Saturday, May 25, 2019

Berlin Week/Haunted Houses Reviews/Updates

 Getting on the Flixbus, guitar and suitcase in hand, in a few hours I will be in Berlin again...
playing solo set at Madame Claude on May 27th 
    at 22:30 approximately...

and then solo at Loophole on May 29th
   the hour TBA. 

These sets will be composed of 4 different & subtly shifting sounding environments/
ambiences, with acoustic guitar woven throughout/plus the mysteries of the sound-table.

Then, at Tatwerk on June 1
(Hasenheide 9, Aufgang 1, 3. OG)
    I will be providing a somewhat different sound palette
in support of Ana Kavalis, in a project we rehearsed for
and previewed last month, called Somehow Standing.
 By way of introduction, click on this video :)
Two performances at 3pm and 6pm,
Space is rather limited for these performance so
reserve tickets ahead of time by writing to
or arrive early :)

looking forward to seeing as many old and new friends as possible, as ever... 

 in the past --------------  recently _______--------------__-----__________________
Muzykofilia Festival in Torun. Great times. Good musics. 
Wonderful audience.   Here's a video (audio only, of course) of my set direct from the board.
Photo: Agnieska Janik
Here's a very funny, creative review of my Haunted Houses album:  
    "I came for the house music, all dressed with my ravers outfit on and glowstick tightly squeezed in my hand… it must have been here somewhere I thought.. i mean, of course it’s an illegal house party and the directions are always a little vague, but still we should hear some booming beats to follow. But when going through all these abandoned houses over in this block, it slightly became apparent that this promised house party might be a misconception from our side… still trying to get out of here in order to find something else seemed to be more troublesome than expected." 

Read the full review(and link to the album) here

 I discovered that my album "Remote Provinces" released in 2009 on Aural Terrains label has now a representative track is posted on Youtube. I think it's sold out. But it's nice to hear a piece of it.
A few photos and then, it's time to say goodbye to blog-space and hit the road
Dom Artusa, Torun
Sunset, Santok, Dym Festival
Artist Jerzy Gąsiorek in Santok
Assemblage by Jerzy Gąsiorek, Santok
Ink on wood by Jeff Gburek
Set up, Muzykofilia Festival, Torun


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Radiophrenia Plays Two Cities by Jeff Gburek with Ilaria Boffa

 Radiophrenia Glasgow will be playing a few sound art pieces of mine in the next week.
     Tonight May 15 it's "Two Cities"

        On May 20th,  they will play
           "Dream on Orpheus Street"
                   (to be covered in the very next entry to this blog).
Flood in Poznan, 1889

   Radiophrenia is accessible via the link below and they will be playing a great variety of audio art, plays, field recording, hoespiel and sound collages with commentary and , yes, even a sense of narrative purpose.
 Until May 26th

“Two Cities” is composed of spoken word, poetry, site-specific field recordings, & acousmatic sound. The work encompasses themes of ecology, personal position, isolation, community and the liquidity of modernity, in all it’s elusive forms. The reflection of the two artists dwelling in two cities funneled into one place here & now for the listener. Ilaria Boffa, lives in Padova, Italia and Jeff Gburek in Poznan, Polska. They contemplate together, and apart, the waters rising and receding in the wake of civilizations that mark the tide levels of the planet. Audio, music and composition by Jeff Gburek.

For those who missed the radio presentation, no FOMO!
You can find the whole available for download here. Support our work within your means.

Part 1. “The Shrinking Pond”

Begun in 2016, when the desiccation of the region had just about peaked and all local bodies of water seemed still to shrink from contact with the outside world, the recordings of an early Spring during the crisis of a great dry year. The environment of the pond in Poznan was documented on 3 different levels and these sound layers are revealed with an animated and multi-dimensional audio-texture. One strata is the literal binaural ambience, the noises of machines and animals heard within human range; the next, hydrophones in the river and pond, and then recordings of magnetic resonance fields (caused by electric cables, street lights, automobiles, cell-phones — all using a disembodied guitar pick-up to capture sounds that are not normally within the human auditory spectrum. These sounds were then re-composed into a series of free audio spirals. After having heard Ilaria Boffa’s work, “The Two Cities”, I decided to add another spoken word intervention of my own, recorded this November, contemplating the atmosphere of ecological indeterminacy and human fragility. Together with the following piece “Acqua Alta, the tables turned and now liquid nature is swelling almost perilously at the seams. We stretch the cable of trans-communication, make ghost-bridges between two cities far flung and yet conjoined by a common liquidity. Special thanks to Marco Lucchi for the fragment of his “November Song” that appears in the composition.

