11.12.17

THE impulse

-brevity for aesthetics' sake-

the stars are so close and looming, it's like i'm underneath a blanket with holes in it... and my bed an enormous field. a tipped-over cow,  asleep, serves as tonight's pillow.

the snow ravages a town. with low, dense clouds and growling winds that shake bones, only ice and powder are left behind. sleepy humans rise and face another dawn, still half-dreaming

and

hyde park, uk

poetry can be so abstract as to become almost meaningless - a line of words can be a curtain concealing entire worlds of meaning. if these worlds are not easily accessible through the experience of reading or hearing the words which have been chosen then it is only mediocre poetry. good poetry takes effect immediately upon being read or heard, though true understanding is of course another matter. maybe true understanding (whatever that means) is not as important as true experiencing.

i've been reading bukowski and cummings and hughes a lot lately. i think these are some incredibly good poets - i only feel, and see, when i read their words. the poem itself is a door into sensation, image, life. i love the simple look and feel of their poems, too - it's like looking through a window into an anti-extraneous world. FINALLY. simplicity!

is it all pretention, any rendering of the Real Life Experience through hypersensualized art forms? transforming the Glorious It into something easy-to-swallow, or pleasurable, or labyrinthine, or beautiful?

(we humans are quite obsessed with beauty. as individuals we know when we sense it, we know when we do not. we lust after beauty for it lends meaning to the mundane, though only with the use of perception).

i only ask because i wonder why it is that we create, why we simply must add to the chaos, add to the pool of the collective subconscious. maybe it's all we can do.


. . .

this is the perfect driving-and-howling-in-the-desert-at-night record.

so many good songs. each one a world unto its own. "cuts like drugs" an instant classic of the 90s. unwound sounds all over and inside this.

hoover - the lurid traversal of route 7 (1994)


.

BECAUSE YOU AREN'T AFRAID TO KISS THE DIRT
(AND CONSEQUENTLY DARE TO CLIMB THE SKY)

31.10.17

the raw sun

musically i am in a void filled with the great warm Nothing.
warm like a pile of dried leaves which we crush,
or perhaps the fluff from an out-turned childhood pillow.

i wake up in the middle of the night just after my soul is sucked through my skin -
i open a window and a crackling fire of ice enters my lungs.

exhaling smoke.

🌕
       __


with tenderness i go finding and seeking
finding less than sought
seeking more than found;

days filled with fiery sunshine
strange hurt i knew
that made
me seek the burning sunlight
rather than the shade

in months of snowy winter
when cozy houses hold, i'd break down doors
to wander naked in the cold

(paraphrased, langston hughes)



egon schiele, house with bell tower, 1912


🌕
                                   __

i

acknowledge my temporality
rest my head
look into animal eyes
touch my skin
remember the soul

speak a word

revert to purposeful

purposeless
-ness

🌕


UZEDA - "right seeds"
4, 1995

italian noise rock
incredible female vocals

 

RACHMANINOFF - piano sonata no. 2, op. 36

one of the greatest russian works performed
by one of the greatest hungarian pianists

r.i.p. 
 

DUSTER - "constellations"
stratosphere, 1998

 'neath my blanket fortress i caress the soft outline of your memory

...or something like that



LIGETI - études, book 3: no. 16. pour irina

 

🌕
                              __

you'll find rain better
than shelter from the rain



23.10.17

the breakthrough has arrived.

i was waiting for it - just as i was waiting for the moon to appear on my horizon. tonight i have seen it, a crescent suspended in a pale purple blue.

with the great rains a new clarity has been achieved in me; as i trudge through rushing rivers of run-off in the streets, as i make my way through the city on paths of wet, deep mud, my step quickens. my heart feels entirely awake. my eyes are truly open. i see what is around me; i feel what i am.

FINALLY.

all i can say is finally, finally, finally!, and:

thank you. thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

,

the only thing that makes sense, the only mindset or attitude, is humility.

i cannot conceive of living this life with anything else in the heart.

the respect and gratitude i speak of is in no way related to morals, ethics, or religious codes. it is not human-made; it could never be.

i speak of the respect that is made manifest in the rushing rivers and the winds which blow through the trees, over mountain tops, the respect which is woven in the very fabric of this Universe. humility is written in the very DNA of Nature, however cruel or ruthless.

with each breath i want to acknowledge the beauty of all i am able to see and all that i am unable to see - that unending realm of mystery which underlies our every thought and experience, those worlds which lie beyond and beneath and inside each particle of matter.

/

what am i even talking about?

i just feel happy. i feel something that isn't happiness, it's more and so much more than even that. with each thought i want you to double the meaning, with each emotion intensify it threefold - extend the possibilities beyond the possible, deeper than the depths, higher than the highest height.

i no longer want to simply accept.

i can CREATE.

i can BUILD.

i am not powerless.

i never was.

4.9.17

ideally infinite

learn from the lessons you have already been taught.

nurture the memory of your past victories.

music and the design of brain
. . .

the music i gravitate towards seems to revolve around an axis, though not always symmetrically on all sides; there are always cycles, naturally-occurring and inherently repetitive. i think the prime inspiration of some music is the commonality of our bodies' respective homeostases; perhaps there is even a more overarching generalization to be made, one to include all life forms:

that all beings experience stability, both at microcosmic and broad social levels, and that echoes of these concealed processes registered in conscious existence draw us to sounds which entice us toward meditation and introspection.

