A late summer road trip. Lungs full of fresh air. A scenic vista around every bend. From Dia Beacon to the Storm King Arts Center to Bard College. From Mass Moca to the Clark Art Institute. Sun and warmth our friendly companions until scared away by that bitch Irene. (note that those using the Firefox browser will be unable to see the image titles so switch to a different web browser temporarily.)
Recently acquired (and newly released) recordings well worth your time and attention. All available from Amazon.com. Many of the recordings are recently released on Kairos, a recording label focusing on some of the finest composers writing music today.
Michael Gordon - Timber (Cantaloupe MP3)
Ikue Mori, Evan Parker, Bill Laswell, Marc Nauseef - Near Nadir (Tzadik MP3)
I've never been a Laswell fan but both his bass playing and superb mixing help make this a truly fascinating electro-acoustic improvisation. Further, percussionist Marc Nauseef is criminally under-recorded. Be sure to check out his indespensible contribution to Leo Smith's recording "Snakish" on Leo Records.
Unsuk Chin (Ensemble Intercontemporain) - Akrostichon-Wortspiel, etc. (Kairos MP3 - reissue from 1995 Deutsche Grammophone's 20/21 series)
Friederich Cerha - Bruchstück, geträumt; Neun Bagatellen; etc. (Kairos MP3)
Ruben S. Gjersten - Grains (Plus3db MP3)
Winner of Arne Nordheim’s composers prize 2010
Alberto Posadas (Ensemble Intercontemporain) - Glossopoeia (Kairos MP3)
Lefteris Papadimitriou - Panaramo (self-released MP3)
Winner of the inaugural 2009 CeReNeM/HCMF Scholarship. Featured composer at the 2011 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Uri Caine & the Arditti String Quartet - Twelve Caprices (Winter & Winter MP3)
A joy to hear Uri Caine branch out from covering classical composers from the standard repertoire (albeit in a highly personalized style) and inject his originality and jazz chops in a collaboration with one of the world's leading string quartets.
Friederich Cerha - Spiegel; Monumentum Fur Karl Prantl; Fur K - World Premier Records Digitally Remastered (Kairos double MP3)
Bernhard Lang - Die Sterne des Hungers (Kairos MP3)
Matthew Ship & Joe Morris - Broken Partials (NotTwo Records MP3)
Matthias Pintscher - Sonic Eclipse; A Twilight's Song; She-cholat ahavah ani (Kairos MP3)
All the news that's fit to print
you need not read
above the fold
or on A1
to catch a glimpse
that acts as flint
to set a spark
and earn a start
a text, a call,
a drink or two
or three then fall
that I meant no harm
it sounds so fucking orthodox
but ask the last
about the paradox
of carnal authenticity
the interest's genuine
it's not a ruse
duality of intention
arouse a mutual muse
There's a insightful article in the August 25th edition of the Wall Street Journal by Marc Myers on the sculptor Mark di Suvero. I've just returned from the breathtaking 500 acre landscape of the Storm King Arts Center in New Windsor, NY just about an hour outside of NYC. They hold the definitive collection of di Suvero's large sculptures and in addition to featuring his work prominently on-site, have an exhibition of his work on Governers Island through September 25th.
At 77, di Suvero is still - despite a serious injury suffered long ago - knee deep in the execution of his creations. His child-like wonderment reminds me of Isamu Noguchi's words: "You can find out how to do something and then do it or do something and find out what you did."
The final two paragraphs of the article resonate brightly.
At the end of our conversation, I spotted a vibraphone near the door and asked him to play. "I will, but first you have to lie on that over there," he commanded, pointing to a mattress suspended waist-high by four cables.
As I lay on my back, swaying slightly, Mr. di Suvero ran mallets over the metal keys, playing in a free-jazz style that shares much in common with his art. When he finished, Mr. di Suvero turned and smiled: "And that's how steel sounds."
As indicated in the Affiliations section of the right hand column, I'm an owner/investor in Wireless-NRG, maker of the LilyPad for IPad 1 and IPad 2. I believe in the technology. I believe in founder Dave Foster and the managing team. I believe in solar energy. And, I'm an Apple fan. For me, the stars align.
We've begun a Kickstarter campaign. Be so kind as to watch the video and click on the Kickstarter link if so inclined. (Note that the LilyPad shown in the video and (most) images are from an early prototype. The finished, Apple Certified (yeah!) product has a much sleeker, spirit-of-Apple design.)
I'm grateful that I'm not a hoarder. No stuffed closets. No stacked piles of yesteryear waiting to [never] be rummaged. Detritus can lead to selfishness. I try and avoid it.
Relish what you have. Keep what you need. Indulge (because to paraphrase Nigerian author and wiseman Chris Abani, we have an obligation to partake in "delight" even surrounded by near hopelessness) and then pay it forward.
And so if you happen to want or need any of the items below, they're yours for the taking. They're all in perfect or near perfect condition.
Olympus XZ-1 10 MP Digital Camera with f1.8 Lens and 3-Inch OLED Monitor (Black) with 4GB SD card
2 Olympus Digital Voice Recorders WS-331M
2 Logitech DiNovo Edge Rechargeable Bluetooth Keyboards (with trackpads) for Mac
Shipping's on me.
As a practice I weave between one book of non-fiction and one book of fiction simultaneously. Moments of left-brain, right-brain thought convergence can produce a mental orgasim - feeling sleepy and refreshed simultaneously and enjoying the paradox of a somnolent mind racing towards the occasional epiphany or at least an unusual, though smile-inducing conjunction.
Since human beings are capable of freedom, we shouldn't be used as if we were mere objects, but should be treated instead with dignity and respect. This approach emphasizes the distinction between persons (worthy of respect) and mere objects or things (open to use) as the fundamental distinction in morality. The greatest defender of this approach is Immanuel Kant...JUSTICE: WHAT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, Michael J. Sandel
"Wait, Dave, I want you to hold this orange." She put a navel orange in his palm and then lowered herself onto its thick bumpy skin, cool against her opening pussyhole. She circled around the orange for a while - rocked and rolled on it - crushing Dave's knuckles in to the bedspread.
Then she pulled a green banana off the fruit bowl. "Dave, please hold this big banana straight up for me." HOUSE OF HOLES, Nicholson Baker
My father's a preternaturally gifted storyteller. Lucky for us, his stories are gems. My brother, sisters and I grew up listening to tales of his journey from boyhood to manhood while he was living a scrappy sort of life on the south side of Buffalo, NY; anecdotes from a bygone era in a neighborhood filled with grime and grit, laughter and loss, ethnic division and ethnic solidarity, no "free lunch" but no complaining allowed, lots of attitude and very little money.
I don't sense the slightest trace of nostalgia in his voice and yet I don't believe he would trade his odyssey for any other.
We still listen. Perhaps we've heard every last adventure by now, probably hundreds of times and frequently by request. His narrative never goes stale, never gets old, never fails to make us laugh or capture our attention.
You can take the boy out of Buffalo but you can never take Buffalo out of the boy. True to this day.
For too many years now - for reasons clear as day and completely inexplicable - I've promised myself to get it all down on tape.
That day finally arrived. We had our first session last week over a couple bottles of wine and it was a blast. I haven't a clue how to use the recording device and we're just riffing on chronology; it feels good.
Everybody's got a story; some deserve to be preserved.
I haven't had time yet to relisten to the first few hours and choose the finest example but I've been itching to post something. So here's a short, clumsily recorded sample. Re-read the website's tagline and then press play. Enjoy.