Part 2 “Acqua Alta”

Embedded in this track is the voice of Ilaria Boffa speaking on two occasions. The first are phrases commemorating the language of Zygmunt Bauman (the sociologist and philospher, born in Poznan) and the concept of Liquid Modernity while in the second moment she takes us on her journey to Venice amidst the floods in November where she recites a poem called “The Two Cities” which, in her own words, “deals with a profound sense of absence and distance, the acceptance of a painful looming scenario that echoes from a remote past. Sinking, drowning becomes simultaneously a very private and universal condition, a reflection on the global eco-dynamics currently shared by living and non-living beings.”

The compositions feature texts and field recordings made by Ilaria Boffa in Venice recomposed, reconfigured and supplemented by Jeff Gburek in the studio and around Poznan, featuring slide guitar, piano, field recordings, radio captures, incidental voices (birds even). Thanks to Kołorking Muzyczny for piano and “the space to think” and Karolina Ossowska (backing vocals/voices on “Acqua Alta” and for inspiration in general).

Jeff Gburek is a multi-instrumentalist, sound designer & composer who uses prepared guitar, radios, magnetic field antennae, theremin, manipulation of organic objects, & special microphones to bridge formal music & environmental sound sources, bringing multiple dimensions of sound into consciousness. He has lived in San Francisco, Montreal, NYC, Berlin, Brussels, Lyon and now Poznan. Collaborators include Michael Vorfeld, Tetuzi Akiyama & Keith Rowe of AMM. He’s performed at Unidram Festival in Potsdam, Ad Libitem Festival in Warsaw, FRIV Festival in Poznan. He currently leads workshops offers private lessons on improvised music, acoustic ecology, field recording, English and Italian at Kołorking Muzyczyny, Poznan.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Haunted Houses Of The Living. Album

   No one believes in haunted houses anymore but I believe in haunted houses just a little bit more than the unbelievers, after having lived within several, if only inside the skull, the crackling brain-case, and the house-bones, as they settle unsettlingly, in the merger meridian between seismic flow and over-head gulf streams and low frequency nor'easters. There is a spectre in spectralism and a prismatic fractal flaw splitting hairs without identity. Without the words equal to sound and the sounds equal to words there is the poem that rides shotgun over the carriage drawn into dawn by subtle horses, nameless ones, I cannot know while being guided by them over paths of further air, knowing them anyway, gusts of hydrogen-weighted gravity, a bustle between vibrating strings, the bright glow in the punctum sordum, a train running in one ear & out the other. 
The worlds within the worlds inside the piano, the innenklavier, so called, the haunted house, the inner everglades of a sensual buzz as of strings in distant hunters of the stars drawing the mark. 
 Materials: grand piano, microphones, fingers, feedback (an immaterial material if ever there was one), delay, volume and pitch pedals. Did I miss anything?  Please let me know.
Easter Sunday (4/21/2019).

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Patrul Rinpoche, Nomadic Scholar (1808-1887)

This transmission thanks to Michael Northham
(listen to anything while reading)
 Today first day of transmissions of Patrul Rinpoche
 - not so long (a text)
as he never stayed in one place long
enough to write
- an amazing nomadic scholar
from the 19th century.
Here a nice example :

 Advice from Me to Myself
- Patrul Rinpoche -

Vajrasattva, sole deity, Master,
You sit on a full-moon lotus-cushion of white light
In the hundred-petalled full bloom of youth.
Think of me, Vajrasattva,
You who remain unmoved within the manifest display
That is Mahamudra, pure bliss-emptiness.
Listen up, old bad-karma Patrul,
You dweller-in-distraction.
For ages now you've been
Beguiled, entranced, and fooled by appearances.
Are you aware of that? Are you?
Right this very instant, when you're
Under the spell of mistaken perception
You've got to watch out.
Don't let yourself get carried away by this fake and empty life

Your mind is spinning around
About carrying out a lot of useless projects:
It's a waste! Give it up!
Thinking about the hundred plans you want to accomplish,
With never enough time to finish them,
Just weighs down your mind.
You're completely distracted
By all these projects, which never come to an end,
But keep spreading out more, like ripples in water.
Don't be a fool: for once, just sit tight.

