Tuesday, February 17, 2009

critical massage 3: student studies


AT LAST at fucking last and only after much hesitation/procrastination, and with easy justification for same deriving from the radical change(s) in my immediate environment during the last year; hold page 13, i have started to read the tri-axium writings. this is really the first time i've tried in depth to follow a really detailed system of philosophy since i read ouspensky in my late twenties... and even that was essentially quite different, since much of the core text is not written by him as such but transcribed from q&a sessions (ideal stress- and ego-free way of doing it, in principle). braxton's writing takes me right back to my last year of uni, heidegger's being and time as my english edition is called; in order to crack that (very difficult) linguistic code i had to get all the forensic tools out and really dismantle the stuff sentence by dragging sentence, constantly annotating with abbreviations to ensure that every fragment was grasped before inching onto the next... four or five hours of this, during which time i covered a surprisingly large chunk of the first half of the book, all that i really needed to know once the massive implications had had time to settle, following the series of earth-splitting reverberations detonated inside my head, on the occasion of that one late-night total immersion...

... this time is somewhat similar in that the beginning is very, very dense and requires painstaking and meticulous reading, the writer going to great lengths to present the eye (and impatient questing mind) with structures both seen and unseen, entirely personal and therefore new and fresh models for arranging communicative or discourse-related information for purposes of dissemination. or something like that (ahem). actually, once the main body text is underway, the ideas and words flow very smoothly and efficiently with no wastage, only such repetition as is necessary (and already stated at the outset as a core principle) in order to keep presenting and re-presenting the new ideas and models from as many different angles as practicable within a written text. (heidegger never reached that stage for me; maybe one individual sentence might be brief and/or simple, but never an entire block of text actually "readable"...)

already, after just a few pages there are so many details i could go into that i have to rein myself in almost completely, not allow any digression into details of the text (yet) but simply point out the most poignant aspect of the work at this time, when so few of the writer's hopeful hopes have been realised on any significant scale; yet; but a new phase is, indeed underway - and although there are never any guarantees (except the obvious one or two) and it's best not to get too carried away with ones hopes for the human race, there is still time for major and radical change to occur, with the sort of shake-up which could (indeed) destroy empires, but would by no means extinguish human life in so doing, merely perhaps draw the line under an obsessive, unhealthy and ultimately futile and self-defeating (ask alexander the great) target-driven approach to life. that is what it might take, at this point... the potential to end up as another failed experiment (this particular life form called the human race at this time) is still not only there and considerable but in terms of betting, it's where the money was... till very recently, since of course now "they" aren't sure whether any of them are gonna be left with any money once the buildings have stopped shaking...

i never did read radano last year beyond the first couple of pages, can't remember why really, never even read more than a chapter or two of george e. lewis (yet - neither of these books is going anywhere) - and had enough reasons for that anyway, as i did for leaving the braxton books in their box for a while, daunted by vast mountain-ranges of detail - at a time when i couldn't even keep the braxtothon going, and pre-parenthood time was ticking away week by week - but now that i have made the effort to engage with this major work of profound social value (as it seems to me - feeling always confident that i know the ring of truth when i hear it being spoken or channelled) i shall keep up with it, for sure, as time and circ's permit. as the warmer weather approaches, light advances / dark recedes, new undertakings are timely and apposite... as usual, watch this space... long, slow, deep breaths ;-)

* * *

ask me some other time to tell you about the music i've been listening to during the last 72 fairly hectic hours... and maybe just maybe i'll have time to tell you about it :)

cent x

24 comments:

Lucky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucky said...

sorry, again:

just in case you don't know what to do with your... ;)

http://ubu-space.blogspot.com/2009/02/anthony-braxton-trio-with-george-lewis.html

lucko

1009 said...

If I can trouble you to provide a rather pedestrian detail -- where did you get yr copy? A legit one from the Frog folks? I ILL'd one through my library at Northwestern (I think they got it from UVM), but I was only given two weeks with the thing so I had to cherry-pick.

centrifuge said...

lucky, thanks for that... i understand why you removed the first comment but it probably wasn't necessary. anyway, no harm done :)

the music sounds very good indeed (NO surprise there then) - i am having trouble unpacking the archive though. so far i have got three tracks, the third curtialed midway through the second minute... i am going to leave a comment on the man's blog to see if anyone can help or is encountering the same problem...

