Thursday, 26 October 2017

Late Shopping

LateShopping

Another piece though besides the sound quality these things are also just pretty loose in the moment recordings rather than anything like proper finished pieces.

CityRiver


CityRiverGazing

Half my music equipment  and my pc for doing music on is on the blink which has prompted me to try to get a bit of use out of a portable recorder I have. Little idea how best to use it so audio quality will probably be on the dreadful side but anyway.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Monday, 2 October 2017

Mililitres

"200 mililitres - what do you think of it?"
"What do you mean what do I think of it?"
"I mean what's your opinion of 200 mililitres."
"My opinion of 200 mililitres? I don't really understand the question."
"God you're not feeling too sharp today, are you!? Out late is it!? All I'm asking is what is your opinion of 200 mililitres. Nothing more, nothing less."
"What do you mean like - of the quantity is it?"
"I can't make it any clearer."
"I suppose it's a reasonable quantity."
"There now, how hard was that?"

The Unconscious

]Just a re-posting of an earlier piece.]

It is my conviction, that is not so much a conviction as, well, not a conviction at all in fact, but simply an idea, an idea for which I feel no bonds of affiliation, this idea merely being a thought, and why bind yourself to a thought; these things which appear and disappear and whose periods of absence are generally far greater than their presences; and anyway this thought is a thing of little import, perhaps more whimsical than anything else, a thought that silently rose up out of the darkness and burst forth humbly but without shame into the light of conscious knowing . . . But, wherever the hell we're going and before we go any further along the route, who was thinking this thought that arose from the invisible and oblivious depths? I, that is 'I', that which we call I and which dwells up here in the visible firmament, as it were, was wholly unaware of any goings-on in these depths from which burst forth the thought. I wasn't even aware of the existence of these depths, and who knows, perhaps all this 'depths' is mere conjecture; this implied dark matter of the soul, this great unconscious, for when you come to think of it the moment we are talking of the unconscious, well then we're in the land of the conscious, not unconscious, and how could it be otherwise?

A man was in search of absolute blackness and so descended into a cave that burrowed into the very belly of the earth. "But this is no use!" he exclaimed. "I can't see anything!" So he turned on his torch and with great satisfaction proclaimed, "Ah, now I see. How wonderful it is. Though this blackness is not half so mysterious and black once you give it a proper look."

You can't flash a torch into darkness and go on calling what you're looking at 'the darkness'. And what's more, the analogy might suggest all too much, as unlike this cave the unconscious never becomes visible. All we have is the conscious. Otherwise how could it be unconscious? I'm not saying it isn't there but what's the good in getting worked up about it, creating some kind of narcissistic fetish out of it, obsessing about this great unconscious, all the while it's actually the conscious you're wallowing in.

I have moved far from this conviction or idea which bubbled up to the surface, though you may be wondering if this idea was merely a literary device, a means towards an end - the end having something to write about, and the means the writing. Words were placed in sequence, how else could they be placed, in the expectation, or perhaps just hope, that some inspiration would in the process be ushered forth from the dark depths...we're back to these depths. There seems, for now, no getting away from them. No, I don't doubt their existence at all, but it's this unnatural, urban, civilized fetishisation of oneself I can't stand. A mental self-lust, a kind of perverted mysticism where instead of release from one's self-imagined self, one wallows endlessly within it. And perhaps that's what in essence this is all about: the intelligentsia seek intellectual justification for masturbation. That seems to me very true, though exactly why I am as yet unsure, but if true it can't be too mysterious.

Their own personality is their greatest love. Deep down (in the depths) even they realise it's a false, sterile kingdom, but they wish to conquer this thought and to rule or dwell in full confidence and complacency within this personality's domains. So all this Freudian self-wallowing wishes to prove that this personality and its desires is all fully real and fascinating, and indeed all there is. It is from the deeper silence that the intimation of the falseness of this remorseless selfhood, this personality, its self-engendering, is felt and therefore to cover up this silence is the task at hand, to silence its silence, so to speak, and to convince oneself one is doing the opposite.

