A rather wonderful sound installation called ‘Phantom Railings’ by an organization called Public Interventions on Malet Street on the wall of a small (private) park. The railings here (like many other sites) were removed during the Second World War to be melted down and re-used as guns or tanks…can anyone confirm that lots were dumped in the North Sea as they were the wrong sort of iron? Anyway, electronic eyes track passing pedestrians sounding out the absent railings as if they were being hit by a stick – so passers-by can make a mix by walking back and forth along the pavement. Seeing the Vimeo films on the website almost spoil the accident of finding this…but as Kurt Vonnegut used to say: ‘So it goes’.
Leafing through Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (as you do) my eye was caught by the word ‘gramophone’.
‘4.014 A gramophone record, the musical idea, the written notes, and the soundwaves, all stand to one another in the same internal relation of depicting that holds between language and the world.
They are all constructed according to a common logical pattern.’
A complaint: at Cafe Oto this week for two nights to hear the Marc Ribot Trio (with Henry Grimes and Chad Taylor). These were fantastic gigs full of inventiveness, virtuosity, attack and a bunch of other superlatives. There was both wonderful ensemble playing and great solos from all the musicians. I am for enthusiasm and I believe it is important that audiences convey their enthusiasm to the performers when the music has finished. Oto till now has been (mostly?) free of that old convention of applause for solos but on Tuesday and Wednesday nights I was thrust back into jazz club days where the flow of musical invention and development was interrupted by a lot of clatter from the audience. Neither ‘so it goes’ nor ‘fair enough’ apply in this situation.
This Bacharach and David song seems to have followed me across three continents this summer.
- Manchester. Elisabeth Fraser performs it a cappella at ‘Massive Attack vs Adam Curtis’…possibly the best part of the evening. The Youtube clips of this don’t do the performance justice so I won’t provide a link.
- In Brazil at Inhotim in an installation by Valeska Soares called ‘Tonight’ in her pavilion ‘Folly’. Dusty Springfield singing a gently remixed version (uncredited) over a film of ghost ballroom dancers projected into an octagonal mirrored room. While there some young Brazilian couples come in and dance shyly for a few minutes…first the women (their handbags on the floor) and then, more tentatively, two of the men. http://valeskasoares.net/works/Video/Tonight/
- In the breakfast room of FX Hotel in Taipei City. The same selection of lounge music is played every morning during my stay and so every morning I hear this bland instrumental behind the Mandarin conversation and crockery sounds.
- The day after I arrive back from Taiwan I pull out at random ‘Dionne Warwick’s Greatest Motion Picture Hits’ and ‘The Look of Love’ is the first track. Dusty’s version is the original and is definitive (it was used in the 1967 wayward Bond film ‘Casino Royale’) but I think that Dionne Warwick’s version is a close run second place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AImXW5wgfQI
- The next day I am listening to a CD that I bought in Oxfam just before leaving for Taiwan: ‘The Wild Bunch; Story of a Sound System, Mixed by DJ Milo’. The final track is a version credited to the Wild Bunch but without a credit for the singer (Shara Nelson?)…there is some scratching and some samples (of Dionne Warwick’s version?)…the melody breaks up over the deconstructed beats of the turntables and then fades out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sHcTS9k21E. So I guess I have come full circle.