(this at least applies to me, overly-analytical and sonically-sensitive fuckmonkey that i am.)

there is music that imitates this regular, beating heart existence - that which both you and i share - though the experience of our own sounds and systems are often clouded by noise and static. maybe all of music, or at least rhythm, brings us back to the breathing and beating of the beasts that we are. i know house music has made claims to this - the rhythmic continuity of such music in a public space can provide a safe, belonging feeling as though a larger organism made up of strangers is merging to the same rhythm.

example one of repetitive introspection is this track from texas-based windsor for the derby's 1996 album minnie greunzfeldt ~

"stasis"
young gods records



some music, however, calls back to a historical past and is also free from overt rhythmic usage.

here we arrive at the following composer:

ellen arkbro 

. . .


i am not sure how i came across ellen, a stockholm-based sound artist, composer, and musician, but her latest full-length, for organ and brass, has completely mesmerized me as of late.

is it the fact she studied tuning techniques with la monte young and marian zazeela? is it because this piece was recorded on and composed for a 400+-year old german organ? or is it because i am recently finding out about the wonders of just intonation and this piece entered my ears at precisely the right moment when i was becoming completely exasperated with what felt like a limiting spectrum of sound that i was faced with at my equally-tempered keyboard?

( thoughts on just intonation / equal temperament (what even is the difference between tuning and intonation?) are to follow; it is still a completely new world for me. with that said, i have been a worshipper of la monte young's five-hour long well-tempered piano for years now - as have many. that work is nigh unbeatable in scope, scale, innovation, and impact. it must be noted that young was also a disciple of still older musical traditions.

and so it continues. )

hidden within the harmonic framework of the renaissance organ are intervals and chords that bare a close resemblance to those found in the modalities of traditional blues music ~

the brass instruments and the organ fall into patterns of interaction in which a new breathing instrument emerges ~

ellen arkbro 
"for organ and brass"
subtext records, 2017



and then there is music which seeks to imitate the known functions of the brain utilizing patterns and feedback loops between humans and technology.

the very day that i choose to write on this particular subject i am graced with the presence of an incredible young composer of electronic and experimental music -

caterina barbieri


repetition and ideally infinite permutation of patterns as media to perceptual insight ~

. . .

her latest work, patterns of consciousness (important records, 2017), is an utter masterpiece.

composed via "disciplined and exclusive use of machinery (an indexed quad sequencer and an harmonic oscillator)" (source), these four tracks contain sound which definitively synthesize new states of consciousness.

she is as much a philosopher as composer, as much an amateur neuroscientist (as any decent human ought to be) as a mystic, and i am incredibly impressed and inspired by the depth of her analysis regarding her own work ~

sound as an agent of change
a pattern creates a certain state of consciousness. once it is created, the pattern stands as an object exactly like the sound waves which generate it. we are at the same time inside and outside of the object. while being it, we observe it.
over time we become familiar with the inner structure of the pattern. we decode its gravitational centres, where our psycho-motor attention is attracted, where everything seems to be drawn. when a change in the pattern occurs it causes a perturbation of the previously established field of forces.
this causes consciousness to fracture, potentially unfolding layers of perceptions we weren't aware of or simply suggesting that we access only a fraction of our own psychic potential.
the layered nature of consciousness and the relativity of perception are some of the big secrets we can experience through sound.

can sound synthesise new patterns of consciousness?


in patterns of consciousness, repetition and permutation of patterns are explored as tools to reconfigure perceptions and bend emotions, approaching sound as a medium to develop and master our own perceptual art.

^ taken from the liner notes ^

there are four tracks on the album, which may be streamed on her youtube channel. while it is difficult to pick a favorite, the one i shall show you is the one which initially drew me in to the world of the album.

"scratches on the readable surface"
version 1


"SOTRS"
version 2 (❤)



i feel heavily inspired upon hearing this work, but am admittedly even more thrilled by the writings which accompany the album - i feel as though this is one more signpost on the way towards the total musical and metaphysical realization i've been aching for my whole adult life (and the vision is constantly being shaped by others and the world).

the bell is only truly rung once out of a thousand strikes. but when those vibrations sink in, i can go on humming for a long time. ideally infinitely.

it is funny to note that caterina barbieri did a dissertation on la monte young and hindustani music, which is the exact intersection of world and sound which interests me.

. . .

difficult to not include here is another work by caterina composed collaboratively with kali malone ~

"glory (final movement)"
composed at EMS in stockholm 2015
recorded at villa strozzi in florence 2016

the final movement of glory is a slowly evolving canon for two electric guitars and spectral freeze inspired by polytempic canons, modality and overtone-centered harmony ~

its pristine and severe patterns pour monumental landscapes of bliss from the pythagorean region of the harmonic spectrum ~


this piece also caught my attention because of the heavy and satisfying drone used, as well as the glorious overtones; the jangly and high-tenor tone of the guitars; and the interplay of the two as one and separate - it reminds me a lot of popol vuh! all that delicious space.

kali's solo work is definitely worth checking out as well; she is in many projects (including shoegaze band swap babies).

please enjoy the undulating beauty of this guitar work.

