Monday 27th July

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floatingWorldFrontI’m working an earlier shift this week, which sees me get home at a more sensible hour, so perhaps I will get some of my outstanding jobs sorted at last over the next few days, finalising sleeve designs being top of the list. A stack of new CDs arrived this morning as well, new stuff from IMJ and Wandelweiser amongst them. I’m looking forward to having a little more time to be able to listen properly this week. This evening I have been listening to a new release that has either only just been released or is about to be released by Robert j Kirkpatrick on his Hollow Earth Recordings label. Robert sent me a physical disc to listen to, so I imagine copies will be available to purchase from him very soon, though he also tends to give his music away for free download from the label’s website. So far this new disc, named Sounds from the floating world does not seem to be there in download format so I am not sure if it will be or not in the future. The last thing I heard Robert was reaching the end of a long cycling trip down the west coast of the USA so he will probably be back home soon and able to answer these questions.

I have known Robert for a while and have followed his music as it has progressed over recent years. He plays the harp, in a somewhat reduced, electroacoustic manner, and his previous releases have tended towards a kind of stark, ascetic minimalism, far from easy listening. This new release though  sees Kirkpatrick use a very different approach. The disc contains four tracks that each make use of field recordings that he made during a trip to Japan in 2008, two of them being just collages of assorted recordings, the other two also involving additional overlaid instrumental (or at least electronic) parts. The first track, Ten Ten Kyoto Overlay is indeed 10’10″ in length and would appear to consist of just assembled parts of field recordings made around the city of Kyoto. Much of what we hear at first are natural sounds, insects chirruping, birds twittering, recordings made (I suspect) in or around the Ryoan-Ji temple. Scattered throughout though are reminders of modern Japan, the chatter of crowds, a revving up moped (I think) and an obscure, cut-up, partly looped sample of a grainy recording of a piano sonata, the identity of which I don’t know. This is a nice piece. the recording quality of the collaged pieces is good if not superb, giving an air of vaguely grainy mystique to the track. The piano parts, and other sudden, unannounced intrusions upon the otherwise calm feeling of the piece add something extra to what might otherwise be just another collage of natural sounds.

The second piece, named Ryoan-Ji (for John Cage) is a thirteen minute long recording made at the temple, over which Kirkpatrick has later layered a track consisting of two keys sounds, a high pitched, piercing sine tone and a lower, bubbling, popping tone that sort of sounds like dribbling water recorded against a metal surface but probably isn’t. Much of the field recording consists of people talking in low voices as they walk around. There are occasional footsteps or sudden bustling sounds, and the sound of tourist guides reading instructions. The overlaid sounds remain constant throughout until the track ends suddenly at. This track is OK, a nice idea executed well, but over thirteen minutes it begins to lose impact. While the album’s first track continued to spring little surprises this piece uses one single concept for perhaps twice as long as I would have preferred. I suspect much of the emotive power of the recordings used in this piece will be lost on anyone that has not attended the garden, leaving us just with what we hear on the recording. An extended period sat in the temple’s garden is probably a very beautiful experience, but this doesn’t translate so well to a recording without the associated imagery.

The third piece is named Tokyo Electrics and is a thirty-three minute long assemblage of recordings made around parks, trains, streets and venues in Tokyo. The bits and pieces were then somehow assembled using a score Kirkpatrick devised using images found via a Google search for “Tokyo Electric.” These recordings contain everything we might expect from Tokyo. There are busy streets, noisy shops, crowds of people chattering, traffic, music, amusement arcades, and a host of other loud unidentified sounds that are collaged together. It isn’t immediately clear how the score might work. It seems to consist of a single computer generated cartoonish illustration of trees and buildings that Kirkpatrick has divided up into four “zones” on one axis and the thirty-three minutes of the piece along the other. In theory then up to four recordings are heard at one time here, sometimes less, depending on what appears in the image at any one time. The piece sounds best when the field recordings are not so easily identifiable. Often there are sounds involved that could be trains, could be industrial equipment of some kind or other, or could be something else again. These parts have more of a musicality to them that merge well with the other elements of the recordings. Elsewhere, when birdsong or rain can be heard, or when station announcements are made on trains things verge nearer to the kind of playful aural tourism that all of us with handheld digital recorders have tried from time to time. As a result, over the full length of the piece some parts are much more interesting than others,  but in general this longer, semi-composed track is the most accomplished here.

