The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

June 13, 2015


the sound through dizziness, loss of concentration, fogginess,
forgetfulness, two banjo tunings played for the first time,
losing track, recapitulating, returning, transforming,
forgetting, refinding the transforming, fitting and retrofitting
the transforming, returning to forgotten beginnings, or
returning somewhere else, odd tunings leading the way, the first
slower, rougher, elegiac, the second smoother, exalting, faster,
fastest, defocused world, chills, shivering, confusion,
semiconscious, state of wanton speed, fuzziness, fugue state,
repeating, braiding the sound, sonic phrases, storehouses,
compartments, abandonments, maroonings, isolation chambers,
meandering, wayward stumbling, finding returning, finding chills
and wanton, finding sonic maroonings, finding meandering,
finding else, elsewise, elsewhere, elsewhen, fugue sound,
sheaves, body not in body, memory of some sound, somewhere,
somewhen, braiding

this is the sound when i think of making music, that is not
music, that is sound that is the sound of thinking music making,
that is not thinking when the sound is good, that is dizziness,
falling down, lurching, that is the goodness of the sound

storm brew

storm is brewing out here, hasapi kept going out of tune, wind
hollowed, continued the resonance of the rear sound-hole,
finally coming to an end, rain and wind were picking up, i held
on to what territory i had, submergence, holding the cough back
as well for a few moments

as if something were tearing at the music, rending the fabric

wrote my friend earlier "I'm glad about ESP, I feel I've reached
a serious dead-end in Providence [,,,]. At least with music,
what I do is what I do myself or with friends, there are enough
people that will put a cd out, at least so far. So I can be as
neurotic or whatever, and still do ok, and music's more of a
common denominator. Everything else I do is negotiation and I'm
not good at that, it goes through institutions and classes, and
I don't teach and am unfortunately independent for the rest of
my life. But I can pick up, say, the banjo I have now, and do
things others can't, and it's within my aegis. I've been trying
on the other hand to get a book out of my theoretical work,
beyond the Writing Under one, and that won't happen - nothing
will come of it. So I feel I have to look even more inward,
before I totally collapse... it's not a great world out there if
you're over the age of 40, much less my 72 -"

then there's the hasapi going out of tune but always somehow
coming back _into it_ as if there were a home there even in the
wind and rain, doing what i do best maybe, braiding sound, still
uselessly hoping for a breakthrough otherwise - book published,
big concert, promotion, amazing grant, something curing the
gnawing of my throat against my throat, that thin closure -
looking up and through the Local Cluster, amazed at the
confluence of processes resulting in life on this planet, such a
think edge of fecundity in the midst of catastrophe,
annihilation - the Local Cluster coming closer, the storm
increasing, flashes now outside, where i was something about the
rain, the brewing storm, soon i'll remember, i'll remember soon

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