Tuesday, March 31, 2009

some latelies

Bits of nowish goings in andRLand (traveling backwards in time):

  • Now: recovering from an inter-co-op potluck, lying on th oh so comfy bed in our livingroom.
  • This evening: met w/ Snowleopard & Dogbody about playing dead people.
  • This afternoon: started arranging th old Nim song 'how to ferment th colon' in 17edo.
  • This morning: totaled meat at th food co-op I work at.
  • Last night: auditioned an improvised dance w/ friend Sarah for th dance department of U of I, playing cümbüş.
  • Yesterday afternoon: digitized.
  • Yesterday morning: chatted w/ Drew over tea.
  • Sunday evening: went to a lovely concert in somebody's living room.
  • Sunday afternoon: cleaned my room; started reading th Diamond Sutra.
  • Sunday morning: groggy house meeting.
  • Early Sunday morning: drove home from Chicago, arriving after 2 am.
  • Saturday evening: attended a party in candlelight at AKJ's place in Evanston, IL to ring in th spring; debuted a brand new piece w/ Jacob for a grand piano tuned to a microtonal scale called Centaur; danced & shouted; imbibed wines; recited poetry.
  • Saturday afternoon: took Jacob to my "old neighborhood" in Chicago; we visited El Taco Veloz for lunch & Myopic Books for compulsive reading buys (for me: th Diamond Sutra & a new (for me) version of th Bhagavad Gita - for Jacob: Philosophy in th Flesh).
  • Saturday morning: finished preparing Centaur piece w/ Jacob & rehearsed it.
  • Friday night: saw an improv comedy show in Chicago at iO.
  • Friday evening: arrived by accident 24 hours early for th concert in Evanston!
  • Friday afternoon: rode north (w/ Jacob driving); made last-minute plans for our piece.
  • Friday morning: selected poetry for spring celebration (3 by Wallace Stevens); brainstormed for Centaur piece..
  • Thursday night: potluck at La Casa; I made black bean burgers!
  • Thursday evening: went to Bobbi's art opening at th IMC & chatted it up.
  • Thursday afternoon: began composing Centaur piece w/ Jacob.
  • Thursday morning: worked at food co-op, stockin' stuff.
  • Wednseday night: ate at Courier Cafe w/ Beth, Anna, Jacob, Mark, & th folks in Insurgent Theatre.
  • Wednesday evening: my band w/ Rob & Jacob opened for 'Paint th Town', a play put on by Insurgent Theatre, at th IMC.

& so on. We could take this all th way back to my birth, I suppose, but frankly, I don't remember much before Wednesday evening....

Monday, March 23, 2009

I wants.

A poem written by my friend Susan P:

I wants.

I pushes me: this causes a personality (in) me.

Me goes along with it, jumps onto it, actually sweats it, writes lists,
worries it along, trying to accomplish something.

Meanwhile, with no personality but want, I loses interest;
I sees things moving but always away from I.

I makes events, me reports them, following along like
Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn of the movies.
Me, the tough newspaperman in a raincoat, huddled over a payphone, reporting;
I, running ahead, erratic, in a golden evening dress torn and splashed with mud.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Don't be a carcass of names

Before I return this thing to th library, I'd like to give you one last wee snip from Chuang Tzu:

Don't be a carcass of names
or treasure-house of schemes;

don't be a servant of pursuits
or proprietor of fine wisdom.

Make the inexhaustible your body
and wander beyond origins.

Make everything heaven gave you treasure enough
and know you have nothing.

Live empty, perfectly empty.

Sage masters always employ mind like a pure mirror:
welcome nothing, refuse nothing,

reflect everything, hold nothing.
And so they triumph over things with never a wound.

~ translation by David Hinton

Thursday, March 12, 2009

no nature

Can a person really have no nature?" asked Hui Tzu of Chuang Tzu.

"Yes," replied Chuang Tzu.

"But if you have no nature, how can you be called human?"

"Tao gives you shape and heaven gives you form, so why can't you be called human?"

"But if you're called human, how can you have no nature?"

"Yes this and no that - that's what I call human nature," replied Chuang Tzu. "Not mangling yourself with good and bad - that's what I call no nature. Instead of struggling to improve on life, you simply abide in occurrence appearing of itself."

"If you don't try to improve on life, how do you stay alive?"