. . .

i think in most of my independent research i am constantly looking for inspiration, listening out for the sound which i've heard before but is being presented in a completely new and invigorating light - all while already inwardly knowing. is what i'm really looking for just an outward affirmation of the known? why would i not be content with following my own instinct through to its fullest potential?

last year it was steve reich and piano phase music, the year before (and still continuing into today) it was post-hardcore and punk and other such band music that utilized interlocking and repeating bass + guitar + drum patterns. this year, i think, i am finally happening upon the glaring obvious - synthesizing (what a fantastic word, that) the disparate musical and philosophical and cultural and spiritual and scientific practices into one combined being.

to live is to be involved in countless processes which are simultaneously running at their own pace, by their own devices. what if sound really can be (and already has been) used to both imitate/reflect and affect the listener? at a level deeper than just the emotional?

seems like i'm the last one to know about this... but perhaps i've just been skirting around it this whole time, for whatever reason. it's worth endless thought and experimentation. why not?

why can't we know try to know more about ourselves and the way we operate through art?

is not art an old word for to be?

1.8.17

août

i am becoming even more enamored than i thought i would be with this album:

don caballero - what burns never returns (1998)



it's full of indescribably beautiful moments. it was the first album recommended to me but upon hearing just a bit of the first track i thought i didn't like it.

welp, i was wrong.

.

IT'S AUGUST!

that means it's the month of my birthday.

.

i'm currently working on a personal website that will have in one place all of my artistic and business ventures.

i am not entirely sure how much to include and/or leave out, seeing as i might be using it to network with potential employers and whatever, buuuut... i kind of just want to be as real as i possibly can and not care whether it's a turn off, turn on, or anything like that.

i have to be me, all me, or nothing at all.

.

potential projects (in no particular order):

- learn brahms' first piano concerto
- finish beethoven's piano sonatas nos. 24 & 26
- finish ravel's le tombeau de couperin (prelude, fugue, and minuet nearly done; forlaine just starting)
- record and release CD of my current piano works (as a present for my loved ones)
- compile and release field recordings (on my own label)
- make a zzzine (first need typewriter and/or stable printing set-up)
- MOVE TO NEW CITY (beginning steps already underway as i type this oh god there is so much stuff... no matter how many times i try to cleanse the pile of extremities)
- finish website

/fin

p.s. it's really hard to, you know, do things

27.7.17

for respect

does art distract from nature?



and by art i mean the artistic pursuit, which seems to contain acts of:

framing,
capturing,
preserving,
and emulating

;

in these the beauty of nature ( what is sensed ) is often praised and illuminated.


however, i feel it necessary to disclaim, to myself if to no one else, that i believe:

nature ( here meaning what lies outside of ourselves ) - all that we have been given to see, taste, touch, smell, hear, and imagine - is already "perfect"* in its raw form,

and to pursue one of the acts mentioned above out of the inspiration nature so freely gives is and can only ever be secondary, lesser - by any conceivable fraction and still lesser - than the rawness of that which has already been well underway in the fulfillment of cyclical existence long before and outside of us.

* i believe it is a profane act to insist that anything we ( humans ) might add to what was here before us, that signifying what created us and all that we see, could ever improve its intrinsic value or quality. perhaps even to attribute a word to what it is is in and of itself a defilement. as long as we understand the frailty of human speech in the giant macrocosmic picture...

i'm not entirely sure why i sound almost religious about this, but for some reason these sentiments resonate deep inside me as truth.


now, this does not mean to disparage that other wellspring of inspiration and invigorating mystery - that of the human soul which has the ability, unlike any other organism, to frame, capture, preserve, and emulate that which it senses. not only can the human see what surrounds it but he/she/it can attribute meaning, expound upon and link together flickering memories triggered by what is seen. we can create unique abstractions originating deep in the psyche, deep in the well of experience which has grown ever deeper since that first moment of awareness.

what exists of ourselves that remains from past lives, past experiences of life, i cannot say with certainty, nor can i attempt to estimate what percentage of our selves was already colored at our birth by what was experienced before even the blackness which preceded the life we live now.


i do not believe humans are lesser, or inferior, than the natural world from which we were born.
clearly we are of it and consist of the same material, undergo the same processes of growth and decay.

all i advocate for, with the utmost intensity,

is a genuine respect.

a reverence.

a sense of wonder and gratitude.

not for a humanoid being, but for the sheer vastness in which we are suspended.

for the systems in place, that have been in place, which produce such intricate work, such intricate hierarchies and manifestations of growth that we have been given - there is no better word that i know of to use here - to imbibe.


i suppose a lot of this passion comes from a feeling that many humans wish to separate themselves from the body - the flesh which encases the brain which encases a desire to expand at an exponential rate.

we are delving ever further into the universe of technology, that synthetic promise of unnaturally long life, the synthetic preservation of data and memory.

technology is beautiful as it is the seemingly-infinitely complex manifestation of an ever-advancing brain.

but i cannot let the majesty of the ocean, or the sky, or the mountain ranges, or even the other galaxies, which are so much bigger - in size, at least - than ourselves, become forgotten.

perhaps it is not an inherent human trait to find this life beautiful.

perhaps it is a trait which is being weeded out.

perhaps too many suffer from imposed trivialities and the majority has too little time to experience appreciation.

one can hope that we won't be swallowed up by the neverendingly abysmal prison of our greed.

if i indeed have been given a choice, it is to be swallowed up instead by the glorious infinity whence i came.

