Wednesday, August 15, 2007

melancholia, music, books, film & the sound of duchamp's large glass

(some nice business that has come my way)

vikki jackman: of beauty reminiscing

asher: the depths, the colors, the objects & the silence


-larsen and friends: abeceda (with david tibet, jòhann jòhannsson, baby dee, and the amazing julia kent)
2007 important
(a great band and performance, especially the lovely cello playing of julia kent)

-jgrzinich / mnortham: the absurd evidence
1998 orogenetics
(some intense business)

-rosy parlane: jessamine
2006 touch
(one mother-hubbard of a cd, full of mysteries)

-asher: the depths, the colors, the objects & the silence
2007 mystery sea
(stasis and velocity mixed together to create delicate, distant melodies, and overwhelming textures)
and invariably the blue
three untitled pieces
(these three untitled pieces sound like actual dust moving through time in slow motion, and brought to mind man ray's photo of duchamp's large glass covered with dust. i like thinking about the sound that dust makes, and the sound the large glass makes which we are not privileged enough to hear....[unless we listen to asher's three melodies})
the anguish is not the same
(in miniatures asher has managed to find old recordings of chopin himself playing the piano [and some others], mystically transformed by the wires of time. often in this cd, the wires take over and we hear nothing but static and time.)

-ubeboet: red and black remixes
(with some lovely tracks by asher, arturas bumsteinas, mathieu ruhlman and dead letters spell out dead words)

-taylor deupree & christopher willits: listening garden
2007 line
(more in the realm of distant melodies, and good for drinking tea)

-stephan mathieu: the sad mac live at mutek 2002
2002 (here)
(the second track is something quite amazing)

-bill thompson: hogmanay on the north sea (2005) and other works
(some very subtle transformations of sound)

-nick drake: family tree
2007 tsunami

-josef van wissem: stations of the cross
2007 incunabulum
(solo lute, field recordings and music for airports, magickly imagined by aleister crowley [many tracks recorded in airports])

-vikki jackman: of beauty reminiscing
2007 faraway press
(another great album from andrew chalk's label)

-yuichiro fujimoto: the mountain record
2006 ahornfelder

-walt dickerson: walt dickerson 1976
1976 trio/whynot

-alice coltrane: a monastic trio 1968, huntington ashram monastery 1969, ptah, the el daoud 1970, journey in satchidananda 1970, universal consciousness 1972, world galaxy 1972, lord of lords 1972

-pharoah sanders: summun, bukmun, umyum 1970, thembi 1971, wisdom through music 1972
(catching up on my jazz. anyone who is interested in jazz and has not heard walt dickerson or alice coltrane; it is some of the best.)


hiroshi sugimoto: aegean sea, pilion , 1990
seen at the hiroshi sugimoto exhibition at the de young, san francisco

my favourite sugimoto books:
-hiroshi sugimoto: seascapes
1994 museum of contemporary art, los angeles
-hiroshi sugimoto: architecture of time
2002 kunsthaus bregenz
-hiroshi sugimoto: architecture
2003 museum of contemporary art, chicago
-hiroshi sugimoto: theaters
2006 walter konig
-richard chartier + taylor deupree: specification fifteen
cd commissioned by the hirshhorn museum for the sugimoto exhibition


with borges by alberto manguel (found via inbetweennoise)

on borges' blindness:
-sometimes he (borges) himself chooses a book from the shelves. he knows, of course, where each volume is housed and he goes to it unerringly. but sometimes he finds himself in a place where the shelves are not familiar, in a foreign bookstore for instance, and here something uncanny happens. borges will pass his hands over the spines of the books, as if feeling his way over the rugged surface of a map in relief and, even if he does not know the territory, his skin seems to read the geography for him. running his fingers over books he has never opened before, something like a craftman's intuition will tell him what the book is that he is touching, and he is capable of deciphering titles and name which he certainly cannot read. (i once saw an old basque priest work in this way among clouds of bees, and to tell them apart and assign them to different hives, and i also remember a park ranger in the canadian rockies who knew exactly in what part of the woods he found himself by reading the lichen on the tree trunks with his fingers.) i can vouch for the fact that there exists a relationship between this old librarian and his books which the laws of physiology would judge impossible. (pages 30-31)

some other nice jorge luis borges books i have enjoyed:

