'I want one': Jan Van Eyck's inspirational man with a turban. Perfect folds
With his father, he had once seen this very piece performed by a local ensemble in his home townhall. But the lasting memories were of images rather than music. He was riveted by the violist’s telling eyebrows which transformed his other wise static face from the depths of tragedy to the peeks of comedy following the inflections in the music. The first Violinist’s socks, the second’s embarrassed smile and the cellist’s tendency to scratch his knee after every other phrase similarly held his attention. He enjoyed making speculations about they’re private life based on what little clues they offered, a preoccupation he had inherited from his mother. At worst this syndrome effectively deafened him. At school he was attentive and obedient and read well, but he found it difficult to take in what he was taught verbally. And as a music listener he found it more rewarding to listen to the recording than see it played. When his grandmother died suddenly, during his lonely adolescence he forbade himself to cry. And not until days after the funeral when at dinner he heard the familiar sounds of the lento on the kitchen radio did he allow tickling tears to run down his cheeks and drop into his soup.
Following suit, she finally abandons herself. She closes her eyes and, bobbing gently on the undulating ocean of strings, relents to the music: She has been told about this apparently perfect movement but never does she imagine being so easily seduced. She does not appreciate symphonic music like the others do but chamber music she can understand. The intimacy. She can hear each instrument, every percussive sound of contact. For her, this intimacy is far more evocative than the comparatively distant sounds of an orchestra. String stimulate her especially. Now, lost in her sea reverie, she is truly enchanted. The cyclical narrative of the music evokes for her the threat of a storm which is repeatedly quelled. Reassured by the bass which never breaks from its simple pizzicato, never do the ominous crescendos disrupt the serenity of her floating body. And not until the revelatory Tierce de Picardy, kissing her back to life, does she open her eyes with a smile on her lips.
I’m heading back to the UK for a couple of dates in December.
11.12.2010 - Donkey Pitch/Brighton/UK
07.12.2010 - The Boiler Room/London/UK
06.12.2010 - Proper Gander/London/UK
My Bedroom walls are painted gold. The opacity thins from one wall to the next, until the last which is a diluted yellow. Its a big room, much like the last two in Glasgow. The cornice painted over so many times that the frieze is undefined. Its anaglypta wallpaper; the stuff I like to pick away at. (I find myself doing that in people’s houses. People i don’t even know.) With dad’s suggestion, I agree optimistically to ‘chisel’ out the frieze design and repaint the walls and ceiling. And while i’m at it, fix the shutter on the window, the pulley mechanism has dettacthed itself from the wall leaving a plaster crater. Conspicuous black duck tape is the remedy. And its universal remedy apparently; in the bathroom fastening the tap to the wall, in the kitchen sealing the top of the fridge. Its the mother of all adhesives. Big black strips of the stuff everywhere. I laugh when I ask Ross for some sellotape to seal an envelope and he reaches for the monstrous black roll.
But the room is great. The flat is great, if a little dingy. I wont get round to doing any DIY.
Last night I went to an exhibition of Nan Goldin photographs at the Berlinische Gallerie. What struck me was the radiance of the photos. Hung on Cadet blue walls, the images seemed illuminated as if by lighting from behind. The exhibition documented Goldin’s time in Berlin. She squatted here for three years in the early 90’s. As always the subjects are her friends, many of which have died of aids. And as I often find with these things i am unmoved until the next day.
Yesterday too I finished a 50odd minute mix entitled Fantasmagoria. Discontinuous Musics narrated by Frank Zappa and Vivian Stanshall. Its an uncomprimising musical selection, an indulgence on my part interspersed with an amusing narrative, taken largely from Joe’s garage and Sir Henry at Rawlinson’s End. The whole things a bit sketchy to be honest. Good though.