Sunday, December 16, 2007

an aside

so, apart from the predictable conclusion that untrammelled loquacity wears most readers down (i'm still faintly amazed that anyone reads this blog at all... the idea that some people have read all of it is almost unbelievable), and besides the hugely intensified love and respect for the man and his work which resulted from the temporary monomania which overtook me in october (and to a lesser extent since... echoes of it)... what did i learn?

one thing i realised weeks ago was that i blew a good opportunity to make excellent progress towards one of my supposed goals, namely to achieve a better understanding of b's composition as such... at the outset, not wanting to prejudice any of the listening sessions, i stopped reading any criticism or discussion of the music i was about to hear, including liners (the one exception being news - necessary, in that instance, to sort out the chronology etc) - nothing wrong with that, but to complete the learning process i would surely have benefited from reading up on the material AFTER i had completed my own write-up... this didn't occur to me until way too late. partly, i suppose, i had limited time as it was, and needed breaks in between so as not to short-circuit my brain (which was already reacting weirdly)... at these times i would not have felt much like sitting and reading liner notes; and the whole project needed to be driven forwards (a digression here into chinese five-element theory would see me describing the qualities associated with wood... but this is as far as that digression gets) so as not to stall immediately: i was too caught up in the need to press on to be able to sit and peruse in that way.

still... it's a bit late now, too much ground to cover - so i do regard this as a missed opportunity as i say. (i have caught up a little bit since, but i'm not about to attempt anything comprehensive at this point...)

* * *

typing seemed like such a chore recently - i'm a fast typist but not a real one, usually have plenty of corrections to make afterwards so it can get pretty tedious at times... i always said there was no way i would write for a living (even being an undergrad almost gave me a nervous breakdown, by that point i couldn't be bothered to work at all most of the time so the few essays which got done had to be dragged out of me in an excruciating slow torture... of course, occasionally i would be totally inspired and the words would write themselves... this back in the days when people still wrote longhand, that used to get on my tits also after a while). now - that meant that suddenly all the various ideas i had outstanding for posts (the first of several on dolphy, one on steve lacy, one about my listening relationship with dave holland, etc etc) became nothing more than items on a mental list; and the two "saint and sinner" gigs never got written up either (they still will though). i also started writing about the woody shaw album the iron men some days ago... and never finished that either. sorry readers, you're just going to have to bear with me here... all these things shall pass; until then and in the meantime, the remainder of the braxtothon (phase two) will continue to run during this coming week. if you are one of the strange people who actually read this stuff, do drop in and say hi!

1 comment:

centrifuge said...

the other aspect of the missed opportunity (if that's what it is) is that i didn't listen to anything more than once (apart from the much-heard and *still*-not-written-up new york, fall 1974). now, that's about to be remedied in a tiny way - off to do a spot of seasonal shopping, i am shutting out the store's heinous background noise with a small playlist of some of the things i particularly remember from the recent "train journey"... and in selecting things for that, let me tell you it's strange taking things out of context and listening to fragments through headphones... now i suddenly realise why so few people could be bothered to get into the music, i.e. that a lot of it is really poorly recorded/produced etc ... immersed as i was in the soundworld of the recordings - and listening on shitty stereo equipment... if i detailed the setup i was using, any audiophiles reading would have apoplexy - but this is the point, full concentration and openness leads to the compromised sound ceasing at once to be any sort of barrier. still, listening to some of these things *out* of context it's hard to recapture what i remembered from previous hearings - indeed i am realising that my memories are in some cases not linked very closely to the actual text - ! anyway... i will let you know how the shopping went later, once i'm back and under cover of winter darkness... with a glass of red wine and a mince pie or two :)