The final piece lasts just over a minute in length. It consists of several recordings from Kyoto pieced together in small parts. There is some kind of little tune played electronically, birdsong, wind and footsteps, all contained within this tiny timeframe. The piece was used as the backdrop for a live performance in Seattle over which Kirkpatrick added live sound, but that element is missing here. As a result I am not sure what there is to take from this little track we have not already heard in more detail. had we not already been entrenched in similar sounds throughout the album this little piece would actually work really well, perhaps if placed between two instrumental pieces, a little island of condensed sound. Placed here at the end of the album though it loses the impact that its brevity provides, though at first, without realising how long the track was I was surprised by is sudden ending.

Some nice material here though, and probably my favourite release from Robert yet. The extended Tokyo Electrics composition is certainly my highlight, but all of the pieces attempt to fuse some of the character and feel of modern Japan into otherwise abstract musical settings.

72 Comments

  • graham halliwell August 2, 2009 - 5:23 pm

    “right, I’m not saying that composers like Feldman and Cage weren’t crucial building blocks, just that we need to find our own answers and solutions for our world now. as for Rameau, Purcell et al, Keith brought those in for one very specific, personal set.”

    I think there are some profound issues surrounding EL007, and Keith’s use of early music that go beyond the personal, that haven’t been discussed yet. But agreed, this isn’t the right time or place.

    But, FWIW, I don’t think we should be divorcing the issues surrounding the music under discussion from the issues surrounding music and art in general, past or present; a fatal mistake. Maybe that is the reason why we are so isolated. Complex enough, yes; but I think we are part of a much bigger picture.

    George who? If memory serves me right, Robert, Richard wrote a post regarding his favourite String Quartet music, and he left Beethoven out. I suggested he go out and listen to the late quartets (especially in regard to Shostakovich), and i don’t think he was immediately smitten. But, as has already been noted, great music grows. I now want to know how he got on with Dowland and Janacek.

  • jon abbey August 2, 2009 - 5:33 pm

    “But, FWIW, I don’t think we should be divorcing the issues surrounding the music under discussion from the issues surrounding music and art in general, past or present; a fatal mistake. Maybe that is the reason why we are so isolated. Complex enough, yes; but I think we are part of a much bigger picture.”

    sure, I agree with that. I’m not saying we should be divorcing from past history entirely, that would obviously be counterproductive and tends to end up with people repeating the same mistakes of previous generations. what I’m saying is that I think we need to build on those previous questions/issues/solutions and not merely default to previously arrived upon answers. it’s very easy to do that, especially when you’re dealing with such crucial figures as Cage and Feldman.

  • robert August 2, 2009 - 5:48 pm

    I wish Keith was directly part of this discussion, there are a number of things I’ve talked with, especially w/r/t his sets in Japan that I think would be shed a lot of light on things. But I never feel all that comfortable citing things from private conversation, not the least due to memory constraints leading to misrepresentation. But I think its an interesting point to note that he refers to the classical segments as Framing devices that he normally doesn’t make explicit. So something like that is always (?) there just rarely so overt.

    Anyway I’m off to the Seattle Art Museum for what looks like a very promising show. Back later!

  • robert August 2, 2009 - 5:50 pm

    Oh and I’m a big fan of Dowland as well and also would be curious to hear Richard’s impressions. Especially about the vocal material which makes up the core of it.