Listening to the teachings — you've already heard hundreds of teachings,
But when you haven't grasped the meaning of even one teaching,
What's the point of more listening?

Reflecting on the teachings — even though you've listened,
If the teachings aren't coming to mind when needed,
What's the point of more reflection? None.
Meditating according to the teachings —
If your meditation practice still isn't curing
The obscuring states of mind—forget about it!
You've added up just how many mantras you've done —
But you aren't accomplishing the kyerim visualization.
You may get the forms of deities nice and clear —
But you're not putting an end to subject and object.
You may tame what appear to be evil spirits and ghosts,
But you're not training the stream of your own mind.

Your four fine sessions of sadhana practice?

Your four fine sessions of sadhana practice,
So meticulously arranged —
Forget about them.

When you're in a good mood,
Your practice seems to have lots of clarity —
But you just can't relax into it.
When you're depressed,
Your practice is stable enough
But there's no brilliance to it.
As for awareness,
You try to force yourself into a rigpa-like state,
As if stabbing a stake into a target!

When those yogic positions and gazes keep your mind stable
Only by keeping mind tethered —
Forget about them!

Giving high-sounding lectures
Doesn't do your mind-stream any good.
The path of analytical reasoning is precise and acute —
But it's just more delusion, good for nothing goat-shit.
The oral instructions are very profound
But not if you don't put them into practice.
Reading over and over those dharma texts
That just occupy your mind and make your eyes sore —
Forget about it!

You beat your little damaru drum — ting, ting —
And your audience thinks it's charming to hear.
You're reciting words about offering up your body,
But you still haven't stopped holding it dear.
You're making your little cymbals go cling, cling —
Without keeping the ultimate purpose in mind.

All this dharma-practice equipment
That seems so attractive —
Forget about it!

Right now, those students are all studying so very hard,
But in the end, they can't keep it up.

Today, they seem to get the idea,
But later on, there's not a trace left.
Even if one of them manages to learn a little,
He rarely applies his "learning" to his own conduct.

Those elegant dharma disciplines —
Forget about them!

This year, he really cares about you,
Next year, it's not like that.
At first, he seems modest,
Then he grows exalted and pompous.
The more you nurture and cherish him,
The more distant he grows.

These dear friends
Who show such smiling faces to begin with —
Forget about them!

Her smile seems so full of joy —
But who knows if that's really the case?
One time, it's pure pleasure,
Then it's nine months of mental pain.
It might be fine for a month,
But sooner or later, there's trouble.
People teasing; your mind embroiled —

Your lady-friend —
Forget about her!
These endless rounds of conversation
Are just attachment and aversion —
It's just more goat-shit, good for nothing at all.
At the time it seems marvelously entertaining,
But really, you're just spreading around stories
about other people's mistakes.

Your audience seems to be listening politely,
But then they grow embarrassed for you.
Useless talk that just make you thirsty —
Forget about it!

Giving teachings on meditation texts
Without yourself having
Gained actual experience through practice,
Is like reciting a dance-manual out loud
And thinking that's the same as actually dancing.

People may be listening to you with devotion,
But it just isn't the real thing.

Sooner or later, when your own actions
Contradict the teachings, you'll feel ashamed.

Just mouthing the words,
Giving dharma explanations that sound so eloquent—
Forget about it!

When you don't have a text, you long for it;
Then when you've finally gotten it,
you hardly look at it.
The number of pages seems few enough,
But it's a bit hard to find time to copy them all.
Even if you copied down all the dharma texts on earth,
You wouldn't be satisfied.
Copying down texts is a waste of time
(Unless you get paid) —
So forget about it!

Today, they're happy as clams —
Tomorrow, they're furious.
With all their black moods and white moods,
People are never satisfied.
Or even if they're nice enough,
They may not come through when you really need them,
Disappointing you even more.

