Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Questions about making sound

Today I'm wondering why I'm looking at an "instrument" that makes music/noise that is not recordable or amplifiable (in other words, I'd make the noise for myself-the music/noise is not repayable nor commercially viable and, unless I play for an audience as well as my own ears, is heard )…"why oh why would you want to do this? " you ask-my answer is that it's the same as making art without a buying/paying audience…the old, "if a tree falls in the forest…" routine. Does this weaken the personal experience? If there is an audience, does it weaken that audience's experience?

What about photographs? Do we make/take them to validate our experiences? To keep a souvenir or a proof of our experience? Is my experience any lesser if I do not have a camera? Is it possibly a richer experience? If i do not see your photograph does it lessen the sharing of your experience?
So here's the difference: the art making that i do creates a product. The noise/music making that i do creates a product that is ephemeral/fleeting and stuck in time. This is also true for most of the conversing I do with others. Not so true with the computer, which, I've been promised, keeps an "eternal" record of what actions or typed verbiage have been created on it.
Is this last bit for purposes of liability? A wholesale human ego trip? or just the side effect of the machines with which we are so thoroughly inextricably engaged?

Art gets made because I make art- the same is true for the noise and speech I make, which generally is not recorded. Unless we are having a VERY bad day, I do not question this-"it's what I do…" Maybe the art question has fewer issues because there is always a product (this being true for the type of art that i make)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Thoughts Overheard

From bits of an interview with Stephen Jenkinson and Justine Toms 5/21/16

"…hopefully your heart has all kinds of fingerprints on it…"

…and it has been broken and is still broken (as proof of your being alive)…

"Lets' be alone together" Leonard Cohen

This interview was about aspects of dying, losing a loved one, grief...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lost in the crowd

I couldn't help thinking about the enormous amount of (new) films available for public consumption seemingly each and every week. Sure, we can categorize and discount many-either because of personal preference or simply eliminating those made to be candy for the eye or brain. But each week there are a huge wave of new ones for consideration.
"Art" films now seem to also be a dime-a-dozen. Increasingly, audiences want more to the point where none of the films (to this add music, visual art, theatre, ad nauseam) seem to stand out, to be able to be heard among the "madding crowd".
This seems to me to be leading to a "numbing (note the "n") down" of our senses. I do not propose to know a "cure"-perhaps it's in reality a very good thing. But it seems to me that there are so many fish in the cinematic ocean out there that many good efforts are simply lost in the crowd. Unfortunately, i find this true with the other arts as well.
Are these the effects of population explosion? Advanced technology that allows greater access to tools?  Social media laughing at the very idea of privacy and/or exclusivity? Finally, is this a good or a bad thing?
As a member of the old school and approaching what I suppose to be the geriatric, i mourn the loss of what has gone missing in the crowd…but i'm not sure that that matters anymore.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Waiting for Johnny

Could the pain be any greater if the one hurting were human and not our dog?
The guilt I feel when he is asleep, in between seconds of painful motion
or hideous wavering, when he's too stoned from the drugs to even move-that guilt is all my own…Endlessly questioning whether there is anything more I could do for him. I do not deserve this easy rest while he has simply dropped into an exhaustion from his efforts to control his pain.
And the questions about my intent-are the drugs to keep him placid and numb or for me to feel as if I'm really doing something for him?
I remember sitting next to my father as he finally stopped breathing-that seemed so quick, so easy (the nursing home was quick after that last breath). Laura and I take turns sitting as Johnny ekes out yet one more breath, hoping against hope that there may be a way to save him, that we will not have to say goodbye.
The tears come easily at first, but gradually, after you feel like you've scraped your guts to relieve the pain and held your breath and whimpered your loudest until no sound or helping person comes-then, comes the dryness. Empty. The mourning is played out in sobs more concept than real.

Nan comes with her needles and stretcher. I'm too goddamn old to dig him a good grave. Johnny is whisked away-no, only his body is taken. He still fills this house. He stands outside the glass door-somehow, Johnny is once more a bouncing puppy, eager to be in our arms again.

And today there is snow, which he loved to roll around in upside down in order to grab bites of the stuff.

Monday, February 1, 2016


I love books. I love empty sketchbooks.
Simply put, i've always found books to be a "down the rabbit hole" proposition-In other words, an adventure. Happening by chance upon The Hobbit when I was very young ( I had time to explore the library whilst my Dad would stack up new detective novels) certainly added to the excitement of possible discoveries between paperboard covers.
Cracking open or even purchasing a brandy-new sketchbook has had a similar feel, but I feel as if this has lately fallen short for me. I do not put together great drawings or even decipherable notes. I have sketch-book envy when it comes to this, thinking almost anyone else could put together a better bunch of inchoate scribbles than me. I do think about destroying these books, so as not to have a messy trail left behind me.