Saturday, November 5, 2011

On La Monte Young's Second Dream of the High-Tension Stepdown Transformer

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long lines beaming lofty into the dark along longer lines leaning hailward into the rose of last nights beginning

long rows of the traum-tone extending beyond what seeing as i can't describe orders back oblivion and goes on to seem so or only so

runs on before me as some kind of road going onward and nowhere resolving the brim of the convexity

rays of running light or the running lights of rays riding on the ruins of aural memory

and again long lines dipping into luminescent trails or rails run off from trains the heaving of lungs bewail

lines shining starless or stars themselves unseen in the self-origin of their setting nimbus tripped into evaporation

glistening in the listening to themselves pining oracles of their over-arching senility they travel younger than time and still

as monotony slivered with scintilatiing splinters of an abiding cacophony remain emotional as in moving and unmoving

texas or new mexico where lingering rickety leans of fences hem the yellow green munch and sun-pickled sanddollars of cattle manure

there is a theory in all this that has nothing to prove outside of its practice where theory itself is the mode of seeing waves and everything just begins again spuffling

to swell over the sucking ears that sleep and vibe their eternal tinnitus jesting the brain with inconsolable mares

shooting fluted runnels or rills of air resembling or reassembling the imaginary of wires weighted with pulsar parameters

boundary nexus of multilinear gravitational pulls permitting the sparagmos of inertia and the scandalous capers of two-bit stars

spittle drip off the stem spout tensile ingnotum clasping the floor of feral algae fed upon by whales moaning lonely songs

over the mountain hump of the last expected galaxy and further without backward glance coming from behind everything nevertheless and merging into infinite slittamenti

these are the smiles of gasping through the stem to stern spiral of the lines of longing that never ends

these are the mangers of the daughter of man already eaten by the kingless queen unrealming the night's hand on day

with my brittle anthology of unhinged syllables and leaky teapot i go sit on the roof to hear you fall a thousand deaths into my small life

and i paint your portrait with wine-stained fingers on the back of my love whom i place between two mirrors

and sleep when we decide we can rise again tomorrow to decipher what it means

salva adesso salve adesso salvete line line line

(to be continued)

March 4, 2011, PoznaƄ

The rendering of the composition I have been listening to in flac received through the kind agency of Michal Ossowksi is entitled "90 XII 9 c. 9:35 — 10:52 PM NYC The Melodic Version (1984) of The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer From The Four Dreams of China (1962)" which the Wikepedia unreliably but perhaps accurately lists as having been published by Grammavision in 1991 but I have no memory of hearing it then. When I first heard La Monte Young's works in the 80's his reputation had preceded him and any audition; and the bi-polarity between my youthful Marxism and my otherwise and beyond being transcendental-immanantist poetic cravings created a dissociation whereby I could only regard him as a crank guru to be admired at a distance. Whether or not I have any right to even describe this situation is perhaps as meaningless to the reader as it is to me. And yet it doesn't go without saying at all, if you have been paying attention up to this point. I do admire the work and also preferably at a distance, with a big bowl of gaping stars falling on my eyelids. I first had an occasion to play a regrettably foreshortened version of this piece in Warsaw in 2008 in a quartet comprised of myself, Eddie Prevost, Tetuzi Akiyama and Phil Durrant. It was a decent enough beginning. Playing a composer's work (or trying to do so) changes one's attitude rather permanently; there is no longer a feeling that any recorded version is acceptable if it is a great piece of music; you must play it again, experience it as coming though your own body; the music exists as a quality of air; it seems essential to your being and welfare; you have an unshakable desire to take a deep breath and begin again; in short, it is love and fucking and there is no substitute for it whatsoever; you find a way to do it or you die trying.

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