All this politeness, keeping up a
Courteous demeanor —
Forget about it!

Worldly and religious work
Is the province of gentlemen.
Patrul, old boy — that's not for you.

Haven't you noticed what always happens?
An old bull, once you've gone to the trouble of
borrowing him for his services,
Seems to have absolutely no desire left in him at all—
(Except to go back to sleep).

Be like that — desireless.
Just sleep, eat, piss, shit.

There's nothing else in life that has to be done.
Don't get involved with other things:
They're not the point.

Keep a low profile,

In the triple universe
When you're lower than your company
You should take the low seat.

Should you happen to be the superior one,
Don't get arrogant.

There's no absolute need to have close friends;
You're better off just keeping to yourself.

When you're without any worldly or religious obligations,
Don't keep on longing to acquire some!

If you let go of everything —
Everything, everything —
That's the real point!

This advice was written by the practitioner
Trime Lodro (Patrul Rinpoche)
for his intimate friend Ahu Shri (Patrul Rinpoche),
in order to give advice that is tailored exactly to his capacities.
This advice should be put into practice!
Even though you don't know how to practice,
just let go of everything — that's what I really want to say.
Even though you aren't able to succeed
in your dharma practice, don't get angry.

May it be virtuous.

Patrul Rinpoche (1808-1887).

Sarva Mangalam!

May all beings be happy!

Translation by Constance Wilkinson

Many questions about the text were clarified according to the extremely kind explanations of the Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, during his stay in New York City, and according to the detailed explanations of Khenpo, Rigdzin Dorje of the Nyingmapa Shedra,Bansbari,
Kathmandu, Nepal.

Thanks to Matthieu Ricard of Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling, and to Anne Burchardi of the Marpa institute of Translation for their advice toward trying to make this translation faithful to both the letter and spirit of the original Tibetan.

All errors and misunderstandings are those of the translator.

May this poem, despite all shortcomings of its translation, serve to benefit all beings! 

Sarva Mangalam.

Wikipedia of Patrul Rinpoche


Monday, March 11, 2019

The Hatred of Music by Pascal Quignard

 Pascal Quignard's The Hatred of Music is more than a book, it's a codex, a Rosetta stone, a spell from zoe, an elixir that may induce shamanic trances, an archetypology of sound and music

    Here's a dropbox link to a free pdf of the English translation:

    Up until the moment I began to read these treatises, published first in 1996, I was under the impression I had no guide (among literati), no comrade even, for or by, or among the perplexed, to the poetics of music, not one that was thoroughgoing, actually poetic, tough and profound, unafraid of much of the implicit fascism in the concept of audience itself, although I honored various attempts by ethno-musicologists and encyclopedicists, anthropologists & social critics to get close to the truth of the matter, while in my heart knowing that they were either not really aware of how close they were getting to the core, or self-censoring themselves on the brink of the "problem" -- and in the post-modern era one begins to get bullied, mocked, considered a sentimentalist or fool for seeking any general field theory or profundity.

 Theophrastus asserted on the contrary that the sense that
opens most widely the door to passion is acoustical perception.
He said that sight, touch, smell, and taste subject the soul to a
less violent distress than that caused, through the ears, 

by “thunder and moans.”
Visible scenes stupefy me and expose me to silence which 
itself is a song by privation. I have suffered from mutism: a deprived
song. A dance: one sways back and forth. Or one’s head
turns from one ear to the other. Silence is rhythmic.
But most piercing screams, certain crashes overwhelm me
beyond measure, to the point of arrhythmia.
Sounds plunge us into a silence of hearing more torn asunder
than the silence of sight which Horace claims however to be
the first esthetic tearer...   Music alone tears asunder.

