The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

This is an archive of works sent by Alan Sondheim to various mailing lists. The most recent messages (also available as an Atom feed) are below.

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Measurement


"These measures are suitable for the post. One suitable form
should he produce and make the post. They say, however, 'One
should not measure the post; let it be unmeasured; the measured
by the measured one wins; the unmeasured by the unmeasured;
(therefore it serves) to win the incommensurable.'" (Kausitaki
Brahmana, Adhyaya X 1)

"Agni is the lowest of the gods; Visnu the highest; between them
are all the other deities. A cake to Agni and Visnu on eleven
potsherds they offer in connexion with the consecration; verily
they offer it without omission to all the deities. All the
deities are Agni; all the deities are Visnu; Agni and Visnu are
the two terminal forms of the sacrifice. In that they offer the
cake to Agni and Visnu, verily thus at the ends they prosper as
regards the gods. They say 'In that the cake is on eleven
potsherds, and Agni and Visnu are two, what is the arrangement
here for the two, what the division?' That for Agni is on eight
potsherds; the Gayatri has eight syllables; the metre of Agni is
the Gayatri. That for Visnu is on three potsherds, for thrice
did Visnu stride across this. This is the arrangement here for
the two, this the division. (Aitareya Brahmana, Pancika I,
Adhyaya I 1)

trans. Arthur Berriedale Keith, Harvard Oriental Series, Vol.
25, Rigveda Brahmanas, Motilal Banarsidass reprint


http://www.alansondheim.org/measured.jpg

seminal cinema: thwart

http://www.alansondheim.org/thwart1.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/thwart.mp4
http://www.alansondheim.org/thwart.mp3
http://www.alansondheim.org/thwart2.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/thwart3.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/thwart4.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/thwart5.png

location: MacGrid, sondheim sim
glitch: control of descent lost, creation lost,
  logged out, boundary transgressions
creation: prim complexes already present edited
  and attached; no new prims or absent complexes
sound: edited in Audition
sound and video: edited in Premiere
length of video and sound files: +/- 1 min 32 sec
thwart.mp3: edited from video audio

dialog:

[04:40 PM]  Disconnected from in-world Voice Chat
[05:40 PM]  Connecting to in-world Voice Chat...
[05:40 PM]  Connected
[05:41 PM]  Alan Sondheim: test
[05:42 PM]  Alan Sondheim: it starts here, the thwart
[05:42 PM]  Alan Sondheim: it's not a place i belong
[05:42 PM]  Alan Sondheim: it's my place
[05:42 PM]  Alan Sondheim: it won't let me in
[05:42 PM]  Alan Sondheim: it won't let me do anything
[05:42 PM]  Alan Sondheim: out of breath
[05:43 PM]  Alan Sondheim: unbreathing
[05:43 PM]  Alan Sondheim: unneeding breath
[05:43 PM]  Alan Sondheim: it's daylight
[05:43 PM]  Alan Sondheim: it doesn't make any difference
[05:44 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i can't see anything
[05:44 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i can
[05:44 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i can't feel anything
[05:44 PM]  Alan Sondheim: the ground beneath my feet
[05:44 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i'm getting nowhere
[05:46 PM]  Alan Sondheim: here where i am i will make something
[05:46 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will learn how to make and build again
[05:47 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will be w/hole again
[05:47 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will make something w/hole
[05:47 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will not be thwart
[05:47 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i walk
[05:48 PM]  Alan Sondheim: here
[05:48 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will build something here
[05:49 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will not be thwart
[05:49 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will drop thing
[05:49 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will be thwart
[05:50 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i cannot drop thing
[05:50 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will not be thwart
[05:50 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will drop thing
[05:50 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i will build and drop thing
[05:50 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i cannot drop thing
[05:51 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i am thwart
[05:51 PM]  Alan Sondheim: but big things yes i can drop big things
[05:52 PM]  Alan Sondheim: and i will not be thwart
[05:52 PM]  Alan Sondheim: these things they will kill me
[05:52 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i am suffocate
[05:52 PM]  Alan Sondheim: i cannot breath
[05:52 PM]  Alan Sondheim: but i will not be thwart
[05:53 PM]  Connecting to in-world Voice Chat...
[05:53 PM]  Connected
[05:53 PM]  Connecting to in-world Voice Chat...
[05:53 PM]  Connected
[05:56 PM]  Disconnected from in-world Voice Chat

to thwart under these circumstances: interventions of
  glitch-physics, edge phenomena coupled with boundary
  transgressions
example: once beyond sim boundaries, chat dialog no
  longer presented itself within the virtual world (see
  above); it was only readable from the chat slot itself
example: logged out and in, finally in an anomalous
  space beyond/without the homeland, there I could speak
  but neither move nor see

thwart as capital, as mechanism, as boundary control
thwart as detumescence, collapse, debris field
thwart as absence, as future anterior, annihilation
thwart as absence of others, as the act of absenting
thwart as control-glitch and glitch-control
thwart as the fragility of good things in catastrophe
  theory
thwart as data-breaching, digital degree-zero
thwart as the phenomenological horizon of the universal
  future

the simplest system of improvisation


http://www.alansondheim.org/amherst16.jpg Dickinson house
http://www.alansondheim.org/simple1.mp3
http://www.alansondheim.org/simple2.mp3
http://www.alansondheim.org/simple3.mp3