  • graham halliwell August 2, 2009 - 7:11 pm

    “But I think its an interesting point to note that he refers to the classical segments as Framing devices that he normally doesn’t make explicit. So something like that is always (?) there just rarely so overt.”

    OK, completely off topic, but everything written about EL007 is regarded from Keith’s personal perspective, i.e., why Keith has used these pieces. But lets approach this from another angle; the perspective of people who are well versed with these pieces and what they signify. Keith has used several profound pieces of music that millions of people over centuries have connected with, for a multitude of reasons. I wonder what they would make of EL007? Did Keith in his conversations with you mention anything of the humility he felt using these pieces? Did he mention anything regarding his possible alignment with ‘greatness’ or the history of music? He’s talked about innovation, but what is his perspective on the religious/philosphical connotations of this music? Does he feel his music will be remembered and listened to in 2-300 years time? Does he have any regrets or anxiety about using these pieces? So many questions remain unanswered.

  • jon abbey August 2, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    I’ll point him to this discussion.

  • simon reynell August 2, 2009 - 8:45 pm

    God, this is a fascinating discussion [and I agree with whoever (Robert?) said above that sadly it’s unlikely to have developed as interestingly on IHM].

    Jon, in a way I very much agree with the interesting post you addressed to me. I too am not into music that seems easy listening / ambient, and I too think that it’s important that there are discs that “are difficult to quickly digest and that push people to reexamine some of their existing beliefs”. But I think we’d disagree is on what particular discs fit into those categories.

    So for instance, for me ‘early’ Sugimoto always fell into the former ‘ambient/easy’ category, as does much of Oren Ambarchi’s music, as well as a lot of late Feldman – all of which you seem to like more than me. Now the ‘challenging’ category for me would certainly include several discs on Erstwhile, for which I thank you. But perhaps not some of the discs you’d expect. For instance, while ‘One Day’, ‘Lidingo’ & ‘Forlorn Green’ are all examples of discs that took a while to grow on me, neither ‘The Room’ nor Keith’s Erstsolo were ‘challenging’ listens for me at all , and certainly haven’t forced me to ‘re-examine my beliefs’. (The same is true, for instance, of Duos for Doris, The Hands of Caravaggio and A View from the Window – all of which I love, but have assimilated without any difficulty). And there are other Erstwhile discs I find ‘challenging’ only in the sense that I don’t like them (several that border on noise, virtually any involving Sachiko, Erstpop). Now I suspect you think this is because I’m too conservative and don’t really get cutting edge music. I think it’s simply that we have different tastes (again with some overlaps), and that there’s no objective standard by which to measure if either of our opinions is ‘right’ or better than the other. (I reckon that anyone else reading this would come up with a list of favourites / dislikes from the Erstwhile catalogue that differed from both mine and yours).

    So when you chide me at the end for introducing Cage into a discussion of ‘our area of music’, I think hmm…. I’m not sure the areas that we’re focused on are quite the same. For me the increasingly fuzzy ground between improv and contemporary classical music is crucial and Cage is absolutely central (which is why I’ve just released a disc with a piece of his, and have two more in planning). For you this doesn’t seem to be the case.

    You also write that the discs that “compel 10 or 20 or 50 listens are often the ones with more underlying them than just making music in the moment, and those are the records we need to continue to survive as a creative area.” Well, apart from the fact yet again that the discs that compel me to play them countless times are probably very different from yours, I also don’t agree with the implication that ‘our music’ is in danger of withering or dying. I think improvised music is currently undergoing a very lively phase, renewing itself, and becoming ever more diverse, which is healthy even if I don’t personally like some of the paths being pursued. I sometimes get the impression that you think ‘the music’ is (or should be) heading in just one direction, ie following the trail being blazed by Erstwhile. But I think that it is protean, and that changes and advances are being made on several fronts. It certainly doesn’t feel to me that it’s in danger of extinction.

