Efrim Waite

Efrim Waite
Media
Image
A portrait of Efrim Waite, with a thick beard and showing his iconic tress of long white hair as he looks directly at the camera

Efrim Waite in 2045.

Birth name

Efrim Uttu-Isimud Waite

Born

July 1st 1999 (age 50) in Aquileia, Italy

Nationality
Occupation

Musician, entrepreneur

Known for

Polysemic Sortilege

Status

Missing

Efrim Uttu-Isimud Waite (born July 1st 1999), known professionally as Efrim Waite, is a French-British musician, investor, and entrepreneur. They are best known for their solo work as well as being the lyricist, vocalist, and guitarist of the band Polysemic Sortilege.

Born in Italy and raised in London City and Paris, Waite studied at the Conservatoire de Paris and the University of Cambridge. They formed Polysemic Sortilege in 2019 and released seven albums until the band was broken up in 2033. Waite launched their solo career in 2029 and has since released four albums, with the development of a fifth and final album announced in 2045. Their dense lyrics, public elusiveness, and cryptic statements have made Waite an influential and controversial figure in the music industry.

On October 2nd 2049, Waite was reported missing by their executive protection team. They were last seen on September 30th 2049 while boarding a ferry in Spain, but did not disembark in Morocco.

Early life and education

Efrim Waite was born Efrim Uttu-Isimud Waite in Aquileia, Italy on July 1st 1999. Their father is Abdel Talbot Waite, a British bioengineer of Syrian descent, and their mother is Marguerite LeNormand, a French physicist. Waite’s childhood was spent between London City and Paris. They began playing music at an early age and released their first EP in 2009, going on to create over fifty projects before the age of fifteen. In 2016, Waite enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris, but dropped out before completing the first semester. In 2017, they began studying at the University of Cambridge, graduating as a Master of Science in Physics and completing their PhD at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory.

Polysemic Sortilege

Image
A promotional photo of the four members of Polysemic Sortilege partially obscured by smoke. The band members are wearing dark hooded cloaks and only lead singer Efrim Waite's face is visible, looking at the camera.

Promotional photo of Efrim Waite as part of Polysemic Sortilege.

During their brief time at the Conservatoire de Paris in 2016, Waite met drummer/singer Nadira Bentoumi, bassist Imran Djebarri, and violinist Rokaya Toussaint. Upon Waite’s departure for Cambridge, the four were determined to work on something together and ultimately formed Polysemic Sortilege in October 2019 after a “life-changing experience that had nothing to do with music, or so we thought.” [1] As part of Polysemic Sortilege, Waite released seven albums. Their lyrics were often highlighted as one of the band’s strong points, but it wasn’t until the 2028 release of The Opening, the band’s final album, that they gained international and commercial acclaim. Polysemic Sortilege went on hiatus in 2031 and officially disbanded in 2033 following the disappearance and death of Djebarri. [2]

Solo career

In 2029, Waite released their solo debut, For That Which Howls In Multiples. Although the album was considered a commercial failure, it was met with critical acclaim. Pitchfork praised Waite’s eagerness to “return to Polysemic Sortilege’s early sound” and described the album as “a noxious, intricate soundscape pulsing with slow-moving chaos, loss, and the sense that Waite is begging to be heard.” The Guardian called the album “a two-hour, heart-wrenching epic, an abandoned lover’s plea echoing from the depths of hell.”

Waite’s second album, Of Altars & Graves & Sacrifices, was released in 2033. In his longest review to date, Anthony Fantano dedicated two hours to the album and called it “an incomprehensible, erudite masterpiece that seems eager to devour all of history and spit it back at us. Waite sings in eight different languages while deftly referencing John Milton, the Quran, particle physics, and obscure fin de siècle occult art. It’s a prophetic vision of folly and grief that stretches across time and place.” Following the death of Djebarri in August 2033 and investigations into Waite’s involvement, Of Altars & Graves & Sacrifices was removed from all major distribution platforms, which has made it into one of the most widely pirated albums of all time.

In 2036, Waite released their third album, Slumber ’Til The Miasma Calls My Name, to universal acclaim. The Guardian dedicated a special issue to the album, labelling it “a forty-seven minute, one-track experiment that simply shouldn’t work, yet does. Waite crafts melodies akin to whale songs and deep ocean sounds. They do not seem intended for us, yet we cannot help but listen. Their latest work is a chimeric oddity which shifts between a piece of music, an endless alternate reality game (ARG), a cryptographic cypher, an incitation, and a grimoire. The discordant, labyrinthine landscapes Waite envisions reconfigure what music can be and the ways in which art affects us.”

