Sunday, 3 December 2006

Openned 6 (part 6)

Punk Faun. “Coarse marble on canapés.” I preferred the pacier parts of the performance, though perhaps they wouldn’t have been the same without preparatory ceremony? Redell in another context: “A writing that is already half someone else’s or that quite obviously belongs elsewhere seems to me to offer quite an interesting position from which to begin an investigation, to acknowledge those previous contexts and see where it leads.” I have written a fuller response to the visible parts of Funk Porn (we're not dumb you know Dell) in the more appropriate medium of not going to bed.

Some parts you can hear on Archive of the Now. Go to "Dell."

The multimedia piece. I think it was the vocalisations which Dell achieved here which made me include her reading in “Too much blorg desired by him seeking the la” catogory q.v. Mechanised hypnotism. AND ALL THAT THAT ENTAILS.

Also, amusing ourselves in the chasm between two different discourses of “survival” – I guess the darlingly hilarious language course material was not coincidentally Arabic. “How to say: ‘I don’t speak Arabic, I’ll open fire, get some.’”

There is a quality, which is like speed but is not syllables-per-minute, which Dell’s reading built up to, and which is also apparent in some readings by e.g. Tom Raworth. You might call this quality "pressure."

Hypothesis 1. Sound is fast but well-formed (according to normative moulds borrowed from accent, tone, character, expressiveness, etc.). Phonemes hardly ever come out chipped. So maybe all I have in mind is an accelerator not permanently floored, but here and there lifting a little – before tricky turns, before stripy boys chasing bouncing red balls – though the car still always moves a little faster than it should.

Hypothesis 2. But it’s a bit different from what goes on in e.g. most of this performance, by Chris Goode, of ‘An Introduction to Speed Reading.’ That antic buggeraught, hectic, frantic, is only barely out of control – and attains a pitch only rivalled by Chris pretending to be his mother online when things is slow. So maybe what I have in mind is some“contradicted tone,” one which implies no familiar circumstance. “Rushed calm,” for example, or “rushed boredom.” Chris’s performance, by contrast, mainly deals in self-consistent tones like panic, frenzy, exasperation, anger, mania, etc. (which are often interestingly in tension with the subject matter; but I’m talking about contradiction largely contained within tone).

Hypothesis 3. A discernable compression technology: some particular consistent discarding of redundant sound. The algorithm may be bundled into an accent.

A quick and partial list of factors probably active in contributing to an impression of speed and/or pressure. Syllables per time unit. Words per time unit. Conceptuality per time unit. Events per time unit. Sonic pattern per time unit, especially rhyme per time unit. Pattern per time unit. Audience attention per time unit. Emphases per time unit. Discrete things per time unit. Transformations per time unit. Dictions per time unit. Allusions per time unit. Names per time unit. Fast or slow things described. Unmarked senses related to speed. Words related to speed, or shrapnel thereof, embedded in other language. Speaker reputation apropos speed. Syllables per word. Proportion of percussives. If music plays, the overlay of those beats and the metric emphases. Flow. Pitch. Breath: when and how it goes in, and how the voice deforms according to its levels in the lungs. Proportion of onomatopoeia or somewhat less markedly motivated signs. Introduction of superfluous sonic rubble: the twist of a syllable into an ornamental syllable-and-a-quarter, grace notes. Phenomenal sound “filled in” by the listener when deleted from a context (usually a word).

{To do: distort some recordings. Maybe Marianne makes pop music}.

See also: Keston Sutherland’s “Four Theses on Speed.” “We do not emerge from the circle of hermeneutic inquiry; we reverse around it like a pair of tweezers on a malfunctioning merry-go-round. Speed reading is the lived-experience of this problem’s actual nullity.” I don’t know if “from an ongoing series” meant there were going to be other theses; but Keston’s notes on a scandal in Quid 14 develop the theme a little, via deferment and overconceptualisation. What’s not to like?

See also: rappers. Twista (nee Tung Twista) is ideal – seek a joint known as “Frum Da Tip of My Tongue.” NoClue is the fastest rapper in the world, official, though he wears thin pretty quickly. I think there were some interesting fast rappers in the whole Grouch / Pigeon John / Sunspot Jones group but can’t at the moment remember who. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is fairly fast and ubiquitous. Sway is fast, British, and non-gangsta. This person seems to have tried too hard, and I found this compilation.

“Say this is writing London marks” etc. in performance makes for entirely unverifiable “Marx” noises throughout.

Some useful background information taken from a book published in 1982 (like me): when Marx came to London in the Summer of 1849 he started out in Camberwell before moving to 4 Anderson Street, just off King's Road, the wee Sloane Ranger. Soon it was eviction and the bailiffs seizing even the bairn's stuff to repay debts so they took two small rooms in the German hotel, 1 Leicester Street, just off Leicester Square. When forced out of there they moved to 4 Dean Street in Soho, then down the road to 28 for six years. Four kids (two died), a sprog (was born, later died), one maid (faithful, impregnated) and nurse: "[t]he Marx family was very cramped because Karl needed one of the two rooms for his study." 9 Grafton Terrace, Fitzroy Road, Kentish Town (renumbered 38 Grafton Terrace, then 46 Grafton Terrace). 1 Modena Villa (renamed 1 Maitland Park Rd). 41 Maitland Park Rd. Picnics on Hampstead Heath. Drinking at Jack Straw's Castle and The Spaniard's Inn. Pub crawls along Tottenham Court Road. Plays at Sadler's Wells. Creditor-fleeing holidays to Manchester and use of the same Reading Room where Swinburne fainted etc. Holidays in Algiers, Monte Carlo, Geneva, the Isle of White, Eastbourne, Margate, Harrogate. Meeting of the International Working Men's Association in St Martin's Hall, Covent Garden. In 1870 Engels moved to 122 Regent's Park Road. Marx buried in Highgate Cemetary, Swain's Lane.

Experiment: replace all the “says” in this piece with “think” or “break” or a pause. Or "is." Or "at." Or "wills."

“Put some thrash on” became a pun through repetition.

After Kanye’s first album dropped everyone started doing that sped-up sample thing. Maybe Minimaus’s decision to dissolve her set into some delightful cutesy old recording she’d found involves “her work as part of a nexus of artists and thus a range of approaches directly addressed to a contemporary milieu and its malaise” and even lifting “out from that malaise in a combination of humour and critique” (Allen Fisher)?

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