Monday, June 22, 2009

midsummer ritual/open letter...

... to my readership as of this time, and going forwards:

summer solstice 2009 *

my name is haldane (hal) charles. i am a qigong adept and holistic physician. i also think of myself as a philosopher and teacher. in addition to qigong, i practise taijiquan *1.

i have strong and well-founded opinions on the subjects of pure (non-academic) (metaphysical) philosophy, linguistics, martial arts, (global) politics, science, and the theory and practice of medicine, whether holistic or otherwise... oh, and parenthood ;-)

among the other subjects which greatly interest me, in (nearly) random order: music (esp. extreme metal/hardcore punk and free jazz/creative music); (french- and english-language) comics *2; literature (esp. ghost and horror stories); cinema (esp. gore/horror flix and cult film generally); the tarot (and white magic(k) in general); erotica *3; photography (and visual arts generally)... etc etc *4

i intend to publish on most if not all of these subjects during the coming years (esp. on my various "special interest" dense information sources) - in some cases i may even use the pen-name centrifuge for such writing - but after today, generally these subjects will not be discussed here... music (of course!) being the exception to this.

(my involvement with) this project remains, and will remain, dedicated to the serious study of creative music generally, and specifically to the music of anthony braxton. this latter body of work continues to fulfil my artistic and spiritual needs to a very great extent - ticking boxes i had not previously even known were there to be ticked, time and time again. in the spirit (i hope) of mr braxton, my work here will continue to be essentially unfinished, seldom quite up-to-date even, but occasionally bang on time :) - it will always be honest and heartfelt, and i will strive to do the best i can.

thank you for reading... and on we will go...



* see first comment

* see second comment


centrifuge said...

some artistic license here... but as my wife always reminds me, these days of significance may occur for individuals at times which appear to be out of phase with the official calendar. in any case, the ritual as such (and this post was not it, merely occasioned by it) took place last night, i.e. on the 21st, the evening of the longest day. the post then follows the day after, and the photo... was taken on the 23rd june 2003, shortly after we arrived in denmark - where (unbeknownst to us) the 23rd, not the 21st, is celebrated as a "witches' night". the glowering sky gives some idea of what the elements had in store for us once we'd made camp; and indeed, last night (though dry) was similar, overcast yet bursting with hidden power.

centrifuge said...

1. i've recently come to prefer the modern, mandarin-style romanisation i use in the text, but for the sake of clarity (and with respect to my lineage) i will also render it cantonese-style: tai chi chuan. specifically, wudang tai chi chuan, which is to say, the style propagated throughout europe by dan doherty, under the influence of his own teacher cheng tin-hung. since the passing of sifu cheng in 2005, some teachers and students have taken to classifying this style as "wu-cheng", which also has the benefit of expressing the connection with wu style tai chi other than merely as a pun (which in any case only works for western ears). no disrespect whatever is intended to sifu doherty by my adoption of the mandarin romanisation.

for on-the-ball readers who are wondering how it is that a diligent practitioner of martial arts can also be such a terrible procrastinator, etc - it's a good question, but one which i don't propose to address right now ;-)

2. - and indeed (of course) graphic novels. i am now trying to think of these media collectively as bandessines, a neologism anglicised and contracted from the french "bandes dessinées", which (famously) makes no presumptions as to the age or intelligence of a work's target audience.

recently i came to the conclusion that alan moore is the single biggest influence on my work on IYKWIS (though at the time i started here, the nearest major influence was melville; rather neatly, moore himself was directly influenced by *moby-dick* when he began conceiving *watchmen*).

moore, however, is much discussed already - when it comes to writing about this wonderful mixed medium (elsewhere!), i am more likely to choose (golden/silver age) 2000AD as a subject... though in the first instance, what i REALLY want to address (when i can find time) is that much misunderstood/underappreciated continuing work of satirical genius, *marshal law* by pat mills and kevin o'neill.

3. - and indeed pornography. unusually (for an educated westerner), i am not afraid of this latter term, and use my own straightforward, objective/non-judgemental distinction between the two categories... but this, above all, is one minefield which will NOT be entered here! don't even bother trying to goad me into an argument on the subject: suffice it to say that i am secure in my opinions on the matter, and have felt for some time that it's long overdue for some people (who are not uncontrollable perverts) to come out and admit their interest in these subjects. the world could, yet, become a happier, less hypocritical place... again, ask alan moore - or just read the extraordinary *lost girls*...

4. besides metal, jazz and porn, my "guilty pleasures" include science fiction (sf, not sci-fi) and cricket stats/sports results generally (actual sport i can take or leave). [note that i have not listed any of my "guiltless" pleasures, except where these overlap with my "special interests"..!]

subjects i am least likely to be interested in discussing: fashion; popular entertainment; (local/national) politics; (organised) religion.

and finally... it only dawned on me very recently that i am continually drawn to the work of outspoken truth-tellers: braxton, mills and o'neill, doherty... all have told the (unmentionable) truth and all have frequently been pilloried for doing so. naturally, this makes me feel (even more) sanguine (than i did already) about the occasional poison-pen nonsense i've attracted via the blogosphere...

centrifuge said...

... all those references above should be to dan *docherty*, of course (oops)

lee said...

Hope you are enjoying summer so far. I'm assuming all of the above means you are also a fan of John Zorn, though I can't remember if we've discussed his work before. I've found the baby to be pretty receptive to Masada, but we haven't tried Painkiller.

Anyway, I was thinking about Zorn the other day because I've never heard Cobra or any of the game pieces, but I was wondering about their relation, in a general sort of way, to Braxton's collage techniques and the group conducting/improvising style used in GTM performances.

Still working on some Dortmund thoughts. As you know, these things take a while!

centrifuge said...

hello again lee,

yes, summer is going ok so far thanks... hope you can say the same (or better!)... and yes, i am a big fan of john zorn though i didn't (for obvious reasons) want to give a big list of names in the last post. probably you haven't seen my article about JZ in eartrip #2 (addressing some general criticism of him and specifically examining *the dreamers*) - the link can be found in my post of sept 25 last year.

actually i haven't heard zorn's game pieces either (have heard a lot of his work, and there remains a lot more to discover!) -but i do know that they were all composed well before gtm was underway. but zorn is often held to be one of the composer/players clearly influenced by braxton without having worked with him directly... steve lehman (e.g.) lists him as such in his notes to the iridium box...

keep those dortmund thoughts simmering away! the rest of it is coming soon on the blog (and indeed the rest of this current braxtothon phase, which is finally finished, if not yet fully written up...). c x