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Who are you today?

Who?

Yes, that is right. I asked who and not how.

“How are you today” seems to me to be one of the most useless questions i know.

 

 What choices do you have to answer?

 

“Thanks, I’m fine.” Just answering to brush the question of like some dust that happened to land on your jacket.

Or you can answer how you actually feel. But that might take too long time for anyone to listen to. Most people are not really interested. In most cases whatever you say  does not change anything anyway.

According to rumor there is a tribe somewhere in Africa where they greet each other:

 

„How is the space between us today?“

 

That makes some kind of sense to me. The question also includes the one asking. That also makes sense to me. How I am feeling might change with whom is the asking.

Today, the space between me and myself is rather good.

We are almost one. Still we are at least two.

 

How many me`s is there inside of a me?

Are they individual me`s or just graded variations?

What is me and what is not me?

Do I have enemies of me inside of me?

 

Who are you?

 

I am watching you pointing at to those who love or have loved you as the answer to the question i am asking.

I am watching you looking at your loved ones as one creature instead of individual creatures. One big ball of a creature with everchanging faces and bodies. Sometimes different faces melt into one creating a loved one you have never been with in person. One person taking over where another one ends. Sometimes they fall in love with each other as well. Sometimes they let you in. Sometime they leave you outside to watch.

I am watching how the ages of your loved ones change. I am watching how they talk to you, how you sometimes are making the same moves, yet they answer you differently, and so the game changes. And sometime you communicate differently to them, but still the answers they give you are mostly the same.

You go in and out of love like in and out of a room. Or like you go in and out of the many faces and bodies of music.

 

Where does love stop and begin?

 

When does music start and stop?

Does the music start when it starts?

Does it start when you start to wish for the music?

Or does the music really start when you begin to remember it even when it is not playing?

 

Sometime you say that the biggest problem we have with music today is that it is so easy to listen to that we mostly forget to listen to it in our minds. That we hardly ever have to go hungry for music. There is music everywhere. We have to shut it out. We don’t get to listen to the music inside us. We do not spend time making that meeting with the inner and outer music. On the other hand: we have to seek silence actively if we want it. Not to play that record, however nice it is. Not to listen to that audiobook, no matter how fitting the voice reading it is.

I see you walking with your lovers hand in hand. Sometimes you are in the middle, sometimes you are on the side. I see the some people ignoring the three of you, but also that some people smiles longingly at you as if it is their dreams you are taking for a walk.

Its like music you say: i listen to different music. One music does not exclude the other. Blues does not exclude ambient. Rock does not exclude jazz. Red does not exclude black. You do not exclude him or her. And so on and so forth.

 

I started by asking who are you today, did you answer? I do not remember. I will ask again.

 

Who are you today?

 

Answer as you like.  Yourself or somebody else? Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe? One or many?

 

 Who are you today?

 

I will watch you as you search for the answer.

Will you go deep inside and take a look?

Or will you just take a the first one surfacing?

 

Who are you today?

 

Who?

 

 

 

*

 

Todays song:

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – Radka Toneff

 

*

 

Written with

Eraldo Bernocchi & Harold Budd – Music For ‚Fragments From The Inside‘ (2005)

on repeat, every composition played three times, before moving on.

 

Good morning world :-)

 

Tonight you slept well. Tonight you had dreams from both sides of the border.
In one you were in America. The land of the Brave and the free. You were in a house with many rooms, and in every room so many things, unused and dusty. And you went from room to room without your feet touching the floor. And you looked at the objects wondering what to take with you. But as you reached for them they dissolved into nothing. And then you woke up in your bed, your hands empty.

These days you seem more obsessed by the thoughts of giving away  and getting rid of than collecting more. Yet things come to you and cling to you, as if they have decided that you are a safe haven where they can rest peacefully for a while.

What is possessions? What is it that fills up the rooms in your house? What is it that is yours, and that you do not have to leave behind on that final day?

 

The final shirt has no pockets.

 

I am watching you, growing up between books somewhere in a big house in one of the nicer parts of Oslo. Not rich, but certainly not poor.

 

And you were traveled with.

 

You were a child in Africa. Your father: a surgeon for the Croix Rouge – Red Cross. That`s were he got ill. Growing up with fences surrounding the blocks were you lived. Outside: the black children. You: not allowed to play with them. Yet, there were trades. They made toys of wire and brought sugar cane to sell. You had money. Negotiations across the fence. Deals made. Goods and money exchanged places.

And later when you had to go back to Norway because your father was ill. Cancer of the colon. Normally easy to cure, if discovered in time. But my father had been to busy saving others, to have time for himself.

