Hey @JDockus: I stumbled on this playlist and am really enjoying it. On a dark winter night, it wakes the fire deep in the brain stem. Thought you might take pleasure as well.
Here’s the story:
Compilation album “Balkan Under The Radar: The Invisible Scene” has had a goal of discovering new interesting names, mainly from Serbia, but also from other former Yugoslav republics, with our residents and friends, of course. We wanted to expand our family! The most important thing is that we’ve shown there are a lot of talented people in the region, with completely different views of the world. We have also made many collaborations and new friendships. Another goal was to blend together 2 alternative currents that are often divided: bands (live) and electronic (producers), because we believe music knows no limits or boundaries and for a smart man, even mosquito is music. We managed to gather around artists from all over ex-Yugoslavia! As far as genres are concerned, the compilation is very diverse and we can say its main theme is schizophrenia :). Most of the songs are exclusively made for this compilation, and none of them were previously published. We give you this compilation for free, and in return you can share it with your friends. :).
Thanks, Marco. Winding down late at night, I fastened on my headphones and plugged into this, and nearly fell out of my chair once the first track began playing. Techno-electro, when I was expecting ambient sound-scapes. I was caught off guard. After drawing back and cautiously dipping my toe in, then saying what the hell and diving in, I did go for a swim, listening to the whole mix. I ended up getting into a sort of trance, and enjoying it, though much of this music is middling to me. It’s not really a deep sea swim with hidden dangers. Describing the mix as schizophrenic is a stretch.
At the top of my favorites of this mix is track 15. Zartzinfect - G pesma. (This one had me chuckling. I could use it as my theme song. Imagine footage of me underwater, swimming in slo-mo, wearing a big diaper, with enormous sky-blue flippers on my feet, and a custom-made scuba mask on which resembles bug eyes, bubbles floating to the surface. I can be doing a bizarre kind of aerobics, with occasional kung fu hand movements, engaged in a mysterious ritual, then suddenly freeze up in the fetal position and drop like a stone to the bottom, where I’m swallowed up by a big black hole surrounded by waving seaweed. Listen to those lyrics and that voice of the vocalist. Ha ha!)
That is a humorous track, @JDockus. I guess I was in a mood when I shared this. It was about 0 degrees and I had been reading Cioran and feeling in a rather Eastern European, bleak, absurdist kind of way. Sorry to have just dropped off. I fell through a crack in the ice, you might say. But that’s good, because I was ice fishing! For a big fish. And yes, I saw you there in slushy depths, your asynchronized swimming! A graceful spectacle. Well, anyways, I was just sharing, a mere mood…
Good to hear back from you, Marco. I read your longer entry in Creative Studio, and like that you seem to be cutting away unwieldy ambiguities in which are hidden many frustrating dead-ends and potentially soul-killing energy-drainers, and streamlining more realistically the creative direction. You definitely need to do that, not only for the sake of the collective idea, to keep the heart beating in it, the lungs breathing deeply and naturally, and musculature of it working properly, but for maintaining your own well-being and sanity. You should keep things down on a scale where the overall project is more manageable, and you have time to work on your own personal projects. There’s something to be said for pacing oneself, not trying to do too much at one time.
This I think is a mania of our age: speed. We push and push to get “new” work out, everything going much too fast, with hardly any time to breathe and reflect. One post after another is dropped with no quiet meditative time in between. Certainly no solid depth and lasting quality is achieved that way.
I’ve been working patiently on a few small drawings lately, going back and forth between them. I like obsessing over details and losing myself in them, seeing where intimate involvement with them takes me. It’s a form of meditation for me. This coming year I plan on writing and commenting much less and devoting myself much more to visual art. To some extent, as stimulating and enjoyable as it’s been, I’ve gotten away from where my own primary passion is.
