Can't resist the temptation to treat cris's post and its multi-level
questioning as a template questionaire... dammit, I'll find a way to
mention my favourite colour, flower, music etc... and gosh, I hope others
pick this one up and say how they see it!
On Thu, 12 Mar 1998, cris cheek wrote:
> Where does the 'writing' lie? On the page, in a pen, over a keyboard, in
> the air, under a book, on a sheet blowing along the street, on a billboard,
> from a radio, on the tip of a tongue and so on?
- it begins with input, in all its numerous forms: weather, streetsounds,
breathing, music, reading, other peoples' speech. It lies in notebooks,
odd pages and wordprocessors, "weathering" - its original context being
lost, as it gets transcribed and mistranscribed, waiting for a new
context. What happens then is more varied...
> Do you always only write 'in the quiet of the house? What is this quiet?
> How is it distinctive? What is being curated there?
- nowhere is completely quiet; other sounds always join the process at the
transcription process. Traffic, gasfire, others' breathing, computer hum
are in there. I can't write on trains these day, but whole stretches of
"early work" written on one of those 2-coach trains between Durham and
Newcastle, had that click-clop, click-clop track rhythm running beneath
it. "Curated" is a strong word - think of me as the bed-and-breakfast
organiser who offers temporary shelter and sustenance to these sounds,
> Is the act of 'writing' not itself a 'performance'? If it is, I would
> assert that it is, then whose egotism are you receiving when you are
- yes, writing is performance, with all its infinate possibilities and a
path to be taken. All those other possibilities - Borges would agree - are
still there... but I remember from my short inglorious career as a
violist, the feeling of disappointment, at realising a score one way,
writing out all the others. I'd like to think my ego is mediated through
all the other consciousnesses which have made the elements of the work
before I got on site, but I'd be kidding myself if I didn't, ultimately,
say Me! Me! I made it! Book me for it officer I'm guilty as charged, the
others were unwilling, often unknowing accessories.
> What are our ears listening to? What rhythms are we living?
> Surely they are many and more various than simplistic notions of the
> machine. Do you walk, have you ever been in a car, heard drum and bass from
> a high street shop, listened to the flock of conversations in a public
> place, been barked at by a dog, discussed melody with a robin, ever
> attempted to notate waves brushing up a beach, run a bath, answered the
> phone, used a modem - of course you have, probably all and many other
> such and other such.
- I, I can't add anything here, except other examples. Listening to
conversations in a language I don't understand. To plumbing noises. Pencil
put down in anger. The street at night (different to day). Thanks, cris,
for the rhetorical question...
> 'perfect' - what's that? especially when it comes to 'ears'? Who's
> measuring? From what cultural and ideological viewpoints? What is being
> edited out? What is being edited in?
- no, not perfect - only resolved to go on as far as this one instance of
text - usually that which allows me to give back most in the next - oral -
performing. It's little enough in return for all that input. For my part,
nobody measures but me - but "my" "audience" - well, they have their own
measures - and their own feet, to vote with. I used to be a controlfreak,
tweezers in hand, a peck of this to an ounce of that, I still edit,
adjust, but allow other circumstances to guide that more.
Today it's spring sky blue, any umbellifer, and the Bach Cello Suites
(YoYo Ma, despite the hype, tho I could settle for Tortellier again).