DON CABALLERO - FOR RESPECT (1993)


i am finally getting into this band after knowing about them and being totally psyched about them based on what i had heard from multiple sources but I WAS FAR TOO LATE, I WAS SO LATE.

i started with the below album, american don, and thought it was one of the greatest things i have ever heard (think of the interplay of musical lines found in steve reich's phase music mixed with the glitter of rothko mixed with the intensity of unwound) - the track "the peter criss jazz" @ 4:43 being a definite highlight.

BUT MY GOD... the above album, their debut, for respect, is EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER WANTED! it is purely instrumental and relatively short. it isn't quite as advanced in form as american don but it is the bare bones of everything one could expect from math rock bordering on the highly experimental. nothing of this is by the books, if there were even any books at this time... i really really like "subdued confections" @ 16:27 and the track "well built road" @ 29:37 is utterly goddamn beautiful.

once again, 1993 produced a gem of a gem of a gem :D

DON CABALLERO - AMERICAN DON (2000) 





Ahora
a buscar pájaros!

16.7.17

presence

i have been utterly obsessed with the following song (and the album whence it comes) by massachusetts-based emo/post-hardcore/whatever the fuck band kolya. it's off their only full-length, the self-titled released in 2001~

"horizons"
kolya, 2001



EVERYTHING HAS BECOME WHOLE.


oh man. the riff that begins right at 2:30 is fast becoming one of my most favorites in the whole entire universe of music. especially at 2:40 exactly when the bass starts in again, soaring, simultaneously lifting the track up by miles and sinking it deep into the core of the earth. i keep re-playing this part over and over again. the bass line throughout the entire song - shifting in register from mid-range to octaves lower - is part of the wonder.

what really gets me about the style of this music, this particular brand of sound, is the juxtaposition of disjointedness and rhythmic displacement, mostly tonal/melodic harmonies (characteristic of a lot of emo - it's "emotional" which is what "romanticism" in music is, basically) with desperate lyrics, poetic and philosophical, similar to word painting but more like thought or phrase painting ("perfection is forever all around us, AND NOT MEANT TO BE HUMAN"). or what about "UNCERTAINTY IS NOT TOO EASILY SHAKEN." i mean, his delivery! the words and the mouth which speaks them layered on top of all this volcanic gorgeousity; it utterly thrills me.

i just feel so alive and filled with life energy listening to this, bursting sun and human and sky and language and music energies all intertwined. the entire album is full of such gems like this but for many years now (and not again until quite recently) THIS track, "horizons," has continually left me awestruck. i'm not sure what it is. the skilled and delicate use of harmonics? the sweeping gestures, the vivid colors ("IN THE ORANGE LINE THERE IS NO MOVEMENT")?

the best answer would be: all of it.



ever since i was little i loved to stare up at the sky. i would lay in my yard or on the driveway and stare up into space. it didn't matter what time of day it was, but in the evening around sunset the light shining through the clouds would be of an extra lovely gradient of slowly-shifting shades.

even now it's one of my favorite things to do, but when i do it i quickly become almost mesmerized; my thoughts no longer dart around but become still, focused. it's a form of meditation for me that doesn't take a conscious effort to initiate. i am absorbed into the ever-changing tapestry, the shapes and textures which exude softness, delicacy, perfection beyond our control or wildest dreams.

charles bukowski says that the majority of people murder the minutes that they are given by traveling, going to the movies, or whatever - "to fight for each minute is to fight for what's possible inside yourself." i find this inspiring, extraordinarily so (in his later years bukowski seemed to have attained a certain taste of truth which lights my days' way a thousandfold), but it is also one of the most incredible challenges asked of us.

to operate this body with the self inside and to habitually make good use of the gift of life.




have you ever found yourself swimming down the stream of someone else's memory?

it seems like some of the most lovely images i can recall are not actually of my own life, but were born of the nostalgia shared with me by others. the story of their childhood, the landscape of their homeland, the long forgotten rituals. stories of the early world, that which dawned and set before the rising of my own. i can almost taste the fruit of that far-off place, smell the wind through the grasses.

perhaps film is one way to preserve the dream, but for the most part it can be only two-dimensional. memories don't seem to abide by the laws of any dimension; they are flashes of light and sense, seemingly disconnected yet in an unbroken stream are bound tighter to the heart with each recall, reflect more of paradise or hell now that they have been lost to time.

