The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

September 18, 2012

Macheen Afghan sarinda and
      street noise Nepalese sarangi
      and street noise

The street noise is increasing as the arena nears completion
- now Flatbush Avenue has been scraped clean, dug up, metal-
plated, in the middle of the night, streets closed off,
opened again, cars stuttering by, machinery roaring, and I'm
trying to focus on these - at least for me - beautiful and
difficult instruments. The sarinda needs leisure, I think,
at least a meditative space, to play well; my nerves are on
edge and I think, how can I use this to my advantage. The
sounds, like always from the sarinda, are from another
space, sounds I haven't heard before, that seem to come from
elsewhere, cutting through the machinery and corruption
going on in this part of New York to everyone's delight. The
Rolling Stones will be playing! Dylan! The Nets! I'll be
here, in some sort of strange counter-activity, counter-
production, sarinda barely audible in the chaos. I fully
expect the building to burn down, without the descent of
angels. We want to move. I'm not going to kill myself (in
case you're still thinking that); I'm just descending deeper
into an internal chaos that has no occasion for recuperation
- there's no healing when there's no space for it. But the
sarinda clears away the noise, accommodates itself to those
other voice I'm hearing, the wailings of the dead, or of
those yet to be born, only to face the ongoing slaughter of
everything on the planet - humans, 25,000 elephants, accord-
ing to the latest issue of National Geographic ...

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