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

4.3.17

aquí, en mi noche

red corn (osage)
i.

with charcoal black and lead grey,
parchment white or cream or yellow,
lines extend from my fingers.

following the motion of the wrist,
and the gaze of the eyes,

between the distant bellowing and the close breathing of the beast,

the hills assemble their green army.

i am free to arc my spine towards the moon.

dust from my skin scatters as ashes onto the river black



joanna brouk is a meditative sound artist who 

wrote scores with geometric shapes (numerogroup)

and 

believed that sound could heal the soul (aquariumdrunkard)




unwound is still my favorite band 

no matter how much time i spend away from them,
the obvious continually makes itself apparent to me

.

this is their 1998 album challenge for a civilized society
.

they surrender



ii.


i am currently obsessed with octavio paz.

i read his words all day - in spanish, in english, in character and in supplication.

he was a surrealist poet from mexico who eventually became the mexican ambassador to india.

poet & man
man & world
world & image
image & word
word & music
music & dance
dance & dancer
dancer & man
man & world
etc.


nicobar

D A W N

on the sand,
bird writing:
the memoirs of the wind

-

W I N D ,  W A T E R ,  S T O N E

water hollows stone,
wind scatters water,
stone stops the wind.
water, wind, stone.

wind carves stone,
stone's a cup of water,
water escapes and is wind.
stone, wind, water.

wind sings in its whirling,
water murmurs going by,
unmoving stone keeps still.
wind, water, stone.

each is another and no other:
crossing and vanishing
through their empty names:
water, stone, wind. 

-

T H E  O T H E R

he invented a face for himself.

behind it,

he lived, died, and was resurrected
many times.

his face now
has the wrinkles from that face.

his wrinkles have no face.


splitting open the primordial indefinite

all that remains to us
              said Bataille
is to write meaningless commentaries
on writing's absence of meaning
                  .
             to write poetry
is to erase the unwritten 

... from L E T T E R  T O  L E Ó N  F E L I P E 


the world(s) of his poems integrate external and internal until forced separation of the two begins to feel unnecessary. perhaps that is what surrealism is and does.

as paz views the external he does not merely see objects and materials, but what they are as his self is to his self - names and ideas, abstractions of "reality," concepts, immaterial posing as material...

how he interacts with nature, others and that which lies outside his body is what gives such life to his language - anything can be and is anything; stars are gardens and hours are eyes, noon is horizon, the self is wind.


all is and is not
and it falls apart on the page in silence
.
i set down now a few
twisted strokes
black on white
diminutive garden of letters
planted in the lamp's light
.
do i believe in man
or in the stars?

... from V R I N D A B A N


i like most his complete erasure of the pre-drawn outline-of-thing which we have come to associate with full identity-of-thing. these outlines depict an inherent incompleteness and sometimes even falseness.

the closest i think we can get to uniting the truth of the external with our own truth is to use only pure, unconditioned abstractness in our perception and experience - absent of names and ideas, and wordless. this wordlessness comes from primitive, perhaps even sacred and ancient, knowledge living deep within.

paz translated this primitive perception of life into an art of thought-to-image-to-word the only way he knew how, by painting the orderlessness of the mind, of what the mind sees, with language. he also acknowledged the inevitable shortcomings of the writing process - total oneness, total reversion to formless consciousness, can never be achieved - with humility, gentleness, almost as if observing from outside himself the limits of man and smiling.

through his poems, as through a window, i see the outside as closer in essence to my inside than i ever did previously.

immortal in splashed ink



the incurable otherness from which oneness must always suffer

2.2.17

apricot blossom

my heart is preyed upon by my mind, 

my perception of life is ravenously devoured anew each day 

like these edible birds uttering horrible cries~



you should know there is also
a heaven in the earth;
to seek it singlemindedly
is to seek immortality

27.1.17

dream evolve

can one ever discern the overarching mood of one's life?

i guess that is a question not for the living

.

life's insolvability-as-solution 
continually reveals itself to me 
with each sensual mountain-shaped
peak and fall...