 月

there is much more to talk about, but my body begs for sleep.

thoughts~

field recording of summer sounds, like cicadas and storms and frogs
finding pure silence, deep listening to non-synthetic soundscapes
the sky over the ocean at night, that vast dark sea under a vast dark sky and bright, bright moon
oceans and freshwater lakes - seashells and river rocks, their respective symmetry and asymmetry
cave formations
rocks not as beings but as physical manifestations of natural processes, what energies do they contain?
cave drawings, hieroglyphs and symbols that slowly became written language
what the fuck is modernism in visual art? a lot of scribbly, messy lines; thick blocks of color, smudges - reverting to simple outlines of the human figure, large-scale as opposed to fine, accurate detail
bird song, light, and the rising mist on the mountains at dawn
drawing with lead a mountain side (from) (of) memory, gray on white
sunsets that make the entire landscape bright orange, like from a streetlight
recalling and revering the depth of primordial consciousness
universally-interconnected mythologies
poems dedicated to nature
poems speaking to the ancient human
the ancient American human
the ones here before us
all of their stories


 
 
i've known rivers:
i've known rivers ancient as the world and 
older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

...

i've known rivers:
ancient, dusky rivers.

my soul has grown deep like the rivers.

12.7.17

sleepy, golden storm

flecked with glee,
flecked with light

an impersonal passion
crushes this
night

like stars
blocked from our
sight

separately, in
fields take
flight


in this realm of night there is strength. upon this fallow land i pick myself up and after sowing lay me down to sleep.

i do not ask of the universe, "why have you forsaken me?"

what worlds shared, what light discovered (as behind hidden doors opened one by one, some requiring the strength of us two apes, hand over hand) still burns in every corner and in every shivering leaf aloft the branch.

my mind is alight with you, my heart aflame.

your indefinite absence is hardly a death, but, its physicality does leave an intense impression. it ages me, weakens me, creates illusions before me which would breed distrust toward my own heart.
 

I AM THE OCEAN.

I AM THE OCEAN AND YOU ARE THE STORM.



i take heart in the words of a poet. to say ever more clearly until the end what i truly believe is right.

even if it turns out to be wrong.

so each second is spent gaining and gathering. a lot of wandering, too. and resting in, almost sinking back into, this body of mine. there is also much reflection, with a care to avoid becoming stuck in harmful patterns.

like a shepherd guiding the flock. i must provide gentle guidance and never give in to weakness or negativity.

i know there is much to be learned from skimming off the top, as it were, the summary of my past - the paraphrased and abbreviated version of what happened, what could have been done differently, and how to become better.

it's not even a question of which memories remain, which are lost to time -


everything is lost all the time and that is the transitory nature of life, of this tapestry of Creation as you've called it (channeling words from ancestors).

we are sons and daughters. what more can we learn from ourselves?


i dig deep.

and it often feels futile.

ten thousand times a day and then some do i endeavor to find reasons for giving up.

but i haven't yet; not once, not for real, not in totality.

nothing is worth the loss of even the opportunity to lose everything while it is still in your possession.

truth must be made clear in blunt and stark terms as many times as it takes to find a fucking crack in the wall and drown my heart in its rays.

even in burning is the One Truth fragrant, soft, and beautiful.


my latest experimental work:



take care, little one

i know you will thrive 
now that you can be sure you
ARE
ALIVE
 
(and always have been)

26.6.17

dragon dream

hello!

i had the best dream i have ever had in my entire life last night.

in it i met a dragon named glean (as in, to glean) who was the pet of a very old man with long white hair. i think he might have been a mystic or sage from the east. the dragon was very golden, shiny, smooth and cool to the touch with scales like that of a snake, and flecked with green and red all over.

so i have decided that the old man was me, in a way. there was another presence seated beside the man but i still am not sure who or what it was.

i met one of the many me's that exist in my psyche, and i'm pretty sure that this one was my absolute, the truest and deepest and warmest which exists at the core underneath all the layers. the reason i know this is because the smile he had for me was the most tender and loving of all smiles, his presence the most soothing. i felt home in the stillness of his gaze.

when i knelt down to pet the dragon i wept with joy. i remember the feeling very well - i had just come in from being outside, which for some reason was starry deep space, and was not expecting any visitors. i think i was in a bad mood. but when i saw this dragon and the old man, seemingly old friends that i had not seen for a long time, the overwhelming hope i felt was tremendously arresting.

the hope i felt in that moment was basically born of a rich well of memory, perhaps very deeply hidden from a past life, like flashes of life that somehow slipped through the cracks; what shocked me was the remembrance of all the teachings i had received from or through or alongside the old man. teachings about happiness, love, compassion, humility, gentleness, bravery.

bravery is perhaps the most important one out of all, besides love. to be brave is to triumph over darkness, the darkness all humans face. this darkness is not a "devil" figure, nor is it evil; it is fear. fear of meaninglessness, fear of death, fear of sadness, fear of being alone.

i remembered that along with the old man, the knower of all my desires and capabilities and wishes and dreams, i have already won the battle. i have won it countless times, and will continue to win as the war wages on. we war with it daily, and i'm sure you can help me attest to this.

to be able to see beauty once is a victory. to have laid your senses on light and soaked it in, even once, is a blessing worth remembering always, in every lifetime. to find a joy, a masterpiece, a puzzle, something broken that you can fix, someone you can help... victories.

one last thing: after i began crying a bit the old man told me it was time to go. i was a little upset that he wouldn't let me just cry. i must have started to become sad again, and my old habits require me to steep in sadness and treat it as a cure, a cocoon. but my true self didn't want anything to hinder my flight onward and upward.

so the deep stillness of my self is like a primordial parent, my guardian and ultimate benefactor. what i have been attributing to "depression" is a spectre which can be turned off, like a television, with the proper commanding tone born of uncompromising self-assurance.

my daily practice, and maybe yours too, if you wish, is to embrace the uncarved block of wood.

love what you already are, admire all that you already have.

