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From Chapter 14, “Beethoven Was Wrong”, on Steve Reich’s accidental composition of ‘It’s Gonna Rain’

“In one sense, all he done was to isolate a technological quirk: the machines essentially wrote It’s Gonna Rain by themselves and he was simply smart enough not to stop them.”

from later on in that chapter – less profound perhaps, but no less wonderful:

[Philip] Glass also worked as a plumber, and one day installed a dishwasher in the apartment of the art critic Robert Hughes.”

That would have been one for http://awesomepeoplehangingouttogether.tumblr.com/

I’m interviewing Brian & Peter about their new generative music app, Scape – and much more besides at the Regent St. Apple Store, London, 5.30pm on October 5th.

I’m looking forward to it immensely, but not without trepidation…

Come along!

Just finished watching Julian Temple’s film about Ray Davies and The Kinks: “Imaginary Man”.

It’s incredibly tender toward it’s subject – which is at once Ray, his music, the band – and London.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

The Turner-esque, painterly imagery alternates with more graphic compositions of Davies’ peregrinations around North London.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

It’s a series of psychographic sketches, punctuated by Kinks songs – in archive footage, in cover versions and most affectingly perhaps, hummed, sung and stumbled through by Davies as he strolls.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

He’s cast by the film as a flawed-heir to Blake – wandering London, inventing his own sung-systems rather than be enslaved by another man’s.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

This blog goes into far more detail and appreciation.

If you can hunt it down online do.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

If only to revel in London as Temple and Davies do.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

My thanks to both of them.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

"Chorus" by UVA & Opera North at The Wapping Project

Chorus by UVA and Mira Calix is an installation at The Wapping Project until the 18th July.

"Chorus" by UVA & Opera North at The Wapping Project

It’s deceptively simple but powerful – lights and speakers on pendulums swing and illuminate, emitting building, swooping, harmonies of operatic chorus notes. You walk around and underneath it, but all the time it surround you.

The darkness of the old boiler house that The Wapping Project calls home becomes something like the engine room of a massive brick starship, or the sanctum sanctorum of a neo-Victorian occult engineering cult.

There are further echoes of scifi.

The chorus is aurally-reminiscent of the Ligeti-soaked startup sequences of Kubrick’s stargates.

The deserted Victorian infrastructure that the piece inhabits is a Nigel Kneale set, the Hobbes Lane of Quatermass & The Pit, or the oozing walls of The Stone Tape.

Hobbs End tube station

It’s a hauntological intervention, an architecture made of immaterials, a ghost-box of sorts; a real, working, time machine and a wonderful excuse to head to Wapping.

Go.



Eames Shrine finally installed, originally uploaded by moleitau.

From Charles & Ray Eames ‘India Report’ via Design Observer:

“beware of the professional or specialist who when confronted with a problem having to do with design — seems suddenly to abandon the disciplines of his own profession and put on his art hat — this can happen to those who are otherwise most rational — doctors, engineers, politicians, philosophers.”

Opt for “King’s Lead Hat” instead?

Momus has found a book with passages by Brian Eno’s tutors on the young man’s working style while at art school:

“October 13th, 1967. Brian laid his radio-lightwave machine out along the studio. Everyone who walked in front of it interrupted transmission. Philip became interested, helped him fiddle about with the equipment. It reminded me of boys playing with electric trains.”

And, this one made me smile:

“February 15th, 1968. Watson, Dyer and Brian had a long discussion about Brian’s electronic machine. Watson had got Brian a grant of £17 towards building the machine. Brian had come up with some snags and intended to present his work in the form of a written report. Watson argued that this was not good enough; he would learn something by not only producing the machine, but in assessing the effects of its operation. Dyer said now that Brian had proved that the machine was operational there was no point in actually making it. Watson said to me afterwards that Dyer was basically an engineer and that Brian had to decide if he was an engineer or an “artist”. Brian had finally accepted his point of view that the machine would have to be finished and operated.”

Go read the lot of it.

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The Big Draw, originally uploaded by blackbeltjones.

Iain wrote about ‘Courses I’d love to do’, and one of them was:

“Doodling for success – regardless of how good your drawing skills everyone can doodle, learn how to harness your inner doodler to illustrate any idea that might be lurking in your brain so that people immediately get your point.”

Wandering home from Spitalfields this evening I found this banner… looks like just the sort of thing he’s looking for… It’s part of the wonderfully-named “Campaign for Drawing” which runs for the month of October.

Looking forward to joining in if I can…

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