In June 2010, just after the Blow Parade was put to bed, I produced some new station imaging for triple j – one hundred stings, sweepers and IDs for announcers to play between tracks. The music is all original stuff, created in the ABC studios with a band made up of Jamie and Jerry from Bluejuice (bass and keys) Mick from Kid Confucious (drums) and Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall (guitar). The band improvised over loops I’d created earlier – some of them (like the recording of the wind-up penguin from The Penguin Cup) were kept, most of them disappeared. The recorded results were further looped and cut-up and generally messed about with, vocals came courtesy of Xannon Shirley (The Tongue), Shantan Ichiban, Brendan Maclean, Ange Lavoipierre (triple j newsreader), Darren Scarce, Marianne Mettes and some year ten students from Manly High School.
There’s no samples in the music, but some of the voices were taken from weird old records found in the ABC library, or given to me by friends. The word ‘music’ comes from a record of a British actor reading poems by Keats (“fled is that music…”), and the letters of the alphabet are from a Morse Code tutorial LP. There’s a few rock star appearances in there too – the phrase ‘dirty and direct’ comes from the same Peaches interview featured in Acceptable in the 80s, ‘this is what we want’ is from Mel and Charlie’s chat with Interpol in 2003, and that’s Julian Casablancas asking you to ‘come to my show’.
"What if I tell you now that I have often longed even for plays I have seen performed - frequently the very ones which bored me most - or for books I have read in the past and did not like at all? If that is not madness, there's no such thing."
"And you must not let yourself be misled, in your solitude, by the fact that there is something in you that wants to escape from it. This very wish will, if you use it quietly and pre-eminently and like a tool, help to spread your solitude over wide country. People have (with the help of convention) found the solution of everything in ease, and the easiest side of ease; but it is clear that we must hold to the difficult; everything living holds to it, everything in nature grows and defends itself according to its own character and is an individual in its own right, strives to be so at any cost and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to the difficult is a certainty that will not leave us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; the fact that a thing is difficult must be one more reason for our doing it."
'Acousmatic, the Larousse dictionary tells us, is the 'name given to the disciples of Pythagoras who for five years, listened to his teachings while he was hidden behind a curtain, without seeing him, while observing a strict silence.' Hidden from their eyes, only the voice of their master reached the disciples.... In ancient times, the apparatus was a curtain; today, it is the radio and methods of reproduction, along with the entire set of electro-acoustic transformations, that place us, modern listeners to an invisible voice, under similar conditions.'
Pierre Schaeffer, 'Acousmatics', 1966
pierre schaeffer | musique concrete | sonorous objects | acousmatics | pythagoras | phenomenology | twin peaks | red room
'Imagine a traveller from a hundred years ago arrives at our doorstep and asks us why the music of the 20th century operates so frequently on the basis of cyclic repetition. Not just the rap and dance genres of popular culture, but also minimalism - perhaps the single most viable strand of the Western art music tradition... why does so much of our music work this way? What kind of needs do these patterns satisfy?'
Susan McClary, 1999
stardust | daft punk | susan mcclary | minimalism | loop | chaka kahn | repetition
"Could it be that we come to the city in order to achieve solitude? Such has been the unspoken premise of the modern city of utopian individualism. By solitude I do not mean isolation. Isolation is a state of nature: solitude is the work of culture. Isolation is an imposition, solitude a choice."
walkman | ipod | iphone | isolation | solitude | city | the crowd
"The whole human species, looked at from its origins, appears to the philosopher as an immense whole, which, like an individual, has its infancy and its progress … The totality of humanity, fluctuating between calm and agitation, between good times and bad, moves steadily though slowly towards a greater perfection."
Said nobody, at any time in the last one hundred years. Nowadays, our view of the future is more like the one seen from the middle ages than the Enlightenment. But from where he stood in 1750, or perhaps sat, on a chair a bit like the one pictured above, the French statesman and economist Jacques Turgot could look back on the past five centuries and see a gradual transition from primitive agrarians torturing and killing each other over superstitious nonsense, to the confident era of the Enlightenment, with its stupendous advancements in astronomy, medicine and physics.
enlightenment | progress | history | kubrick | 2001