But to cover it up with what? Endless thought, and, entwined mixture of cunning and stupidity that is this 'self', announce that all these words you produce are actually this enemy, the Silence, which you label the Unconscious. You make a load of noise about silence and announce that the noise you produce is this very silence, and what's so special about this silence after all- just a load of noise. And also what could be better than to persuade oneself that this silence is actually something grubby, mere base desires; rationalise it as so and only so. So the very alleged silence, this Unconscious, proffers the justification for this corrupt self-wallowing individual to continue wallowing in itself as you've declared it and its desires absolute reality. And the civilized short-sighted animal proclaims with pride: "We have tamed the animal, the Great Beyond! The rational self is king! We may masturbate with full self-esteem!" For what else after all is there?

How's that for psycho-analysis?

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Encasement

I've just made a few small changes to this piece below, previously posted, so here it about to be is:

                                                  ENCASEMENT                                                             

                                                                     
A universe, all of it, was encased in glass. However, those dwelling in a certain world within this universe didn’t know they were so encased for the glass was perfectly transparent and gave away at a distance nothing of itself. If they had been less unaware, who knows, they might have been blissfully so.
“In glass? Wonderful!”
           But if over time, gathering dust and various wandering rubbish to itself, the glass becoming muddied and the universe within becoming dimmer, would the inhabitants begin to guess at all the glass? “The light is fading,” some wail. “We are polluting the atmosphere,” whilst others again, thoughtful, deduce the sun to be consuming itself, drawing low on its own reserves, and so this fading a precursor, in itself harmless, of the real disaster to come. But it's much more likely I suppose that instead this dimming, if there was any dimming, would be both so slow and so faint as to go altogether unnoticed.
              Something though that didn't go so unnoticed was the appearance of a crack in the glass. Why a crack? Because a stone had been thrown from somewhere causing this crack. Thrown from inside or outside? Outside it seems. The glass was of a scale that anything hitting it from inside would have presumably been far too weak to have caused a scratch, never mind a crack, and so it must be from outside it came.
               And so a stone was thrown, accidentally or malignantly, or maybe just unconsciously, that is inanimately, an unthinking movement of unthinking matter, and regardless, however, a great big crack appeared, clearly visible from all points within the glass, or at least visible if wherever whoever was looking from was immersed in night and the crack above unobscured by clouds, and so, whatever the source, shafts of light could be seen striking the edges of the crack, creating an incredible, fearful, even mystical effect.
            And with this immense, obscure appearance across the night sky, confusion, terror, people on their knees, floods of prayers sent into the void, and amongst whatever else, a great rush to interpret the appearance, but none in their interpreting proving inspired enough to surmise either glass or crack.
"What could it be?!"
"I've no idea."
            It's admittedly probably a bit unfair to have picked out that example but so anyway there in their ignorance it was, this wild, jagged line, unexplained across the heavens. “Heavens”, by the way, was enjoying a renaissance, and you could even make a case for now dividing people into two halves - one for those still saying sky when talking of such, and the other for those now saying heavens when talking of same - this use maybe natural or innocent at first, but pointedly soon enough after, autobiographical, a statement. There were though also a few of what you might call agnostics, who found themselves in the awkward position of not knowing what word to use, heavens or sky, the use of either seeming to place you firmly within one of the two camps, and so they tried to mix between both equally, but rather than being applauded for their delicacy they ended up more or less just annoying everyone.
         So the archaic style was back, portentous, poetical; in some hands serious, unforced, earnest, in others more of a fashion accessory, perhaps in others again sarcastic, even if this sarcasm might now seem a bit unsure of itself. Phrases like, “The starry vault has been sundered,” became almost a commonplace; things you might hear, never mind behind closed doors, out on the street in the middle of the day.
           The likes of Nostradamus was poured over, preferably by candlelight, lines produced, discussed, thought about, perhaps the biggest fuss made over the following:

A jug spills, milk disappears.
A horseman descends, fearsome and hungry.

Whatever about the Frenchman's disappearing milk and descending horseman, that this was the kind of thing you could now mention in normal life without fear, or much of it, of being thought mad was, you could say, an emblem of the times, the times distilled.
              And so now, on the cusp of these strange times, there they were, waiting . . .

