Thursday, January 24, 2008

rain = flood


Today began with me opening a window in order to circulate air and thus dropping a T-square on my thumb, which has turned the nail green! I shall loose the nail most likely.

I figured that it would be best to take some pictures of my desk as it is what I stare at for a good deal of my existence. May it amuse and inspire you in equal portions.

I also finished a score, it is dedicated (he is not dead) to James Orsher, email me if you want more information. Maybe you should perform it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Liz Phillips

This week I have had the fortune of encountering sound artist Liz Phillips. She is presenting a series of workshops and an installation. I have spent some time discussing her work with her and have discovered a great deal. Liz has intuitively discovered and worked with the spatial aspect of sound/life. Furthermore, she has reached the point of dealing in depth with the perceptual apparatus of humans. This is of course very interesting to me. What I mean by all of this is that her work is driven by her desire to explore space and reflect that space that she is investigating back upon itself. This results in work that refers to the observer, which I find to be a unique and provocative position. This critical view of mine is neglecting the human aspect. Liz spends a great deal of time tuning the space. What I have come to understand this activity as, is the investigation of the specific characteristics of the space of her installation as well as investigating her own work anew,.. each time! This is indeed a remarkable thing.

As if that was not enough, there was a panel discussion last night with Liz and Curtis Roads. In my mind there is a great deal of aesthetic difference between these two artists. As I have got to know them both, it has been revealed that they have a great deal in common. In fact, they are both very concerned with the investigation of space and how sound enables that. Of course there is a difference in the works that they present, but the similarities are there.

Like many artists Liz is able to talk about herself. This type of self referential perspective used to annoy me, but having spent a considerable amount of time talking directly with Liz, it was fascinating to watch her speak about herself and her work to the public. It was in these talks that I began to understand her work, because the act of talking about herself was more about her talking about her work. I suppose I shall develop this ability at some point, especially now that it has entered my consciousness. Actually, it was even more remarkable to contrast this with Curtis. Liz is critically aware of the position of her work in the evolution of sound sculpture and speaks off the cuff, with themes that have are currently of interest. In contrast, Curtis prefers to read a prepared statement, I assume that this is in order to perfectly (and rather eloquently I might add) articulate his thoughts. It has been a great pleasure to get to know Liz's work in such a close and personal manner. I am thankful for the opportunity. Oh, and the perceptional issues... I see it and she does as well. It is simple things like recording stereo images for ones eyes, a TV is a mono picture, as is you computer. Liz records stereo and then installs a 3D visual. Likewise, in sound, she pursues sound in terms of the spacial morphology. It seems almost stupid to say it, but something as simple as a binaural installation is still a revolutionary act. And there you are ... 2008!

By the by. 2 is ease and god luck for the Chinese and 8 is prosperity. 2008 is the year in which it is easy to be prosperous. May we all be prosperous, myself included.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Boston and a New Quarter

Last weekend I was in Washington DC for a day and then Boston. It was nice to be back in my old neighborhood. I went for the usual walk, one that I used to do on a weekly basis and I discovered two things. One, I am out of shape. Two, my name is still on the buzzer to my old apartment, 2 and 1/2 years later! I thought I might ring the bell and see if I would answer the door, but I decided to save that for one of my dreams. The end of my BOS trip had me flying out of Logan @ 6:20 AM Monday. While this may not sound like a great advantage, it actually was, as I was one of the 2% of travelers whose flights was not canceled that day. It certainly did make for a long day and a long week, but that is the life. Among points of interest in Boston/Cambridge we went to Christine's old stomping grounds and saw the Geary building at MIT.

Also, we went back to my old institution, NEC and found this cabinet full of plaster casts of the teeth of singers from the early 1900's.

I have also begun the new quarter which has it's good and bad points. The requirements for a music degree are weighing on my patience, frankly I do not understand why musicians still like to fixate on the 19th century all these years later. So, suffer I must. But I am also taking the graduate Art Studio Crit class and that is really quite refreshing. Visual artists, it seems, are interested in discussing and interacting the present and the future!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


A great picture taken at Yosemite by Christine.

Odds and Sounds

Remembering Rain

An old farmhouse in PA that Christine and I discovered on a walk.

During the holiday break I did make of couple of sounds here and there.
Red Chair
and here is the holiday tune that I put together. I don't much care for holiday music, having had a bit to much exposure, so the actual tune may be less than obvious. In fact this is more about process than anything else. I performed each of the 12 days of Christmas as slow as possible and having recorded each one mixed them so the final result is all twelve days of Christmas at once, this a rather nice view of the modern situation now that I sit back and look at it.
12 Nights

This is Washington attempting to cross the Delaware. He in fact failed in this attempt, due to the strong current and was rescued by a a legion of power boats. So it seems that America shall live under the "tyranny" of the British for another year and General Washington and his men can attempt to rectify this reenactment failure on the next Christmas Day. Maybe with the U.S. being a British colony this year the country will act in a more civilized and manner.

Also, during the Fall Quarter I premiered a piece that I wrote last year in the concert that I organized. 3 Here is a recording
Feldman and Webern had a Love Child who wrote this piece
and a picture