Friday, January 10, 2020

Resonance Bodies//Listening Levels//Thrill Decoder// An Invitation to Become the Earth

 The following texts articles and tubes refer to upcoming  
RESONANT BODY WORKSHOP in Berlin Jan 18 & 19. 
Register with Ana Kavalis:   
Read about this on FB

Submitted for your perusal. Item A

 The picture below.
Imagine if you will, the innermost world of
the child, before issuing from the mother. The first sounds.
While the heart is the earliest organ
(the earliest "noise-floor"), the skin would be the first sense organ
(but why not the heart! the heart! -- too romantic, I guess --
but the ear comes a bit later, forming around the 22nd day of the embryo's development,
& does seem to share affinities with the form of the womb,
like the little girl in the ear of Rilke's Orpheus Sonnets -- and in acupressure and acupuncture
theories -- the places we can trace around the ear should be connected with meridians linked to other
organs & systems of the body -- so that this is the outset for my idea that a new kind of hearing with the whole of the body just might be-- not only possibly true to form -- but also perhaps can evolve to be so and improve sensitivity and circulation of Qi, Chi, call it what you like

Item B

regarding the phenomenology of perception from within the 18th century -- 
this very curious, majestic, baffling poem which seems to be either about Nature or the Mind turns out often to be about both and yet cannot exist without continual transitions through the space/time continuum of human perception -- rather than being a poem about romantic absorption into nature it seems in fact more about the intangibility of nature itself

N.B. don't be frightened of, the text, is not homework, just poetic background, a statement about the nature of listening as synaethesia & proprioception -- read and find the words that resonate with your own body and mind  -- 

Mont Blanc: Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouni

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark—now glittering—now reflecting gloom—
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters—with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

Thus thou, Ravine of Arve—dark, deep Ravine—
Thou many-colour'd, many-voiced vale,
Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns sail
Fast cloud-shadows and sunbeams: awful scene,
Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down
From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne,
Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame
Of lightning through the tempest;—thou dost lie,
Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging,
Children of elder time, in whose devotion
The chainless winds still come and ever came
To drink their odours, and their mighty swinging
To hear—an old and solemn harmony;
Thine earthly rainbows stretch'd across the sweep
Of the aethereal waterfall, whose veil
Robes some unsculptur'd image; the strange sleep
Which when the voices of the desert fail
Wraps all in its own deep eternity;
Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion,
A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame;
Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion,
Thou art the path of that unresting sound—
Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee
I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate fantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,
Holding an unremitting interchange
With the clear universe of things around;
One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering wings
Now float above thy darkness, and now rest
Where that or thou art no unbidden guest,
In the still cave of the witch Poesy,
Seeking among the shadows that pass by
Ghosts of all things that are, some shade of thee,
Some phantom, some faint image; till the breast
From which they fled recalls them, thou art there!

Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep, that death is slumber,
And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber
Of those who wake and live.—I look on high;
Has some unknown omnipotence unfurl'd
The veil of life and death? or do I lie
In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep
Spread far around and inaccessibly
Its circles? For the very spirit fails,
Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to steep
That vanishes among the viewless gales!
Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,
Mont Blanc appears—still, snowy, and serene;
Its subject mountains their unearthly forms
Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between
Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,
Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread
And wind among the accumulated steeps;
A desert peopled by the storms alone,
Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone,
And the wolf tracks her there—how hideously
Its shapes are heap'd around! rude, bare, and high,
Ghastly, and scarr'd, and riven.—Is this the scene
Where the old Earthquake-daemon taught her young
Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea
Of fire envelop once this silent snow?
None can reply—all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue
Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild,
So solemn, so serene, that man may be,
But for such faith, with Nature reconcil'd;
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal
Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood
By all, but which the wise, and great, and good
Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.

The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams,
Ocean, and all the living things that dwell
Within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain,
Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane,
The torpor of the year when feeble dreams
Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep
Holds every future leaf and flower; the bound
With which from that detested trance they leap;
The works and ways of man, their death and birth,
And that of him and all that his may be;
All things that move and breathe with toil and sound
Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquillity,
Remote, serene, and inaccessible:
And this, the naked countenance of earth,
On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains
Teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep
Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains,
Slow rolling on; there, many a precipice
Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power
Have pil'd: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle,
A city of death, distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin
Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky
Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing
Its destin'd path, or in the mangled soil
Branchless and shatter'd stand; the rocks, drawn down
From yon remotest waste, have overthrown
The limits of the dead and living world,
Never to be reclaim'd. The dwelling-place
Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil;
Their food and their retreat for ever gone,
So much of life and joy is lost. The race
Of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling
Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream,
And their place is not known. Below, vast caves
Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam,
Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling
Meet in the vale, and one majestic River,
The breath and blood of distant lands, for ever
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves,
Breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.
Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:—the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights,
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there,
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them. Winds contend
Silently there, and heap the snow with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret Strength of things
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!
And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
If to the human mind's imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?

