Friday, April 11, 2008

Borges TV interview, 1980

Jan Kott tells a story of having seen a lecture by Borges on Shakespeare. Borges was underamplified, and Kott could barely hear him: about the only word he was able to make out was "Shakespeare," "Shakespeare," "Shakespeare." But, somehow, that was enough. I was a senior in college when I had almost the same experience, except in that case the speaker was Marguerite Yourcenar and the subject of the talk, and the only word I could make out, was "Borges."

And, by the way: no, I don't speak Spanish. But I wonder whether knowing it wouldn't in some way detract from my enjoyment of this clip.


Think of it as a commentary on my remarks in the previous post. A while ago I found a mixtape with the track listing written in the hand of my 13-year-old self, and the first tune on it was "Moskow Diskow," which blew my mind. When I rediscovered Telex in my late 20s, I had no idea I had known them years before.

How I discovered Tom Waits

I had never heard of him before I saw this video on Much Music:

I bought the album soon after; I remember the exact date, March 21, 1984, because when I played it I was surprised to hear a song ("Town with no Cheer," to be exact) mention the date, "March 21st." I was sixteen, and his music was my own private possession. A few years later, in college, when everybody started talking about him and his latest album could be heard blasting out of dormroom windows, I felt dispossessed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lettrist films

Poem in memory of Antonin Artaud, by Isidore Isou and Francois Dufresne, from Isou's "Traité de bave et d'éternité" (1951):

From Guy Debord's "Hurlements en faveur de Sade" (1952):

For some reason, by the way, I always find myself singing the title of this film to the tune of "Chevaliers de la table ronde." Try it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Musical abstract comics

Iannis Xenakis, "Mycenae Alpha," visual generative score:

Gyorgi Ligeti, "Artikulation," visual listening score:

Xenakis (the digital instrument, not the composer) creates stochastic music based on shapes placed on a luminous surface:

I recommend playing all three at once. Restart the ones that end early.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Super Cat

Unfortunately, most of his videos on YouTube are posted by Sony BMG, and have the embedding disabled. But here are some I was able to find that work:

with Nicodemus, live:

Horace Andy with Lone Ranger

Dawn Penn Dawn Penn Dawn Penn

And an extra Dawn Penn (the original 1967 Coxsone Dodd Studio One recording):