An artist’s book has been published to coincide with Room40‘s digital re-release of the three volumes of Aki Onda‘s Cassette Memories sound project. The limited edition 23-page ‘I Lost My Memory‘ contains Aki Onda’s photography and his story behind Cassette Memories. I supplied a supplementary essay entitled ‘Tape, Psyche, Montage and Magic: The Cassette Memories of Aki Onda’ exploring Onda’s work and the esoteric uses of tape. Some further information can be read on the main Miraculous Agitations blog.
‘I Lost My Memory‘ also reveals, for the first time, the long-lost identity of an anonymous author writing in 1932, who battled memory fugue to pool his memories for a book of the same title: ‘I Lost My Memory: The Case as the Patient Saw It‘ (published by Faber & Faber).
Aki Onda: I Lost My Memory is out now on Room40 and includes download codes for Cassette Memories I, II and III.
Extreme detail of Van de Moortel’s ‘Bomb Culture’ (2019)
Noise, forever fizzing at the edges of musical vocabulary, forms the topic of an essay I’ve written for Joris Van de Moortel‘s new artist’s book ‘A Dubious Pilgrimage‘, out now. Van de Moortel is an artist/musician who terms his performances ‘Messes’, riffing on the Catholic Mass but with messier sacraments that assail guitars, amplifiers and other unsuspecting instruments to the point of overload.
The essay is titled “Van de Moortel’s Goception in the Mess: Byways in the History of Noise’s Ongoing Transmutation into Music”, and this noise/music transmutation is viewed through the lens of the literary work of a Victorian chemist and would-be poet John Carrington Sellars titled ‘Chemistianity (Popular Knowledge of Chemistry)‘ (1873). The made-up word ‘goception’ is deployed by Sellars in that work to signify chemical reaction – a neologism precariously invented by him to achieve poetic flow.
With chemical reactions – or ‘goceptions’ – in mind, a longer blogpost over at the main Miraculous Agitations blog examines some instances where artists have used physical copies of The Wire magazine as raw ingredient in artworks. The Wire is a catalyst Joris Van de Moortel often uses in his creative work, most explicitly in his ‘A love affair with Excess’ series where distressed snippets of text from The Wire‘s ‘Excess All Areas’ special 2019 issue are squirrelled into mixed-media artworks. My ‘Bomb Culture’ history of musical explosions text was thereby transformed into an artwork infused with Van de Moortel’s own performative lore.
Strangely, a Wire magazine feature I’d written eight years previously was artfully collaged in Allen Fisher‘s concrete poetry book ‘SPUTTOR‘ (2014). But maybe this isn’t so strange given The Wire situating itself within experimental culture? The fact that I’m by no means a regular contributor to the magazine suggests this is just the tip of an iceberg, and that artistic, collage, poetic/concretic, decoupage and personalisation uses of The Wire are to be expected? An interesting topic to investigate…
Read more at the main Miraculous Agitations blog. Joris Van de Moortel’s ‘A Dubious Pilgrimage‘ is available now.
In contrast to The Wire‘s Minimalism special last year, this month’s issue is themed around ‘excess’. I contribute a short history of the use of explosives in music. Some additional coruscations on this topic can be found on the main Miraculous Agitations blog.
The latest issue of The Wire (#409) contains my article on ‘psyphonics’ – the idealistic practice of attempting to embed idea, emotion and ‘thought’ within sound. A blogpost over at the Miraculous Agitations blog gives a little background to the idea. The Wire article charts how this romantic concept survives and even flourishes within modernity’s rigours.
A newly formed Psyphonics Facebook group now exists for anyone wishing to explore the idea further and share related music/recordings.
New blog post over at the Miraculous Agitations blog – on resonating street furniture, electromagnetic apparatuses, post-electronic busking and ‘acoustic circuit-bending’. It forms a sort of cautionary tale on the perils of electromagnetically resonating too far afield.
Also, a primer on post-electronic music can be found in the new Exact Change e-zine #8.