After disappearing from the public eye for over two years, Waite returned to music in 2039 with a double-album called Epiphylogenesis: Unbecoming Machine / Becoming Other, which was praised for “weaving a unique, historical, and monstrous tapestry of the complexities created by our interactions with technology.” Waite’s fifth album, Wandering The Squirming Multiplicities: A Farewell, A Fluctuating Hatching, An Ending A Venir, was first announced in 2045 but has yet to be released. Waite described it as their “magnum opus, which shall take the time it takes and the forms it will.” Waite has also suggested it would be their final album.

Controversy

Death of Imran Djebarri

Waite was the primary suspect in a murder investigation after the death of Djebarri, who disappeared on August 1st 2033 after landing in Tunisia. On August 3rd 2033, Djebarri’s remains were found in a Tunis hotel room, with the cause of death established as hypovolemic shock due to multiple thoracic wounds. His body was found placed on a pile of animal remains and the words THE SONG-WEAVER BEHELD US were painted on a nearby wall using Djebarri’s blood. The handwriting was shown to match Waite’s. Additionally, hotel logs revealed that Waite had spent a night in the same hotel room precisely a year before Djebarri’s death.

Waite’s whereabouts on August 3rd 2033 remain contentious. Compiled footage from various sources showed Waite in Chile, Japan, South Africa, and Sweden throughout the day. This footage has been dismissed by multiple investigators and later attributed to a “hacking campaign carried out by bad faith actors in order to derail the investigation and frame Waite.” Waite has stated that they never left their London City residence the entire time. Their phones, laptops, and smart devices were active there at the time of Djebarri’s murder, and multiple eyewitnesses, including Waite’s executive protection team and personnel, confirmed they had been there since August 1st 2033, the day Djebarri disappeared. All charges against Waite were dropped in October 2033 due to lack of evidence. [3]

Djebarri’s death remains a highly-debated topic, given that numerous lyrics from Of Altars & Graves & Sacrifices seem to reference and foreshadow Djebarri’s final days, including the location of his body and injuries sustained. The other members of Polysemic Sortilege never commented on the events. Many fans and critics believe that Djebarri’s death, Waite’s lyrics, and their erratic behaviour over the years led to the band’s separation in November 2033. [4]

Personal life

Although Waite has given numerous interviews over the years, they have steadily refused to discuss their private life, preferring to talk about “the matter that matters.” Their elusiveness and cryptic statements have added to what some have described as the “Waite mystique,” but also led to criticism from fans and critics. [5]

Waite has worn numerous religious garments throughout their career, including veils, dresses, tassels, robes, kaunakes, sheepskin skirts, tufts, and kalasiris. Their style has been described as “a puzzling mélange of ancient and pre-historic imagery, little of which could be called fashionable or even aesthetically pleasing.” [6]

Waite is fluent in French, English, Arabic, and mentioned being proficient in Latin. They have described themselves as “a believer, but not in any of the newer religions,” later mentioning Zoroastrianism and Hinduism as religions that “carry traces of truth, but not enough for [their] liking.” [7] Waite has also expressed appreciation for tattoos, skin implants, and scarification. [8]

See also

References

  1. Young, N. (May 2027). “The sublime saw us: the haunting and haunted roots of Polysemic Sortilege.” Encyclopaedia Metallum
  2. Novas, C. (November 2031). “Metal’s most experimental band Polysemic Sortilege announce hiatus, citing ‘clashing visions’.” The Guardian
  3. Rohrberg, F. (January 2034). “Too many coincidences: how the Djebarri investigation fell apart.” Politiken
  4. Kazepis, M. (May 2034). “They made us record our dreams: an oral history of Polysemic Sortilege’s inevitable downfall.” The New Yorker
  5. Velez, T. (October 2033). “After the collapse: an interview about ruins, gods, and magic with Efrim Waite.” The Atlantic
  6. Troock, R. (August 2048). “The power of ritualistic couture.” Vogue
  7. Korpon, N. (April 2041). “Embodied beliefs.” Inked
  8. Aramchek, U. (July 2047). “Letting the cards sing for us.” North of Reality