Jesse Goin ‘All I Do is Bring Things into Evidence’

As I write these first words about George Brecht’s half-a century old Water Yam project I am listening through Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, and for the first time since accepting Patrick and Sarah’s invitation to contextualize their Compost & Height round up of current realizations of Brecht’s event-cards, I feel completely overwhelmed with the possible links and ligature between Brecht’s Fluxus work, Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra, and the current field of composers and improvisers contributing over the next eight months to this project. This is perhaps the greatest realization I experience when undertaking a new writing project – the sense of what Buddhist phenomenology calls inter-being, the connectedness and copula of things that were thought to be disparate and discrete, until we turn our attention to them with a long, loving gaze. All I do is bring things into evidence, but they’re already there, Brecht said.  Continue reading “Jesse Goin ‘All I Do is Bring Things into Evidence’”

Polyproject ‘Poetry as Score’

Antoine Beuger, Manfred Werder, Michael Pisaro and Tim Parkinson. Chair: Will Montgomery

The following discussion took place at the Centre for Creative Collaboration, London, on the evening of Wednesday, 2nd November 2011. Presented by Polyply, the event served to introduce Cut & Splice, an annual festival of experimental music and sound arts produced by Sound and Music and Radio 3, and hosted by the ICA. Continue reading “Polyproject ‘Poetry as Score’”

Dominic Lash ‘Inconclusive Paragraphs on Metonymy, Monochromaticism, Materialism’

Metonymy is a form of figurative language based on contiguity and causality, one that until recently has tended to receive critical short shrift when compared with metaphor, where the figuration depends on relationships of similarity. My PhD research (now available online at involved reexamining those aspects of metonymy customarily considered to be the source of its failings. Most prominent among these ‘deficiencies’ is the historically and socially limited nature of metonymic expressions. I contend that this can, on the contrary, be a powerful resource because of the way that it binds the metonymic expression to the real, which always lies beyond our control. This is in contrast to the way that metaphor risks making an idealist fetish of the individual imagination, viewed as an heroic striving to reshape the world directly through the acts of thinking and writing. I argued for the development of a concept of musical metonymy, characterised by linear dissimilarity, attention to the origins of and agency behind sounds, and an occlusion of the structural middleground. Continue reading “Dominic Lash ‘Inconclusive Paragraphs on Metonymy, Monochromaticism, Materialism’”

Will Montgomery ‘Five Ways of Looking at Manfred Werder’

1. Outside

It is June 2010 and there is a Spitalfields Music Festival event going on inside east London’s St Leonard’s church, where Shoreditch High Street meets Hackney Road. In the grounds of the church, however, something altogether stranger – and perhaps only tangentially musical – is taking place: a composer is sitting alone a bench. Werder’s six-hour afternoon performance is so unobtrusive as to be almost invisible. He’s sitting towards the back of the grounds. He barely moves during the 40 minutes or so that I am there. He is simply – or not so simply – attending to the world. Continue reading “Will Montgomery ‘Five Ways of Looking at Manfred Werder’”

Julia Eckhardt ‘Collaborating Forever: Auto Interview’

–What motivation would you say is at the core of your work?

I think what interests me most is to observe how there are always new constellations occurring in which experimental music can move on and keep itself alive. In the projects I have initiated I try to set a frame through which these mechanisms can be magnified enabling me to observe more closely and in detail at what happens, just like the arrangement of a scientific experiment. In my work at Q-O2 I get the chance to observe how communication leads to new constellations, ideas and forms. Continue reading “Julia Eckhardt ‘Collaborating Forever: Auto Interview’”

John Pisaro ‘Fantastical Zoology’


Catullus is a long, snake-like creature with fur everywhere except for its belly. The fur is many shades of white, grey and brown, which provide good camouflage in the snow and amongst the rocks.  It eats mostly small mountain animals, but can survive on leaves and grass when it finds it. It is often found in deep caves in dormant volcanic mountains in the centre of the Himalayas, but can also wander into town. It has two arms and two legs that can fold into large pores in its body. So it can either slither or walk upright. Continue reading “John Pisaro ‘Fantastical Zoology’”

Adam Sonderberg ‘Tick Mark Studies’

Ramones – Ramones (Sire, 1976)

The albums we love have it easy. If they’re within earshot they can luxuriate in the praise—be it ham-fisted, needlessly abstract or recklessly passionate—heaped upon them. It’s a relationship complicated primarily, if at all, by extra-musical associations: various and sundry hormone- and/or adrenaline-churning experiences involving love, loss, theft, success, or abject failure.  Continue reading “Adam Sonderberg ‘Tick Mark Studies’”

Simon Reynell ‘Thoughts on Not Being a Musician’

There’s a note on the stairs:  “Things are not very good.  He refuses to eat because of diarrhoea – so juice, coffee, tea (in red canister).”  My mother’s gone to a rehearsal for an Easter performance of the St. Matthew Passion, and I’ve come back to the house where I grew up in Bradford to look after my father for the hours while she’s away.  He’s 93 and has been subject to debilitating infections for much of the past year.  He’s had trouble swallowing for some time, and from his bedroom upstairs I hear an ugly, phlegmy cough every minute or so as he tries to clear his windpipe.  His balance is poor, and several falls have left his skin marked with countless dark bruises which refuse to heal.  Intellectually he’s still pretty much there, and he listens every day to the news in French and German as well as English, but the constant ailments make him miserable and he’s ready to die. Continue reading “Simon Reynell ‘Thoughts on Not Being a Musician’”

Jason Kahn ‘Notes on Unheard Delhi’

For the month of November 2011 I was an artist in residence in Delhi with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the media research center Sarai. One of my proposed projects for this residency was a continuation of my “Unheard Cities” series of works, which I’ve been realizing since 2002. “Unheard Cities” explores how we perceive urban sound environments in the form of installations, musical performances and, in the case of “Unheard Delhi,” works for radio. In “Unheard Delhi” I interviewed eight people with the question, “What is your favorite sound or sound environment in Delhi?” I recorded all the answers and then went out in the city and recorded the corresponding sounds. The resulting recordings and interviews were then mixed together for an approximately 60-minute long audio portrait of the city. I produced an earlier version of this piece, “Unheard Zürich,” in 2007.  Continue reading “Jason Kahn ‘Notes on Unheard Delhi’”