The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

October 5, 2014

Sickness, Seeks Advice, Wood

Help! Here are my symptoms - slight sore throat, always,
accompanied by a hoarse voice, wheezing, difficulty breathing.
Chest congested and chills, feels like flu, but my temperature
lowers slightly, doesn't raise. Muscle aches. Head feels
'thick,' sometimes headaches, migraines. Coughing and dizziness.
The exhaustion is terrible; I have to force myself to do
anything. My doctor in Brooklyn ruled out psychosomatic, thought
it might be a low-grade anti-immune issue. But that comes with
its own problems in terms of treatment, and it's probably not
correct. I can hardly function some days. It's worse when I wake
up or nap. I've had this for years, but it's been getting worse
recently. My energy seems low and I'm just frustrated all the
times. Writing this to see if anyone has any idea what's going
on. It doesn't seem to be connected with depression (which I
have), but it adds to it. Sleep broken up as usual. Played two
qin pieces today; if I stop playing, my muscle memory will
dissolve. There's a lot of memorization involved. I spoke to a
friend who plays qin; we discussed how the weather affects it.
My older instrument becomes much more resonant; the newer is the
opposite. I tend wood, work in electronics. We just received
copies of my latest release, which should be announced any day
now - Cutting Board, from ESP-Disk, with Chris Diasparra and Ed
Schneider, with cover images from the work we've done in the
Cave; Kathleen Ottinger and I are on the cover. The titles of
the songs are from the elements. There are a number of duets and
trios; I also have three solos - electric guitar, qin, and sung
lisu. I no longer have the sung lisu, which I traded in; now I
realize how beautiful it sounds. But I have enough to play at
the moment, and the qin are beautiful. One piece (above) has two
instruments played together; the other has one, recorded from
beneath, in a rather dry manner. But seriously, if you any idea
what might be hitting me (it's been here for years), would like
to hear from you; you can write back-channel. My medical care in
Rhode Island isn't good, and it's almost impossible for me to
see my doctor; instead, I'm shunted to nurse practitioners who
don't know what's going on and don't have the time for it. Here
at home I feel dysfunctional some of the time, and I shouldn't
be; my tests all come out fairly normal, but I haven't had a
real checkup for fourteen months and I'm not scheduled for one
until December. I don't want to lose the next three months or
anything beyond that, I'm worried about my health. The album is
terrific, I think, and in November we're having a double release
party for both Avatar Woman and Cutting Board. But what if I
can't play? At the moment I'm still more or less at the top of
my form, but November is a long way away. I continue to work in
virtual worlds but haven't been able to see my way towards the
purchase of a Kinect and software, which are quite expensive; as
a result I rehash the older behavioral/animation files. On the
other hand, we do well in the cave and I realized just this week
that, being unaffiliated, I tend to work furiously in short
spurts when I have access to things, and then proceed later with
the files; the last Cave session for example was three hours and
I'll be dealing with the files, now, for a week or so, producing
new video, audio, images, and so forth. Today, for a second
example, we attended a steam engine event in East Greenwich; all
sorts of stationary engines were fired off; I made video and
audio and these will appear, again, in new work, most likely in
MacGrid. I work like this, jerking around, and maybe this too is
wearing me down, but the symptoms listed above are always the
same, sometimes worse (as now) sometimes better, but, like my
tinnitus, always there, so again if you have any suggestions or
something similar please do get in touch; I'm at my wit's end
(which is an expression, not a geographic topos).

Resonant, Wave, Waving

I imagine what it's like to be a spiritual leader.
Here I am revolving with the earth and sun and moon.
The galaxy is too far, murmurs otherwise.
Turning inward, what a new trip, I bring you along!
This must be what wood is like in its being wood,
growing at a resonant pace, wave in the turning

My arms are a swarm of starlings, murmuration.
My mind in the ease of the swarm.

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