.


is each separate external creation
merely a representation of
yet another attempt at [truth]?

are the processes of searching
(i.e. artistic processes)
made [untrue] when abandoned? 

or is art [true] when
left alone as a window
to be looked through?

.

... eternally exploring the nature of eternity ...



.

i am more obsessed than ever with the combination of 

popol vuh psychedelic/kraut rock group
germany, 1969-2001

this band was formed by florian fricke, 
who became obsessed with 
the then-new array of sounds 
made available by the Moog analog synthesizer
 
 
and

werner herzog film director
germany, 1968-present

this director is fast becoming my favorite director
and documentary filmmaker, as well as favorite
human being.

popol vuh + herzog collaborated on six separate films.


it all began when i saw the documentary  
burden of a dream (1982).

it is about the incredible challenges
herzog faced in the production of
fitzcarraldo (1982), set in the amazon -

klaus kinski in fitzcarraldo

the "dream" of herzog's causing the burden
was his mad desire to manually pull a  
320-ton steamship up a hill.

the production took longer than five years
and faced countless setbacks.
   
werner herzog on set of fitzcarraldo

.

the soundtrack by popol vuh to the film nosferatu is
my favorite meditative,
transcendental work

here you will find the sound of space's vastness
assisted by instruments and musical styles
traditionally indian in origin

(1978)


. 

i next saw the film
aguirre, the wrath of god (1972)
 
i can honestly say
with no doubt

this is my favorite piece of film in the entire history of the universe


what makes it so great,
 
besides the incredible "acting" of klaus kinski 
(a force of nature, a completely unpredictable 
and almost uncontrollable element, whose work
for all intents and purposes is
not an act but real),

is
the respectful exploitation of
the natural world as being,
equal to the human

and sometimes

indisputably at odds with him
in control of him
laughing at him
in pain with him


i think more than all others done by popol vuh
the soundtrack to this film is most accurately
and beautifully portrayed here by herzog:

(speaking specifically about
florian fricke, a close creative friend)

"he was a poet first and a musician second - a composer.
his feel for the 'inner'  narrative of a cinematic story was infallible,
and his music had the ability to change our perspective as onlookers,
even though a picture always remains the same projection of light
in the cinema. he made visible what would otherwise have remained
mysterious and forever hidden in the images."


.


feldman the composer writes,

"i am interested in getting to Time in its unstructured existence.
that is, i am interested in how this wild beast lives in the jungle - not in the zoo."

.

i think the point of this post is that the truth i believe i have seen in this precise moment is of the jungle, the wild, the eternity

if i am to create art i wish for it to be a direct window with no surface, and

if i am to experience art i wish to not be deceived by the presence of surface

19.1.17

each is another and no other

in contact with the infinity ;

the music of klaus schulze

crossing and vanishing
through their empty names:


"tempus fugit: the age of shopping"
la vie electronique one (compilation, 2009)
recorded c. 1968

an ancient pipe organ à la j. s. bach filtered through the moonlight of a different dimension




klaus began his career in 1969 as the drummer in german electronic/psychedelic group tangerine dream

his solo work is extensive but from what i have heard and am hearing it is completely worth diving into,

headfirst,

with eternity as horizon

water, stone, wind

timewind (re-issue, 2006)
recorded c. 1975



topography of sound structures flowing and swirling like a river of time

. . .

蟲師

lately i have been absolutely obsessed with the piano music of federico mompou.

born in spain in 1893, mompou was trained as a pianist throughout his childhood but took up composition as a vocation in adulthood.

i do not associate him with any other composer that i have ever heard, not even debussy, ravel, or satie (although there are certainly audible similarities), because he was both a catalan and seemingly quite connected to the folk songs and identity associated with the catalan community.

these compositions are meditative and insular worlds. the images painted in my mind by mompou's delicate notes are abstract, lacking definite form or concreteness -

perhaps this very quality of untraceability is what draws me to him, how there are emotions being expressed but not in a way that can be spoken of.