Then: going to Spain because the climate was not so harsh as in Norway. Bag of books in the backseat. Paper to draw on. Comics. Walking under the burning bright sun through the dried up landscape to El Vikingo to have a dip in the pool, and afterwards a vanilla icecream before returning the same way continuously creating ever-changing stories always centering around some deed to be done, like dragons to be killed or universes to be saved.

 

Then: back in Oslo, your father died.

 

It was august. You were eleven. You knew it was to happen. It was no surprise. The reason why you cried was not that he was dead, but that your mother had not told you in the morning when she sent you of to school. That you had spent that day as if nothing significant hat happened in your life. That you had been lied to, kept outside of what really happened.
And so on. You learned early that there were something as dying. And that things have an end.

 

But also that even endings end and then turns into new beginnings.

 

I watch us as we read what i have written so far. You observe that this is one possible version of the story, one remix among many remixes. Next time you tell the story it will be different again. Only liars who have rehearsed tells the story the same way every time. The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

You were never good at learning by heart. And you are not to start now. Either you perform what you have written or you let the words form in your mind as you speak – never knowing where you end up – or if you have an idea about your destination – not a clue about how you get there.

More than once you have been stuck in a corner – and you have had to wait for the paint to dry. But also: wings have grown as you were falling into the abyss, and you just learned to use them in time before you would have splashed into the ground and the story would have been over.

 

I sense you are getting restless.

 

Soon it is time for breakfast. I will let you free to eat. There is no hurry. There is always tomorrow. Or is it? Is every today turned into a yesterday one less tomorrow? Or is that number always changing? I remember that summer when I started a new habit: walking into the street without looking. I was worn out, tired from constantly being on the move.

Anyway, these days, I look both left and right before crossing any street, sometimes I even wait when there is no cars passing. It does not make me immortal, but should i ever die, let it not be because of a metal box with wheels.

 

I choose to end with a song from the other dream:

 

Bo Jo Cie Kochom – Depress.

Nine to go.

 

*

 

Written with

Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie – Before the day breaks (2007)

on repeat in the background, every composition played 3 times before moving on.

Here I am, finally writing to myself. It seems it is about time. Harold Budd and Clive Wright is playing in my room. I love the titles, like

 

Blind flowers

 

They are poems in themselves. Just reading them makes me see the flowers still reaching towards the sun – even when it is night, even when it is dark. Like they can’t let go of the warmth that is still shining inside them. They are not touched by the fact that the sun is not there. They are not made blind by reality.

 

I am watching  you, typing as quickly as you can as to follow the words, rather than you trying to make them follow you.

Sometimes you stop, like a dog sniffing for the next word, and then! Off you go – left –  right through the high summer grass of your imagination, when you where a child, and Crawlin‘ King Snake was already in you, not as a song, but as being. Crawlin‘ King Snake was in you way before you heard the song, the guitar, the voice. And when you heard it, you recognized it and made it yours once more.

 

You are amazed by how rich the music of Harold Budd is, why did it take so long to discover the rest of it? Yes, you heard The Pearl right away – an unusually beautiful record that you have played over and over in many differing circumstances…

Like when you wanted time to change, when you wanted the world to expand, when you wanted to imagine the hundred years or so between every heartbeat – or the slow motion waves of breathing crashing in on some faraway beach.

 

I write to you, because I have been watching over you these days. You had fever. You have been coughing. You had to sit up in bed to sleep. When you slept some short flashes the colors were strong and vivid. You dreamt new names for yourself. You dreamt of broken down buildings from your childhood, and of naked people walking around like it was normal to be naked, and clothes were something unthinkable. And you dreamt you became the leader of an organization called „The central commity for a meaningless life“.

 

And as the temperatures came back to normalish and the flu gave way to your normal pains you were two places at the same time. You were inside your body, and outside your body at the same time watching yourself. And the image of being watched and of watching yourself remains in you.

 

So if there is two of us, which one is the real me? Or maybe even the real us? I never felt alone when there were no one else around. I need my solitude – the place where I meet with myself.

 

Harold Budd and Clive Wright – The Saints Of Whispers is in my room and he talks to me as i am writing to you. Sometime you heard those whispers – sometimes you ignored them, but sometimes you did what I suggested even if it seemed like crazy riddles and penguins hitchiking.

I whisper to you from a different point in time. Not from the same here and now that you live in. Whereas you are locked inside of time and space, I am locked outside.

 

So I can never be you, and you can never be me. Or so they say. But we both know better, don`t we?

