Aug 23, 2012

Attempt to think of a room

The room falls into the sea from the north as if cliffside. It could be out of
sorts with air surf anti matter gum threads opening in the southeast. It's the
roots of the sea in the bowling vessels that stabilize the angle. It's a fold
along space where echoes collect, leaving lines on the floor, living shadows
with which to dance and write, to break into the world with this rolling
unconscious of history.

The room opens onto a cliff in the other direction, stalking higher and
higher an obsessive angle leading gravity down to the airport valley and
Colombia slough to the north. Wet snakes slip through rivers and seas to the
north west of the room. From time to time there are fireworks in the fans.
Whispers, breaths of wind in dust memes of apocalypse stirred by the raccoons of
turgid fury.

The tunnel's exit is an obstacle course that doesn't hold its shape.

---Attempt to poetically psycho-geographize a room, and think in extended and
microscopic spacial terms.

Jun 17, 2012

Qkcofse: Flywheel Imp

My second album of experimental noise and ambient improvisation has been released via suRRIsm-Phonoethics and the Free Music Archive. Here's one link to download or listen:

Apr 2, 2012

This being arrived just before the power went out and said he'd watch me change:

I managed to take a picture of myself while it happened:

And one more as I lost my shape:

I woke up in a cave where I met this couple:

He told me how it happened with holographic letters:

just in time for our transport.

Mar 14, 2012

Patricide Four: The Sound of Surrealism

Many surrealists have written about music and sound in the last several decades, most notably LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams, Johannes Bergmark, Franklin Rosemont, Paul Garon, Ted Joans, Hal Rammel, Ron Sakolsky, Michael Vandelaar, Eric Bragg and otheors. Patricide Four is following in a similar vein, but doesn't include or reference all these authors in its tentative examination of surrealism and music. The book is one contribution to the study of this enjoyable subject and makes no claim to completeness. The limited edition publication also includes a 42 track CD.

The most interesting material concerns surrealists and interested others engaged in music, noise, and sound collage pursuits. There are a series of questions presumably put together by editor Neil Coombs which are answered to various degrees by Bergmark, Bragg, James Nice, and Matthias Schuster. All who replied share some common ground in that they value chance, improvisation and the subconscious, and all feel that surrealism has directly or indirectly influenced the work of 20th century musicians, although Nice gives more credit to Futurism and Dada. Nice seems to have a biased view which relates more to past rather than present surrealism. The question regarding the aural medium and surrealism is posed to him with surrealism being situated in the past tense which I find curious. His interview also contains several factual errors, but I’m intrigued by the compilation Surrealism Reviewed CD he released in 2002.

Among the responses to Coombs’ questions, there is agreement that a kind of magic or alchemy is involved in music making, although these phrases are described in poetic metaphorical terms rather than in a mystical context. When speaking of sound collage, Bragg makes an analogy with alchemy because the assembled fragments or basic materials when subjected to transformation, produce a new whole. Also of interest are the answers to the question regarding the difference between surrealism and avant-garde sound. Bergmark and Nice said there is no difference, with the former placing emphasis on the creators’ self-identification and intention, while Schuster said there was, because to him avant-garde sound is more cerebral than surrealist sound which comes from different angles. I tend to agree more with Schuster here because conceptual sound works seem to come from, or speak to different levels of cognitive process than surrealism might. I agree there are parallels and overlaps.

There is a section entitled ‘Writing on Sound by Various Artists’ which contains Ron Sakolsky’s account of the aborted/postponed book project on surrealism and sound with Franklin Rosemont who died in 2009 as well as his own topical musings. There’s an excerpt from Breton’s Silence is Golden essay which originally appeared in English in 1946 as well as in Franklin Rosemont’s What Is Surrealism compilation of Breton’s texts in the late 1970’s, which proves Nice wrong that Breton wasn’t interested in music. Breton’s comments about unifying hearing and sight through awareness of inner poetry and inner music which are inseparable offer many points of departure. Edgard Varese who mingled with surrealists in the 1950’s chimes in along with W.E.B. Dubois, Humphrey Jennings, E.L.T. Mesens and Erik Satie. Horace Mayer Kallen writes on swing, Michael Vandelaar on black music, and there’s an excerpt from my noise article which appeared in Hydrolith. There’s also a dialogue between several people from a 1947 Possibilities magazine.

Other contents include Bill Howe’s automatic texts written in response to the sounds of Charles Mingus and Johannes Bergmark, Richard Misiano-Genovese on sonic awareness and sleep deprivation, Kevin Logan on sounds of destruction, Adrian Dannatt on Welsh concrete sound poetry, my prepared guitar piece, and two Bergmark articles related to Christopher Small, the latter of which is a response to a critic of his first article written for Swedish music circles. There are various points of interest and things I disagree with within these articles as well as a handful of more literary pieces, but it’s hard for me to take much of an interest in the latter because of my desire to return again and again to the writings on sound.

The audio CD contains more than an hour of sounds from contributors. Of the most interest are the 18 sonic exquisite corpses which editor Coombs has compiled from loosely themed 30 second segments sent by different musicians and sound artists; these tracks were then randomly edited and layered together. I find the dense subtleties of these tracks rather engaging. There are also a few remixes of these audio corpses by people other than Coombs. While I generally enjoyed the music, it seems worth it to ask what is it that makes some of these sounds necessarily surrealist? There are a lot of electronic and ambient tracks and very little from the jazz, blues minimal improv, or urban/field music end of things for example. I’m not saying this is the editors' fault, and nor do I want to prioritize traditional musical forms in a surrealist oriented compilation, but it would have been nice to hear more diversity to round out the CD.

See for ordering information or write to Dark Windows Press, 72 Llandudno Rd, Rhos-on-Sea, Conwy, UK.

Jan 15, 2012

Angye Gaona

Colombian writer and surrealist comrade Angye Gaona is accused of drug trafficking and rebellion by a police state regime, which could result in an up to 20 year prison sentence. In a tense political climate the case seems motivated by repressive interests as she is a well-known cultural critic and activist. Her trial is to begin on January 23rd. More international attention in the interests of solidarity with poetry and free speech is called for. Follow the links below for more information.\