    For each researcher on the origins or music or each scribe who proposed one useful approach that still missed the essential another would arrive missing all the points in superficial estimation of the others. It had become almost impossible for me to read the words of so-called music "critics" -- whose sense of history derived from liner notes of albums and fanzines, where music is fixed inside recorded commodities. Further add to this the horrendously selfish competition among academicians and the deflective and evasive discourses hemmed by self-victimizing political correctitude that tries to divide sound and music into special categories of willful practitioners, Cartesian egos, who all seem equally not to know why or how they make music or how the music creates us. How it is drawn from our own bodies (heart-beat, pulmonation, growth-spurts, infantile gasps) just as it is drawn from mimesis of external sounds, the animals in the forest or seas

The shaman is a specialist in animal roars. The master of spirits
can metamorphose into anyone or anything—although birds
move the fastest and allow him to cross the sea or soar above the
mountains. Birds are the most nomadic of nomads. The shaman
is an accelerator of transport, of time, that is to say of metaphor,
of metamorphosis. Finally he is the most acoustic of the acousticals.
His territory is the air delimited by songs...

    The missing link in most cases, the place where the bridge is out, concerns the primordial scenes of what Quignard calls the Acousticals, totemic ancestor sounds -- the sacrifices (the skins of the drums), the noise of sex, the hunt, tribal violence, the resonance of caves, the essence of shamanism, which he recasts in re-verbarium of the antique French tarabust, a noise everyone knows the meaning of without having to discuss -- the very thing the burka of the quotidian bourgeois science of culture covers and pretends is not there but which every animal researcher knows to be the quintessential, perhaps the only important sounds that animals make, relying as it does upon their reproduction. We are at the service of the sounds. And we don't really hear most of the artists we have, let alone hear them in order to hear the sounds that are necessary. But the noise of music will distract us ad nauseam. Since the emergence of the new scientisms and ideological discourses the depth was left to individuals and surfaced only in flashes of the truth in some composers works -- Stravinsky's Rite before and Jani Christou (listen to Mysterion, for example)  notably, after -- but only very obliquely in the works of other post-war composers (where the violence is social, referent to Enlightenment ideology) and alluded to with great pretension by industrial occultists -- and occasionally among poets sincerely whose ears didn't get sucked into the vortex of their gaping and vainly gesturing mouths. Pascal Quignard, a writer, musicologist, a musician -- who knows that a muse is an affliction and that "amusement" means to be distracted -- and as a former editor for Gallimard, who read almost everything, classically educated (meaning that he reads/knows the Greek and Latin he cites), trying to fathom the Western traditions from the inside, turns out to be the one who emerges bearing the lantern.

 Ulysses, all of a sudden, effortlessly
arched his formidable bow. To test the string he opens his right
hand. When released, the string sang beautifully (kalon aeise),
with a voice (audèn) like a swallow.”
Once again the lyre comes first. The bow comes second.
Ulysses’ bow is like a kithara. The archer is like a citharede. The
vibration of the bowstring sings a song of death. If Apollo is the
quintessential archer, his bow is musical.

The bow is death from afar: inexplicable death.
More precisely: death as invisible as voice. Vocal cords, lyre
string, bowstring are a single string: entrails or nerves of a dead
animal that emit the invisible sound that kills from afar. The bowstring is the first song: the song which Homer says is “like the voice of a swallow.” Strings of stringed instruments are strings-of-the-death-lyre. The lyre and the cithara are ancient bows that fire songs at the god (arrows at the animal)

    Perhaps one of the most stunning and resonant of the themes one finds in the book is the recognition of the rites of passage accorded to males who undergo transformation from child into man, from the circle of siblings and mothers, into the cults of hunters, when the boy must take up with an animal spirit, paint the walls of the cave, prove mastery in animal murder, or emerge from the cave metamorphosed, when their voices change and the character of the man, as a being whose life breaks into pieces: one, before, where his range in smooth, soprano, like a woman's and the other side where he has forever lost his voice, croaks, must develop a new voice, or lose organs in order to keep his voice intact. The theme of the castrati, those sent under the knife in order to remain pure of voice, deprived of further masculine functions, those marked men, marked within and without.

   The following review (link below) may also be a helpful introduction, covering many of the most important points dealt with in Quignard's treatises. Although I am not sure who wrote this review, I find little to disagreeable and the author informs you that the book is arcane (I would say, hermetic) neither magniloquent nor verbose. In fact, the sentences of Quignard, however tricky, are in fact also pithy, economical, as if Quignard wished not to prolong the affair longer and burden the mind of the reader with excessive noise and redundancy.