[i still haven't emailed you have i... i will get round to it eventually!]

centrifuge said...

1009, hi there (always feel a little odd addressing you by your "number"!)

yep... from frog peak. i didn't mention this on the blog at the time cos it would have seemed like bragging but b. sent me copies of all the books, or had them sent on his behalf. so i will read the whole lot in the fullness of time...

1009 said...

Looks like it's time to call cent "lucky"! The books from the man "himself"! I asked NU to buy a copy for the library but you can imagine the depths of their enthusiasm (i.e. no response at all).

No need to address me by #. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but that's my last name in Roman numerals rendered back into Arabic. As you can see it's a very clever disguise.

centrifuge said...

oh riiiiiight

heh heh... yes... very clever :) there can't be many english names one could render thus...

yes, i can well imagine the response from the library. actually *that* was what i didn't really explain (not quite) in the post yesterday, namely that the prologue of the 3ax1 book speaks optimistically of (among other things) a deluge of written matter concerning creative music from sympathetic and informed standpoints, many and varied at that... not a chance. well, one or two outpourings i guess ;-) and of course there IS sympathetic and informed journalism out there (i suppose... don't generally go out of my way to read it, esp. not now...) - but for the most part the dreaded "j-word" cannot be shaken off and all the attendant problems are still being trailed along after it, like a long and ignoble chain... dead boots and pieces of god knows what...

... there certainly HASN'T been any great flood of revisionist (or rather restructuralist) creative music crit... i do my bit and it's weird, for a long time this has been my "main focus" outside daily domestic life - studies in medicine of whatever sort got rather hijacked by this near-obsession, but both subjects (and others) need to be fitted in, going forwards from "zero" again

anyway sorry for the ramble... don't know WHY i apologise for rambling, on this blog, of all places... cheers for your comments duder :)

Lucky said...

tinyurl.com/braxton1980-06-25-03

hth :D

centrifuge said...

lucky, thanks (again!) - but the same thing happens: sound just cuts out after maybe 75 secs, then the player quits on me soon after. have you (or anyone else) actually listened to the files yet successfully..?

any news on the *fourth* file? as you can see, i have not yet posted on u-roi's blog but i still intend to

centrifuge said...

well i *tried* to leave a comment - not sure if that worked, they have to be approved by a mod... anyway... the music is really superb, as if it would be anything else... HAS ANYBODY got more than twenty minutes of actual music from this archive yet - ? just so i know :)

but even if it ain't complete - SPIN IT - it's good, it's very very good {{{***}}} mr george lewis must surely be one of the most valuable players in world improv.

Lucky said...

cent, i had no problem in listening to any of the 4 files, but to be able to do so, i first have to convert the flac files to wav (windows) - no problem occured doing so at all.

are you listening to the FLAC files? maybe i can convert them to mp3-320kb/s and up them for you...

modern times and its problems ;)

btw - i enjoyed this concert, but expected s'thing different from rzewski. but it was a jazz fest, ok. agree with you about lewis, as abstract as he can get in his computer music and writing, he also CAN let loose in his playing - emotionally fantastic.

centrifuge said...

i did (laboriously) create mp3s from the files i got in the download, but i was also playing the flacs... third file would play for first 70 secs or so then cut out abruptly, preceding crash of player :(

i guess the actual download was partly corrupt in my case... one does hear about these things but it seldom seems to happen to me, at any rate... anyway... yeah, if you want to upload decent mp3s of files three and four that would be a substantial service to mankind ;-)

lewis is so fluid and supple and versatile. he works SO well in trios because he can form a skintight layer of "glue" between any two other voices... extraordinary... and difficult to explain in words..!

