“Stories are like snapshots, son, pictures snatched out of time,” he said, “with clean, hard edges. But this was life, and life always begins and ends in a bloody muddle, womb to womb, just one big mess, a can of worms left to rot in the sun.”
When music occupies so much cultural space, you yearn for any noise that wasn’t meant to be music, that is fresh and complicated and free from intention (and therefore available for aesthetic invention).
Another quick visit to Dublin. No time to look around, but plenty of dead time in airports. Fortunately I took Brian Eno’s A Year With Swollen Appendices to keep me company—his diary-with-essays from 1996—and consequently came home feeling much smarter. Coincidentally, there are a number of entries in the book about his own visits to Dublin, so keeping in the spirit of things here’s an ambient photo-essay on the airport:
What must it be like to be almost entirely world-famous for one song you recorded over 50 years ago? I’ve never been a huge fan of Brubeck’s, but Take Five is a special case, isn’t it? I especially like the edited “single” version which manages to be both abstract and intimate, cool yet tender, intellectual and pop. Regardless of my opinions on his music, it is indisputable that he was a lovely guy, thoughtful and deeply humanistic. Obituary.
Jonathan Harvey 1939-2012
For me Jonathan Harvey’s music is indelibly tied up with a my time as a student at City University in the early 1990s, studying under Jim Grant and Simon Emmerson. Here’s his most famous piece, which whilst clearly owing a huge debt to Stockhausen manages to create a clear identity of its own:
Anyone who visits this blog on a regular basis or anyone who knows me must surely be aware of my blatant Modernist leanings. I have always been a huge admirer of Niemeyer’s work, so elegant and cool:
Fabulous: but would I want to live there? Obituary.
* * * * *
We live in an age where we are ruled by sinister, grinning, educated thugs. We are bombarded with the trivial, enveloped by a synthetic mediated environment whose shallow and shiny surfaces seem to reflect back only the loud, the garish, the crude.
We should therefore at least note—in some insignificant and humble manner—the contribution of such brave and creative people as have passed away this week: those with ambition, vision, and integrity. Those who actively and deliberately tried to make the world a better place.