 

Maybe i should talk to instead of writing to you, make a youtube video – then it is clearer that we are on each our side of the screen. That time ceases to exist on one side. That it continues freely on the other. That space is wherever we decide it should be.

 

I look at your hands. From the outside the pains are not visible. It is not that bad in the evening. You have nice hands, many have said – they feel good.

Maybe because when you touch someone else you do not want to hurt yourself, then you are not the only touching – you are aware of being touched as you touch. Harold Budd playing the music. The music playing Harold Budd.

In front of a mirror I often wonder: what does my mirror image do when I am not there. Does it disapear? Does it wait patiently for me to return? Does it sit down with a book? Spend time with a loved one that he has not yet introduced to me? Writing a letter to a different version of himself?

 

Slowly moving towards the end of this first letter.

It will be ten letters.

Ten letters to myself.

 

*

 

Written with

Harold Budd and Clive Wright – A Song For lost Blossoms (2009)

on repeat in the background, every composition played 3 times before moving on.

Third try

 

The machinen and the flesh is one. Getting on the ground, becoming dust. Allowing your selves to be spread all over. There is no going back. There is no going on. No beat is the next step. No step is the next beat. Let the beat go. Trust just being a sound. Letting the borders blend and break like acid or the Berlin wall as a memory you cant remember.

 

Second try

 

My wishes: more of a feeling of I don`t know who is making what sound. More blending into one. Less hiarchy. Less feeling of the two providing the bottom and the one being the top. Brian Blade is one of my favorite drummers. More unidentified instruments – like a Kazorta or a Pilmaki – treated with the Stckhs machine and some Kollipa buttons, the pink and blue ones. And some subsonic and burning sprectralghosts – both the elephantronic and dolphinic machines based on the human snake oil flesh. How will these recordings affect his next works? Is this a teaser for 35 extended mixes? What drugs goes better with this experience? What religion will enrichen your beliefs? What images will change you forever?

 

First try

 

Another shot of Daniel Lanois. Makes me wonder how his next recordings will sound. Is flesh and machine just a teaser for 35 extended mixes? How will this experience shape his future recordings for other people? Finding myself wishing that he would play with other people also on various electronics. Basically Brian Blade and and Jim Wilson are comping him – while he playing on top on top on top. Would be interesting if he worked with their sounds as well. I would like less hiarchy. More of that feeling you dont know who is doing who and what.

 
Listen to download download download here

2015 21 Jan

Possible Musics (111) „50 Shades Of White“

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)

The piece „50 Shades Of White“ is performed by 55 musicians all dressed in white on a white stage – faces painted white – in a strong white light all sharing a white plastic saxophone – playing one sound at a time – every minute – passing the instrument from one musician to the next while moving in slow motion – when all 55 players have made their sound – the piece is over and they leave the stage and close all doors and turns of the lights.

The audience is left in the darkened room for at least an hour before being let out one by one.

How would you feel being the last one to be led out of the room?

Imagine.

(

For example, a series of sessions on a train going from Oslo to Istanbul. No multi-tracking, everything is mixed as it is played. Editing only to clean up false starts and possibly to reinvent the purpose of dreaming. The passengers are occasionally joining in the performance as dancers or train conductors. As we are travelling towards Istanbul there are several artists painting the train green inside as well as sculptors changing the landscape we pass through. The sun transforms itself into a fish and the horizon is turned vertical. Instead of windows to look out of there is silence to look inside. The audience is applauded for listening deeply and for focusing the sounds that would otherwise be lost. Finally as the train comes to Istanbul it bursts into flames and everyone leaves by the secret exit. Except you. How would it sound? Imagine.

„… Isserley, a female driver who scouts the Scottish Highlands for male hitchhikers with big muscles. She herself is tiny-like a kid peering up over the steering wheel. Scarred and awkward, yet strangely erotic and threatening,  Isserley listens to her passengers as they open up to her, revealing clues about who might miss them should they disappear-and then she strikes. What happens to her victims next is only part of a terrifying reality …“

 

Under the skin is mostly told with images. You don`t get much of the story just by listening to the soundtrack. Quite the opposite with Locke – where you would get the complete story just by listening to the one-sided dialogues he has on his phone.

What do these two films have in common? They are centered around a person driving a car. In Locke it is a man. In Under the skin a woman. Or more precise: an alien in the guise of a woman. Locke is driving all the movie, except for a short stop towards the end. Isserley is continuing her voyage as she leaves the car and walks, runs, takes a bus, goes deeper into the forrest until she …
 
Female Voice: [with a mechanical buzz over shadowy morphing orbs] T- D, S- Z- Th, B- T- V, H- T- D- K- G, S- Z- P- B, Ba-Ba- T- T, K- Kuh- Ch, Th- V- Th, Zzz- Sss- Bzz- Ch, B-B-Buh- V-V-Vuh, G-G-Guh D-D-Duh.