Henry Gunckel simple systen clarinet, mid-19th century
with Luke Damrosch revrev and convolution programs.

meanwhile the clarinet has a crack that needs to be filled,
an afternoon project sometime after the chemistry arrives.
it's been a difficult day but we went about our ordinary
business.

the clarinet has five unringed holes, everything for slurs,
odd intervals, glissandos; technically it's a 13-key
instrument before the HP/LP designations, high pitch / low
pitch. this is not the standard or full Albert system, but
as its description suggests, simpler, with the forked F
(relative to the standard pitch) fingering that's a real
nuisance. the tone is somewhere among bagpipe, duduk, folk
clarinets in general, and very easy to modify.

all of this will stop after the recording sessions in May.
I know now this is a material for talking to myself about
sound that I hear below the tinnitus and that it is a good
sound and I will make it and retire into a virtual world
with this sound and it will be there with me.

poor little things


http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle7.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/poorthings.mp4

the making of poor little things

http://www.alansondheim.org/poorthingsb.mp4

the drift of the narrative

the slight raising of filter barriers, enough to let the poor
thing _in_? and then, Pox on't, why do I speak of these poor
things? and then, but a poor thing; ornamented, it sloughs into
the symbolic.

the mise en scene

http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle1.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle2.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle3.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle4.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle5.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle6.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/poorlittle8.png

the poor little things when the shift from virtual virtual
to virtual physical and all the poor little things happen
and every little things is unhappy and these are the roles
of depression when everything transforms into emptiness
among things that should be replete and fecund and when
everything that grows dissolves and leaves a sweet sticky
taste of itself and all the little others in a soft tawdry
trail dissolving in the tears of small whimperings and
even though you know how this is created in the narrative
and mise en scene and the making of the making of poor
little things you can't help feeling sorry for them and
for your lives and the anguish and suffering in our world
that used to be so beautiful so wonderful that we would
sing of it and celebrate it and walk softly in its
shadows and now we are very very small and murmuring and
our hearts our broken among the fabric of our world

how ironic that virtual virtual objects turning into
physical virtual objects begin to take on suffering and

how unutterably sad that our lives are defined by the
days of our births and days of our deaths and all of
this is different among us and our loved ones and
among our families and among others and

how quickly conversations and deep discussions and
disagreements end so sadly with the death of one and
the death of another and

how irrevocable the world is, the poor little things
of the world and the poor little things we remember
until we are forgotten and

oh i sing of these things, threnody and ululuations,
mourning and lamentations, and the greyness of the world
in our last and fading shining hour

meditate on Medea in medea media medias res

http://www.alansondheim.org/meditate.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/meditate.mp3
http://www.alansondheim.org/meditate2.jpg

jinashi shakuhachi, revrev
when i played the shakuhachi in this, with earphones,
the instrument and revrev, i found myself in a new space
& one where i played differently, playing the space itself,
listening to the playing

walketh vail loved leaving us with the debris of the abyss alone
& here we meditate upon the worlds beyond: "he who meditates on
thought as _brahman,_ s/he verily meditates for days on end
without sleep or drink or food, most people. she meditated. she
taught patience. we're distraught; she was most people. she sit
in jail. i just sit there, and do nothing. you can only meditate
on her, she meditates for days on end without sleep or drink or
food if i meditate, i have already lost, not-know. not-i
not-meditate not-and not-i not-don't know. not-i not-don't you
will be constantly deceived, you must constantly meditate, be
silent, of nothing . i meditate upon nothing / meditate upon
nothing / both calls and responses and the i meditate upon
nothing / nothing / upon nothing / nothing / upon nothing, o
people! when a person meditates upon the histories of past
nations and run as long as you like. when i meditated on the
worlds of war, the body's violence, meditate your corpse, you
have it, you are singing on her 18th birthday. we were closer to
her than most people. she meditated. she meditates for days on
end without sleep or drink or food, / dissolution /\ royal lime
purple, o specular body. lack referentiality... em meditate
three years i meditate upon the bones of broken skulls /
meditate upon the bones of broken skulls / i have failed to
meditate. everyday meditate me, dear life. air simply indirect
touch." "for half & so flagrant & so rested, of nothing . i
meditate upon nothing / meditate upon nothing / i meditate on
forms of life and the comfort world. i meditate on the world. i
persist around meditate upon no-meditation / rise up, mourn,
meditate, and enjoy.