Sunday, March 10, 2019


Bride of Queitness/ Organ Airs, on the Electone Organ

Kottbusserdamm, Berlin, 2019
  Recorded in late August 2018 at the home of Angelika Witkowska in Krakow, using her Yamaha Electone Organ. It was very difficult at first to find a way to play and record without literally bumping into the mic or getting too close. The sound of the fan was terrific and so I decided it deserved to be featured in the prelude and in the coda.This is an album for connoisseurs lo-fi, just like the last one recorded cassette to cassette.The title, Bride of Quietness, comes from the Keats' Ode and refers more to the silence than the music and the haven itself. The photo comes from Berlin, Kottbusser Damm, wedding apparel shop, very esoteric. Thanks to Angelika Angelika E. Witkowska for hosting us yet again on our travels through Eastern Europe. Download is free/pay what you like.

Download album free or pay as you like
= click on them purple words and listen

Yamaha Electone Organ, Krakow, 2019
   from the notebooks of recent moments:

fear itself is that the social structure will be revealed and this has already been transmitted into artificial intelligence as the tendency to back-up and prevent the absolute consequences of deletion of any data. universal background radiation indicates stored dark matters evolves valves (values) that release things considered unconscious and render them as news quite often. freud. the prophets reich and jung and lacan. she sings, she plays theremin, violin too, plays with her eye-brows, an extended technique, we don't know what she wants, she's not there she insists we cannot disagree. everything in us wants to make sure she is there but she isn't & she nevertheless disagrees. we want to ensure ourselves she is not there but she is & nevertheless disagrees.  we learn maps thusly, 
we generate dendrology, the structure of our brains, in our own "hands" -- we open them -- cup them, we cup the hands, two hands join in the womb, feral geometry, the geometries we make them us, gathering formulae for song, sings where you can find the big tree where daddy buried your mom, rose up until she buried him anyway, meanwhile, everything burns, even ash

everything will be in the torus, of chorus

meeting you in everything twilight and dawn 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Bob Kaufman's Golden Sardine, Prince Albert Out of the Can

 read at risk of your own enjoyment
online, in it's entirety, the greatest
and most  golden sardine
offered by poetshouse
link below...
I will not tell you why
not really
but will share
certain atomic
at syllabic lettriste
levels seamlessly

 everything is happening at the gate of experience in this piece in pieces. it's exciting from start to finish because it really seems to have had no plan when it was planned not to have one and then makes us unsure we haven't yet forgotten it or if we have any plans of our own while it confidently moves, station to station, flipping itself out, crisply, page by page. a kind of surreal helical circulatory system shadowed by the mayan calendar effect, where the suns ceases to seem "quadrate" any longer because the earth itself is no longer pressurized to resist space entering the subduction. lands and spaces are perpetually renewed. high spirit rules. les yeux e oreilles  the birds are an ear in this language, the space is exquisite, aimless, the song brings contagious laughter. and it seemed to me, seems still to be, hailing from the blackfoot mountains everywhere aboriginal...
 even after so many years, a kind of South and Meso and North america's ta'wil --

what is Ta'wil?  

Ta'wil, is the allegorical interpretation of the Quran or the quest for its hidden, inner meanings. but why do I apply this word to a book by an African poet of the America and sometimes Parisian realms, a man who I knew to have been 86'd from every bar in North Beach, that legendary hang-out haven of  the Beatniks in San Francisco? I say this book itself alone can tell you why through it's secret hilarity, based as it is upon various archetypal games being played out inside it like in an exhaustive serialism, a logic so coherent and unnerving, leaving nothing untouched, nothing and everything therefore remaining sacred, bubbling over, runnethinge overeth withe, all the patterns and paradigms of lost paradises, atlantean calderae. To read and attempt to explicate the soul it is required to undergo an initiation and this book opens the door, being perfect dadaism and designed to both construct and inspire involvement: as if every line depending on your contribution and why the America's of course because of the rebellions and the drift and the mixtures of musics, foods, peoples, languages and that Kaufman represents this all within the Western twist of spaghetti --

if that does not explain yet Ta'wil, I leave it dangling for now, for the next post, with the promise that I shall return -- for the return and the turning of the eternal return, continues the very substance of the creation and hand... read Kaufman, and about him... until next time...