Sunday, November 15, 2009

a rosary (15/11/09)

How does the concept of difference relate to verbs?

Shall I produce an album of trumpet sound landscapes (and invite Amy to participate?)

Are there natural rhythms to creativity or am I just lazy?

Do I prefer wild roses?

Did Matt Collins know I would find this?

Leaf Soup (November Thoughts)

Reluctantly had to go out this morning to pick up money for tomorrow's taxi and food shopping. However, as I made my way to the shops I saw how fresh and beautiful yesterday's storms had left everything. So I made a second journey with my camera and collected some ideas...

My mind was full of recent things and the crisp air always seems to encourage clear and wide-ranging thinking. So I thought of the possibilities of the trumpet for albums, in both its raw and cooked states (acoustic and electronic) following on from contact with trumpeter Amy Horvey who sent some sounds to Consemble G yesterday.

And I though of the language soup that is Semiology, as I prepared and gave a lecture on this and other topics to my first year group last Wednesday -hence the allusion to Lévi-Strauss above. Through re-contacting it through my research I've become much more interested and sympathetic towards Post-Structuralism (it was the only mode of analysis when I was an art student so I rather took against it).

It still leaves me with questions though (every pun intended).

I find inspiration in the general thrust of writers such as Barthes and Derrida as they point to the fact of writing (language) being a potential trap - and the way beyond this trap is to be playful, to constantly reinvent, to be comfortable with being decentred.

The problem I have is with the whole of language being structured through difference; intuitively I feel this is wrong or at least only part of the story. And I'm left wondering whether I am in error through my misunderstanding of difficult material or whether I'm correct and need to explore alternatives. On a day in November.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Firework Music

November the 5th: Guy Fawkes night, Bonfire night, Firework night. I like the last one the best, the idea of works in fire - earth works, water works, fire works...

I've always loved Firework night; when I was a child the comics (Beano, Dandy etc.) would be full of their characters lighting bonfires and watching impossibly exotic rockets and bangers and catherine wheels fizz and whistle and explode.

My family would always gather around a real garden bonfire and we would have roast potatoes in their jackets and watch as my father carefully placed the empty milk bottles as launch pads for skyrockets or lit the blue touch paper and retired (as the instructions quaintly put it) before the world became a mass of green or red or amber flames.

I loved everything about fireworks - I loved buying them, choosing them individually to amass a collection. I loved the fact that you could gaze at them, hold them, excitedly wondering exactly what experience they would bring, what colours and sparks and surprises they would give. I loved the poetry of their names, (Silver Rain, Traffic Lights, Versuvius, Crackling Cauldron, Wallop Wobbler), I loved their shapes and I loved their graphics. So much so, that my sister and I would explore the garden the following day looking for their burnt-out shells so we could collect them to remember the pleasure they had given. And I have just found a book (and related website) by Mark Fleming called 'Firework Art' which as the title suggests, is full of these nocturnal evocations and is a thing of beauty.

And this has reminded me (remember, remember) that one day I intend to make some Parallel Music pieces on the theme of Fire Works.

-all images from 'Firework Art' by Mark Fleming - the book costs £10.99 including 1st class postage (in the UK) and also contains 4 colour postcards of a Standard Firewoks ad. Excellent value and thoroughly recommended - a real labour of love.

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