ى

cвітлана hяньо - "bilalis"
music the world does not see, 2014

svitlana nianio | experimental musician from the ukraine

i also highly recommend her solo album kитиці, or kytytsi

this track is from a compilation in which the likes of
psychic TV members make an appearance, along with
other industrial and obscure (yet incredible!) musical acts


عل

p'o - "blind tim"
whilst climbing thieves vie for attention, 1983

now THIS is something weird, almost puzzlingly so...

perhaps you'll be interested to know that the members
of this band began in wire. 
 
enjoy.


الا

john fahey - "stomping tonight on the pennsylania/alabama border"
death chants, breakdowns and military waltzes, 1963

"this record is for those who remember" (p. 3/liner notes)

i was reminded to re-visit john fahey when i came across this piece on the hum's blog
(really interesting and diverse content there, actually)

this album, after also hearing the amazing and transcendental requia,
is a rich tapestry of influences and pure musical genius.

fahey's playing glitters and soars.

regarding the following track (in jf's words):

"the opening chords are from the last movement of 
vaughan williams' sixth symphony. it goes from there to 
a skip james motif. following that it moves to a 
gregorian chant, 'dies irae'".


في

hoover - "electrolux"
the lurid traversal of route 7, 1994
 
i have been quite enthralled by this DC-based post-hardcore band as of late,
namely their 1998 reunion self-titled album

but then there's this track from the debut...

tell me how you like this deep cutting bliss, will ya?


radio flyer - "ice cream cheater"
in their strange white armor
, 1997

more 90s pre-emo post-hardcore

to be honest i never know what to call this stuff, it can be seen
as having influenced/being influenced by a plethora of
genres. 
 
the most important thing to ask yourself, really, is simply: 
do you like the way it tastes in your ears?


libro,
cuando te cierro
abro la vida

10.5.17

immeasurable


i wish i could go back in time
we felt love then

our home was fruition
our sky the truth of the
daydream


your touch is a ghost


dear one-who-swims-through
lonely, lush universe

-

sounds,
the latest incarnation of
my heart's wishes

shipping news - save everything (1997)


angles and rhythms formed out of low vibrations

-

shipping news - "haunted on foot"
three-four (compilation, 2003)



soft, emotive melancholy to
rival what remains
in your absence
-

shipping news - "louven"
flies the fields (2005)


to erase the pictures,

-

charlottefield - picture diary EP (2002)


to hide in Nature;

-

the jesus and mary chain - "taste the floor"
psychocandy (1985)


we dragged ourselves in

.

matin ou soir?

i figured out some music i want to write and sound i want to hear -

it is from the realm the acoustic piano.

a grand piano is best, and an older one even better. you press keys on the low end where the strings are thick, and you don't even need a pedal - the sound is rich, warm, and deep. you hold a note down and it remains unchanging for quite a long while. when the decay begins to creep in you release; the silence which remains feels to me suddenly bereft, yet wholesome... it held something. you are reminded of the emptiness of all space, the vastness of it or perhaps the tangibility of it. it is where sound resides, but only temporarily. it is the everywhere containing all that is and is not.

perhaps i wish to expose the shape of space... make it felt, visible, entered through sound. is sound the opposite of that space,  the "silence" we always speak of?

i don't think it's really about the notes. i want to explore the ringing, decaying vibrations which remain after a key and those directly beside are struck with varying amounts of pressure. i recently learned that the volume of the piano is directly correlated with the speed of key depression. infinite amounts of pressures can be applied and combined with each other, and the resultant echoes reverberating on the sound board is the composition. a painting of varying degrees (of temperature) - it can be visual, but my mind struggles to construct an adequate representation using points, lines, angles, color.

i think i am starting to make sense/become more aware of the jumbled sense experience in my head.

what looks like color is actually sensation, what feels like warmth might as well be

a shape,
a room,
a place,
a memory,
a dream

the whole world could be painted in oranges, purples,

hues of movement and light

.

désintégration

now i think of no one anymore
i don't even bother looking for words
it flows in me, more or less quickly
i fix nothing, i let it go
through the lack of attaching myself to words,
my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time
they sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up:
i forget them almost immediately

6.5.17

gardens of subconscious worlds

you know what i love?

when i am thrown into a world where this realm of mind (the place where i dwell so much of every day, that room i love and also hate with the bed i dirty and forget/refuse to wash) becomes no more an other, becomes a vehicle of experience no longer inherently separate.

in this place the mingling of subconsciousnesses begins to flower and a garden is formed, a lush world of merging perceptions and shared sensations.


n

a collage of colors and lights which continually flash, swirl, and arrange themselves in blocks and structures; a unique combination of sound and image that interacts with the subconscious in an infinity of ways; outlines of matter, the objective shapes of which shape their perception and experience;

these vignettes of existence are familiar to most human brains, as it appears to be our function - we receive a constant stream of data that is being transmitted at every level by an unknown generator, and we can't help but seek to do more, more than merely absorb and survive - we almost don't care if we live or die, it would seem.

