'Everyone dances to his own personal boomboom'

Me & Giacometti / Architecture / Ornette Coleman / The Magazine


One of these figures is by Giacometti and the other is by my parents.

***



Our local...it's neo-brutal post-modern exterior reflects the prices within perfectly, reflecting as it does the sense of foreboding and despair when awaiting the price of your bill...

***

Now something positive, the Ornette Coleman box set Beauty Is A Rare Thing has been reissued (and repackaged), the only negative being that they couldn't come up with something different to celebrate his recent 85th birthday. I suppose, unlike Miles Davis, there's not a lot of unheard treasures buried in the vaults? I can't find it for sale yet but it may be cheaper than the original. Or not. In which case, that's a handsome thing to have sitting on your shelf. The music's not bad either.


***


One of the prints that was included in the magazine. Thanks to those of you who haven't bought it because I couldn't have made many more without going nuts at the printer. Those who did, thanks also. A few more are available. Only a few...

TTFN


Beatriz Ferreyra - GRM Works & Michel Redolfi - Pacific Tubular Waves / Immersion (Recollection GRM)




Two fine new addictions to the Recollections GRM series; Beatriz Ferreyra's electroacoustics and Redolfi's Synclavier digital synthesizer pieces.

Ferreyra's GRM Works starts with Demeures aquatiques (1967) prowling 'round your brain as if stalking your senses from ear-to-ear. You know the tricksy stuff that Rock bands got up to when multi-channel studio desk mixology was born? It's better than any of that. Remember how they'd pan and scan to signify 'cosmic', or 'do drugs!', or something? Ferreyra's music isn't like that, though a few listeners have been 'on something' whilst listening over the years. I've taken a packet of Haribo Tangfastics washed down with caffeine - whooooeeee! - I'm buzzing! Beatriz' music is actually taking the edge off the trip, but in a good way, because it's meditative but stimulating and - OW! - Un fil invisible (2009) just shocked me...what's happening....brain scrabble! She hasn't lost it, not in 40-odd years, no, sir. 'Inspired by the various stages of Medieval Alchemy', that description could fit all this music, the process of transforming sounds and ideas into gold for us to enjoy its deep, rich, shiny (sometimes spiky) luxurious allure. Les Larmes de l’inconnu (2011) features what sound like F1 cars whizzing past, amongst many other sounds, of course. Sound makers like Ferreyra specialise in fluid constructions of many parts and they make replays endlessly worthwhile. The trip is the thing and it's not on any autobahn...it's a wobbly rail over hills and down dales, through long tunnels and high above the clouds...and you love it, don't you?



Michel Redolfi's Pacific Tubular Waves is inspired by 'the kinetics of the Pacific breakers', so you could call it Surf Music but, yes, you guessed, Dick Dale it ain't. These waves appear more like water dribbling onto the sand in the first movement, then the big ones crash to shore - like WHOOOSH! - a wonderful wake up call in case you were doing any California dreaming. The Pacific Motion section is especially good, as if there might be some Mutant Gillmen swimming in this ocean, on their way to Positron Island. In other words, a Drexciyan-techno connection springs to mind although this is beatless. As a solo instrumental work it differs from Ferreyra's music but the pure electronics offer simpler pleasures and, yes, it would be suitable for the beach. Immersion is Pacific Tubular Waves underwater, literally, having been dipped beneath the waves via a sonar loudspeaker and moved around by them. That's something, isn't it? The results were then treated in the studio and combined with sequences on the Synclavier. Welcome to Redolfi's 'ocean of sound'.

Pierre Henry - Choix D'oeuvres: 1950 - 1985 (Vinyl On Demand)


On the vinyl consumer kicksometer it's off the scale. This morning I read Bob Stanley's piece in The Guardian about the vinyl revival, came home and found this waiting for me...


...oooh, what could be inside, kids?


I'm the right age to be a '50-quid man', but not the type. I don't have the money they do for starters. Plus they've gone full circle from vinyl to CDs, MP3s and back again whilst I've always bought vinyl, intermittently, mostly old second-hand albums. This is a luxury purchase (I suppose it would be to most) because rather than being able to casually spend loads on vinyl I'm impulsive and, yes, the burn holes in all my trouser pockets tell the tale of what money does to them.

Well wrapped, isn't it?


Bubble wrap peep show...


...I splashed out for two good reasons; one being the fact that I haven't heard some of the material, the other being the focus I know vinyl brings as opposed to files which, due to their abundance and ease of play, frequently get played and not listened to properly.

Look...tasty photos on the sleeves...






...you handsome bastard!


Better unwrap the albums. I haven't been so excited since Chelsea won the Champion League. Perhaps I'll write it on the calendar...'Pierre Henry's Choix D'oeuvres: 1950 - 1985 arrived'. Nah, that would be stupid. Hold on, I'm distracted by Microphone Bien Tempéré...Dimanche Noir...are those church bells? What are those sounds? Yes, the beautiful mystery of musique concrète....now Bach's being wound fast-forward - brilliant! It's the early-50s and Pierre Henry is playing with the Classical tradition like a true iconoclast, like a crazy man, like someone enthralled with what new machines can do to old sounds.

So I'm unwrapping the first disc...


...shiny vinyl thrill...feel the resistance of vinyl against paper the first time it's liberated...


...the ceremonial placing of album on a turntable that it hasn't met before. "Turntable, this is Pierre Henry. Pierre, this is my turntable. I'm sure you'll get on fine."