 Item C

The Sound versus Noise Conundrum

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi famously creates an infinitely collapsable binary (see video link) when he declares that noise is more objective and sound is a mixture. Sound which comes out of our practic is both subjective and objective. Sound in this sense is participatory. And yet, what can be said about sound about which we are unconscious, do not hear? We will perform a series of listening and feedback experiments which demonstrate how this border is constantly shifting. Sounds become noise and noise becomes sound. Sound art and noise art work in this zone of perpetual re-definition and indefinite mappings.

Item D

The Underground Scene on the Global Scale

I am not a fan of corporate news networks but let's consider this as a study in the mystery of listening and locating the sources of vibrations unknown

This page will continue to be updated as we near the workskop in Berlin....

Register via Ana Kavalis:

Monday, January 6, 2020

Sam Kriss' Something. The 2010's in Review

over the last year or so I followed with terror the outrageous clarity of this writer who seems to be able to breath in the acidified oceans of modern cinema inside the society of the spectacles and lives to tell the tale straight up and tarnished.

don't call him Ishmael though he may call the Ahabs and the whales white or blue as they appear while the whales themselves are running far to escape commercial sonar (but that's anything but another fish story to save for laters -- on the edge of #collaspsology -- in the #anthropo-obscene --

 read Sam Kriss @ Idiot Joy Showland (but not via facebook, even if Sam tells you to do so, he's totally off about that)

an example -- emphasis added is mine

 "In the modernist 20th century, culture produced novelty: new galaxies, new empires, new images and affects. Now, in the era of neoliberalism, it’s all repetition and pastiche; the best we can do is repeat ourselves. Disney is churning out soulless live-action remakes of its old cartoons at a frightening, industrial rate. These aren’t for children: they’re for people who used to be children, and aren’t any more, but never actually grew up. People who want to remember their childhoods, but this time with lots of CGI. Sappy idiots. Meanwhile, every other major blockbuster is either a sequel or a franchise. Pop music copies the forms of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Literature recoils into tedious 19th century realism. All we can do is rearrange the rubble of the past."

another example --

 "The Irishman is also a deeply worrying film. This is Martin Scorsese directing Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci in a film about Italian-American gangsters. It’s a McNugget of a Scorsese film; it’s as if his earlier canon had been juiced and then reconstituted. The most arresting thing about the film is its use of digital de-aging, allowing the 76-year-old De Niro to (not entirely convincingly, but still) play a man in his mid-thirties. As a proof of concept, Scorsese had De Niro recreate the Christmas party scene from Goodfellas, and then used the technology to make him look exactly as he did in 1990. This is more than nostalgia, it’s the extermination of time. Scorsese can dip into the past and insert a new item into his 90s crime canon. He can obliterate the last thirty years. In the ‘now’ of the film, the present from which De Niro remembers his life, US jets are bombing Yugoslavia. The most advanced digital technologies are used to keep culture in a permanent stasis."

enough examples --

everyone who has a good therapist or their own daily meditative practice of some kind should read all Sam Kriss' writing. if you are drinking or on drugs you probably won't anyway but I don't recommend reading him unless you are tough as nails & rather flinty

there's everything in here to suggest that in a few days there will be an AI that will re-write all of Don Quixote and sell it as if new -- as in that film I didn't see about the guy who was resurrected to be the Beatles that God erased from historical memory

 this image only accidentally refers to rubble of the past. that's my stuff, not his

Monday, December 30, 2019

Great Mistakes, Hong Kong Eyes, 2019

ecoutez oval dar beim jaki lynx (listen to the album here)

"I just passed
a swoony time on earth. I did not dig
that there was more"
-- Charles Olson

saying this album was composed in one day is a great lie. and yet, very little has been heard or previewed before today and everything bearing upon it's current incarnation stands transformed by a hard 12 hours or so of hammering and bellowing the forge, those two contrary actions, the yield of which is what passes as a sign here, and what remains on the heap to be heard and taken in by one's own meaning. apex of the eccentric mood of this year of perplexity, angst, heightening. oddly enough, achievements in themselves, joys even.