,

one's expectations based on the sounds of mompou's world, the automatic associations with chords and rhythms commonly heard in both late 20th-cetury/early 21st-century (post-)impressionism and mid-21st-century jazz/popular music, and the sounds themselves are often distorted reflections of each other.

i am happy to know about this composer; entering his world to only find yourself lost on various dark and beautiful paths is proving to be a highly enjoyable activity.

,

música callada (1959-67)
en. silent music
federico mompou, piano



música callada is a work divided into four notebooks and totals 28 pieces. 

it is based on the poem cántico espirituel by 16th-century spanish mystic san juan de la cruz, in which there are the following verses:

"la noche sosegada
en par de los levantes de la aurora,
la música callada,
la soledad sonora" (source)

 

... the last two lines,  "silent music, sonorous solitude," according to mompou, are: "... trying to express the idea of ​​a music that would be the very voice of silence" (source, p. 45)

one of my favorite pieces in the work is @ 47:40
xxii. molto lento e tranquilo

,

impressiones intimas (1911-1914)
en. intimate impressions
luis angel martínez, piano



i have a recording of mompou himself playing impressiones intimas ripped to CD but i could not find it on yt.

i like it better than this video but it will do for now - these were the first of mompou's pieces i have heard and are therefore integral to my love for his music.

,

charmes (1920-21)
adolf pla, piano



these are piano pieces of perfect length - none of the six last much longer than two minutes. according to pianist stephen hough, the titles of these pieces are:

"strange signposts [which] head each piece to illuminate our path of perception - although these mottos are more like the light of flickering candles in their obscurity. they are literally 'spells' which are conjured up for specific purposes: 'to alleviate suffering' ... 'to penetrate the soul' ... 'to inspire love' ... 'to effect a cure' ... 'to evoke an image of the past' ... 'to call up joy'" (source)

.

further description on what else one may find during their audial stroll:

"the music of federico mompou is the music of evaporation. the printed page seems to have faded, as if the bar lines, time signatures, key signatures, and even the notes themselves have disappeared over a timeless number of years. there is no development of material, little counterpoint, no drama nor climaxes to speak of; and this simplicity of expression - elusive, evasive and shy - is strangely disarming. there is nowhere for the sophisticate to hide with mompou. we are in a glasshouse, and the resulting transparency is unnerving, for it creates a reflection in which our face and soul can be seen"

and

"he is inside the room looking out, with the glass partly clear and partly stained. indeed there is always an element of distance in mompou between subject and object - the children's games, the singing and dancing are seen and heard from the next street; and his music thrives indoors in the city, not in the sultry southern sun of moorish spain"

(source - although i dislike the author's brusque remark about mompou, saying it is "impossible to claim [that he was] one of the 'great composers'" ... )

. . .
 
félix vallotton
women drying laundry on the beach
1899

in the shadows of a deserted street, on a wall,
in the deep purple loneliness, who
hasn't seen himself on the way to or from some
      encounter,
and not felt the fear and wretchedness and fatal doubt?

the fear of being nothing but an empty body
that anybody - i or anyone else - could occupy,
and the wretchedness of watching yourself, alive,
and the doubt that it is - it is not - real.

xavier villaurrutia, "nocturne: fear" nostalgia de la muerte (1938)

6.1.17

snow could be 

warm like pale 

bear fur




i think i'm searching for

the place where sound

is ice and



warm 


like a fawn who has become 

the snow



 

lost and 

remaining lost

when you've cooked the marrow of the sun and moon,
the pearl is so bright you don't worry about poverty

4.1.17

enter the hero

to sit still and watch birds on trees is akin to sitting still and allowing the original brushstrokes of intelligence hidden by refuse to be illuminated.

.

birds, the sometimes-silent sometimes-singing watchers and doers of Earth, are life's constants, your relative minutiae of infinitude as projected into the external.

wind, sometimes-invisible sometimes-suggested-by-tree-branch-movements, is the unchanging universe.

.

so often do i find myself torn between something like two possible worlds.

much less often do i allow this opposition to combine as nothingness.


life is so vast, it carries the opposite in itself osho (1930-90)