Wednesday, December 21, 2011

state of play

... as we draw towards the end of another year - one which, if many predictions (and indeed current signs) are reliable, may turn out to be the last complete year of life-as-we-know-it on this troubled and generally underappreciated proving ground of ours... the planet, that is - i just thought the time had come to look back a bit and keep the blog up to speed with my thinking and current activity. after all... this week was "supposed" to see me get that duet monkey off my back once and for all (*1) while the free time remained to me - i have finally decided to take a different, full-time job, since a rare opportunity (round here) had cropped up, which means i am freed at last from the sentence of menial servitude which i had "accidentally" called down upon myself five and a half years ago, just around the same time we moved into this current house, in fact... now bear with me here, i am aware that i don't generally blather on about my private life that much in this corner of the blogosphere (or any corner of it, these days) - but the fact of the matter is that a year which opened with what i thought was the discovery of "where it had all been going wrong" (only to decide again afterwards that my discovery hadn't made any discernible difference) actually is finishing now with genuine, clear, deep and (presumably) lasting change not so much on the horizon as right up close, all around me and everyone in my household.

this is good, this is good... don't worry too much if you struggled to make it through that para btw: the last period of my life has above all been characterised by the feeling of being trapped in a swamp, thrashing around this way and that but never much closer to the sight of an exit, and my ludicrous employment situation (which i don't propose to detail here in any case) has summed that up. well, finally the end is right here, and 3rd jan 2012 will see me begin an entirely new phase of my life... one which has, indeed, been set up layer by layer during the past year (the january "revelations" being important after all; i just hadn't understood how to make proper use of them... so often the way!), but which has been distilling drop by drop in the alembic the whole time, so to speak, with this very blog being the evidence of it as much as anything is... when i look back in that regard, even my becoming a parent seems to be a less significant existential shift than my embarking into the blogosphere and (finally/properly) opening my ears in 2006...initially, as a wide-eyed acolyte of (what was then) the new church of course...

... but this latest shift brings about another (minor - but... ) change in my weekly existence, concerning the one detail of my employed life which i have mentioned here and there in the 'sphere, namely the fact that my working week begins with monday morning off, at home and all by myself with the hounds... furthermore the afternoon of the same day has been the only time mrs c and i got to spend together without the tiny tyranny, so as you can doubtless, etc etc, this is not so very little to be tossing away after all, as if it were just a sweet wrapper... my last ever (...) monday morning, as things have worked out, just came and went this week, and like i said above the plan (ha!) was to read over the notes, preferably the night before (ha!!), listen one final time just to keep it all fresh in the ear memory, and write it up however-long-it-took... well needless to say in the end none of this transpired, and not for the first time recently when given the chance to stretch out and inhabit the house truly in my own time, i surprised myself at slow that desired pace turns out to be... extreme yin to counteract the otherwise self-whipped extreme yang of the gathering intellect... not actually any great surprise when it's articulated like this, you understand, but then it's only sinking in properly as i type it... live from the coalface indeed... (or at the mirror, with perhaps a razor in my hand...) - in any case, though i never did what i intended at all, i had a fantastic time on "final monday" in the end, both portions of it, and the morning did indeed see plenty of braxton... first time i have really used the new (replacement) mp3 player to do any close-up listening as i pootled around... i have thus far put it greatly to use, as much to get the new battery broken in as anything else, but with mainly rock and metal and the odd bit of, say, bobby previte or john zorn... this has not left me empty or unsated, far from it actually (*2) - yet apparently many invisible boxes were still unticked, 'cos when i eventually strapped myself in for the pittsburgh (friendly) experience, it felt as if numerous parts of my system for which i have as yet no names were are at last receiving desperately-craved nourishment... i say in all seriousness... or rather i repeat (as i so often do...(*3)) - man, that was a great hour or so, fucking right on is all i can say... some of it flickered back to me from months ago, most of it was as new of course... such astounding conceptual/structural depth to the music/s that one could never (surely) revisit precisely the same experience as one listens, not over the course... anyway, that in turn led on to a set from the '93 quartet and by the end of the morning i felt older but in a younger body/mind/system, which can only be a very good thing i suspect :))

that's about it for now really - kitchen to do before mrs c and the pink princess return (my bonus prize was a last wednesday, when i would normally be working - haha, gotta do sat instead of course, only four hrs though... easy enough to smile through it now that i'm finally leaving!) - oh yeah the braxtothon - as you can see - has not exactly left the station altogether, even though parts of it have evidently been in motion for months and months now... but it really doesn't matter - from another perspective it's already written... and soon enough it actually will be ;-)

happy seasonal stuff everybody

cent x

* see comments


McClintic Sphere said...

Happy seasonal stuff to you, too, Cent.

And congratulations on new things, even with the Last Monday now receding.

McC. S.

centrifuge said...

cheers man :) and to you too of course!


1. what, another shoulder-monkey already? seems (in a deepdown familiar way) like only five mins since i shifted that damn dortmund *gorilla* after all that time...

2. among many other aural enjoyments from the fringes and outer margins of rock, my latest "discovery" came in the form of oranssi pazuzu, a tipoff from my old mate lee b., this band being the brainchild of a finnish singer and writer who has fused second-wave (norwegian/finnish) black metal with psychedelic rock, dub etc - and references plenty of other stuff along the way... killer first album, 2009, is the most original new metal band i've heard since ephel duath; oranssi pazuzu's second just dropped recently and is a significant advance in terms of widening the frames of reference within which the layered writing is constructed... so this has been mind and heart-fodder as well as just fuelling the liver... i have been listening to extreme metal for so long now that it is entirely possible for me to detach it from (say) feelings of anger or vengefulness... *and yet* that morning even the new album wasn;t enough for me and when i started listening to the gtm septet i knew why. their are many apertures in my outer energetic system which i cannot yet map :)

centrifuge said...

3. monk, perhaps weirdly, remains one of my touchstones for a number of reasons (though i haven't listened to any of his recordings for several years as it happens). the significance of him here is that he repeated himself over and over... the essential programme for a monk live set didn't necessarily change much from the riverside period onwards (and very possibly before that), but he knew that the only way to get it across was for it to be gradually absorbed, and for that, in turn, there was only one prescription: repetition, repetition...

... and i can identify with that strongly... i find that if one is trying in particular to impart genuinely NEW INFORMATION to a listener then it is wise to assume that one will have a hard time keeping their attention; one can always be pleasantly surprised if this is not the case, but yes, i have long since got into the habit of repeating things, here and elsewhere, if i want them to stand any chance of being properly assimilated..!

centrifuge said...

btw... just to clarify sth... the piece sort of accidentally-on-purpose winter solstice observance rite, hence the use of the (incomplete) materials, but they don;t date from today or anything, it was way back in jan actually, but it all links up cos it refers directly to internal energy work which has been gathering speed ever since a complex three-day set of rituals... energy work kickstarted by an insight gained during january, and alluded to in the first comment on this year's manifesto... the manifesto went up on the 17th, which was the second day; the drawn material was commenced on the 16th and the photo was taken on the 18th. (the picture itself was eventually finished on the evening of the third day.)

more will follow at some point, along these lines and REvisiting the brilliant THB saalfelden sextet {{{@}}}