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"The lo pan is an ancient, intricate compass used in the practice of traditional Chinese feng shui and is sometimes referred to as 'the universe on a plate.' A lo pan consists of two parts - a square wooden base into which is fitted a freely rotating saucer-shaped disk. In the centre of the disk is a small depression containing a magnetized needle. Between the needle and the edge of the disk are engraved several concentric rings, each divided into sectors containing different sets of Chinese characters. The relationship between this physical object and the music you hear on this album was inspired by a dream that Li Jianhong (guitar) had in June 2006. In his dream he came to a clearing in a dark forest which contained a huge lo pan, as big as a table. Convinced that the device could provide a way to summon UFOs, he lay down on the lo pan and began to rotate around the various symbols on the concentric rings. As he did so, a vast array of UFOs appeared above the forest. For Li Jianhong then, the lo pan represents a form of ancient knowledge that can be used to unlock the secrets of the universe. His collaborator in VagusNerve, Vavabond (laptop), reads the lo pan in a slightly different way. For her, it is a device which can be used to discover a balance between the individual and the cosmos, by aligning personal energy with the cosmic. This idea of balance runs through the music as it pulses, shifts and resonates freely, seeking to create and then destroy structures of equilibrium. Photography by Vavabond. Typography and drawing by Li Jianhong. Text by Alan Cummings. Edition of 500."
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