An Ambiguous A-Z

Scan

I can’t quite remember why I composed this list except that it was some potential writing project on London. From the mid-1990s I think. ‘Y’ had no word…I inserted the question mark today. The formatting of the list is accidental.

Angel/ Azimuth                                                                                                                                         Bell                                                                                                                                                                 Cut                                                                                                                                                             Dock                                                                                                                                                                East                                                                                                                                                          Fall                                                                                                                                                            Grace                                                                                                                                                  History                                                                                                        Intersection/Interstitial/Ice                                                                                                   Junction                                                                                                                                         Lost/lock                                                                                                                  Meander/Meridian                                                                                                                     North                                                                                                                                                  Obelisk                                                                                           Pocahontas/Pyramid/Panorama                                                                                         Queen’s House/Quicktime                                                                                                               Ruins                                                                                                                 Subterranean/South                                                                                                                           Time                                                                                                                                                      Ur                                                                                                                                                  Vertical/V2                                                                                                                                Wharf/West                                                                                                                               Xerxes (x-ray)                                                                                                                                        Y?                                                                                                                                                       Zeppelin

 

An audio artefact. Invicta Radio

invictaThis is from my mixtape number 34, Side B ‘Radio Invicta/JFM Soul Show – a Sunday afternoon in August 1981’. Recorded from a pirate radio station onto cassette and then transferred digitally via Audacity so you will need to excuse the quality. If you get to the end there is a snatch of the Birthday Party crashing in…but even before that there is some great music.

Jeremy Deller Playback Session at Tate Modern

LS:JD001

Laura Snapes and Jeremy Deller. On the floor, listening.

Jeremy Deller in conversation with Laura Snapes in the  Wolfgang Tillmans; 2017 exhibition. In a room kitted out with equipment provided by Tillmans from his own Berlin gallery for ‘optimum listening’. An entertaining choice of music and it did sound really good despite its origins in a laptop. The room itself though was a reminder of how important the environment is to listening…harsh lighting, acoustic panels, institutional carpet…it felt like attending a seminar. Deller was aware of this and tried to change the atmosphere by asking people to sit on the floor and, unsuccessfully, asking that the lighting should be changed. Easy to link this to Tate Modern’s often bland display policy that can seem like the lowest common denominator rather than elegant simplicity.

Here is the playlist….each with a link to youtube.

The Beach Boys – ”Til I Die’

The KLF – ‘Chill Out’…Deller played an excerpt from this.

Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’ (single version)

 

Sandy Denny – ‘Fotheringay’ or, alternatively, Fairport Convention – ‘Fotheringay’.

Freedom Singers – ‘We Shall Overcome’.

 

King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Jacob Miller – ‘Baby I Love You So’.

Grace Jones – ‘Walking in the Rain’.

 

Led Zeppelin – ‘The Ocean’…edited to omit the jam at the end.

 

Giorgio Moroder – ‘Utopia’

John Hopkins remix – ‘Disclosure’ by Magnets ft. Lorde.

 

 

A Sketchbook

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.

23-1001

James Moore

James Moore

Marc Ribot

Marc Ribot

Marc Ribot

Marc Ribot

Marc Ribot

Marc Ribot

James Moore

James Moore

James Moore

James Moore

Marc Ribot and James Moore

Marc Ribot and James Moore

Marc Ribot and James Moore

Marc Ribot and James Moore

Marc Ribot and James Moore

Marc Ribot and James Moore

Simon Fisher Turner

Simon Fisher Turner

Simon Fisher Turner and Shiva Feshareki

Simon Fisher Turner and Shiva Feshareki

Art Ensemble of Chicago

Art Ensemble of Chicago

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

Art Ensemble of Chicago

Art Ensemble of Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

‘Into the Maelstrom’

itm

Accompanied by bird song, traffic, the conversation of roofers two doors away and a piece of heavy duty garden equipment from beyond the fence I sat in the shade at the end of our garden yesterday afternoon and finished reading ‘Into the Maelstrom; Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom’, David Toop’s new book. The book sets out an incredible network of associations and connections and has alerted me to a good deal of music that I will explore in the weeks and months to come. This is the first volume of two and covers the evolution of a set of ideas ‘before 1970’. But it is not a linear history and the narrative swoops and dives in time (up to the present day) and genre. Amongst its many strands the one that preoccupies me on finishing is ‘listening’. The importance of listening and the balance between listening and playing to the improvising musician is central to Toop’s exploration.

As a determined audience member I have been trying to sort out the relationship and/or the differences between the way musicians listen and the way that an audience listens. In these (mostly) small spaces the symmetry of performers and audience can suggest a yin and yang of activity and passivity. But this is simplistic and I am always brought back to Duchamp’s statement: ‘The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.’ In the case of the Large Glass this happened most obviously through reflection on the material of the work itself…with the viewer’s image literally transposed onto the surface of the glass. Something similar happens in that communal space of listening in relation to improvised music.

Then last night, five minutes walk away down that road that generates so much traffic noise, was the launch of ‘Into the Maelstrom’ at Cafe Oto. Some months ago David Toop asked if he could use one of my drawings next to a section he was writing about a performance by Angharad Davies and Lina Lapelyte. I realise that I have come to insert myself into the space of the performance (and the performance itself?) through making these quick, ‘blind’ drawings…last night Toop talked about my drawing (and those of the others in the book by Geoff Winston and Ross Lambert) as a parallel act of improvisation. The performances that formed the central part of the launch at Oto exemplified three distinct approaches to improvisation: long exploratory group work with five musicians, short concise duets with Toop reading and each musician playing in turn and then an unplanned hybrid of reading and four musicians playing. The juxtaposition of the structured (the text) and the wholly improvised (the music) highlighted the dichotomy that lies between control and freedom that is at the heart of ‘Into the Maelstrom’ and its rich netherworld.

into the maelstrom001

Performing with David Toop at Cafe Oto were (from left to right) Steve Beresford, Sylvia Hallett, Evan Parker and Elaine Mitchener.

http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/into-the-maelstrom-music-improvisation-and-the-dream-of-freedom-9781501314513/

And, to steal an idea from the Fife Psychogeographical Collective, I am now listening to David Toop, ‘Entities Inertias Faint Beings’.