  • jon abbey August 2, 2009 - 10:00 pm

    Simon, I think maybe our differences are roughly along the lines that I feel “our music” needs to be as forward-looking/thinking as possible, and to me, cross-mingling with the older generation of EFI improvisers (for lack of a better term) is in most cases a step backwards, a dead end, a move in the wrong direction, however you want to phrase it. we’ve discussed this before, though, you know my position here and clearly you disagree.

    how Cage and Cardew and Feldman and Rameau fit in to all of this I’m less clear about, except that I’m personally much more interested in their music as implicit influences than in explicit performances. to me the world has more than enough Cage recordings and probably enough Feldman recordings and labels specializing in those, so unless John Tilbury is the one doing the playing, I’m not especially interested.

    so you’re right, I don’t think I’d ever release a Cage piece on Erstwhile (although I would consider starting an ErstClass imprint for the right classical recording, partly because the name makes me laugh). the Treatise recording on the AMPLIFY box is an exception, as that was part of a week-long event/documentation, I probably wouldn’t have put that out as a standalone disc, although I do really like it.

    “I sometimes get the impression that you think ‘the music’ is (or should be) heading in just one direction, ie following the trail being blazed by Erstwhile.”

    this has some truth to it, if you add a couple of qualifying statements. first is that Erst has been exploring quite a few different directions even just over the last 18 months (R/S, The Breadwinner, the two ErstPop releases, the 5 releases with either Keith or Toshi), that’s four wildly different directions right there, with a couple more en route this fall (Malfatti/Filip, Fagaschinski/Stangl). second is that if there’s an exciting area/musician/group of musicians that I’m not covering with Erst and I think that I should be, I try to change that in the future, so it’s not a rigid ‘trail’, it can be changed at any time if I feel the music merits it. this is how the ErstSolo and ErstPop subseries began, neither of which I ever would have imagined/considered a few years back.

    also, I believe that any area of music is always in danger of withering and dying, almost no matter how lively it seems at the time. the people involved in that area need to be constantly on their guard to try to avoid this going forward, IMO anyway. this belief is maybe why I come off as rigid as I seem to sometimes, as this possibility (and inevitability, to some extent) is my biggest fear in this music.

  • graham halliwell August 3, 2009 - 1:45 am

    “how Cage and Cardew and Feldman and Rameau fit in to all of this I’m less clear about”

    well, maybe if we were all clearer about how Cage, Cardew, Feldman, Rameau and Purcell fit into the picture, ‘our music’ would have a much wider, vibrant audience. (I bet Keith Rowe for one is probably very clear how these people fit in, and is making progress because of that understanding). Then perhaps ‘our music’ would be in less danger of ‘withering and dying’.

    I live in a world where I would love to experience a set like EL007 being performed at an early music festival.

  • jon abbey August 3, 2009 - 3:57 am

    Graham, I’ve been thinking a lot about this last post you made since I saw it earlier. the question of audience size is another interesting one. of course all of our lives would be decidedly easier if we knew there were 500 or 1000 or 5000 people waiting to come to concerts or buy CDs, and there’s of course a lot to be said for that.

    on the other hand, I honestly tend to think that too much of an audience can impact the music adversely, certainly in a live setting. for instance, seeing MIMEO at the Serpentine Gallery with hundreds of people milling about was infinitely less satisfying than seeing them at Musique Action with less than 50 people in the room most of the time, and I could give numerous examples along similar lines. I don’t know what the answer is to this either, but I thought it was worth mentioning in light of your post. when I talk about the long-term health of the music, I’m generally talking about the actual music. I’ve always kind of assumed that if one makes great music for long enough, eventually a sizable enough audience will find you and support you, but maybe that’s an assumption I need to reexamine.

    good discussion!

