When I showed some of my ‘live’ drawings recently there were a lot of jokes about drawing with my eyes closed. That, of course, is not what I do. I look at the subject of the drawing but not at the drawing itself. Last night at Cafe Oto for the first of the ‘Art of Improvisers’ season I did two very quick drawings of the saxophonist Julie Kjaer. One with my eyes open and one, as an experiment with my eyes closed. And there was almost no difference. Some of this is due to visual memory I guess but there is also ‘body memory’ involved…and the fact that the two drawings were done, pretty much, back-to-back.
Wednesday 22nd February at Cafe Oto. Alasdair Roberts with Stevie Jones and Alex Neilson.
One ‘real’ locked groove (Heaven 17 – 12″ of ‘Come Live With Me’:
and one ‘accidental’ locked groove (BBC Dance Orchestra -78RPM – ‘I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones):
Also, I just listened to this from King Gong on Discrepant. Recommended.
The drunk Totochabo spouts this ‘sham erudition’ in René Daumal’s A Night of Serious Drinking:
‘If it’s half-wits you want, you’d better go and look for them somewhere else, for we know jolly well that beneath the perceptible form of sound is hidden a silent essence. It is from this, this crucial point at which the kernel of the perceptible has yet to choose to be sound or light or something else, from this hinterland of nature where to see is to see sound and to hear is to hear suns, it is from this very essence that sound draws its power and its ordering force.’
(Translation by David Coward & E. A. Lovatt)
Hidden away in the extras of the BFI’s DVD of ‘The Great White Silence’, Herbert Ponting’s film of Captain Scott’s doomed Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole, are two audio recordings. These recordings were done by Chris Watson in Scott’s hut at Cape Evans, Ross Island. This one was made at 10 pm on the 10th January 2010.
Before each of 3 performances at Café Oto last week, the four members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago stood and faced the audience in silence. These ‘silences’ lasted maybe only half a minute and were terminated by a single note played on the saxophone by Roscoe Mitchell. This drawing was done from memory but with my eyes closed.
From left to right: Roscoe Mitchell, Junius Paul, Hugh Ragin, Don Moye.
This is a complete sketchbook from 23rd January to 1st February 2017 in lieu of a longer text. James Moore and Marc Ribot playing John Zorn’s ‘the Book of Heads’ at The Stone (soon to close), New York. Simon Fisher Turner on laptop with Shiva Feshareki on turntables at Cafe Oto. Night One of The Art Ensemble of Chicago with Roscoe Mitchell, Hugh Ragin, Junius Paul and Don Moye also at Cafe Oto.
Cafe Oto on the afternoon of 15th October.