evolve through schools, jobs, relationships, activities, and so forth.
In this perspective, the many ups and downs, joys and pains, successes and failures, achievements and setbacks one experiences on their journey can be seen as metaphors for constant spiritual growth.
In accordance with the latter interpretation, the album presents a collection of compositions that depict the journey of an individual facing a series of challenges through which they will experience various forms of transcendence, on their way to a better version of themselves.
In its early years, Poligraf went through numerous changes as non-core members would often come and go for whatever reason. By the time of the dissolution of its original core in February 2003, five years after its inception, the band had already existed in over ten different incarnations. And every time a member joined us or left, a new phase of adaptation would begin as not only did each of us have to adjust to the new group dynamics, but the music would often also change. So, as you can imagine, the band’s general trajectory was pretty much similar to the white line depicted on the album’s artwork, all in ups and downs, although always progressing.
Thus, the album title seems very appropriate to describe this first effort given a band’s history characterized by its many cycles of reincarnations, and which in itself can be regarded as an instance of samsara.