we are hungry and incessantly dissatisfied with the extent of our hunger, the extent of its unfillablity.

this thing, this trajectory of growth and decay, is always both welcoming and terrifying, in every moment (to use a friend's words)

a

well, the point of this was to mention that art has 
the ability to unite the subconscious 
experience of two or more disparate 
spiritual realms - a reminder that to simply 
be is a universality, though the external 
output of beings varies tremendously 
based on the strength and nature of 
their individual and primary survival impulses.

from: ivan konstantinovich aivazovsky. the ninth wave (1850)

,

andrei tarkovsky.

the mirror (1975)

us

e

i have begun a small courtship with this film... or perhaps by watching it in short segments i have allowed certain scenes (which in this film are the arrangements of color, image, sound mentioned above - loosely organized photographs strung together, or scattered in a pile; a mood, hue, and arc of movement, rather than linear unfolding) to live with me.

as i grow through the days that pass the dark, hidden places become more and more illuminated. my mind treads like a pioneer, respectfully awestruck by raw brilliance, among the landscape of the thing.

there are moments, in the mirror, where my entire physical being is fully engaged -
there is no visible partition,
no frame,
no square,
no screen.

a

,

joshua adam acosta & joe wheeler - differential (2015)

listen



i am an acquaintance of theirs, and i believe the two still continue to make experimental music on both their own and in collaborative projects. this is sound art of the highest caliber.

the quality, i've found, that draws me to specific utterances of art more violently than any other is that of a distant familiarity. if some portion of me feels at home during the drinking in process - recognizes some shape or sound; is led into a room which exudes profound deja vu - it calls to me, like i am the distant descendant of an ancient soul. distant, yet one and the same.

to have that one sting strummed, only so few times in this life, becomes such a precious, beauteous occurrence.

to reach an understanding with one's self;
to give respect to and reconcile with the
being inside all of its powers
to understand,
perceive,
link together memories,
and create meanings which ultimately
benefit the inhabitant

,

'tis all one piece of the puzzle

.

.

.

14.4.17

pulses

dropping stones and pebbles of different sizes into varying depths of water
flowing bodies of water after a big rain
wildlife rising with the sun
the loud, brilliant silence of the stars across a deeply dark sky
rhythms of the universe embodied by any instrument and any human;
heart beating, lungs breathing, voice bellowing -
surfaces contacting surfaces


these are my favorite sounds

bear dance

my days are currently spent researching the bartók question; such a vast wealth of knowledge and insight on the man and yet there are very few easily-accessible conclusions about where his motus animi continuus was leading him...

i suppose the incredibly vast, rich, and valuable body of his work left behind - compositions, transcriptions, ethnomusicological findings, editions and arrangements of classics for pedagogical purposes, and thoughts on music in general - is plentiful evidence for the common observer to work from in the pursuit of knowing the man behind the music, knowing the music, knowing the process.


the only problem...

his works are notoriously complex, and not merely from the point of view of a composer or performer, but as a listener, watcher, observer!

much of the activity which gave shape and depth to bartók's musical voice occurred first inside his own mind. often there would arise a challenge or specific technical problem, and it needed solving. this quest for solution would be the impetus to create a revolutionary musical practice, would be the birth of his original piano method. he wrote for the student, the enthusiast, the able-bodied performer and able-minded musician. he wrote to preserve the folk songs with which he fell in love on his travels of eastern Europe and northern Africa.



but from where else, with what other catalyst, did his compositorial inspiration take flight?

in speaking of his piano suite, op. 14 (1916), béla bartók sought after "bones and music", not with complex chordal textures used often in preceding musical traditions.

while the below recording was selected so that you could see the score, i would also recommend listening to the composer himself playing the piece - he was a tremendous pianist who played almost "plastic"-ally (according to a former student, storm bull). 

i so badly wish he was my piano teacher. his music is the best communication i seem to be able to have with his teachings, for now.




I: Allegretto 0:00
II: Scherzo: 2:16
III: Allegro Molto: 4:16
IV: Sostenuto 6:38




also an amazing find in my most recent inquiry into the nature and music of this man was his string quartet no. 2 (1915).

helpful in my analysis of the piece, which i wasn't very sure of upon first listen, was the following write-up found beneath the video:

"As in other works from the era, especially the yet-to-come violin sonatas, Bartók here approaches a type of atonality, a "pseudo-atonality" that is partly a function of his radical, harmonically advanced polyphony, wherein melodies that have clear and easily comprehended shapes intertwine with each other in ways that produce great intervallic and harmonic tensions; yet these same processes also yield gem-like moments of diatonic triads, all the more beautiful for their rarity."

the "gem-like moments" in the first movement can be located @ 3:03 and @ 8:10. perhaps i shouldn't tell you where they are, but these moments are just some of the most beautiful things i've heard from béla bartók thusfar, as a combined unit of voices simultaneously sounding.



00:00 - I. Moderato
10:15 - II. Allegro molto capriccioso
17:45 - III. Lento

it does sound like chaos or some sort of randomness upon first listen, BUT, i realized that the "harmonically advanced polyphony" mentioned above is often actually the superimposition of disparate melodic lines at points which sometimes offset each other by various rhythmic values.

