The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 29, 2012

Musico-philosophical detour (best)

3. searching for basis on instruments slightly detuned. I am an
aural-audible wanderer; the sung lisu, smoothly born with a
long shamisen-like fretless and unmarked neck, needs constant
adjustment in relation to the low string. Playing up-tempo can
only help create the illusion of coherency. The speed of the
world results in simultaneous fragmentation and suturing: make
the breathless mind, and the virtual becomes whole. The sarangi
is in-cohering with the tamburi, but there are way-points that
function momentarily, and the result is a wandering dirge in
search of a non-existent fundamental ground. What occurs, just
as with the sung lisu, is something oddly reminiscent of daily
life, instead of closure by chord or speed at the end of more
traditional compositions. Think of the world and the nomadic,
and how often notes aren't hit on target, but are approached
as if structure were self-sustaining, although structure is
broken, peculiar, signifying the death of classical mathesis,
opening the maw of abjection, incoherency, tincture and odor
of collapse.
  -- alan sondheim sung lisu --
  -- azure carter tamburi --
  -- alan sondheim sarangi -- (best)

Combination, chora, cooling - philosophico-music experimentation (best)

4. The mysolace experimentation pieces are combined into
a single production. Background is tamburi and electronic
tambura; foreground are the inchoate workings of alignment.
Since the originals were different lengths, the separate
pieces drop out one after another, until one alone emerges
and continues. So there are two backgrounds - the various
drones metaphorically providing an image of string theory,
of microwave background radiation (MBR), of groundwork -
and the backgrounds of string and woodwind instruments in
a constant state of virtual presence tending towards
emergence. The thickness is lost. The remaining piece
embodies drone, foreground (ghijak), and brain-waves at
two frequencies. The universe is simultaneously tuning-up
and emitting. What is chaotic is inchoate; what is inchoate
is not necessarily chaotic. In this work the chaotic itself
dissolves as a result of the mp3 (or any other - I have a
.wav that sounds clearer but is much larger) digitization
and compression; randomness underlies everything including
the real-world plucking of a string with all the implied
resonances at war with the physics of materials from
string to surface to traveling waves to damping phenomena
to the instrument's and performer's bodies to the weather
itself. And the universe? Simultaneously tuning-down and
emitting, entropic, always thinking in remote corners,
always at a loss.

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