Monday, August 17, 2009

Gems Gleaned in Travel

Out in the wide world for four weeks I gathered small scraps of paper with titles and websites, tunes and names in my wallet. In taxi cabs in Singapore and bars in Brisbane I met people who told me things that were worth remembering, so I scribbled them down on bits of bank receipts, advertising, napkins etc. I have noticed that many use their mobile phones for this note-taking function. I retain paper and pen. As I clean out my wallet here some of the particles which I encountered while in movement across the surface of this amazing planet.

A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding In Your Mind Volume 1 - Cosmic Space Music
~ Various Artists (Artist)
"Anyone with a good psychedelic record collection will be familiar with a good psych comp. Essentially this is a compilation put together by someone who obviously has a taste for good music on the spacey side. However as far as a psychedelic compilation goes it's not that adventurous or revealing. Tracks by Donovan and Hawkwind whilst good tracks will have been heard a million times by anyone seriously into this kind of music. In places the tracks flow together well, theres stuff I wasn't familiar with and tracks I didn't like at all. As with any compilation you could criticise the track selection. I would have issues with a number of choices (Is Maypole really the best track from The Whicker Man ? and the sing along Riki Tiki Tavi by Donovan is not only a really annoying song but not in the least representative of his more cosmic recordings such as Celeste) What really lets this whole thing down is the hippy drivel in the booklet. I'm sure anyone who likes this kind of music is aware of some kind of Universal Oneness but if anyone seriously believes that Lord Sitar and the Mahavishnu Orchestra have anything in common either spiritually or musically then they have been smoking the wrong kind of camberwell carrot." by Ellis Dee "Psych Digger"

Aucassin and Nicolette (1578)
Aucassin et Nicolette is a medieval French chante-fable, or combination of prose and verse (literally, a "sung story"), similar to a prosimetrum. It is the only known chantefable from what was once a very popular literary tradition, and it is from this work the term chantefable was coined in its concluding lines: “No cantefable prent fin” ("Our chantefable is drawing to a close"). Stylistically, the chantefable combines elements of the chanson de geste (e.g., The Song of Roland), lyric poems, and courtly novels—literary forms already well-established by the twelfth century. The work probably dates from the early 13th century, and is known from only one surviving manuscript dating from the later part of the century. The work's authorship is unknown. It is generally considered a roman d'adventure, or a romantic work of action and adventure.

The Book Of Disquietude or The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego in Portuguese) by by Fernando Pessoa
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du pɨˈsoɐ]; b. June 13, 1888 in Lisbon, Portugal — d. November 30, 1935 in the same city) was a Portuguese poet and writer. He was also a literary critic and translator. The critic Harold Bloom referred to him in the book The Western Canon as the most representative poet of the twentieth century, along with Pablo Neruda. He was bilingual in Portuguese and English, and fluent in French.
In The Book of Disquiet, his heteronym Bernardo Soares describes some typical places of Lisbon's downtown and its "atmosphere". Bernardo Soares was supposedly an accountant, working at Vasques's office, the boss, in Douradores Street, an world Pessoa knew very well, during his almost 30 year career, as free lance correspondence translator in a number of firms. Pessoa was a frequent client at Martinho da Arcada a centennial coffee house downtown, almost an "office" for his private business and literary issues. He also frequented other coffee shops, bars and restaurants, a number of which no longer exist. The statue of Fernando Pessoa (above) can be seen outside A Brasileira, one of the places where he would meet friends, writers and artists during the period of Orpheu. This coffee shop, in the aristocratic district of Chiado, is quite close to Pessoa's birthplace: 4, Largo de Sao Carlos (in front of the Opera House), one of the most elegant neighborhoods of Lisbon.
His interest in mysticism led Pessoa to correspond with the occultist Aleister Crowley. He later helped Crowley plan an elaborate fake suicide when he visited Portugal in 1930. Pessoa translated Crowley's poem "Hymn To Pan" into Portuguese, and the catalogue of Pessoa's library shows that he possessed copies of Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice and Confessions.