the sound of us stretches back here at least until 2017 in a few cases. when I say "us", I mean, the sounds were in my care and they did not find place in publications anywhere else until now. some of the sounds come from Jacek Zielinski (tracks 1, 5, 8) and Filippo Panichi (Hong Kong Eyes).

there are sources in Creative Commons that I should find and provide attribution for in in the coming days as I've drawn on interviews and radio transmissions captured on the fly over the past year and a half that are elusive to my memory at the moment but not anonymous. Hang in there, my teams of neurons bees working on that. field recordings come from bulgaria, berlin, krakow and poznan. i play guitars, piano, electronic devices and percussion on site and in the studio (which can be the stairwell or the attic as the case may be).

The album cover was snatched from a post by Eric Wong. Apparently the wash-down of the protest slogan from the walls in Hong Kong.

 released December 30, 2019

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Out-sourcing Invocation to Ayahuma

Helloooooo! Sorry for the strange weblog post but I'm exploring new ways of sharing without FB...

listen once on a lower volume -- or loop -- but also read -- below

"Mankind has obviously reached the end of something"
 -C L R James,
   "Dialectical Materialism and the Fate of Humanity"
(thanks Hap. Savage, for the icing on the cake)

pull the stone out that plugs the bottom of the well
for the water's gone rotten with whatever they've been feeding
let the feed grow wild or forgotten
and let living waters sprinkle the air
living waters from flying rivers
free music has a record of it's own social order
not it's great scare but in it's care
free music beholds bee-cause
free music bees aware
the one about whom there is only one story
in the mansion of hives
in the dark rooms of developing alchemy
in the forest paved with yellow-gold leaves
photonic consciousness vibrates the phi mo
in the the trans-cranial ultra-sound
the strange song called zenzsen
mercury mediated the higher poisons into tincture
the mana pill every chicken knows what's best
the mano podersosa
every eagle knows what's best
the pineal thrill
every owl knows
her flesh of atoms & molecules woven
ayahuma alone doesn't know
ayahuma alone doesn't care
yet creating all beckons
the dissolution

Sunday, December 22, 2019

On Parables, Kafka, Olga Tokarczuk and The Problem of Out Laws

listen here by the click

is there too much music? too many people? too many ideas? or not enough love? there are so many things one could say. one of which is there are too many opinions and look here comes another one although look at how it adds up to a kind of polyphony of noise

more often I think there are too many non-listeners. other times I think there's not enough quiet around the listening, as if one had to transform the experience immediate back into logos, speech. the surrounding and settling of the contents in the listening is never allowed to happen. is this because music has become too much like discourse or too defined by discourse?

these things I say inside the noise above 
-- among the noise of other things and peoples --

  one can't deal with the overload as an individual. Either there there really really is is too too too too too too much information or there is in fact no information at all. oh no...

one model of communication asserts that the person has to already know the message they are seeking in order to be able to receive the message when it is sent. this is why there is a tremendous amount of nostalgia posting about the music of the past, as if we are seeking a reassuring narrative and through this the message we've conditioned ourselves to look for will undoubtedly arrive. In this sense there's not too much music but not enough anti-music. 

   Herbert Brun's idea was that it is only in anti-communication that the composer creates the condition in which the listener must find a meaning or a message that has not been predetermined

   Many complain that the words of the wise are always merely parables and of no use in daily life, which is the only life we have. When the sage says: “Go over,” he does not mean that we should cross over to some actual place, which we could do anyhow if the labor were worth it; he means some fabulous yonder, something unknown to us, something too that he cannot designate more precisely, and therefore cannot help us here in the very least. All these parables really set out to say merely that the incomprehensible is incomprehensible, and we know that already. But the cares we have to struggle with every day: that is a different matter.
     Concerning this a man once said: Why such reluctance? If you only followed the parables you yourselves would become parables and with that rid yourself of all your daily cares.
    Another said: I bet that is also a parable.
    The first said: You have won.
    The second said: But unfortunately only in parable.
   The first said: No, in reality: in parable you have lost.

   The Parable of the Problem of Our Laws, written by Franz Kafka, sprang to mind (--> wiki link -- ) -- within the howl of these recent images from Gaza, it shook my mind, again. These impressions combined with the messages streaming through Olga Tokarczuk's recent Nobel Prize speech -- all flowed together in this new sono-podcast, this evolving audio-poem, with synthesizer, shortwave radio, percussion, voice, performed live in the studio. Some words are my own gathered up from scraps of paper and given breath again but the vast majority belong to a passage of Olga Tokarczuk's text (see footnote). The other messages recombine as new sensations, margins of electromagnetic information. With thanks to Karolina Ossowska --without whom I'd have likely not read Olga's work and a special thanks to Tom Carter for the "is there too much music" question, which sparked again the movement towards the anti-music, the unanswerable question...