-borges and his fiction: a guide to his mind and art by gene h. bell-villada
1967/1999 univ. of texas press
-conversations with jorge luis borges by richard burgin
1968 holt rinehart winston
-borges on writing edited by norman thomas di giovanni, daniel halpern, frank macshane
1972/1994 the ecco press
-jorge luis borges: a literary biography by emir rodriquez monegal
1978 dutton
-the lessons of the master: on borges and his work by norman thomas di giovanni
1988/2003 continuum
-with borges on an ordinary evening in buenos aires: a memoir by willis barnstone
1993 univ. of illinois press
-borges et l'architecture by christina grau
1993 centre george pompidou
-jorge luis borges: conversations edited by richard burgin
1998 univ. press of mississippi
-jorge luis borges: this craft of verse
2000 harvard univ. press (book + cd set)
-borges: the time machine
2001 colleccion jorge luis borges fundacion san telmo
-jorge luis borges: a catalogue of unique books and manuscripts by charles vallely
2003 lame duck books/volume gallery
-borges: a life by edwin williamson (still have not read)
2004 viking
-a personal anthology by jorge luis borges
1967 grove press
-jorge luis borges: collected fictions, selected poems, selected non-fictions translated by andrew hurly
1998-1999 viking
-some fiction translations by norman thomas di giovanni
1970s dutton press

****(some) films****

william wyler: detective story, 1951 (unbelievably good)
nicholas ray: in a lonely place, 1950 & michael cutriz: casablanca 1942 (both on 35mm)
lamont johnson: the last american hero, 1973
nuri bilge ceylan: climates, 2002 & climates, 2006 (see below)
hal ashby: shampoo, 1975
kelly reichardt: old joy, 2006
bennett miller: capote, 2005
steve buscemi: interview, 2007 (not much compared to his other films)
cristi puiu: the death of mr. lazarescu, 2006
vittorio de sica: two women, 1960 (on 35mm at BAM, one of his best)
chris noonan: babe, 1995 (a great ending john cage would have enjoyed [because of the silence])
-david lynch: inland empire, 2006 (35 mm & dvd) (see below)

stills from nuri bilge ceylan's film distant (uzak), 2002 (recommended by asher).

such stunning photography (done by ceylan) and sound design. the sound in ceylan's films has the feel and complexity of many of the sound artist's often listed in this blog. it is so nice to see a reciprocity between sound-art and cinema (and/oar's trilogy of director discs is another example, or the sound work of asher).
another great example is david lynch's inland empire.
in lynch's film there is a moment (at 1 hour and 39 minutes) that sounds so much like keith berry's soundtrack to 58º north, i like to think that they both encountered the sound together, and both used it in different ways.
but then, lynch's eraserhead (1977) can be considered one of the first great abstract soundworks.
and i like to think of sugimoto relaxing in front of one of his seascapes, listening to richard chartier and taylor deupree.


bats and swallows said...

Matthew, you go too fast, I cannot follow and I am obliged to take some cocaine.
that's not fair!...
Well, fascinating and beautiful as usual.
I think I will come back...
Too bad for the cocaine !

the art of memory said...

mr. bats, i don't mess with caine, just vin (rouge) to keep me going (in fast forward).
i think they might have plenty of vin out where you are?
thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

had not read before about this borges business with the book spines -- it stopped the beating of my heart for an instant when i took it in, for the eerie recognition, because i, anotherlibrarian (though not a genius) do this same thing all the time, wandering in the shadows of the stacks on the deserted upper floors, and finding what I will read next by touch, even though i am not blind

the art of memory said...

the borges book is so amazing,
that sounds like a nice way to find books, maybe you should try to close your eyes and do it.
do you see the borges show at the library a few years ago? it was great to see all those books.