Monday, June 4, 2018

Birthday card

Well now. It seems pretty safe to say at this juncture that I am now only doing this for myself (and there was always a strong element of that to begin with, as others have noted over the years) - but let's pretend that Maestro B. is reading this, and that others may be too...

Happy Birthday sir! The sentiments are heartfelt, even though it has been a long while now since we spoke. Life moves on, and I trust it finds you well, and that your (academic) retirement gave you the time and space you craved.

For myself... I am in much better shape than I was. Having long struggled with a negative mindset and a complex set of emotional challenges, I almost let these consume me entire; but that was a couple of years ago now, and I feel a very different person these days. I am much more positive and much better equipped to cope with what life throws at me (which is just as well...). Freed from a very narcissistic mindset, I am finally, generally content - even happy, at least in my family life. [The diagnosis in 2013 placing me on the autistic spectrum turned out to be the saving of me, although it took a while for that to filter through... little did I know that I was such a walking cliche..!]

That's about it for now - I still listen, always, to music; I still listen to your music. Nor have I given up altogether on the idea of writing about it; though it seems very obvious now that anything I do along those lines in the future will have to take a very different form from what went before. Still - (...)

Many happy returns of the day!

C. x

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Invisible Birthday Card

(... invisible, as in "no-one's going to see it anyway")

Well, I covered off last year some of the reasons why this poor blog had disappeared into oblivion - and I will be coming back to this, but not today.

Today, Maestro Braxton is 72 I believe. He won't see this, I'm pretty sure, but just in case he does...

... I would like to wish you Many Happy Returns of the Day, Sir, and may your muse(s) smile favourably upon you. It may yet interest you to learn that this poor excuse for a blogger is still among the living and (contrary to all rumours and expectations) sane.

There will be more to say of these matters, in due course...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

why there was no birthday card this year

- such was not my intention (of course), indeed i had briefly picked up the laptop on the morning of the 4th to think about what i was going to post... but this was the problem, right there: when i wrote earlier this year about my artistic projects, these had included one as-yet-still-unrealised piece which i could see quite clearly in my mind, and which i was already planning to dedicate to maestro braxton...


- problems with seeing things through, with making good on my plans, promises and intentions

- problems in dealing with people, always, always... albeit with rare exceptions (and should these not become more common in adulthood, not rarer? how have i marginalised myself to such an extent?

-  and suddenly, this year, nothing but problems everywhere, in pretty much every area of my daily life, nor with solutions apparent to any of them; the increasing (self-fulfilling) isolation from other people, from society, from even those (relatively) close to me, means too that i have become cut off from most possible sources of solace and support; and, finally, the unique set of circumstances which mean that the particular artistic project i undertook has changed meaning before my very eyes, and the (possible) continuation of it now looks very different. (no, this bit will not make sense to the reader: the reason the project itself has become difficult to continue is also, precisely, the reason why i can't go into detail about any of it here - but basically it involves another person's privacy and sensitivities besides my own)

so... inertia won out... and a downward spiral quickly commenced... and the knowledge, above all, that with this very blog i have  managed the remarkable reverse alchemical transformation of gold into lead, having had originally enjoyed the backing (very much so) of anthony braxton himself, and having finished as so utterly anathema to (at least some of) the tri-centric foundation that they only ever included the blog in the first place because b. himself insisted upon it, and then took the next chance they got to be rid of it. all that time and effort - and all i succeeded in doing was driving everyone with any serious interest in b's music away. how to remain motivated, knowing that?


so... the writing stuff just didn't work out, for all sorts of reasons; the artwork is in stasis... and may or may not be resumed, now; (almost) everything in my life is in such a state of flux at present that i can't say anything much with any certainty. i am sorry that this is the way it worked out, but that's how it seems to have ended up - that is the hand i am now sitting here unable to fold, so to speak - and that's why this no longer feels like an appropriate place to be carrying birthday wishes, or anything of the sort.

for the time being, as i needed to spell this out, there are no plans to continue the blog; but i will keep it open, in the hope that the work i did put in can still be of value, even if people will have to discover it from outside the "official channels". in happier times, plenty of people contacted me to say they had found my writing helpful in listening to b's music, and that sort of value (in any critical analysis) is inherent and will not fade.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

interesting times...