   "The Problem of Our Laws" (German: "Zur Frage der Gesetze")

    The story is a short narrative, where laws of the land are described as esoteric, created by the elite. Thus, being such they are out of the hands by the common people, yet binding. Nobility is seen as the authority, the creator and executor of laws, yet completely separate from those whom they apply to. Yet, these laws create a sense of security among those who follow them, an empty one, since they are in fact a type of cruel joke. Incidentally, the story echoes the labyrinthine system of law and regulations in place among the official in Kafka's earlier novel, The Castle

 Olga Tokarczuk  -- Nobel Prize Winner in Literature for 2018 -- she writes:

    "The flood of stupidity, cruelty, hate speech and images of violence are desperately counterbalanced by all sorts of “good news,” but it hasn’t the capacity to rein in the painful impression, which I find hard to verbalize, that there is something wrong with the world. Nowadays this feeling, once the sole preserve of neurotic poets, is like an epidemic of lack of definition, a form of anxiety oozing from all directions."
     Today our problem lies—it seems—in the fact that we do not yet have ready narratives not only for the future, but even for a concrete now, for the ultra-rapid transformations of today’s world. We lack the language, we lack the points of view, the metaphors, the myths and new fables. Yet we do see frequent attempts to harness rusty, anachronistic narratives that cannot fit the future to imaginaries of the future, no doubt on the assumption that an old something is better than a new nothing, or trying in this way to deal with the limitations of our own horizons. In a word, we lack new ways of telling the story of the world.
      We live in a reality of polyphonic first-person narratives, and we are met from all sides with polyphonic noise. What I mean by first-person is the kind of tale that narrowly orbits the self of a teller who more or less directly just writes about herself and through herself. We have determined that this type of individualized point of view, this voice from the self, is the most natural, human and honest, even if it does abstain from a broader perspective. Narrating in the first person, so conceived, is weaving an absolutely unique pattern, the only one of its kind; it is having a sense of autonomy as an individual, being aware of yourself and your fate. Yet it also means building an opposition between the self and the world, and that opposition can be alienating at times.

      Paradoxically, however, this situation is akin to a choir made up of soloists only, voices competing for attention, all traveling similar routes, drowning one another out. We know everything there is to know about them, we are able to identify with them and experience their lives as if they were our own. And yet, remarkably often, the readerly experience is incomplete and disappointing, as it turns out that expressing an authorial “self” hardly guarantees universality.

      What we are missing—it would seem—is the dimension of the story that is the parable. "

Monday, December 9, 2019

Jeff Gburek_Ephia_Keith Rowe: Live at Lida Project, Denver, Colorado. Full Recording.

   Some of you may not have known me long enough to know my obsessions and concerns. For 10 years I worked intensively with butoh, body-work, audio-spatiality (once called "psycho-acoustics") and improvisational music with the dancer Ephia Gburek
  The project was called Djalma Primordial Science   The subject of this weblog post however is the newly released digital album that documents one of Djalma Primordial Science's meetings with Keith Rowe, founding member of AMM, the person who has, as far as I can tell, still has the cap (feathered) for prepared guitar, as having taken it the furthest. 
  That this was a meeting between artists who took improvisation as a kind of sacrament should not be lost on the person who would listen to these pauses where distance overwhelms the front-lines in fog. This is what happened there in a there no longer there since this is also in a sense a field recroding of a demolished theater space in Denver called the Lida Project. 
   Further details on the Bandcamp page.
   Jeff Gburek: electro-acoustic guitar on the table, low-input mixer, field recordings. 
   Ephia: movement, stones, bones, vocal tones. 
   Keith Rowe: prepared guitar.

  In addition to thanking Ephia and Keith Rowe for this experience and these memories, I should add a few names. For one, Alana Deloach, who's set up the show at Lida Project. And we should thank the Lida Project itself as an organ, a cave for the imagination, as sonorous space now only in the arcana of our memories and the resonance one can hear in this recording. The other person to thanks is Ian Douglas-Moore who was the first responder to the emergency calls I made to record and music shops in Denver to find amplifiers for Keith to use. Additional thanks to whoever put us up that night. Special shouts out go to the wonderful people we met in Denver subsequent to than evening and who would invite I and Ephia back to perform several more times.