Female Voice: [now over a shiney white torus, slowly morphing] B-B-Buh- B-B-Buh, B-B-Beh, B-B-Beh, Bah, N-N-Nuh- N-N-Nuh, N-N-Nuh- No. N-N-Nuh, F- Feel- Field, Fill- Filled- Filts, Foil- Failed- Fell, Felds- Pill- Pills, Pall- Nall.

Female Voice:  [now over a watery chestnut-brown eye] Foal- Foals, Fold- Fold, Pool- Pool, Sell- Se…

 

Fascinated by the film I decided to pick up the audio-book of Under my skin – and listen as I  listen to books, every sequence three times.

That makes a book of 9 hours turn into a book of 27 hours. As I listen to each chapter three times before moving on, letting details sink in, getting to know the storytelling style of the author. Not only what he is telling, but also how he is telling it.

And I am not only listening to the story, but also to my listening itself. How it changes as I hears the chapter for the first time, the second time and third time.

To listen to how I listen as much as what I listen to sharpens my senses, sharpens my ears, sharpens the images, makes them clearer in my minds eye, makes me go behind the words.

It takes more time, but i am not in a hurry.

 

Female: You’re not from here? Where are you from?

Camper: I’m from Czech Republic.

Female: Why are you in Scotland?

Camper: I just … wanted to get away from it all.

Female: Yeah? Why here?

Camper: Because it’s … It’s nowhere.

 

The book lets me inside Isserley and her thoughts. Gradually I get to know her backstory and the people surrounding her, elements which were left out of the film. Just seeing the film is like only getting the skin of the story. To listen the book is to go under the skin.

This is one of the films where I think you might as well see it first – because the book will reveal so much anyway that is unfilmable.

„Isserley always drove straight past a hitch-hiker when she first saw him, to give herself time to size him up. She was looking for big muscles: a hunk on legs. Puny, scrawny specimens were no use to her.“

I have been hitchhiking in Scotland – and I have been picked up by women in cars. And occasionally when I look back I see myself as one of the hitchhikers being picked up. Not having told anyone back home my plans, not having anyone waiting for me – would have made me a suitable victim. The only hope I could have had was that she found me to skinny to be worth the hassle.

„In the end, though, vodsels couldn’t do any of the things that really defined a human being. They couldn’t siuwil, they couldn’t mesnishtil, they had no concept of slan.“

Bon appétit.

 

Interview with Jonatan Glazer

Interview with Michel Faber

Essay about „Under the skin“

Audiobook „Under the skin“ 

 

2014 28 Dez

Briefing with Brian Eno

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In this interview Brian Eno speaks among other things (recording in Mali, his records with Karl Hyde and his sound installation in Sweden) about poverty and Unconditional Basic Income.

The basic idea is that it is hard to be creative if you have not got at least some security, and the idea of basic minimum income is to give everybody some money every week.

„Basic income is a great idea! I like the idea that it says: We believe that all people are potentially creative and they should be given the chance to express that.“ (Brian Eno)

Would it mean we got a lot of lazy crap art, or would it give the people whose main goal are not profit a chance to develop and flourish?

Both I guess, but I think what is good would still find its way. A lot of good music has been created in this music business – where the artists are not the ones necessarily getting the best parts of the economic deal.
 
 
You can read more about unconditional basic income here
 
You can listen to the interview here
 
(And as bonus track I throw in a short speech by Ursula Le Guinn here)

 

 
 
 
nothing amplified a million times

becomes a bigger nothing

 

living in bubbles

time slowing down

becomes a microscope

 

time it self amplified

until it is a moment so big

 

surrounding us

from all insides

 

the creatures dancing their being

the creatures being their dance

the dancing creating their being

their being dancing their creation

 

hello – hello – hello

 

what words does their language

spoken or unspoken include?

 

messages not yet translated

by google translate

 

strange creatures flap their wings

listening to beings between zoological

and anthropological

 

listening as a composing tool

 

organic machinery

fluffing the fish

 

eskimo music played
alien winter planet
 
breathing the cold air
lungs lunging lung
 

*
 
Sketched/written while listening to
 
Sval Torv“ from Streifenjunko
 
Streifenjunko talking and demonstrating:
 
VIDEO
 
Live in concert:
 
VIDEO

 

2014 29 Nov

My top 10 +

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My top ten this year so far is easy.
 

