When I saw Pauline Oliveros about a year ago I didn’t know it would be the last time. Her concert with the International Contemporary Ensemble at Bard’s Fisher Center was –as she always was — riveting and compelling. Hearing about her new work with assistive technology for music (she had just come back from Norway) was fascinating and very moving. As I had begun finding ways to move my fascination with sound into my scholarly work, it expanded further my thoughts in that direction.
So I’m pleased to say that I will be part of the upcoming ISATMA conference at RPI’s EMPAC, talking about medieval magic and music in charms. More on the free conference which includes a tribute concert for Oliveros:
5th Annual International Symposium on Adaptive Technology in Music and Art (ISATMA), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
“EXPANDING THE IMPROVISING COMMUNITY ACROSS ABILITIES, BODIES, CULTURES”
October 20-22, 2017
The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation supports the The International Symposium on Assistive Technology for Music and Art (ISATMA), a conference devoted to new technologies and artistic concepts for artists across abilities to create new multi-media works. This symposium, hosted by the Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture, showcases adaptive musical interfaces in an immersive telepresence environment which celebrates international collaborations and limit-defying improvisations. Expanding the improvising community aims to stretch social, perceptual, and cultural differences potentially generative of creative transformation: of music, of community, of consciousness.
Download the press release (PDF).
Pauline will be there in spirit at least as her legacy expands.
My first night in London after the conference I went to a much anticipated show where I finally got to meet Richard Sanderson of Linear Obsessional Recordings and hear him play. It was great! We had fun chatting before and after the performance (Mr B’s ears must have been
ringing burning 😉 heh). The performance was utterly absorbing and the space, Iklectik, was really terrific and completely unexpected–goats in central London! Also, there were unexpected Blake mosaics. I was chatting with a friend of Richard’s after and it struck me why I find this kind of music so appealing at present: it requires all your attention without words. Anything that quiets my overbusy brain is good. More pix on FB of course.
Huis Clos: an evening exploring the subtleties of larger group improvisation (first as a whole, then as two ensembles)
Ed Lucas: trombone
Antonio Acunzo: piano
Joe Wright: saxophone
Jordan Muscatello: double bass
Richard Sanderson: Melodeon
Dan Powell: electronics
James O’Sullivan: electric guitar
Chris Prosser: violin
Music is life. And life is not a business.
When I came out of the theatre there was blood on the pavement and a guy whose face had been smashed by something. It seemed out of place on a quiet Albany afternoon, but not after this film.
The Stooges are a perfect meeting of the mind-bending exuberance of youth and the free-floating impotent anger that often accompanies it when that energy has no place to go. Surrounded right now by a cultural climate that has filled most of the women I know (mostly past that first exuberance of youth) with a rage that has few outlets, it was a good catharsis. It could have been many things — like an Iggy film — but it was tightly bound to the band. Jarmusch, too, stayed out of the way (I hate those big name doco directors who make it all about showing what good taste they had).
The film is stripped down, filling in missing footage with Iggy’s narration and found footage, crazy cultural references and even animation. I can’t even begin to tell you anything rational about it because I was so immersed in it that I wasn’t making mental notes. There was a point where all three of us in the theatre laughed out loud at something so unexpected I couldn’t tell you what it was because the movie clipped right along.
Things that stuck this first time around (because I will be watching this again and again as soon as I can get my hands on it): how weird it was to hear all these mid-Michigan accents I grew up with that now sound totally alien. Every time I hear Iggy talk there’s that dislocation. How the band all lived up to that hippie ideal of ‘communism’ — living communally, sharing everything, even song writing credits. ‘That was before we knew about intellectual property rights,’ he said drily. How the younger girls they met in Washington Square who were a[n unnamed] band were much better than them spurred the Stooges on to want to be better. How they saw the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame induction as crowning the coolness of losers. How visionaries like Danny Fields saw their promise and pretty much no one else did — until suddenly every band in the world seemed to be covering the Stooges.
Soupy Sales. James Williamson’s second career!
Near the end of the film, Iggy remembered bringing a bunch of guys from his high school back to his folks’ trailer, trying to get in with them and they made fun of where he lived and how small the bathroom was. And his avowal that he wanted to outlive them and show them and put them in their place (like Tori with ‘I want to smash the faces / of those beautiful boys’).
Anger is an energy, as that other guy said. Let it lift us.
Up today at The Pigeonhole’s Love Letters is ‘Intoxicate Me’ in which they describe me as singing in ‘dulcet tones’ 🙂 you can be the judge of that. Give it a go. Don’t you need a little love?
Yes, that gif has been designed just to hypnotise you! Or at least it’s there to get your attention. I think. Sign up for this free multimedia event which takes place both online and on the Southbank and you will be rewarded with many musings about love — including a song by me. That’s right. I am full of surprises.
Don’t you need a little extra love?
P.S. If you like the song, it’s available on this Linear Obsessional recording:
Words I hear in Dudley Moore’s voice, of course. As you will doubtless guess I am exhorting you to check out things that I am doing. A rather pointless venture, I know. The only thing people read on social media are the things they have tagged you in. C’est la vie. My head is full of things that must come out. Decades of indifference have left me delusional that you are all pining to hear my latest: don’t wake me up.
Those great folks at the Cultural Gutter are raising funds to pay their writers. A novel concept but I hope it catches on and puts the HuffPo out of business. I have contributed to the cause by offering to write the original story for my Deliberately Lost SF Classic ‘Psycho Motorcycle Dolls (1966)’ and you can be one of ten people to see this exclusive story by contributing to the Gutter. There are other fabulous prizes as well.
Yes, just that gif has made me start twitching just in the time it took to write this but it’s there to get your attention. I think. Sign up for this free multimedia event which takes place both online and on the Southbank and you will be rewarded with many musings about love — including a song by me. That’s right. I am full of surprises. Which brings me to…
Admit it, you’d prefer a dull life. So does Basil Morley. Soon he will explain to you how to obtain this nirvana in the hottest self-help book of the season. I can promise you it is a peach and looks extraordinary because that Stephanie Johnson has been whipping the thing into shape. So start following the site and do be DULL.
Coming next month from The Pigeonhole: Letters on Love, a multimedia extravaganza on love letters. Here’s the scoop:
This September, we will be teaming up with writers, artists and musicians to create the first multi-faceted, mixed-media message on the vagaries of our most fascinating emotion – love. Over two weeks you will receive love letters, some from strangers, some from familiars, but all will teach you something important. Read with others from around the globe and join in the love discussion. With a collaboration with the Southbank Centre to boot, this promises to be one of our best Pigeon books yet. Sign up now to be part of something brilliant.
Of course I’m telling you about this because I will be part of it! Guess what? My contribution is not a story but a song. The thing I never dared to do when I was much younger because I was so afraid of looking a fool — sing! Of course now I’m old enough to not care what people think (mostly, heh). And there’s more coming whether you want it or not. Details anon — but thanks to Richard Sanderson at Linear Obsessional Recordings for first opening the window of opportunity.
Sign up for free here and you’ll get updates from The Pigeonhole in your mailbox. Check out their community reads for other ongoing books and have fun.
The news cheered me in the midst of the season of bells, balls and bulls. August always has that touch of melancholy, for this Proserpina must soon return to the underworld. In the mean time I shall continue on as Johanna Factotum with tiger-heart (what kind of hide wraps it, I cannot say).