But what happened in time with this waiting but more or less nothing - no Apocalypse, no dawning New Age, as said - nothing. And back out from the shadows began to emerge the sarcastic, slowly at first and looking about them, but then beginning to swagger, and finally in a surging rush. They had the floor to themselves. “Go on with your Apocalypse!” they jeered, and began, with an awful lot of noise, to enjoy themselves. Whether there was really much enjoyment at the other end of all the noise I can't really say, maybe just a lot of noise signifying enjoyment, but that's the theory anyway: in the absence of an apocalypse you enjoy yourself. There may have been some still waiting, but if they were, they were mostly keeping their waiting to themselves.
         So a return to something like normality, the crack becoming part of the furniture, no longer so novel, soon to be not novel at all, its prolonged existence proof of its banality. Relief, disappointment, a sense of futility and emptiness - all mingled. The coming time hadn't come, the great harbinger had foretold nothing, and the archaic style faded back away. You might still hear something like “The starry vault has been sundered,” but this time in a certain tone, followed by laughter.
              Interpretations became more a matter of idle intellectual musing than apocalyptic sooth-saying; money still being poured into scientific alleyways, the crack had become, one was given to understand, the personal property of the learned, debated in smooth, antiseptic tones, and in a leisurely manner. It was, they might concede, yes, for now, genuinely quite interesting; a bit of an anomaly, but we had all the time in the world and there was nothing particularly at stake - or if you like there was something very particular at stake, the anomaly bit, but it would soon be an anomaly no more and no rush about it.    
                 From those exalted and intellectual quarters, stern or amused looks arrowed themselves downwards now towards any remarks about the crack rising up from regions beneath. If someone from below had for instance insisted on the great thing across the sky's still being a deep mystery and was honoured enough to receive in response to these words other words coming back down rather than just a descending look, those words would probably go something like: “A mystery? Only because we don't yet know what it is.” If this someone beneath were stupid enough to persist with his mystery, not realising he'd been crushed, he would probably find himself enclosed in a silence hard to get out of. And so, all in all, the crack in the distant glass still a riddle, but people a lot less concerned. Many disappointed, many not, tension eased but things a bit boring.
                 
This relaxing of tension was dealt a very cruel blow though when another stone struck the outside of the glass, sending another, but this time far larger, crack scything across the surface. If in their observing our people had been anywhere near the glass, they would have also heard a huge sharp, simultaneous crack, but being so far away they didn't. Light informed them of the terrifying event long before any revealing noise, but the noise didn't just lie down and instead rumbled its immense way across space, gaining if anything it seemed rather than losing in mass, before finally rolling hugely over the humble world, flattening all other sound and terrifying everything upon it evolved enough to have got as far as such things as terror. And, as if this weren't enough, as the huge roar slowly moved off on its way, fading at last to a low rumble, up struck across the continents a chorus of howling dogs, accompanied in places by howls more primal and awful again, human ones, pouring themselves out of abysses deeper than history. Pardon the poetics.
          When terror subsided enough to allow thought pour back in they tried to make sense of what had happened, to fit it into some conceivable map of existence; many even still in spite of all hoping this map could somehow be a reassuring one. Even the cynics though were shaken very deep.
“Now this is serious.”
“Yes, this time it really is serious.”
“I thought it was serious the first time.”
“But” — some other exchange — “you don't think it could have been some kind of thunder?”
“Thunder? That was no thunder.”

 And so religion on the rise again, more floods of prayers, a sense of catastrophic and impending doom, some souls strangely exhilarated, more terrified, some few even trying to let on to be amused by it all - the cracks, the noise, the howls, the terror - but these efforts now all too obviously strained, and inclined more towards the hysterical in the mad sense than the humorous.
“Who knows what will happen next — the sun might explode.”
“Still, we might get a tan. Ha! ha!”
            And still they hadn't figured out they were encased in glass. But then another stone struck the outside of the glass, and this time the glass shattered outright; great shards descend upon the formerly enclosed spaces, sending everything - suns, moons, planets - that they smash into flying; and finally, the shards descending, the now horrifying, previously harmless truth of the universe's crystal encasement begins to dawn.

     And . . . Apocalypse? But the strange truth is, no matter how doomed our planet appeared, however certain various collisions appeared, it defied perhaps all logic and escaped without a scratch. All shards and splinters passed it by. And so, the danger passed, aware at last they had been encased in glass, they were encased no more.