Sunday, November 30, 2008

I & I

^ traces of a project we did recently at SDaS.


Over this here Thxgiving break, all my housemates have left town to go see family, & I've had La Casa all to myself! Well, sort of to myself. I've had my best friend w/ me th whole time, my wee beagler Sophie. Also, I've had ten cluckers in th shed to go visit - egg-laying chickens who need feed & water. I choose to eat eggs from our chickens (but still not from any others), since I believe they live well; but w/ no one else around, th eggs accumulate & wait. Still, I've done my part & made eggs for most of my meals this week. I figure, some fat, protein & cholesterol could only do me good. My body doesn't seem to mind.

Th week started off wonderfully, as our friend Beth hosted a Composition Intensive at her house that went from Sunday at noon to Monday night. This involved people coming over, grabbing a pillow, a chair, a bedroom, what have you, & working on something in th company of others working on their own things. Then, at certain intervals, we'd take a break from working to "check in" w/ everyone else. We'd give updates on what we did & set goals for th next chunk of time. I especially enjoyed check-ins because we would use Skype to call other people scattered over th country who wanted to get in on this long-distance. You can see traces of what this project looked like here.

My friends Anna & Michael had me over Wednesday & Thursday to play games. So for two nights in a row, we pulled out Killer Bunnies & th Quest for th Magic Carrot, an old favorite of mine that I haven't hardly played since I lived in Troy, NY. Also, Catch Phrase went over well, as it tends to do. Anna expressed an interest in playing "socially relevant games" (as opposed to these "socially irrelevant games" I guess). Altho I don't think we have a clear idea of what that means yet, I share that interest & want to help organize a different sort of game night in th near future.

I've spent my late evenings blasting German operas on th living room stereo system while sipping bourbon.

I've also done quite a bit of reading about cybernetics this week, in particular th cybernetics of cybernetics, or second-order cybernetics (where you apply cybernetics to cybernetics itself). Says Ranulph Glanville on this:

"What characterises the Cybernetics of Cybernetics is the inclusion of the agent that is determining the system under consideration. It is the insistence that observation needs an observer and that any account that pretends otherwise is essentially in error. It is the insistence that there is (inter)action, that there are processes and that we are involved with and in our processes. It is the insistence that there is no thinking without the thinker and that there is no thinking without thinking."

~Ranulph Glanville, in his paper "Chasing the Blame"

I like all this & want to do more w/ it. I recommend that paper, if you'd like a fascinating read. Indeed, do call me up for a chat, if you'd like to have one, about cybernetics, or about anything.

Which reminds me: VerizonWireless has turned off my cell phone. Probably because I haven't paid them in months. Anyway, I do have a landline, & if you'd like to call it, do!

La Casa Landline: (217)365-9496.

By th way, we have a bunch of wet clumpy snow on th ground! Hooray!

I think I want to go out for some coffee & spend some more time w/ my books. Anyway, much love to all. I desire recurrent interaction w/ you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Andrew + Cumbus @ UnTwelve

On July 31, 2008, I played a benefit concert for UnTwelve, a new non-profit dedicated to performance & advocacy of microtonal music! Other self-described microtonalists involved included Aaron Krister Johnson, Jacob Barton, Aaron Andrew Hunt & Christopher Bailey.

I mention this because you can now viddy a set of YouTube videos from th event. Just do a search for "UnTwelve" & you find (as I write this) 7 microtonal performances.

Including this one:

I actually call this song what do windows, an automatic title taken from th first three words. Th text comes from my Book of Days project; I wrote th text on One Caneplant on th Mayan calendar -- in this case, May 29, 2008. Each line has some connection to events that I perceived (created) on that day (altho now I can only guess what I might have originally meant).

what do windows tell me stalking?
aping a cable & keys
don't want to trip this bumping
animalperson & new tombs
tightbumping darkstreet
drippingsmog & soupsmell
automated I: vacant, green
Diaspora foodfightfeet
you, Ghost, redheading me
gulling my agesfeet
Belonging notes in Faces Of Europe
a patter on my flippy sole
resolved to drain past futures

I perform(ed) what do windows on th Cümbüş, playing a scale I call B led, a mode of th neutral scale, a MOS subset of 17 equal divisions of an octave. It has seven notes, which we can identify in Sagittal Microtonal Notation as: B C-up D E F-up G-up A (B). In terms of adjacents steps (in 17ths of an octave), it goes: 2 2 3 2 3 2 3. You'd sing this scale in my system of 17edo solfege like this: do ru me fa se lu te (do).


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Popcorn Jam

When I say Popcorn Jam, I refer to an event of improvised music coupled w/ tasty popcorn popping nearby for happy consumption. You know that feeling you get when th popcorn is popping? That anticipation? We groove w/ our anticipation, make it our lover. Et cetera. Below: one minute from a typical atypical Popcorn Jam, featuring J.P. Goguen on banjo, Jacob Barton on udderbot (actually, in this instance, condombot) & me on toy piano:

nowish then

Hi hi hi hi hi.

I postaway to youtosee, you see? Sohi hi hi hi & say & one I say hi.

Hm. I livebreathe(etc) in Urbana, IL (I know that already!). Our house has five new chickens as of yesterday (total equals ten).

I have projects begun & notbegun. It grins me to tell you that I don't know.

What can I say to you?

Jacob & I played Ultima this very evening. Last night, we plus Annamichael played also Go.

What else?

Th students & friends of th School for Designing a Society have a wiki that they(we) like to play in called polyproject. Some traces of my work & doings you can find there (if you want to stalk me & this blog doesn't cut th mustard these days); see especially AndR.

Also, my school has a blog.

These days, you might find me:

  • participating in a popcorn jam (improvised music plus popcorn, ritualized).
  • walking my beagle.
  • taking lots of notes on lots of conversations.
  • writing performance instructions on index cards.
  • wrangling chickens.
  • wearing skirts about town.
  • reading cybernetics.
  • wearing my heart on my sleeve.
  • wishing I wore my heart on my sleeve.
  • getting potatoes thrown at me.
  • poking around on my keyboard in 17edo.
  • rehearsing in a 3-man protoband (or a fledgling udderbot choir).
  • etc.