My hand is shaking...perhaps it's my age, but I suspect it's excitement...it must be, I'm not that old...


...lift off! No, not lift off, touch down...


...doesn't it sound great coming out of this? Robby The Robot likes it, I can tell...the tape future concrète meets the electronic (Forbidden) planet of sound...


...I wonder if J.G.Ballard ever listened to Pierre Henry? Something about the way Henry and Schaeffer crashed sounds together might have appealed. Hold on, distracted by horse whinnying and dog barking on Astrologie (1953)...or Ballard's literary hero, William Burroughs...cut words, cut music...music as cut-up...


Running 'round the room in excitement? No, just an accidental snap...ha-ha.


Sound of needle lifting off the vinyl...though I'm not a purist that very sound seems right for this music...and yes I've enjoyed most Pierre Henry tracks on files up until now...but now, that sound, it makes an instant connection with the times the early pieces were made, reuniting them across time. Old technology as a medium for what were once new ways of composing, which sound totally alive today; impervious to the ageing process. In these pieces we hear not just predictions of things to come, but parallel events, as valid now as they ever were, proving their worth as contemporaries rather than ancient precedents. For all their efforts it feels as if modern music makers in awe of Pierre Henry are still only trying to catch up. I suspect they'll only ever be looking at his heels...


  




Collage: Horrible Odor


"I'm a big fish in a little pond."
"Are there any other fish in it?"
"No."




Collage: Together At Last!


"On the internet."
"What?"
"Too many pictures!"
"And nobody remembers any of them."



Spring Is Sprung / All Night Long / Pierre Henry Mega-Box / Election Fever

What now?
Ramblings.................
(sorry)
..............

(to be read in a Brooklyn accent)
Spring is sprung
The grass is riz
I wonder where them birdies is?
Why, the birds is on the wing.
But that's absurd
I thought the wing was on the bird.

.........

Started watching All Night Long again last night, just because we got fed up trying to search Netflix for anything decent and started arguing about how to search for anything decent so to prevent that going on all night long we decided to watch it again...


...worth seeing if only for when Richard Attenborough opens the door to his swish warehouse mega-pad and it's Dave Brubeck! He just turned up to play at the party, you know? It starts as Dickie walks in and there's Charles Mingus, on his own, on the stage, with his bass. Casual. It's no big deal, having Mingus as an entertainer at your party. Imagine it. Brit players such as Tubby Hayes and Johnny Dankworth arrive later. As a film, it's not great, but as a fantasy Jazz party in London circa '62, hosted by a rich chap, it's very entertaining.


Waiting for this to arrive...


...poor postman. It should keep me occupied for a while. I might delay opening it and just stare at the box for an hour or so. Well, you have to treat yourself now and again, don't you? Besides, I'm doing a lot of overtime at the office and Work must be related to pleasure, surely? I'm lucky in that respect. I don't work just to pay the bills. We live under a hedge in Camden, so pay no rent, and live on what the local Sainsbury's throws out. Come to think of it, the box these records will arrive in will come in handy as shelter from the wind.
(what am I talking about?)

...........

With the general election coming up here in the UK the country's gripped by democracy fever as we all await our chance to vote for the party we totally believe in rather than registering a protest for lunatics who don't stand a chance of gaining power never mind knowing what to do with it. Great, isn't it? I'm old enough to remember when you were Left or Right and so were the parties. The choice was clear. Today no-one knows what the hell they think, apart from 'I don't know and don't trust any of them'. People moan about there being little difference between Labour and the Tories, but if there were, i.e., one was really Right and the other Left in the old sense, they'd moan about that too, probably. Socialism scares the hell out of everyone except that minority still clinging to dreams they had in the 70s/80s. When New Labour sold Socialism down the Thames they helped convince people that...what? We're all middle-class now? Home-owning, sensible, moderate blah, blah. If Pierre Henry's name was on the card I'd put my cross beside it. I'm not sure what his economic policies are...perhaps like mine, they're a little reckless....

TTFN 


Magazine For Sale: Welcome To...The Nice Age



Here it is...Welcome To The Nice Age...packed with Nice fluffy pictures and perfectly bound...it is not. Instead, it contains, amongst other things, stark black and white images created by me, along with a joke or two (see the little girl and her pussy cat about to go up in flames - hilarious!). Whilst the content is mostly pictorial there are some pasted texts involved.

The details: 
Size: A4. 
30 pages (stapled in the tradition of early small magazines).
Cost: £7.95 plus p&p ('Free to all who pay', as Bill Burroughs once said). Ships worldwide.
Your copy will contain two original printed pages, making each magazine unique.
Plus a CD. See below. 


Details from some pages...





Here's an example with a unique printed page visible...






Also included, a cut up called Solar System Brain Landscape...


The CD, Stalkhausen, is a 35minute-long sonic reshaping of music by a composer whose name you can probably guess...it's a de-arrangement...possibly deranged too...you won't believe your ears! 


Welcome To The Nice Age will be limited in number so if you want a copy I suggest not waiting too long. 


We're living in the space age...



...we're not, in the classic sense, because that future's over...anyway, here's Sun Ra at the controls...just to remind you to play his music again...soon...because it's good for you...

Griot Galaxy

Bloody good and I've only just found them. I haven't been able to find Kins, though. If you like the Art Ensemble Of Chicago you should like Griot Galaxy. 

It's April and I'm sat here in Winter clothes, still. At least this band are warming up my ears.



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