"It's quite difficult to describe this book; it's not about anything in particular. But if you have ever pondered the split seconds of mental webs strung in between your actual thoughts; if you have ever felt the presence of a question that threatens to disrupt your ability to function unless you write it down; if you have ever played with words and wondered if and how those words relate to what is real--then you must read Pessoa. One of the most compelling, fascinating, overwhelming things I have read. It will surely change you." Hermenaut "kedp98

Primitive Art in Civilized Places by Sally Price
What is so "primitive" about primitive art? And how do we dare to use our standards to judge it? Drawing on an intriguing mixture of sources-including fashion ads and films, her own anthropological research, and even comic strips like Doonesbury—Price explores the cultural arrogance implicit in Westerners' appropriation of non-Western art.

"[Price] presents a literary collage of the Western attitude to other cultures, and in particular to the visual art of the Third and Fourth Worlds. . . . Her book is not about works of 'primitive art' as such, but about the Western construction 'Primitive Art.' It is a critique of Western ignorance and arrogance: ignorance about other cultures and arrogance towards them."—Jeremy Coote, Times Literary Supplement

"The book is infuriating, entertaining, and inspirational, leaving one feeling less able than before to pass judgment on 'known' genres of art, but feeling more confident for that."—Joel Smith, San Francisco Review of Books

"[A] witty, but scholarly, indictment of the whole primitive-art business, from cargo to curator. And because she employs sarcasm as well as pedagogy, Price's book will probably forever deprive the reader of the warm fuzzies he usually gets standing before the display cases at the local ethnographic museum."—Newsweek

Rainbow (Boris with Michio Kurihara)
Rainbow is a collaborative album between Japanese experimental doom band Boris and psychedelic guitarist Michio Kurihara. Wata contributed vocals to the title song, which has a music video made for it by Foodunited. A couple of songs have another vocalist backing Takeshi. Either it could be Takeshi doing overdubs or Atsuo or Michio performing backing vocals. This could be possible, despite what the liner notes state, as Boris have mislabeled personnel before (Most notably on Vein.).

The album's initial release was done by Pedal Records, with liner notes in Portuguese. Drag City Records released this album in the United States on May 15th, 2007 with a different 9th track, on CD format only.

In 2007, Rainbow was also released on vinyl in two forms by Inoxia Records. One, an unlimited LP which contains the album (same as Pedal CD version). The other is a 2LP Box Set with a 50 page photo book in a special cover, the album on clear vinyl, a second LP containing two bonus tracks (also on clear vinyl), and a DVD featuring the music video for "Rainbow".

Reinventing The Sacred By Stuart A. Kauffman
Kauffman, a complexity theorist at the University of Calgary, sets a huge task for himself in this provocative but difficult book: to find common ground between religion and science by redefining God as not a supernatural Creator but as the natural creativity in the universe. That creativity, says Kauffman, defies scientific assumptions that the biosphere's evolution and human activity can be reduced to physics and are fully governed by natural laws. Kauffman (At Home in the Universe) espouses emergence, the theory of how complex systems self-organize into entities that are far more than the sum of their parts. To bolster the idea of this ceaselessly creative and unpredictable nature, Kauffman draws examples from the biosphere, neurobiology and economics. His definition of God as the fully natural, awesome, creativity that surrounds us is unlikely to convince those with a more traditional take on religion. Similarly, Kauffman's detailed discussions of quantum mechanics to explain emergence are apt to lose all but the most technically inclined readers. Nonetheless, Kauffman raises important questions about the self-organizing potential of natural systems that deserve serious consideration.

Didgeridoo and pecussion in Germany. Courses, instruments and so on.

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

Hey Hey Its Esther Blueberger

This film is a smart, rueful and dead-on portrait of life's unending quest to fit in; and the girl who solves it by completely breaking out - introduces a feisty outsider hero unlike any other seen on screen. Esther Blueburger's quest begins when she escapes from her Bat Mitzvah party and is befriended by Sunni.., the effortlessly cool girl who is everything Esther thinks she wants to be. With the help of Sunni, Esther goes away from her ordinary life and leaves behind her malfunctioning Jewish family to hang out with Sunni's far breezier and super-hip single mom Mary and attend Sunni's forbidden public school as a Swedish exchange student.

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