Friday, June 29, 2012

Field Recordings From the 21st Century:

 I always wanted to be one of those archeologists of sounds, carrying a device that would capture those fleeting vibrations that thrill so much now-a-days. Like the prayer uttered by Brother Hubbard at the beginning of "On Jordan's Stormy Banks We Stand" by the Seventh Day Adventists Choir..."And, oh Lord, we pray for the man a' catchin' the records for you...make him a man of gawd."

So, it is fitting, after having junked this very same 78 over twenty years ago at my grandparent's farm, out of an abandoned share-cropper's shack, that I was able to record in the field a bona-fide hobo musician...the great Def n' Dum.  His is a disturbing story that I will narrate in future installments.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Susan Archie : The Sublime

When one is mired down in the heavy physical tripe of this world, sometimes the only way to transcend this depressing state-of-affairs is to reflect on and give praise to those that inspire the very best work, the highest that we can achieve. A person that deserves this, and so much more, is the sublime Susan Archie.

Before I give flight to this paean, there should be an explanation of "the work."

The work we do together is to give humanity a dose of good provide nourishment in a land of aesthetic famine. I'd like to think that we are discreetly introducing into the ears and eyes of the unsuspecting the stuff that really is good for them. This is "the work" that I want to do until this mortal coil, this bothersome physical frame, collapses and achieves its natural restitution.

You know certain dialogues between people reach a stunning plateau, a vista where one can view an intense engagement with both the conclusion of the conversation and all the details that lead to that end. Every project that I have ever worked on with Susan has shown her dedication to both the end-vision and the sum of the parts. She is married to both the process and the conclusion, the means and the end to those means...and it is a happy marriage.

In a land full of "artists," the true artists are defined by their insatiable ability to create...they can't help but to do "the work." Susan is one of these true artists and deserves not only the best that can offered, but the very best of praises. I am fortunate and honored to work with her. If you want your music to look as sublime as it sounds, then Susan is your artist.

Here are but a few of the projects that we have done together:

"People Take Warning" from 2007.

Beautiful Amede Ardoin from 2011.

"Don't Trust Your Neighbors" Albanian in my head & in my collection - 20??

Plus a preview of "Aimer et Perdre, To Love & To Lose, Songs: 1926-1934" which will be available for February 14th, know the day. I always feel that the best work is already before us...never what we have done but what we are doing. Robert did the art for this one too.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Vacation From Tripe: "Un voyage au sud de la France"

An agonizing delay between postings, which will be eased, somewhat, once i) my projects inch towards completeness, ii) my pursuits become a little more sated, & iii) I overcome my Neo-Luddite contempt for this digital notion of expression.

Before the next entry, I wanted to solicit recommendations. We are a'goin' to the south of France this early September and I am seeking tips on any good museums, curio-shops, restaurants, dives, unmarked graves between Montpellier and Nice. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated and reciprocated with tips on the best Ottoman cuisine & museums to be found in Istanbul (which we visited last year). Just post your recommendations to the comment lines below.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tripe Hunting

Should a man be defined as the sum total of his passions or should he be defined by his singularity of approach in appearing to satisfy those passions? To wit, are we what we need or are we how we go about getting what we need? As an amateur archeologist of sound and images, I have been fascinated with the tension between these two existential definitions of humanity. One of the most fruitful avenues for exploring our basic essence is to be found in how we regard tripe. (see above illustration)

Simply put, most of us are not hunger artists. Mostly everyone is sated by that fatty, warm & salty substrate of cow's stomach...empty of nutrients but overwhelming to the senses. Not unlike a widescreenteevee stuck on MSNBC. But the real Hungerkünstler desires not to eat precisely because he has not found anything tangible that is worthy of consumption. This might be the moral of that story.

This notion presupposes that there are two types of tripe: i.e., the physical food type (plain ol' tripe) & the metaphysical "nourishment" type (sublime tripe). The "blog" is intended to praise the later at the expense of the former.

But like Robert Mitchem said, "half the people in America are just faking it." Those that aren't faking it are dreaming of the metaphysical tripe: deeply felt music, profound art, dance, literature. Those that Mitchem has on his mind as fakers are likely dreaming of the physical tripe: the racecars, the dizzying flashy lights, noises & gadgets that attract fakers and non-feral children alike. Maybe Mitchem & Salinger are discrete doppelgängers.

But there is redemption in the inexhaustible plurality of non-tripe interests among us. We can find engagement and captivation in meaningful conversation even if we don't share the same interests: it is the notion that we are interested that makes conversation transcendent. Like the good book says, "If ye be hot or if he be cold, I will keep ye in me. But if ye be luke warm I will spew ye out of my mouth."

Up next in future blogging:

A Vacation From Tripe: "Un voyage au sud de la France"

Savouring Istanbul.

Ne Moquez Pas Le Blessé!

Bitter Tripe

I Smells An N.P.R. Rat

Susan Archie the Sublime

Saura's "Blood Wedding" & Jarmuch's "Limits Of Control

Aimer et Perdre

Saunder's "Good Luck Whiskey" Sign

Why I Love Stuff

The Pilot On The C & O