... and we all know what they say about those.

a friend of mine with similar (not identical) spiritual interests as me recently remarked that all the people she knows at the moment who have views and concerns even remotely similar to ours are being sorely tested in one way or another (and often in several ways at once). this is interesting enough in itself, but i can only speak for me here: these are interesting and painful times, yet so obviously filled wth potential for growth and learning that i cannot help feeling optimistic, at least most of the time; that is very new for me, admittedly; but then a part of me only woke up, or grew up, very recently - all sorts of things look and feel different, even while the everyday world has not changed so much, and must be tackled and negotiated today just as it did yesterday.

for me, much of the pain lies in the sudden and inescapable realisation, for the new 45-yr-old, of the unintended years of neglecting, failing to support one person i had promised to support and care for above all others, besides other similar (albeit lesser) failings in other directions; all this needs to be marked on here because it is so personal, and this is where i always tried to be my most honest (alienating people by degrees, in the process) - and also becasue at least once the very neglect itself was flagged up here, as i now understand; but because this is also a very private subject, i do not intend expounding much upon it. quite apart from anything else, i have eventually come back to a conclusion i first reached thirteen years ago, namely that i am rather more articulate and coherent with images than i am with words; i failed to follow it up properly on that occasion, being still childlike in certain insurmountable ways at that time (and later, alas) - although i did build up a pretty fair amount of useful photographic material, some of which has found its way to being used on this very blog...

... but this time, i have actually followed through on a concept. i have already produced more than fifty photographic collages, some deceptively basic and some exceptionally complex, all supposedly with similar thematic content, but with no formulas for their creation, each being unique whilst all are multilayered, based around several different angles or lines of approach; among a dozen major influences on my visual creativity (since early childhood), the two most recent and emphatic names would be anthony braxton (funnily enough!) and alan moore, despite my working in a medium which is different from any they have explored (at least up till now): the multi-layering, the essentially organic nature of the work and of the processes which shape and change it; these two mega-geniuses have really helped me develop my own ideas into (at last) something which i can feel is worth exhibiting, though still not quite yet: -

- the other person mentioned so obliquely above, to whom i owe such a massive debt for helping to keep me alive thus far, has also at long last started to understand the way in which she can express herself freely and creatively, and for various reasons we both rather think it will be appropriate for her to go first (this will all eventually make sense... he says, just in case anyone is actually trying to make sense of this right now). just as it took me this long, and so much struggle to be at a point where i can produce something both head-worked and heartfelt, it took the other one this long to amass the necessary emotional experience for what she truly wants to do. hence, these interesting times are not just about suffering and pain, but will (i strongly believe) come to be all worthwhile... and more than that i really can't say, for once not for the usual reasons (i.e. writing feverishly ahead of time about the stuff i might or might not get round to doing in the future) but through the exact opposite state of affairs: in my case the work is already done - is in fact still being done, being developed and explored, on a weekly basis - but the time for publishing it is not yet at hand. when my sometime collaborator is ready to establish herself, i shall know i am ready to make my own move towards self-promotion as a visual artist;

... and in the meantime, the work i am now doing on myself is quite enough to be getting on with.

haldane centrifuge x

Thursday, February 25, 2016

i am awake (2016 manifesto)

yes, awake. how long was i asleep? at least forty-three years... what happened? oh yes, i remember...

but i am now awake.

so much has changed just recently - and not just for me. where do i begin? well, this particular blog begins again like this:

greetings to you! my name is haldane charles, and i am (among other things) a friendly experiencer of the music of maestro anthony braxton. and: i am sorry, if personal challenges and considerations have obscured that basic fact in the past, even to the point where i may have presented myself as the most unfriendly of creatures. i regret this - but it happened.

there will be more to say on such matters, though not necessarily here. and of course there will be more - always more! - to say on the music of mr braxton. but for now -

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

... and taking the airs


- - -


(just to prove to myself how seriously i am taking this newfound deep relaxation stuff, i left this post open, just the picture up there to inspire - for ooh, at least forty-eight hours in the end (while i worked in the other place, among other things)... taking the airs i say - je vous le raconte - and this in turn folds back into, reflects back upon the circumstances under which said post was conceived.

