Essential Remedies with Deji Ijishakin

There’s nobody quite like Deji. Incendiary saxophonist, bandleader of Hypernova (an eccentric and explosive meeting of jazz and philosophy), member of Levitation Orchestra, student of Neuroscience and pioneer of Jazz Drill with his solo project Xvngo.

We touched base with Deji to get his take on Essential Remedies and his suggestions didn’t disappoint: we are endlessly blown away by Deji’s knowledge + capacity to learn. We fully back him to lead our revolution!


One book:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ‘Faust’

Goethe‘s “Faust” is a classic piece of literature originally written in German, in 1808. It is based on a historical figure Johann Georg Faust who lived in the 16th century. In the book Faust is a wise old university lecturer who had become disillusioned with life altogether, feeling that all of his knowledge was sterile. Then a devil named Mephistopheles visits him and grants him good health, good looks as well as the chance to pursue all the vice and decadence that he desired. They travel throughout space and time together reeking havoc but, in the end Faust realises that what he thought he desired was not all he thought it would be. The book is extremely well written, and rhymes the whole way through which is really enjoyable. Most importantly it is a commentary on the human condition writ large, and can teach us all about how to live.

One record:

Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in G minor, RV 315 “L’estate”(No. 2 from ‘II cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione’, Op. 8): III Presto. 

I am a big fan of Vivaldi’s music, and this piece in particular is a real beauty. There is so much detail and precision to the piece which alone is something to behold. But, I especially appreciate how all of that precision is put into quick and upbeat piece of music. When I listen to it I certainly feel alive, but it’s also comforting to hear something that well ordered and put together because it’s such a contrast from the incoherent mess that is modern life. The great German philosopher Schopenhauer said ‘The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain.’ For me this piece is a perfect example of this quote put into practice.

One more thing:

I would recommend that everyone learns how to programme. If not for any of other reason, one should learn to programme because our lives are so dominated by algorithms. Whether it’s the next song you listen to, the next recipe you may cook or what you may buy for your loved one there is an algorithm pushing you in one direction or another. Thus, as the saying goes “programme or be programmed.” Aside from that, it’s a really fun thing to learn and if you’re into puzzles or problem solving as well as expanding your general intelligence, it’s a good skill to pick up! More than anything it’s so useful for expanding any digital activity you engage in, so I highly recommend it.