  1. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  2. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  3. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  4. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  5. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  6. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  7. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  8. John Coltrane – Live at the temple
  9. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and machine
  10. John Coltrane – Live at the temple

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Flesh and machine is a recording that changed/s how I listen to music, or as I prefer to say: how music listens to me.

 

„Well at the moment I am using a digital multi-track machine now called RADAR. I have been using that for years now and that works very well for me. What is so great about that is that I can quickly copy a multi-track and get on with some deconstruction without breaking up the original work. What we normally do in the studio is we will take the song to a certain place. And then we will take a break from it and start thinking of how we can have a different angle on it. And that may mean erasing some tracks in order to do this, but the digital side of things will allow me to just press one button and I will get a copy and it will allow me to go and work on the next version of the song. In regards to the analog equipment, I still use all my favorite tools from the different eras I have worked through. So if I had a good microphone or a good delay box, or a good distortion box, I have made sure that I maintained them so that they remain in my tool box. That way I can just go back to that sound if I need to.“

 

For me the John Coltrane – live at the temple is for me strong feeling of coming home. This music is playing inside me – and it continues playing when the album is finished.

 

„Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe … That´s what I would like to do. I think that´s one of the greatest things you can do in life and we all try to do it in some way. The musician´s is through his music.“

 

11. Colin Vallon – Le Vent

 

After being introduced to Julian Sartorius in one of Michaels broadcasts – this recording found me. The piano and the bass player does display to much personal identity in their playing on this record, quite restrained, but not always. Vibrant, alive, present. It is music that quite often leaves the listener the freedom where to focus – but sometimes it just grabs the attention. Listening to it with the idea of the piano being a choir is actually a good way for me to grasp what happens in this music.

 

„I have always been moved the most by vocal music (and especially choral music). Nothing like a voice can go directly under your skin. It is the most direct, rich in timbres and original sounding instrument, qualities which are difficult to achieve on a piano. Actually, in my opinion one must always have another instrument or sound in mind in order to obtain a personal tone on the piano. In my case most of the time I hear a voice or voices when I play.“

 

12. 13. Brian Eno/Karl Hyde – Someday world / High life

 

These albums haven´t really made it all the way for me. It´s like we haven´t decided completely how to relate to each other yet. So far we keep a bit of distance, not allowing each other to enter into each other. Yet. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never. I will stick around – maybe we just need some more time.

 

„A conversation does not start with someone talking, it starts with someone listening.“

14. Bob Dylan – Another Selfportrait

 

Me and these songs meet regularly, a few tracks a day. Every track on repeat 3 times before i move on the next. We don´t stay together for long time, we know each other, we enjoy our company and we listen to each other in bits and pieces, like archaeology, triggering memories, then moving on.

Just saw it was published in 2013. It found me this year.

It is a timeless snapshot.

 

„If I was a poet/And could write a fine hand/I’d write my love a letter/That she’d understand.“

15. Leonard Cohen – Popular problems.

 

I would like to spend some time alone with him, just him. Maybe make the musical space surrounding him even more naked. Really like a cell with a bed, a table, a chair and a window. Empty walls and nothing more.

I don´t feel the female voices are a integral part of the songs – the naked walls would perhaps show more interesting shadows.

But maybe it is why he still makes records, to meet some people, and to make sure that some of them are women. And that is ok.

 

Did I ever leave you / Was I ever able / Are we still leaning / Across the old table.

16. Anouar Brahem  – Souvenance.

 

I have only heard one track from this record, but if it is as good as what I imagine so far, I expect us to have a serious relationship. Possibly invest in a house and a dog, go on frequent walks together. Possibly.

 

„With this project I feel I’m improvising differently. It’s a response to the identity of the pieces. Sometimes a few notes are enough. All the instruments had to wait to find their place in this music.“ This can be challenging for musicians coming from jazz, where claiming the space to make a personal statement belongs to the territory. „That space still exists in Souvenance but it’s become more subtle, more directed. As the writing and arranging developed, the role of Björn’s bass became quite strong and central. The responsibility of Klaus’s bass clarinet this time is harder to define, but it’s an important element, and it’s not easy, as a listener, to know which parts are improvised and which are written.“

 

Already having the feeling this album might move up into the top ten. How many spaces it will occupy there? I am listening forward to find out.

 

To be continued.

 

*

 

https://player.ecmrecords.com/colin-vallon-trio–le-vent

https://player.ecmrecords.com/brahem-2423-24


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