  • simon reynell August 3, 2009 - 4:07 am

    Yes, Jon is constantly plagued by a “big fear” that our music is withering and dying because he sees it moving in one direction only. If like me he saw it as protean and multi-directional, then a lot of the things he sees as “a step backwards,a dead end” might turn out to be vibrant signs of growth in a different direction rather than signs of decay. He could then lose his big fear and become happier….
    (is that what they call ‘music therapy’?)

  • jon abbey August 3, 2009 - 4:34 am

    sure, I could also get a lobotomy. that would remove all my worries, or so they say.

    for the record, I’m not “constantly plagued” by anything except worries about paying my bills each month. I see numerous exciting avenues for this music going forward, they just don’t overlap too much with the ones you seem to see.

  • simon reynell August 3, 2009 - 4:42 am

    I just crossposted with Jon, so more seriously, on audiences:

    I think there are contradictory tendencies going on:

    in terms of live performance I think (in the uk at least) the audience is growing both in numbers and diversity – perhaps only slightly, but significantly, so I’m not overly worried. [Though like Jon I prefer attending concerts with smaller numbers (30 up to 50) as it makes the experience more concentrated, but hey-ho, I'm not going to grumble too much if new people keep coming]

    in terms of numbers buying cd’s (and ignoring consumption via filesharing etc) I think the audience is declining & it’ll be harder and harder to break even, however great the music. I fear that in a couple of years it may only really be viable to issue downloads and cdr’s. I’d be sad about this, and it won’t help the music, but it won’t kill it either.

    These discussions almost inevitably revolve around recordings as reference points (especially because a lot of the people who talk loudest and most often run labels), but this does tend to skew things a bit. Recordings are great, but the music breathes and grows primarily through live performance, I think.

  • jon abbey August 3, 2009 - 4:51 am

    “These discussions almost inevitably revolve around recordings as reference points (especially because a lot of the people who talk loudest and most often run labels), but this does tend to skew things a bit. Recordings are great, but the music breathes and grows primarily through live performance, I think.”

    not sure I agree about that either (shocker!). a recording can have a worldwide impact over time, a live show is gone in the air, audible solely to the people who were in the room (unless it’s released as a recording later, of course). recordings are more often used as reference points in these discussions because everyone has an equal chance to hear them, which isn’t the case for any live show. anyway, I think they’re both pretty crucial in different ways.

  • Kostis Kilymis August 3, 2009 - 7:49 am

    “Graham, I’ve been thinking a lot about this last post you made since I saw it earlier. the question of audience size is another interesting one. of course all of our lives would be decidedly easier if we knew there were 500 or 1000 or 5000 people waiting to come to concerts or buy CDs, and there’s of course a lot to be said for that.”

    I get the sense that what Graham has in mind, is an audience of a different nature, and not necessarily a larger one. Not saying that we should rid of the present audience of course, but there is a large issue of isolation affecting this area of music and it doesn’t have to do with numbers

  • Richard Pinnell August 3, 2009 - 9:39 am

    One of the problems here is with different people meaning different things when they say “this area of music” That in itself will mean different things to different people.

    We seem to have moved off the original topic and onto more familiar, perhaps less interesting ground that I probably shouldn’t get involved in, but I think I should add my support to what Simon said above. As I see it improvised music (the music itself, not its CD sales) is alive, healthy and thriving. Clearly my perspective is skewed by the current resurgence in the UK, but I also think I am as in touch with what is going on around the world as anyone. It is however moving in many directions, some of which I really enjoy, some I don’t. However, the future good health of the music as an investigative, challenging entity must be based on attitude and creativity, not on any one person’s aesthetic preferences. I am not saying we should all like, or listen to everything, I am just saying that the narrower you make the boundaries surrounding improvised music (and this can be extended to individual musicians) the less healthy situation we are in.

    As the to the problem of falling CD sales, clearly downloads will eventually replace them in the main, if not entirely. The music really can (and I think will,) live on as a live experience however. One very interesting project to me has been the Paul Abbott/Ben Drew/Seymour Wright project whereby they have placed all of their informal playing sessions up online for people to listen to should they choose. They have made no attempt to change the way they play together here. They are not producing a finished CD or anything similar, they are just sharing their experience, for free with a wider audience.