"Tao gives you shape and heaven gives you form, so why mangle yourself with good and bad? But you

make an exile of your mind
and wear your spirit away.

You brood, leaning on a tree,
or doze, slumped over a desk.

Heaven made this your form,
and you waste it, twittering

away in a darkness of arcane
distinctions and quibbling."

from Chuang Tzu as translated by David Hinton

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

JARband @ Concerturtle

^ JARband performs at La Casa Concerturtle, March 6, 2009.

JARband "is" 17 tones per octave. JARband "is" Tonbar Cobja "on" 17-tone tubulong, udderbot, & trombone; AndRnim "on" Cümbüş; robscott "on" drumz.

This arrangement consists of two songs glued together, each taken from Book of Days.

First song, starting at 0:00:

[ @@@ Tz'ikin :: Three Birdsilver ]

gift of insides Saturmorn
numberfingering islandbear
a bribing cup of eggtalk
uglying mudwater between us
bafflheaded vines & targrunt
holes in places
cognitive trombumpetting weed
alley flightgarden
an assembled being

Second song, starting round 1:47:

[ @ Kame :: One Death ]

one quick away th faulters
fixated black & sunpants
resolved to (not) alter
talk to th pocket, thx
hey gravel yo gravel
sleep sleep & antiquity
away, not any place, fanned

We tune to xenharmonic/microtonal scale 17edo (a.k.a 17-equal (divisions of th octave), 17tET, 17-tone equal temperament). Each song takes a different subset of 17 - two different modes of th so-called heptatonic neutral scale: kleeth & dril - both w/ tonic note B.


degrees-of-17 between steps: 3 2 2 3 2 3 2
degrees-of-17 from 0: 0 3 5 7 10 12 15 0
interval classes: Perfect Unison ; Major 2nd ; Neutral 3rd ; Perfect 4th ; Perfect 5th ; Neutral 6th ; Neutral 7th ; Perfect Octave
17edo solfege: do re mu fa sol lu tu do
as pitches in B: B C# D-up E F# G-up A-up B


degrees-of-17 between steps: 3 2 3 2 3 2 2
degrees-of-17 from 0: 0 3 5 8 10 13 15 0
interval classes: Perfect Unison ; Major 2nd ; Neutral 3rd ; Diminished 5th ; Perfect 5th ; Major 6th ; Neutral 7th ; Perfect Octave
17edo solfege: do re mu fu sol la tu do
as pitches in B: B C# D-up E-up F# G# A-up B

These scales differ by one two pitches, so altogether we play nine pitches in these pieces. "Neutral" refers to an interval between th more familiar Major & Minor intervals. 17edo has Minor, Major & Neutral 2nds, 3rds, 6ths & 7ths. Those neutral intervals help give th so-called "neutral scale" its particular mood.

Playing (with) Policy

At the House Concerturtle at La Casa Grande Colectiva on March 6, 2009, AnAndR presented their first draft of a toy piano and banjo piece entitled, Playing (with) Policy. The piece explores a city ordinance on Loud and Raucous Noise.

La Casa Concerturtle - March 6, 2009

Last Fridaynight, a fine few performed performings at th house o' me, Ms. La Casa Grande Colectiva. Our good friend Anna hosted, & it went something like this:

(I performed in two of these; I'll give them their own entries & embed video for you shortly. One of them you can already viddy here.)

I think it went delightfully well! We filled our living room, kept our guests in popcorn & organic grape juice, & followed it w/ a "talk back session" & a bonfire in th garden. I enjoyed having a deadline to finish (drafts of) my two projects. Hooray, etc!

This makes my third La Casa house concert. On my very first visit to Urbana, almost a year ago - March 27, 2007 - I came to this same house & performed Cümbüş songs (old blog entry about it here). That launched my interest in School for Designing a Society, which I attended in th fall. That fall semester culminated in a house concert in December, mentioned in this blog entry. Now, having spent time living & doing "independent study" another concert has come & gone as a ritualistic marker of time & work, an opportunity to show traces of thinking & engage in togethering nowness. Hooray!

More house concerts (I predict) will happen here, & I do hope some not-so-far-away friends will make it down here to see. (I miss you!)

Ten thousand loves,

Monday, March 9, 2009

my house has a blog

Friendlings: see th newest o' blogs: that called La Casa Urbana: where I & my housemates can digitally share our doings. Live w/ us in cyberharmony. Blah blah blog.

La Casa Urbana!