Thursday, June 4, 2020

75th Birthday!

On the one hand... Maestro B. probably won't thank me for pointing that out. On the other... he can hardly get away from it! I imagine there will be plenty of well-wishers, only too eager to help him celebrate reaching such a milestone. (In some parallel universe... I'm involved in whatever celebrations end up taking place. In this one... yes, well...)

So, just in case you happen to be casting an eye in this direction, sir...


 - Glib though it may sound, I genuinely hope you enjoy your day - and any special arrangements which have been made for you. With very best wishes for now and the future, from an absent friend... c x

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Another year... another birthday card

Every year - well, for the last few years anyway - I find myself posting one of these and thinking (among other things) that another birthday has come around very quickly, and that surely this time I have more to say: to explain what happened to the blog and why; to detail how I lost touch with Maestro B, how I felt I had let him down; and so on and so on. Whether it was - ultimately - self-preservation which stopped me from rambling on, or just plain old inertia, is unclear even to me, and no longer even remotely important.

What is important is to say, once more: Many happy returns of the day, Maestro! Your continued existence is a reason to have hope, in these dark-and-rapidly-ever-more-darkening times... I trust that you are enjoying your (academic) retirement and that the well of inspiration will never run dry. (As if...)

***Happy Birthday!***


(In case anyone is wondering ... whenever they see this... I am quite well in myself, much more stable and contented than I was a few years ago... and one day it really is likely that I will resume writing. When I do, it goes without saying that I will resume writing about Anthony Braxton's music, since that remains a subject close to my heart. For the time being, I read a lot and write pretty much nothing... but that too is a phase, and will not last forever...)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Birthday card

Well now. It seems pretty safe to say at this juncture that I am now only doing this for myself (and there was always a strong element of that to begin with, as others have noted over the years) - but let's pretend that Maestro B. is reading this, and that others may be too...

Happy Birthday sir! The sentiments are heartfelt, even though it has been a long while now since we spoke. Life moves on, and I trust it finds you well, and that your (academic) retirement gave you the time and space you craved.

For myself... I am in much better shape than I was. Having long struggled with a negative mindset and a complex set of emotional challenges, I almost let these consume me entire; but that was a couple of years ago now, and I feel a very different person these days. I am much more positive and much better equipped to cope with what life throws at me (which is just as well...). Freed from a very narcissistic mindset, I am finally, generally content - even happy, at least in my family life. [The diagnosis in 2013 placing me on the autistic spectrum turned out to be the saving of me, although it took a while for that to filter through... little did I know that I was such a walking cliche..!]

That's about it for now - I still listen, always, to music; I still listen to your music. Nor have I given up altogether on the idea of writing about it; though it seems very obvious now that anything I do along those lines in the future will have to take a very different form from what went before. Still - (...)

Many happy returns of the day!

C. x

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Invisible Birthday Card

(... invisible, as in "no-one's going to see it anyway")

Well, I covered off last year some of the reasons why this poor blog had disappeared into oblivion - and I will be coming back to this, but not today.

Today, Maestro Braxton is 72 I believe. He won't see this, I'm pretty sure, but just in case he does...

... I would like to wish you Many Happy Returns of the Day, Sir, and may your muse(s) smile favourably upon you. It may yet interest you to learn that this poor excuse for a blogger is still among the living and (contrary to all rumours and expectations) sane.

There will be more to say of these matters, in due course...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

why there was no birthday card this year

- such was not my intention (of course), indeed i had briefly picked up the laptop on the morning of the 4th to think about what i was going to post... but this was the problem, right there: when i wrote earlier this year about my artistic projects, these had included one as-yet-still-unrealised piece which i could see quite clearly in my mind, and which i was already planning to dedicate to maestro braxton...


- problems with seeing things through, with making good on my plans, promises and intentions

- problems in dealing with people, always, always... albeit with rare exceptions (and should these not become more common in adulthood, not rarer? how have i marginalised myself to such an extent?

-  and suddenly, this year, nothing but problems everywhere, in pretty much every area of my daily life, nor with solutions apparent to any of them; the increasing (self-fulfilling) isolation from other people, from society, from even those (relatively) close to me, means too that i have become cut off from most possible sources of solace and support; and, finally, the unique set of circumstances which mean that the particular artistic project i undertook has changed meaning before my very eyes, and the (possible) continuation of it now looks very different. (no, this bit will not make sense to the reader: the reason the project itself has become difficult to continue is also, precisely, the reason why i can't go into detail about any of it here - but basically it involves another person's privacy and sensitivities besides my own)

so... inertia won out... and a downward spiral quickly commenced... and the knowledge, above all, that with this very blog i have  managed the remarkable reverse alchemical transformation of gold into lead, having had originally enjoyed the backing (very much so) of anthony braxton himself, and having finished as so utterly anathema to (at least some of) the tri-centric foundation that they only ever included the blog in the first place because b. himself insisted upon it, and then took the next chance they got to be rid of it. all that time and effort - and all i succeeded in doing was driving everyone with any serious interest in b's music away. how to remain motivated, knowing that?