    I think in the future live music will be shared in a similar way, thus removing some (obviously not all) of the barriers that geography places on wider enjoyment of a live event, and hopefully encouraging people to play, or go and watch others play nearer to home.

  • graham halliwell August 3, 2009 - 10:17 am

    “However, the future good health of the music as an investigative, challenging entity must be based on attitude and creativity, not on any one person’s aesthetic preferences. I am not saying we should all like, or listen to everything, I am just saying that the narrower you make the boundaries surrounding improvised music (and this can be extended to individual musicians) the less healthy situation we are in.”

    Agreed 100%. Well expressed.

    “We seem to have moved off the original topic and onto more familiar, perhaps less interesting ground that I probably shouldn’t get involved in”

    ……and so endeth the discussion.

    It’s a pity that KR didn’t join in to give a more ‘experienced’, life at the cutting edge world view on some of the issues covered, but like all good artists he is either too busy or planning his next project.

  • CROWE August 4, 2009 - 10:29 am

    Hi there
    Hmm well I guess I don’t read and take part as I should anyhow, and in any case I was away (up the Loire) from the 25th up to the 2nd. without a internet connection, (Ha! very British ” Carry On up the Loire without a connection”)
    it will take me a time to read carefully thru. but quickly I would like to say that writing down thoughts is only a rough approximation of whats going on, I don’t think of them as theory, I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m not attempting to replace Derrida, I’m not also writing a “BooK” stuffed with dogma of how we should see this and how we should regard that, in fact I feel very flexible, I hope to maintain a flexibility of approach attitude and an openness of thought. whist as the same time I’m struck by the ” Intellectual Innocence” of much of our scene as Julian Bell put it, “who needs a theory of fireworks?”
    So writing down in very simple language all I’m doing is just pointing to a few of the ideas & thoughts etc. of what and how my music / sound relates to things in the world, feeling that what I’m doing is always about something,
    Lets look at two paintings Rembrant van Rijn , Woman bathing in a stream 1654, and Johannes Vermeer, the lacemaker 1665-8. for me, I’ve always found it important to hold the thought while standing in front of these works
    in the Rembrant , “This is how I feel the woman is, because this is how I feel about her” were as in the Vermeer “This is how the woman appears to the eyes, a represented visual phenomenon” (taken from “What is Painting” J Bell) I guess I like the sense of digging deeper into the works, the unraveling,
    decoding, striping away the firework displays surface, for many this seemingly de-nudes the work of its mystery , for me it increases and deepens
    the mystery, for example Pablo Picasso. Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table. 1909, knowing the process of transubstantiation that the painting went through, given its subject not only makes the work less straight forward
    but also increases its complexity, producing huge questions about the making and development of the work, increasing a level of mystery which is deep and complex (for me that is) viewing it merely as a painting of fruit and bread on a table, is to see it as fireworks.
    Staring at / into a Rothko, is that to attempt a retracing of Rothko’s own
    harassment of himself? to attempt a re tracking of his own thoughts?
    putting ourselves into his Adirondack Chair, searching out significance ?
    Cheers all
    Keith

  • Richard Pinnell August 4, 2009 - 11:13 am

    Thanks Keith. I am just out of the door to work, but I liked the fireworks analogy. The obvious question in response though has to be “is there anything wrong with just watching fireworks and thinking they look pretty/beautiful/well formed/cleverly constructed, timed etc?” Is it necessarily always better to strip away the veneer or not? For me, sometimes most definitely yes, other times no. It depends what lies (or doesn’t lie) beneath of course, but sometimes, just sometimes, the veneer, or at least your perception of it is enough on its own.