.

i was playing the second piece in the sixth book of his mikrokosmos series ("little world" - a set of six instructional books beginning with easy/beginner-level piano pieces working up to difficult sight-reading exercises/technical pieces for various pianistic skills) called "subject and reflection" last night. i realized that when played alone, the right hand was a completely tonal melody which sounded very much like the vocal part of a folk song. the left hand, also, was rhythmically-similar yet diatonically-dissimilar (of a different key or mode) to the right hand's line, and was reminiscent of the same folk tune...

below you will find a midi version of the piece. the sound quality isn't all that great, but i believe the notes will introduce your ear quite nicely to this particular section of bartók's sound world. the two hands, again, are playing two disparate melodies simultaneously.

this, to me, was a very exciting glimpse at some of the hidden workings of bartók's compositorial, musical mind. 



my personal conclusion so far of bartók is one that echoes a few of the hungarian poets/composers of his time and of the generation following him~

attila józsef: "consonance is dissonance understood," | "music understood from nonmusic";
andrás fodor: "your music is an entire world, and i find my way home in it";
györgy somlyó: "stretch us, no matter how much the muscles may hurt."

his music is not immediately graspable to our ears, but that very inaccessibility is what commands the study of it. i wish to understand the genius, locate the inner workings and attempt to make sense of them, much like he would most likely have felt about the music of bach. many have compared the two in terms of sheer impact on the musical world.

i feel it as a duty to this human who worked so diligently and lovingly towards a better piano teaching method, a better way of understanding classic pieces, a revolutionary way of hearing/playing/learning music, and an inclusion of raw human song in the classical realm of written and performed music.

rhythm as poetry


this album

by this band

is a completely monolithic achievement and,

apparently...

steve albini hates them?

drive like jehu - drive like jehu (1991)




the sense of space,
utilizing intro and outro time for atmosphere exploration

the carefully-chosen harmonies which unite, acknowledge each other, and then part,
making way for continued movement
(like the ending of "turn it off" @ 34:48, holy SHIT!)

the design of each song's individual structure - systematic;
parts placed beside and on top each other in the only way which will make the machine work

the rhythmic shifts, sometimes indiscernible, never stagnate or block the flow of life energy,
always different shapes and colors emanating from this singular source

LISTEN SO LOUDLY THE KICK DRUM KICKS YOU
FLOAT OUT TO SEA ON THE GUITARS' WAVES
RIDE THE BASSLINE LIKE YOU ARE IN A TINY FLOATING CAR

yep

18.3.17

requiem

this is the first time i have ever in my life chosen the alone state willingly and voluntarily.

i choose it not because i romanticize it in my mind, as i so often tell myself -
i know it is my own personal challenge to undertake.

being alone used to strike such fear into my heart because of past experiences with it -
the darkness that so easily would envelop terrifies me still.

but i have realized some things, with the help of words and new perspectives.

i can choose to not let the darkness have that power over my mind.
i can find companionship in every living being.
fellowship with mankind, my fellow life.

it is my responsibility to break free from being a "child-of-somebody,"
to become fully a child-of-the-earth.

i met a girl named rose.
she was like a feral, wild spirit.
not feral in a negative sense.
she just did not confine herself to civilization and its tendencies.

it inspired me.

people inspire me all the time to break free from my own mind.

13.3.17

white over forest

the treetops are brighter than ever

the moon shines white
like a cold fire
on silver bodies

we rest on grass
emerald-black

so soft are we
in this warm dream


without arrogance or hesitation


 

i am tied to time
captured enraptured


i am in love with this world
i stumble lost in my self
craving wholeness craving indifference


the animal with radiant hands
the animal with eyes in its fingertips



i see i hear i breathe
i beg for obedience to this day and night



00:00 In den Gärten Pharaos
18:12 Vuh
38:40 Kha-White Structures 1
49:20 Kha-White Structures 2
  


the most important text i have read in perhaps my entire life comes from the following ancient shambhala text, originating in tibet

the message is one of a belief in the basic goodness in the universe

upon first cultivating in the self the bravery to be without fear, the well-being of all which surrounds follows naturally



བདེ་འབྱུང

That mind of fearfulness
Should be put in the cradle of loving-kindness
And suckled with the profound and brilliant milk of
eternal doubtlessness.

In the cool shade of fearlessness,
Fan it with the fan of joy and happiness.

When it grows older,
With various displays of phenomena,
Lead it to the self-existing playground.

When it grows older still,
In order to promote the primordial confidence,
Lead it to the archery range of the warriors.

When it grows older still,
To awaken primordial self-nature,
Let it see the society of men
Which possesses beauty and dignity.

Then the fearful mind
Can change into the warrior’s mind,
And that eternally youthful confidence
Can expand into space without beginning or end.

At that point it sees the Great Eastern Sun.



being without deception


 
 

WE CANNOT CHANGE THE WAY THE WORLD IS,
BUT BY OPENING OURSELVES TO THE WORLD AS IT IS,
WE MAY FIND THAT GENTLENESS, DECENCY, AND BRAVERY ARE AVAILABLE - 
NOT ONLY TO US, BUT TO ALL BEINGS