to wit: -

after saying previously (and not for the first time) that some braxton experiencing was imminent, though not quite quite yet underway, i did follow this up for a (recent, punk- or post-punk-obsessed) change. and - you know what, after all this time, it turns out it really really doesn't matter what i actually listened to or how i ("randomly" selected it (i.e. let my physical-presence-in-the-world make the choice instead of my "self-aware onboard processor")). for that matter, i wasn't 100% listening to it either, because i was doing other things some of which required a great deal of (already-layered) thought and attention. but that's actually fine too, as it turns out, because - hey! haha, get this, in case you didn't know already - and as i have reminded myself on numerous occasions before - b's music, above all, else, instantly betows upon the space within which it is played the status of deep and open learning zone. it's... magic/k ;-)  so, just walking around in it - especially whilst indulged in something as carefully-assembled as the thousand-filament twist i'm in the middle of working around the place - greatly benefits the advanced concentration, as well as supplying continuous, on-hand spiritual nourishment and support. [none of this is bullshit either (as i hope you realise, whoever you are).] it also also provides, like, light-hearted entertainment along the way in the form of, say, two or three musicians sharing a quick joke by introducing such a theme to a gtm exploration at such a time. (i did listen to gtm quite a bit on more than occasion, i can say that much - nothing stochastic about that at any rate.)

- and i realised - at long last/yet again - that this, above all, is one surface so complex and multilayered that not even i am expected or required to cut it (dissect it): the universe alone could do that, because everything is in there. 


(transmission ends - to be continued)

 - silence resumes -

- -



c x

Sunday, July 5, 2015

setting up a few chairs...

- and this too shall pass, and the natural rhythm of things will bring me back to braxton's music again. lo, and -

well, we are still not quite there yet. but yesterday, finding myself alone-and-in-the-mood, i switched at long last from punk rock to jazz, and beyond; and this doesn't always work, if i's forced, but on this occasion it wasn't, and lots of good stuff just came flooding on back.

i played:

1. miles davis (quintet), in person friday night at the blackhawk (disc one, of four) - w/ mobley, wynton kelly, chambers and cobb: cooking!

2. evan parker, 50th birthday concert - but plunged right in at the deep end now: played 24 minutes of schlippenbach trio (parker, lovens) and twenty of parker/guy/lytton, my head and ears now well and truly opened up..!

3. henry threadgill's zooid, up popped the two lips in its entirety - incredible stuff; it is an absolute dead cert that the more one knows about (different attitudes and approaches to) music, the more experienced one's ears are... the better this stuff'll sound, guaranteed...

4. greg osby, banned in new york, tracks one and two... the girls were home by this point. i was quite impressed that not only did my (six-going-on-seven(teen)) daughter not demand to turn it off, she came in and showed me her she can do the "uptown funk" dance, all the way through - following the tune in her head, while standing right in front of the free-ish jazz which was permeating the room and operating at a very different rhythmic wavelength altogether - ! i'm not at all sure the six-year-old me coulda done that, or anything like it ;-)  as for the music, i am just gonna say this: jason moran... 'nuff said! just starting out he was, but he was on it -  oh and the leader was no slouch, neither...  (*)

- see, i would say that's a pretty fair warm-up for some braxton... stay tuned - !

c x

* these were all from my cd collection, not from rips or cd-rs or whatever... not sure why that's significant, but... anyway, that limits me mostly to music which i purchased in the years 2001-2005 and which survived the culls which accompanied imminent parenthood, then moving house... just the jazz (...) stuff (and not including any braxton whatsoever), that makes around 300 cds to choose from, all of it good... but it's a very scattershot selection in many respects and has barely been added to over the last few years, not much really. (how many braxton albums do i have? who cares?! lots! but even i do not need an answer to that question...) i just have this random greg osby album and none of his other stuff, but i do also have the osby-lovano team-up date friendly fire (featuring moran again, and lovano's bassist and drummer at the time, cameron brown and idris muhammad) - which i have not listened to in donkey's, but as it happens i can hear lovano in my head anytime i choose, and listening to osby yesterday, i could totally see how these two found each other: their sounds have several different overlapping qualities such as (seeming) dryness, intelligence, deceptive warmth and wit, etc ... i remember the album comes out with the usual blather about how the two leaders requested each other, but in this case, one can well believe it...