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Marshall Rendina (born May 27, 1986 in New York City) is a composer, songwriter, visual artist, inventor, and author whose writings span many subjects.
His parents were members of a worldwide new religious movement at the time of his birth, and the name on his birth certificate reads Marshall Lova Young Jung Rendina. His birthplace is exactly one block west of the zero mile marker for the United Nations Headquarters District and New York City. The building once housed the offices of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, and is also in close proximity to Lincoln Center, Juilliard, and Carnegie Hall, of which he was unaware until after college. His first home as an infant was the New Yorker Hotel, where Nicola Tesla once lived.
His parents left the religious organization in the late 1980s and they settled in Worthington, Ohio. He showed an early interest in the arts and took classes at the Columbus College of Art and Design as a child. His work was first displayed in the city hall when he was nine years old. His interests changed to music when classes were offered at his school in sixth grade, going through periods of playing trombone, flute, tenor saxophone, and guitar, eventually dedicating most of his time to piano. One early influence on him was an alternative class in mathematics in sixth grade, where he studied various forms of probability and advanced geometry, later influencing his ideas about the distribution of colored points, musical notes, gravitational energy, and solar energy around a sphere, the writings about which can be found in his book, On Spheres.
He studied Western philosophy his freshman year in high school taking an interest in the generation that included Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and Martin Buber, among others. He also did independent projects in the psychology of both art and music in high school, one of which was with Don Jones, one of the founders of the American Art Therapy Association. He played jazz in a group at the arts magnet school Ft. Hayes in Columbus, Ohio, performing at the Columbus Museum of Art and other locations around the city. He became interested in Fluxus, Minimalism and other experimental genres, favoring mostly intimate piano music, and studying composition. His neighborhood teacher, Dr. Marshall Barnes was a Juilliard alumni and former chair of composition at OSU. His teacher thought that although he could play anything he wanted to, he would be better suited to a variety of styles and musical activities, having a range of influences from folk, rock, jazz, and electronic music as well as classical music. In college he studied piano with Joanne Brackeen at Berklee, having been awarded a scholarship for his recording of Chopin and his compositions. He participated in seminars by Meredith Monk and other visiting artists, studied electronic music, performed improvised works, and recorded with musicians from several different countries. He was disappointed by the college for many reasons and filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights several years after graduating.
During the period following college he performed in venues around Columbus, Ohio where he grew up including the Urban Arts Space, It Looks Like It’s Open Gallery, Wild Goose Creative, and many nightclubs. He moved into a performance space, Skylab, after seeing Lukas Ligeti perform there and formed a collective of musicians to perform with. In Columbus he also conversed with David Ornette Cherry during his tours. Gyorgy Ligeti and Don Cherry remain among his favorite musicians. His own work from this period integrated subjects from meditation and the natural world, especially those involving the relationship of spatial and visual aspects within music. He was awarded his first grant to complete a world music project in 2011. He also continued to write songs and record often, being influenced by jazz - especially Bill Evans, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, folk music from the 60s and 70s - especially Nico, Nick Drake, and Joni Mitchell, and various electronic music records and soul music from Ohio.
He had considered attending Mills College in Oakland, but left just as the Occupy Oakland riots and general strike broke out. Over the next few years he furthered his interests in mysticism, psychology, sociology, ecology, physics, physiology, and anthropology, in developing a philosophy influenced by Kabbalah, Tarot, I Ching, Yoga, Zen, Alchemy, and Shamanism, which he uses as the basis for his Other Ways of Making Music Music and Art workshops. The essays compiled in Towards a More Complete Understanding include a library cataloging system which can be simplified as having 22 subjects. While residing in Los Angeles at the end of his twenties it took three months to catalog all of his work, which included over 2000 pages of visual and written materials and several days of audio recordings, ten hours of which have been self-released on his Alphabet of Sound label. Rendina has also written poems for 100 states of being, Other Ways of Being, an unrealized play with notes for choreography, sets, and music, The Rooms based on archetypes, and an Unwritten Constitution based on his ethical writings which he hopes to use to write a novel about a religious prophet. In his essays he said a prophet in any religion, whether fulfilling others' ideas about who such a figure must be, should only assist others to come to the ethical truth about their thoughts and actions, the metaphysical truth about the soul and energy contained within, and the epistemological truth regarding the meaning behind a mythology, being irrelevant whether others view the prophet as fulfilling a particular prophecy of a religious figure. He publishes his writings under his Alphabet of Light press.
