Category Archives: instrumentality

on&on&on&on: Daniel Blumberg

“And now he was playing, alas, the piano,” the first sentence of Robert Walser’s short prose text written in 1925, “making it sound like a deep and intimate promise, which isn’t at all the way to start a novel.” An … Continue reading

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emanation, as if by a charm: Ami Yamasaki

Surprise is a dubious pleasure, cultivated in the search for musical forms that take the listener into realms of impossible/imaginary. Then suddenly, after decades of searching, the surprises diminish in quantity, often in quality, leaving an unavoidable sense of melancholy, … Continue reading

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gone to earth

Maybe a coincidence but during our Sharpen Your Needles event last night (28.09.17) Evan Parker played “Music for Mbale (Ndokpa)”, from The Photographs of Charles Duvelle: Disques Ocora and Collection Prophet, a sumptuous book and two CDs published by Sublime … Continue reading

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a distributed conglomerate instrument

While eating shojin ryori cuisine outdoors at Izusen, Daitokuji temple, Kyoto, in spring sunshine, April past, I reflected on François Jullien’s In Praise of Blandness, the appreciation of blandness or insipidity in ancient Chinese aesthetics and ritual practices. Commenting on … Continue reading

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Acetylene snares

“Raygun gothic,” William Gibson called it in The Gernsback Continuum, his term for the ‘tomorrow that never was’ and still the most vivid description of a certain style of retro-futurist, space age classicism exemplified by Frank R. Paul’s 1920s artwork … Continue reading

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raw materials

The late-19th century spiritualist and campaigner Louisa Lowe was unjustly, if legally, incarcerated because her husband claimed she was mad. Giving evidence against her, the proprietor of Brislington asylum – Dr Charles Henry Fox – had this to say: “She … Continue reading

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the sweat of toads

“I was in search of something – a small detail which I remembered with special intensity as part of my vision.” George Eliot: The Lifted Veil (1859)   The man whispers in Spanish as he pisses, sniffs, sighs, washes his … Continue reading

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many private concerts

I was obsessed with the slippery, unstable nature of the categories through which we learn to divide experience: time, the materiality of objects and the imperceptible slide into intangibility, what some called spirit though I would reject the word for … Continue reading

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stick, spit, reed and tubing

  “Or maybe the music we are hearing tells us about the unconscious, coming from some place of archetypes or from the trauma of unspeakable secrets.” Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, Timothy Morton.   There … Continue reading

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Sound Thinking: Stuart Marshall’s Idiophonics

Wood striking wood, quick, hard, BOK! Impact sound sprays out, an omni-directional striking of all reflective surfaces and returning through time to the distributed centres of listening, the BOK-space of audition. This is the basis of Stuart Marshall’s composition known … Continue reading

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