Monday, September 28, 2009

autumnal meanderings

well... that certainly was a much longer break than i intended to take. an internet problem during the last week of july made a liar of me (see last para of previous post); with that self-imposed "deadline" missed, the urgency to finish what i was working on at the time passed... and vanished. as the weeks went on and august drifted into september, it got harder and harder to bring my attention back here at all.

is anyone still out there? i know i've alienated a lot of people... part of that is doubtless just my manner, at times perhaps overly aggressive and bloody-minded; and then again, part of it is that what i have had to say is very unpopular in certain quarters. my insistence on telling (what i perceive to be) the truth will never be very welcome in a world where the majority of educated people would rather swap comfortable, shallow falsehoods just to make sure that everyone remains on friendly terms and no-one gets upset. (i've never been any good at this game... and in all honesty i wouldn't want to be.)

there's also the difficult dilemma of the braxtothon itself: it's very time-consuming and requires a degree of tunnel vision; that sort of time and attention is hard to come by these days, for me... and it seems hardly worth it, when most potential readers are not prepared to endure anything like that much detail. still... whatever reasons i had for starting that project, i found different ones for keeping it up: i do it for myself, for posterity, and for the composer... as well as for the benefit of the tiny minority of people who actually want to study b's music closely (rather than just name-dropping him for easy intellectual cred).

those reasons all still apply, and i shall try to get going again after that long hiatus. to get me warmed up, before i even attempt to tackle the outstanding braxtothon entries i will (as stated previously!) be posting some vignettes, thoughts on various random recordings in rather less detail than the core entries. WARNING: one of these articles will also deal with a particularly prickly subject, that of sound quality vs musical content; i am well aware that this is one of the issues which got me (somewhat) ostracised in the first place, and if certain people see the piece in question they will presumably infer a personal attack... for what it's worth, i will say in advance that this is not my reason for examining this vexed question once again. no, but it's important, or so i feel: just in case there are still minds out there which are not already made up, it seems worthwhile to reassure them that the way of the audiophile is not the only way, and certainly not the one true faith that its adherents would have you believe.


Anonymous said...

hello cent,

i'm still reading, probably ever post you send out. there is always some of the content which i don't get because it's "in-talk" - f.e. you referring either to comments or conversations with others, or personal opinions about yourself, etc. sometimes it's almost like reading someone elses diary or peeping into a private chamber without being seen. this stuff makes me a bit uncomfortable in times, but on the other hand it shows your braxton study in a personal context, and that's a healthy thing, in my opinion - it's like you allow us to look over your shoulder while you're working on the music of anthony braxton, and although i rarely have anything to add or reply - for or against, it's probably because i'm not that deep into braxton, or haven't heard that particular work, or just don't feel 'good' enough with my english or - simply don't have an idea.

i don't think it counts too much how many people will read this. if you consider how many people actually were interested in the aacm people when they're started in the late 60's and they still followed their unique paths... ;)

the blog format probably isn't the best for this work, but you began it that way, and i don't see any reason why you have to post something regularly - follow your own timetable, if you don't feel like writing for a year, what the fuck? some people who know you always will be interested in your thoughts about braxton's music.


Mark said...

I'd agree with the gist of Lucky's post. Except to say that I think the blog format is absolutely perfect for this! It maps all the asides and corrections and detours and over-the-shoulders that a reader wants from a writer. Understanding & contributing are wholly separate matters; mainly, we just to want to go 'wow'. And we do!



McClintic Sphere said...

I'm still out here, still interested in what you have to say.

I've been meaning to send you an e-mail...but you know how bad I am about that. Glad to see a new post here, and I'm looking forward to more -- vignettes, Braxtothon posts, of anything else.

McC. S.

centrifuge said...

lucky, mark, mcc, thanks very much for your kind comments and (continued) encouragement.

as regards the blog format, and its suitability or otherwise for this stuff... i have often been in two minds about this myself. gradually i've come to the conclusion that i DO like it, partly for the very reasons mentioned by mark above. i'm still not convinced that it's ideally suited to the core work... but that will eventually be made available elsewhere too; at least that is the intention.

- and no, it doesn't *really* matter how many people are reading at any given time; that's not what this is (ultimately) about... but of course it's nice to know that i'm not just calling out into an empty void :)

thanks again... more on the way this week (family stuff permitting! daughter will be one year old this week, almost incredibly...)

[mcc - hey, my own correspondence has suffered terribly this year so i'm not one to cast the first stone..! it'll be good to hear from you as 'n when...]

lee said...


Just wanted to drop in and say that I'm also still reading, still enjoying. I agree with the others, timetables and deadlines aren't the point. The point is hearing, not just listening. Nice to see you back here. Hope you're celebrating Year One in style. We held a blowout with mac & cheese and cake, while our little man rocked out to Prince.


centrifuge said...

hi lee, sorry for the lateness in replying (and as you can see, i didn't manage to get anything up this week - hopefully later today..!). first birthday was... well, she doesn't know what's going on yet, does she ;-) but she did like being sung to! and playing with wrapping paper (inevitably). no cake in our case, she'd be bouncing off the ceiling for hours... glad to hear yours went well, anyway! talk soon, c x