He created his Codex of design materials after doing a permaculture workshop in Ojai using primarily circles aimed at sustainability in architecture and transportation, as well as numerous media designs utilizing sound and light, the most important of which is the most even color projection map of the world possible and that of the sky. While spending time in Ojai he absorbed many of the surrounding cultural, artistic, and literary influences that had resided there in the past, especially Jiddu Krishnamurti, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Marcel Duchamp.
His writings include a cosmological system that eschews variations in time and extra dimensions, theorizing that the present exists throughout the universe at a given instant, though the present on a timeline containing the past and future is by necessity a very short segment of that line, rather than a point on it. He introduces the node as a single concept unifying all forms of energy. Variations in time are attributed to changes in the speed of the orbits of nodes and other particles. He has demonstrated its correspondence with the accepted theories of Einstein, Newton, and the Standard Model, making it a possible candidate for a working quantum gravity model and potentially bridging the gap between particle physics and gravity. As with Einstein he has given three consequences of his theory: that the effect of gravity ends at a certain elevation within a spherical object, where the energy is then converted to radiation and the weak force, thus explaining why the core and crust of the earth are cooler than its mantle and ultimately how a star radiates light; that an excess of energy apart from that causing gravity, in the order of pi around a spherical object, is to be expected and is responsible for the rotation of the earth and other objects; and that the effect of gravity is uneven around the earth and effected by radiation and other factors. He posits that because the potential gravitational energy around an object is equal to the energy within the object in this conception, the same is true of the body, though a gravitational field does not form, and thus explaining concepts such as the etheric double in Theosophy, or simply the energy body, as well as auras and other universally experienced phenomena in parapsychology. He has also written about several novel ideas in set theory and logic, and about the definitions of fundamental concepts in mathematics, which he used to create a map of the subjects in his library system as a Tree of Knowledge.
His work with musical harmony has demonstrated that 33 modes can be harmonized in the Western sense, and of these, 17 correspond to Indian melakarta ragas, leaving 55 additional melakarta ragas that cannot be harmonized, for a total of 88 modes, each of which may correspond to the notes on a piano or constellations. This discovery is the basis of his book on musical composition, On the Elements of Music. He hopes to introduce the concept of Indo-European music, which shares similar characteristics just as Indo-European languages do. He has developed a system demonstrating the correspondences between the visual and music for one of his workshops and has also made investigations into the three dimensional localization of sound and its relationship to harmony in his music. He believes that sound can eliminate most pathogens from the body and cure many illnesses with few negative effects. Each type of living cell has a unique resonant frequency, and when resonating, is unable to perform the tasks needed for its survival, leaving other types of cells unaffected. He also believes that audible sound has health benefits, especially for the tissues and organs in reducing tension.
His interest in religious iconography in the Jungian sense and parapsychology has lead to his conclusion that the 9/11 attacks were a reference to the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are numbered Exodus 20:1 to Exodus 20:17, corresponding to the years 2001 to 2017. The statement of the acts thus being, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor, though shalt have no other gods before me, though shalt have no other gods before me.” A third recapitulation of the first commandment, and possibly the second commandment may be considered for the year 2001, being directed toward a graven image of god as Liberty on the dome of the Capitol Building; The Pentagon in reference to the ninth commandment and World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in reference to the first commandment. The first version of the iPhone had 20 icons, 16 of which could be moved, and may symbolically represent society’s collective manifestation of the Ninth Commandment, Exodus 20:16, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” The World Trade Center was also redesigned as a single building, symbolizing an alchemical form of conjunction in which the opposing energies have been dissolved.
He gave Terry Riley, a formative influence, one of his first scores early in 2017, having begun writing the piece as an homage to In C while he was in high school and finished many years later. His music has also come under the influence of Terry’s son Gyan Riley after seeing him perform at the Harrison house in Joshua Tree. He recorded three double records of piano music in 2018 for the first installment of his workshops among many pieces of visual art and written materials. His recent music is a potpourri of Indian ragas, jazz, counterpoint with polyrhythms, and Eastern melodies intended to invoke the alternate states of being in dreams and meditations. He performs as the Dream Sanctuary.