Lucky said...

here are 3+4 as mp3-320:
www.sendspace.com/file/r94965

the only trio settings of lewis that i've heard are the ones with zorno, yankees and the 2 lulu's. at a quick glance on wiki, lewis made at least 2 other trio recordings, and the latest is the one i really would like to hear, 'streaming' with m.r. abrams & roscoe mitchell, 3 old aacm buddies of this caliber together seems wonderful - abrams may function as glue here...

centrifuge said...

lucky, that last trio you mention (abrams, lewis, mitchell) did the rounds, last year or so i think. certainly played saalfelden '07, (some of) which was then broadcast on r3... they went on at about six in the evening i think; the headlining act was some big wbk-copycat job, the name of which eludes me...

thanks! again again... i am just about to go off and listen to the show, or at least those thirty-whatever mins... is that the full show? probably not, though the stunned response of the audience of the end of the second piece might suggest they weren't expecting free improv and nothing but... the second piece is long enough to be a braxton excursion, but i don't think it is... maybe i will have to make a separate post just to discuss this show..?

david_grundy said...

thanks for this, cent, and your recent posts. that kind of total system you describe here can of course be incredibly hard to get into if you're not willing to invest what seems like a ridiculous amount of time and effort. but of course the pay-off is that one's world-view may seem to be totally changed; that you just can't view (or hear) certain things the same way again. I suspect it will be years before I get round to Braxton's particular intellectual project - the Tri-Axium writings - but, anyway, I wish good luck investing in the braxton system in that way!

centrifuge said...

yes indeed david - in fact the payoff can be that one's worldview actually IS changed, never mind "seems"... this was certainly the case for me with heidegger. i don't know yet to what extent it'll be the case with the tri-axium books and in any case, i have been learning directly through the music for some time now (this is really true for me). that learning, again, has entailed a change of perspective... and it's true that this is still evolving in me, so the writings hopefully will make clear some of the details which are still very hazy in my mind.

good to hear from you. i would promise to mail but i'm still behind on my correspondence as it is ;-)

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centrifuge said...

?!?

Lucky said...

In this era of spam 2.0 ...

8p

Lucky said...

centrifuge - merry christmas to you and your family! and good luckw with your braxtothon in 2010... :D

centrifuge said...

lucky - now, how did you know about this comment, and so quickly? have you secretly become an admin on IYKWIS? :)

(or did you tick the "email follow-up comments" box..?)

thanks man - i wish you and your family a very happy xmas too :-D

i'm sorry i've been such a lousy correspondent, and for that matter a useles blogger - who knows, next year i may manage to get my workrate up a bit, might even actually post some music over in the other place - my attention has just been pulled in so many different directions this year, and many of them are extremely mundane and very far from being conducive to any sort of creativity... sigh...

Lucky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucky said...

[2nd try, the first had a wrong url as your comment-feed]

centrifuge - i always here you whining when it comes to your rare contributions here lately. why bother? you have all the time in the world, and if you keep on going in this speed, you might as well be years ahead of braxton's discography - say in 2012?!? ;)

i don't consider you a 'lousy correspondent' at all, but that's the picture you have from yourself - too bad. anyway - enough of this social worker shit, enjoy your creative work as a father, which might as well be the most creative a man can do (that's my opinion, naturally - i've recently finished my thesis with the topic of engaged fathers).

p.s. about the quick reply: i don't even have to subscribe with the follow-up e-mail notifications --- i simply subscribed not only to your post-feeds, but to your comments-feed as well. this is how it looks like:

http://ifyouknowwhatimsaying.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default

cheers!

centrifuge said...

lucky, yes, i am prone to pointless self-flagellation lately when it comes to my own lack of activity... this is true. i do feel rather keenly aware of how little i am contributing these days though. and i HAVE been a pretty useless correspondent during the last year :( but it's nice to hear that you don't agree!

oh yes and thanks for clearing that up btw :)

parenting... hmmm... that's been pretty tough lately also, i don't really want to go into that here but it's certainly been extremely challenging. doesn't feel very creative either but maybe that's just the stage we're currently at... well, i hope things are going well for all you guys and, once again, best wishes to you and your family over the festive period!