Sparked by a brief interaction with Brian George recently, I’ve been listening to Beethoven lately. You might be amused by this I wrote him:
"Check out Von Stuck’s design/ portrait of Beethoven. What an expression of defiance and power. I used to paint houses and listen to Beethoven’s symphonies on a little hand-held tape player while up on the scaffold doing my work. The guys I worked with had mixed reactions to me. One time, totally burnt out by the manual labor and really not caring anymore, I came to work with clown-white on my face, a rainbow wig and a funny hat on my head, and I climbed up onto the scaffold, whistling while I worked, and I had passersby turning their heads. The foreman showed up in his van and guffawed but I don’t think deep down was pleased. Afterall, it was business. It didn’t look good what I was doing. Of course I’m an excellent painter, able to cut razor-sharp edges, but I ended up losing that job, or did I quit? I don’t even recall. One way or another, I had to get out of there. One thing that drove me nuts is that we were pushed to cut corners and do shabbier work up high where the owners of the house wouldn’t be able to see when the scaffold was taken down. I never felt good about that. I like doing a good job everywhere.”
The life mask of Beethoven for comparison:
Lastly, speaking of fishing and big fish, and freezing conditions. Last week I finished watching the BBC documentary series Planet Earth. The kind of hibernation you’ve been in during this winter season and what you wrote brought this segment back to my mind. Father and son unexpectedly catch a big one:
I’ve gone with the moniker “@madrush” not without a reason! However, I think you’re right, a more deliberate pacing—as for a marathon rather than a sprint, or for thirty years’ war rather than shock and awe—would be wise. I do want to finish my long poem, and do more creative writing this year. It seems there have been fleeting moments or phases in my life when I’m able to exist as a pure writer—just channeling the more subtle, playful, and explosive voices within, with little external interference.
Most of the time, though, I seem to be entangled in the concerns of the world. Hustling. There is some transformation that must be possible, I think, where the care and anxiety fuse with the pure creative play, or where they’re realized never to have been separate; or where space and time are given in sufficient measure, death held at bay.
And this, I think, is very true:
Something that was being discussed here quite a bit this time last year was Jean Gebser’s notion of “achronon” or “time freedom.” He described it as a transcendence of “deficient mental consciousness” which spatializes time, dividing it up ever more finely, so that it always feels we are “running out” of time. We must maximize it in every way. Save it. Spend it. Blow it. Etc.
If I understood Gebser correctly, he saw time as a creative force—an “intensity”—whose dimensionality one could integrate in what he called “aperspectival” consciousness.
Your “obsessing over details” when drawing, and “losing yourself” in them, are perhaps forays into the aperspectival…
Speaking of life or death masks, Ed Mahood has a succinct introduction Gebser to here, which you just reminded me of with those images of Beethoven. There is a line in the essay to the effect that Gebser’s death mask bore witness with “a soft and knowing smile.” Unfortunately, I can’t find an image to contemplate. It would be interesting to compare side by side with Beethoven’s, whose mug was intense as they come. Even in the silent countenance of death, there is a dark brooding power.
I hope the visual art-making goes well, but don’t be a stranger, bub. This one’s for you:
Absolutely delighted that your daughters love Ivan Maximov’s animations, Marco. A smiley emoji for them.
Children quite often prove to be a dependable litmus test to artistic endeavors, and to con jobs. They innocently state the plain and obvious, which strangely and sadly, even tragically, becomes so difficult for so many adults. Makes one really wonder… I recall some time ago writing to Brian George that if there is such a thing as a Philosopher’s Stone, one of the main components or ingredients of its composition must surely be the spirit of children. It was not for nothing that in the Emperor’s New Clothes a child was the first one to point out aloud that the emperor was naked.
Thanks for the Laurel and Hardy clip! Probably obvious to you by your having gotten to know me a little, I’m a huge fan of old time slapstick. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, The Little Rascals, and of course The Three Stooges. Check out this not very well-known, more obscure slapstick artist and animator named Charley Bowers. I think during his lifetime he gained more recognition in France than he did here at home in the United States. Bowers ventured out into something more slightly disturbing or eerie and bizarre in his off-beat humor. The curious silence surrounding the activity in his films, the silence itself seeming to be a medium to him like water is to fish, the way he amateurishly and even crudely uses voices and sound effects, speaks to his existence in the wilderness of creativity, outside the mainstream of the time. For me personally, any computer generated graphics, I don’t care how slick and polished, cannot compete with the peculiar tactile handmade quality and charm of something like this.
From his 14 min. short entitled “It’s a Bird” (1930). What an egg this bird lays!