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The Primordial Circle and Square. -  THE SQUARES & CIRCLES ISSUE.
The Fuschia Tree
Editor's Note.
"When a man rides a long time through wild regions he feels the desire for a city. Finally he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference..."
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By Nora Wendel, Issue 16, Squares & Circles Issue, December 2012
This sound piece is an exploration into the primordial shapes of a circle and square based on tantric philosophies.  The evolution of the sounds heard within this piece mimic the nascent nature of creation.

Layers of deeply textured sounds might appear to span an eternity within you, as the intensity and abstraction weave into each primordial shape as it evolves into a new geometric diagram.

This piece uses 3D spatial techniques to express these primordial power forms and thus must be listened to on headphones. I’d suggest listening with your eyes closed and allowing the sound to swirl into whatever you imagine as your essence, your central being.

In the simplest terms, Tantra believes that the individual being and the universal being are one. The forces that govern the universal being also govern our individualistic being. The idea is that man must become aware of this dualistic nature of life in order to live to the fullest potential and realize the vision of unity between Spirit and Matter. An example of this dualistic nature of life can be seen in the concept of male/female, life/death, expansion/contraction, happiness/possessions, and even, as in the creation of this piece, electronics and the earth.

Yantra’s in Tantra are symbological diagrams used to represent this vision of reality. Using the primordial shapes of the circle, triangle and square, an infinite palate of geometric forms can be brought into existence each representing consciousness itself.

These root forms of a Yantra are considered to be primordial since visually they cannot be condensed down into other shapes.

Below you will find an explanation on three elementary shapes used in this sound piece;

  • The dot or Bindu is the locus of power in a yantra and it represents the unity of static and kinetic energy condensed into a mathematically expressionless dot functioning both in the two dimensions of time and timelessness. It represents the potency of life, the One, the point of origin and return of cosmological processes. The expansion and contraction of the Bindu creates and dissolves life.
  • The circle in Tantra is derived from the circular motion of the planets; it represents the cyclical nature of the universe in totality. Correlating to the fact that a circle has no beginning or ending, time is also expressed as such, with no beginning or end. The circle may be condensed into the potency of the ‘Bindu’ or be expanded into the enveloping universe.
  • The square represents the element of Earth and symbolizes the base of the material world, which must be transcended. The square is the receptacle of the yantra and bounds the energy within; it also represents the four cardinal directions and therefore signifies the totality of space contained within.


Within every form lies the potency of vibration, vibration creates life and life brings with it sound. This piece is an expression of the totality of the universe based on the primordial shapes of a circle and square.

Nora Wendel is an environment designer who creates immersive installations using audio and visual media. Currently, Nora lives and works in Delhi.

Also in this issue

  • We find something like a circle in the rings of a tree, in the structure of a cell, in the shape of our planet. But we do not find the particular thing that we have come to call a circle outside of the realm of our own creation. More than anything, it is a concept.
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  • A mosquito sits on the surface of the skin, inserts its syringe through layers of skin and draws out blood. Satiated, it flies away, leaving an itchy trace, a painful bump. Your mother will tell you not to scratch, that scratching makes it worse, that scratching will leave a mark.
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  • The journey from zero to shunya is an interesting one. From the nullness of zero to the stillness of shunya, the all-encompassing circle includes and excludes everything and nothing.
    Read More

Illusion: Seeing Beyond Seeing
Meaning: In Search of Significance.
Melody: A Different Tune
Rhythm: Ordering Time

Dhrupadi Ghosh is an old friend of mine. We have often had long sessions of adda late at night, discussing her dream projects since her college days at Santiniketan, where she majored in Sculpture.