This is a belated narration of my friends’ visit to Chisinau last November. But it is also a good opportunity to put some light over what Chisinau is actually worth discovering for.
One special little place in the city is Art Labyrinth. As the curators of the place say, the Labyrinth is meant to be the Shambhala, or “a vast focal point of energies, which are collected and brought together by planetary Logos in order to create a manifestation adequate to His revealing intention and planetary service …” They also mention that it’s ok if you just go there out of curiosity as long as you don’t break the vibe. And there is a real vibe, I tell you that.
We’ve been to Art Labyrinth with the guys on a couple of occasions. And each time we entered, before we could realize it, we were jamming with a bunch of unknown people in a weird room, drum in hand, making sweet spiritual music.
This little corner of energy channels has got all the characteristics of a cool underground place, without trying to be so. First, it is located in an ex-museum, ex-gubernia HQ and it reeks of history. With its many rooms, including secret ones, with an interior patio and various unexpected building wings, it is a true labyrinth. I think I know very little of its structure and everyone discovers it for himself in a different way.
The hallway and bathroom facilities remind one of an East Berlin scene after the mass exit, with a more eastern touch. Andreas kindly volunteered to demonstrate this for us by modeling in the aforementioned spaces:
Having walked through these communist type halls you open the door and suddenly enter in Africa. The rooms are decorated with a burst of colorful African motives, masks, ropes, beds in the air and what not, and I heard that this is the inspiration of the founder who traveled on the mighty continent. Other motives from all around the world are to be discovered while soul-searching around the room.
Another amazing thing that the Labyrinth is about is the drum making. The founder of the place teaches how to make drums and you can find many of them all over the place. You can also randomly find weird African instruments or xylophones, some flute-looking things or some primitive type of percussion instruments. These are discoveries in themselves – learning how to produce the sound, learning to love the sound, creating. One of my favorites is the big tube in which you blow as to make an above human kind of sound, or something close to the “OM” sound that, legend has it, when you make it, you’re done reincarnating and have reached perfection. I’m sorry for any inconsistencies in the story, I don’t care much for religion, but making or hearing that sound from the instrument really does get you in a specific state of mind. It’s like hearing the common voice of the long-forgotten ancestors calling you to find the true humanity in yourself.
The Labyrinth offers several kinds of tea, including mate, Moroccan teas and incredibly tasty mixes of herbs. Sometimes they offer food too, especially when there are vegan food classes. Everything that you get is for free, but small donations into the donation box are welcome.
The Labyrinth has become a true spiritual center for many people. I am but a mere visitor, and it is much richer than what I have depicted. There are so many different activities organized all the time there, ranging from movie projecting to telekinesis workshops to reggae concerts.
The first time we went there with the guys, we lost Mirza and Andrei. We looked everywhere, couldn’t find them and left. What I later understood was something like they were in a room with no light listening to a stranger playing the contrabass. I’m not sure about this, it’s still a mystery. The second time we went, there was a party: the one year anniversary of LaundryTheather, which is another great place. The party was just starting to get really good, that the police came in, made a fuzz and evacuated everyone. Besides a handful of people sitting silently in a small room with a fireplace and quietly jamming. It felt like we were detached from the ugly reality outside. I think that is what Art Labyrinth is about.