Tag Archives | Music
Don Cherry, trumpet, illustrating an Andre Breton poem in various Paris locations. Breton poem read by Anthony Braxton.
Vaughan Bell writes at Mind Hacks:
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Oliver Sacks has just published an article on ‘Hallucinations of musical notation’ in the neurology journal Brain that recounts eight cases of illusory sheet music escaping into the world.
The article makes the interesting point that the hallucinated musical notation is almost always nonsensical – either unreadable or not describing any listenable music – as described in this case study.
Arthur S., a surgeon and amateur pianist, was losing vision from macular degeneration. In 2007, he started ‘seeing’ musical notation for the first time. Its appearance was extremely realistic, the staves and clefs boldly printed on a white background ‘just like a sheet of real music’, and Dr. S. wondered for a moment whether some part of his brain was now generating his own original music. But when he looked more closely, he realized that the score was unreadable and unplayable. It was inordinately complicated, with four or six staves, impossibly complex chords with six or more notes on a single stem, and horizontal rows of multiple flats and sharps.
Early in 2012, Redefine proprietor Vivian Hua and I decided to do a series of interviews focusing on musicians who drew from esoteric spiritual pursuits for inspiration. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but what we ran into is that we don’t actually know of, or personally know too many of these musicians, so it didn’t get very far. The other thing we ran into was that a few people agreed to talk to us and then completely bailed when they saw the weird shit we were going to ask them. What the fuck are you going to do?
Fortunately for us, we did manage to chat with Brooklyn’s Prince Rama, whose Taraka Larson used to intern with Paul Laffoley strangely enough, and they pretty much knocked the ball out of the park. It was also another one of those odd witchery situations, because I talked to them after their show, but the recording was mysteriously inaudible.… Read the rest
Could this be the ultimate compliment for a metal band: their planned gig at the venerable Victoria & Albert Museum in London has been canceled as the museum is worried that their music is so loud it could damage the building, reports Reuters:
London’s famed Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has canceled an experimental concert by extreme metal band Napalm Death, fearing the noise level could damage the 104-year-old building.
Ceramic artist Keith Harrison from the V&A, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, collaborated with Napalm Death on a set to be played through a sculptural sound system which would disintegrate under decibel stress.
But museum officials said the one-off performance, scheduled for Friday in the V&A’s Europe Galleries, had been canceled out of concern it was not only the intended sculpture that would be damaged.
“A further safety inspection has revealed concerns that the high level of decibels generated by the concert would damage the historic fabric of the building,” a museum statement said…
[continues at Reuters]
I don’t know who at New York Magazine managed to persuade former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman (or is it the other Bill Wyman?) to write an essay on David Bowie, but you have my thanks. Over to Mr. Wyman:
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I very rarely have felt like a rock artist,” David Bowie used to say. “I’ve got nothing to do with music.” More than 40 years on, we see now he was dissembling on both counts. But as with any great act of self-creation, there was an element of truth in the obfuscation, and the roles he was playing in addition—some species of musical-theater provocateur, a high-art celebrity indulging in a low-art mechanism, a transgressive social poet manipulating a pop-cultural moment—seem plain. He was the first rocker to deliberately separate himself from the personae of his songs and onstage characters in a way that challenged his audience. The stardom that resulted was unlikely—he was, let us remember, a self-described gay mime.
As an obsessive music weirdo, you start to notice some odd patterns as you get older and contemplate the way that most people contextualize music in their lives. I’m not sure how much research has been done on this, but as far as I can tell, in most cases, whatever stuff someone happened to get down to during their formative developmental ages of say, 14-24, apparently permanently burns itself into their psyche and leaves an indelible mark on their opinion as to what constitutes “good shit” for the rest of their lives. This is the sort of secret psychology you’ll never read about in text books but I’m sure sketchy uptight rich dudes talk about behind closed doors 24/7. The one thing I can say about pursuing psychology in college was that I quite quickly picked up on the fact that the real people who understand how to bend the human psyche work at PR firms and press agencies, not universities.… Read the rest