The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Musico-philosophical positioning

Music experimentation with the prayer of warding off death. (best)

[1. from before; 2. new and descriptive.]

1. What's clear is that living organisms and their place within a
phenomenology of the cosmos is in the process of being determined, to
increasingly fine tolerances, by molecular biologies, cosmologies,
physics, and mathematics. The image-imaginary that results is on the order
of a structured response undergoing increasingly fine tunings as a result.
On this level, there is little to be said; how one, for example,
interprets a multiverse is moot/mute and irrelevant - what is of value is
the potential epistemology of universal splittings.

2. What's also clear, in my own sound productions, is that what I give
you, as gift or token, is an interval of lived-time, real-time, on my
part; that what you hear is what I was doing, that this doing will
continue long after I'm dead, until the file is erased. This lived-time is
well-ordered on recording, and well-ordered on playback; if t0 < t1 < t2
in the original, then t0 < t1 < t2 in the listening; all listening here is
copy, and the original exists ontologically elsewhere, in the movement of
flesh and mind, in the construction of the piece, which is the image of
the piece. So in relation to my fear of death, which borders on the phobic
or compulsive (I victimize myself with catastrophic thinking), I create
these images, image-pieces, one after another; they are indicative, as I
reiterate here, of _what I have done,_ _what I was thinking and doing,_
_what occurred during my intentionality directed in lived-time,_ between
me and instrument and later post-production in order to produce a copy,
which is the original which is a copy, as clear and lucid as possible to
the original. (Of course in the future, these codecs may be played at
other speeds, or not even recognized as music; that makes little
difference. I've done what I can; this isn't science but the vagaries of
creation, as if there were an open field replete with wavering protocols
and decisions.) And below is a recording of the sung lisu tuned in
fourths, with strings of equal width which is traditional for the
instrument; in other words, the tuning is by tension alone, and the lower
string has a 'whang' to it as a result. I learned as I played in the
tuning, learned how to control the whang, how to bring it forward in the
sound, how to handle it delicately enough so that it doesn't interfere or
appear out of tune. I did this in real-time, lived-time, on the fly, which
is what you are hearing, so part of what you are hearing is my thinking
about this, as the rest of the world drops away, and I am able to continue
living, at least a little longer.

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