when i meditated on echo echo echo
when i meditated on the worlds of war
when i meditated on Medea
when i meditated in medea res

What happens when I fill the room in my head

http://www.alansondheim.org/espsession12.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/qqqqalto.mp3

The image is from our recording session which
resulted in Avatar Woman and Cutting Board.
The music - well it's alto clarinet sent through
the MOTU set for a 12 second reverb; that's what
I heard through the headphones and I was curious
how it would be to play that way. It took all
night to set up, indicative of the difficulty I
have with soundboard configurations. I was also
reacting to my fear of tinnitus interfering with
everything; here, I made sure it wasn't an issue
but I'm walking around the erhu suspiciously. In
any case, this piece is annoying, strange, and
insistent, and I love the tonalities the clarinet
was able to produce against itself in a space
that never seemed to end.

Erhu

http://www.alansondheim.org/erhuand.jpg *
http://www.alansondheim.org/qqqqviolin.mp3 erhu

Replaced the violin piece by an erhu piece, same
address. 1. It's more adventuresome. 2. It sounds
better. 3. It was difficult. 4. Around 30 seconds
you can hear a motorcycle. 5. The ending has an
interesting bow slippage. 6. It's an erhu!!!
[...]

We just set up a more reasonable configuration
for the Motu and computer; the erhu sounds travel
into the ultrasonic which made it hard for the
lavalier to work well; instead I duplicated the
instrument mic. In the meantime, playing is
compounded by my tinnitus, which creates beats/
interference patterns; my ear-dreaming, phantom
hearing, takes over and the result is strange; I
have to play through and above/below what I hear,
which is not entirely coming from the instrument.
The next beat of my heart might be mirrored in
the madal, but not here. In any case, I think the
piece is quite good, worthy of hearing, rushed,
running wild at the limit of my physical/musical
capabilities. [...]

* erhu in foreground, sarangi, ghichak, and
suroz behind. The sarangi is now owned by
Stephen Dydo; the ghichak and suroz will be
going to the National Music Museum in South
Dakota. [...]

Threnody for myself

http://www.alansondheim.org/haml17.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/qqqqsaz.mp3
http://www.alansondheim.org/qqqqoud.mp3
http://www.alansondheim.org/qqqqviolin.mp3

Another Avatar Woman review (from England) -

http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Rumbles_March_15.htm (scroll down)


I'm afraid my ability to play will give out; what if I
have a stroke or heart attack? So I'm hurrying, working
on the next album which stresses technique and speed in
relation to mourning and unredeemable death. Many of
these instruments have traveled with me; here they are.
Contrary to the review above, I've released something
like ten cds/albums/cassettes at least; they tend to
disappear, I don't. I think through thought, in music
and without music; for me, these are more than pieces;
they're something else, indefinable, they rescue me for
other work, the virtual work for example. For what it's
worth, I don't think of myself as a cyberspace theorist,
but as a shape-shifter, if shape there be; it's thinking
and thinking through. Scroll all the way down for the
review.

(And whatever you do, don't tell me I'm old; I've had
enough ageism recently to last for several lifetimes.)

for threnody for the dead in us

for the dead i am not fir chasm guqin
for the dead i am not cliff stream guqin
for the threnody of the dead i am not cliff chasm
for the threnody of the dead i am not fir stream
for the threnody of the dead i am not guqin
for the threnody of the dead
i am not among you
nor am i human nor dead
nor am i among you i am among you

http://www.alansondheim.org/forus.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/qqqq2.mp3
qin, recorded stereo, nearby the two soundholes
where what lives

& this is quick-qin, maybe early flow music qin
arpeggios, lakeshores and landing strips
warding off every evil in the world, e-veil

using muto, audacity, audition

the forge where sound is forged

http://www.alansondheim.org/theforge.png
http://www.alansondheim.org/theforge.mp3

for ge t her s elf ho mer i stem at ion iz at ion
vul can div ide a part it ion iz at ion
un til lage r espond ent er ring
who se cant i cl e vert i go to me an in gland
tri al an kin dread spur thro ugh

forget herself homer meristemation ionization
vulcan divide apart a partition ionizatoin
until lager repsondent entering erring
whose secant canticle evert vertigo tome meaning gland
trial alan kindread dreads spurt through spur thro ugh

forge elves homer i stem ion
vulcan divide a part ion
until respondent erring ringer who canticle vertigo
to me meaning land
trial kind read spurt through spur ugh

forge o homer is on vulcan divide
until deterring o ringer vertigo
o me meaning o land ugh oh
trial through ugh oh

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