so... the writing stuff just didn't work out, for all sorts of reasons; the artwork is in stasis... and may or may not be resumed, now; (almost) everything in my life is in such a state of flux at present that i can't say anything much with any certainty. i am sorry that this is the way it worked out, but that's how it seems to have ended up - that is the hand i am now sitting here unable to fold, so to speak - and that's why this no longer feels like an appropriate place to be carrying birthday wishes, or anything of the sort.

for the time being, as i needed to spell this out, there are no plans to continue the blog; but i will keep it open, in the hope that the work i did put in can still be of value, even if people will have to discover it from outside the "official channels". in happier times, plenty of people contacted me to say they had found my writing helpful in listening to b's music, and that sort of value (in any critical analysis) is inherent and will not fade.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

interesting times...

... and we all know what they say about those.

a friend of mine with similar (not identical) spiritual interests as me recently remarked that all the people she knows at the moment who have views and concerns even remotely similar to ours are being sorely tested in one way or another (and often in several ways at once). this is interesting enough in itself, but i can only speak for me here: these are interesting and painful times, yet so obviously filled wth potential for growth and learning that i cannot help feeling optimistic, at least most of the time; that is very new for me, admittedly; but then a part of me only woke up, or grew up, very recently - all sorts of things look and feel different, even while the everyday world has not changed so much, and must be tackled and negotiated today just as it did yesterday.

for me, much of the pain lies in the sudden and inescapable realisation, for the new 45-yr-old, of the unintended years of neglecting, failing to support one person i had promised to support and care for above all others, besides other similar (albeit lesser) failings in other directions; all this needs to be marked on here because it is so personal, and this is where i always tried to be my most honest (alienating people by degrees, in the process) - and also becasue at least once the very neglect itself was flagged up here, as i now understand; but because this is also a very private subject, i do not intend expounding much upon it. quite apart from anything else, i have eventually come back to a conclusion i first reached thirteen years ago, namely that i am rather more articulate and coherent with images than i am with words; i failed to follow it up properly on that occasion, being still childlike in certain insurmountable ways at that time (and later, alas) - although i did build up a pretty fair amount of useful photographic material, some of which has found its way to being used on this very blog...

... but this time, i have actually followed through on a concept. i have already produced more than fifty photographic collages, some deceptively basic and some exceptionally complex, all supposedly with similar thematic content, but with no formulas for their creation, each being unique whilst all are multilayered, based around several different angles or lines of approach; among a dozen major influences on my visual creativity (since early childhood), the two most recent and emphatic names would be anthony braxton (funnily enough!) and alan moore, despite my working in a medium which is different from any they have explored (at least up till now): the multi-layering, the essentially organic nature of the work and of the processes which shape and change it; these two mega-geniuses have really helped me develop my own ideas into (at last) something which i can feel is worth exhibiting, though still not quite yet: -

- the other person mentioned so obliquely above, to whom i owe such a massive debt for helping to keep me alive thus far, has also at long last started to understand the way in which she can express herself freely and creatively, and for various reasons we both rather think it will be appropriate for her to go first (this will all eventually make sense... he says, just in case anyone is actually trying to make sense of this right now). just as it took me this long, and so much struggle to be at a point where i can produce something both head-worked and heartfelt, it took the other one this long to amass the necessary emotional experience for what she truly wants to do. hence, these interesting times are not just about suffering and pain, but will (i strongly believe) come to be all worthwhile... and more than that i really can't say, for once not for the usual reasons (i.e. writing feverishly ahead of time about the stuff i might or might not get round to doing in the future) but through the exact opposite state of affairs: in my case the work is already done - is in fact still being done, being developed and explored, on a weekly basis - but the time for publishing it is not yet at hand. when my sometime collaborator is ready to establish herself, i shall know i am ready to make my own move towards self-promotion as a visual artist;

... and in the meantime, the work i am now doing on myself is quite enough to be getting on with.

haldane centrifuge x

Thursday, February 25, 2016

i am awake (2016 manifesto)

yes, awake. how long was i asleep? at least forty-three years... what happened? oh yes, i remember...

but i am now awake.

so much has changed just recently - and not just for me. where do i begin? well, this particular blog begins again like this:

greetings to you! my name is haldane charles, and i am (among other things) a friendly experiencer of the music of maestro anthony braxton. and: i am sorry, if personal challenges and considerations have obscured that basic fact in the past, even to the point where i may have presented myself as the most unfriendly of creatures. i regret this - but it happened.

there will be more to say on such matters, though not necessarily here. and of course there will be more - always more! - to say on the music of mr braxton. but for now -