The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

November 8, 2010


(nikuko) the ambassador is coming. you can't be naked enough.


http://espdisk.com/alansondheim/basszither1.mp3
http://espdisk.com/alansondheim/basszither2.mp3

~~~ (nikuko) the ambassador is coming. you can't be naked enough.

(nikuko) i'm in your best form, the ambassador's waiting for me. he will
take me with him. i'll have him naked before the ballet. ambassador will
see that, he'll appreciate it, he's a man of taste.

(julu, off stage) oh god, the ambassador's dead, the whole province is
dreaming about the ambassador.

(nikuko) i'm going now, alan, the ambassador's dead, only god can bring
the ambassador back alive.

(nikuko, dancing) dear god, please bring the ambassador back alive. oh god
help me in this and i can look up your legs. bring back my ambassador,
resurrect him, he'll save you, he has heard so much.

(nikuko) oh god thank you, hello your ambassador, i'll do anything for you

(continues dancing for the ambassador). (think naked Alan, naked Nikuko,
dancing for ambassador.)

(ambassador) alan's perfect, god's a help, all's right with the world.

(applause) ambassador, everyone loves us, everyone wants us together. red
slippers, i'll dance with god himself, you'll be my god, ambassador.

(ambassador) i'll save you, nikuko, and i'll save you too, alan.

(alan and nikuko) we thank you ambassador, and above all the whole world,
almost as happy as the ambassador.

"above my slippers, above the flooring and the eyes of the ambassador
the ambassador would clothe me, take me from the boards of the stage and
subject: Urgent message from The Ambassador"
the ambassador says: Come back immediately. Stop fooling around.

the aambassador says: I really mean it. We need you. Stop this nonsense.

~~~ dance with god himself, you'll be my god, ambassador, you with me and
the whole world, almost as HAPPY as the ambassador.

bass communication consonant hum stringy lubricous as mucous, garbage glop
boulevardier bassus bilabial blessing blues bourdon singer, toward the
bass end of abbreviated bandwidths, oozing language ~~~

Pictures of Instruments and Planets:


For anyone who might be interested, (very rough but clear) photographs of
the instruments I've been recording with recently -

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts01.jpg - Guzheng, 16 strings with movable
bridges. This is a folk instrument; apparently in 1961, the guzheng was
changed - more strings were added, and the end block was set curved, not
straight. It's really a beautiful instrument.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts02.jpg - Pipa, weighing 8+ pounds, most
likely rosewood body with black oxhorn frets and pegs. Tuning is Adea.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts03.jpg,
http://www.alansondheim.org/insts04.jpg - Violin, with a fairly wide
(front
to back) body.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts05.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/insts06.jpg - Viola, John Juzek, formerly
Czech, now German, sounds really good on the low strings (I think unusual
for a viola). I play this and the violin vertically; this is tuned CGcg
and the violin, GDgd.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts07.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/insts08.jpg - Small Hausa raft zither, woven
reed with seeds inside the back.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts09.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/insts10.jpg - Larger Hausa raft zither, with a
much deeper tone. Both instruments are plucked with both hands; both are
somewhat old and delicate. I'll record with them, then put them aside. The
weaving on both is amazing.

http://www.alansondheim.org/insts11.jpg - 'Bass' zither, or elegie concert
zither. This is an anomaly; it's not that well constructed and the frets
are crude, as is the purfling around the upper soundhole and the overall
shape.  I'm not sure of the date; the purfling seems to be Washburn-style
so I'm assuming it's American-made, but the ornate tuner cover (nickel or
silver-plated) seems European. It might be English. There are 23 usable
open strings and five playing strings; I'm using an odd tuning of my own
devising, which also keeps the instrument from further cracking. It has a
range of about five octaves.

Planets:

Plates of Mars and Venus from Elements of Astronomy, Illustrated with
Plates, for the use of Schools and Academies, with Questions, by John
Wilkins, Boston, 1832. Volumes could be written about visual interpre-
tation (including the reading of 'canals' several decades later), about
real and virtual phenomena in relation to optical technology, and so
forth. Apparently this is the first American book to use 'Uranus' as the
standard name for the planet, which had, until then, been known as
'Herschel.'

http://www.alansondheim.org/planets1.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/planets2.jpg

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