  • graham halliwell August 4, 2009 - 6:05 pm

    “I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m not attempting to replace Derrida, I’m not also writing a “BooK” stuffed with dogma of how we should see this and how we should regard that”

    Keith, I don’t think anyone here would accuse you of any of those things.

    “feeling that what I’m doing is always about something”

    But how can you convey that ‘something’ in music; wouldn’t you agree that music is an abstract medium where any definitive meaning cannot be conveyed? (for example, what can C sharp, or a pan scrub hitting a guitar string, universally mean?).

    “The thing that interests me is why some music holds its power years later and others just seem thin or to have not “held up”. I’ve come to think that it’s the strata of ideas that support the music that gives it sufficient depth to remain interesting. There is also something left to explore, you can never fully mine the depths of music that comes from a deep well of ideas…..if the ideas are shallow, so will the music be.”

    This was Robert’s basic premise, which Jon later agreed with but i think Simon and myself find highly suspect. What do you make of Robert’s basic premise?

    It would be interesting to know your thoughts in a more open space, such as this.

  • CROWE August 7, 2009 - 11:33 am

    Hi Graham
    Are there universal motifs / sounds / signs etc etc?. I imagine not,
    which is partly the reason for the 007 solo and the way it turned out,
    in a sense pointing to the ingredients that result in who I am, and what I believe in, and the things that have informed me which I would not expect to have shared with a Tokyo audience, put another way, their makeup will be in marked contrast to mine, if they then do not have the experiential hooks on which to hang what I’ve gone through, what possible meanings can they pull out of whats before them? but at the same time Sachiko and I, despite those differences can meet and perform with huge amount of overlap, Hmm .. so could we then begin to consider the overlap as a find of near universal ? that is to say, have we through the process of a distillation
    of the experience of living, pared the experience down to a shared universal of a click /rub/ scratch etc.?
    Back to Rothko sitting looking at his last layer of paint looking reflecting trying to discover what its significance was?, did it have meaning?
    doubting, loosing faith, agonizing, another cigarette, … coffee, go home, return look again and again , its fine, no its bad, I must change it, build up the courage to cover (and therefore obliterate the last surface) the surface again, and again, and again … days months until its feels OK, ” I can just about live with this” (but still have doubts)
    and of course this is the rub, we are attempting here using words to comprehend something which is beyond words, I know in a language (?)
    which is beyond words how it reflects the act of living, I consciously participate in the act to living, the sound that is emitted is a trace of having lived, that why the Purcell is in the 007, normally the “remember me, remember me…” is highly disguised obscured only referenced obliquely,
    in the 007 I stated it simply and clearly. in my case The real truth is found in sounds, or lines, not in the words which attempt a translation.
    In writing I’m weakly with a trembling finger pointing in a general direction of what going on, not justifying, but trying to be helpful.
    Digging below the surface, in practice means listening to a recording
    (like007) 80 to 120 times, over and over, a painterly practice like most painters who lived in a single room living with your work to awake in the morning training yourself before anything else to look at last nights work
    with a fresh eye, and then start worrying!!!
    So I think Rothko put it “all good painting is about something”.
    For me its never settled, the jury is out,…. on everything.
    Yes I concur with Roberts basic premise .
    Soon
    Best
    Keith

  • graham halliwell August 8, 2009 - 9:31 pm

    Thanks for that, Keith; illuminating as usual. So as not to appear rude or arrogant, I thought I’d respond with a (spoken) quotation from Paul Gauguin in 1895. I believe it was an inspirational quote to many C20th artists. It expresses succinctly a viewpoint that I have struggled to express myself.

    “My simple object, which I take from daily life or from nature, is merely pretext, which helps me by means of a definite arrangement of lines and colours to create symphonies or harmonies. They have no counterparts in reality; they do not give direct expression to any idea, their only purpose being to stimulate the imagination – just as music does without the aid of ideas or pictures – simply by that mysterious affinity which exists between certain arrangements of colours and lines in our minds”

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