Musical Instability

 Posted by at 8:44 am  Exodus, IN Conversation, Old Men Travelling  Comments Off
May 172015

Pin your ears between the oscillating voice of the self and the voice of the text, score, or content: most of the time it’s either tinnitus or grand narrative but occasionally terminal humour succeeds, Harry Kratchnikov said.

Bees should be told of the death of their keeper, writes Alberto Mongrel in Curiosity . ”I’ve wished that when I die, someone will do the same for me and tell my books that I will not be coming back”.

May 122015
Street cleaners151

Remember Harry Krachtnikov? The weight of the man: slow paced, with a huge head and long thick strands of hair the colour of straw bursting out over his forehead and above and below his mouth.

Trixie and Harry walked arm in arm. Neither of them believed in fidelity, and the pavement might have been Italy. There was sunshine with an added blueness that comes from the reflection of a wide expanse of water. Sea, but also north. Adriatic: a jumping off point, and the shadow of the double-headed eagle. Trieste. Or a river. Danube.

The weight of the man. Pure history.

Harry carried the wrinkles, and there were speckles of dark sun spots on his ageing face. He was by far the older of the two but as they walked it was Trixie who was leaning harder on his arm. Dark glasses and a silk paisley-patterned head scarf, her chin raised as if light starved head tilted back.

People pressed around them. Always the crowd. Always the streets. The market-places. Raised voices. Wooden barrows. Stalls of abundant produce. Mountains of cardboard boxes, jute sacks, plastic bags. Rectangular sheets of newspaper trodden into the pavement, the jetsam of living green. Spilling over the curb. Flower petals floating in wetness. Awash.

The street cleaners were hosing clean.Viewed from below.

Trixie had eventually recovered her underpants.

After the unexpected excess of the weekend singing Bach, with men who mostly wanted to have a conversation with her. Not that was what they really meant. Though none of them would hurt a fly, polite and generous to a ‘T’. That most of the men were bentoverseventy and dribbled from their mouths didn’t make any difference. Their eyes that had undressed her. The bleak lower and bleaker lower eyelids. Then slowly her knickers had come off too. The menmen had regretted none of it. Pleasure of the chorale. So that even when it came to the doubled Motet she had acquiesced to their imperatives.

Nobody gets hurt really, Harry said. Even after bad sex.

Masks. Why did they wear masks? Trixie asked.

You are welcome to create as many versions as you like, he replied, But aren’t you forgetting Dio?

Dio the boy.

The man, Harry had said, Or the boy if you prefer.

Trixie had called him the boy too. Effeminate to the menmen. Queer.

Inter, inter, she said, Mid.

Mid. American or Atlantic. Or Europe. Mid-European. Was that right? Trieste. Or the river Danube.

Get hold of the stay, Harry said.

Harry had overouzo’ed too. Watermelonwithouzo. And old men always cry more anyway. Wet as the streets the cleaners had now finished hosing.

Another tendril of flower headstrundled by overhead. Harry -’ed and then steadied his eyes.

Business is brisk today, he said.

The worst man happened to be the one that Trixie had first sat next to at the very beginning. Old and small and harmless looking like the rest but with staring eyes. Unlike most of the menmen he had refused to talk.

Hello, Trixie had said but he had instantly looked away.

Once they started singing, she knew she was in trouble. Note metronomic perfect. Rows of red roses. Continuo – or continuity perhaps. His voice. Whatever, it represented the worst of a kind of heartlessromantic idea how all the menmen intended to live out the rest of their lives.

Cornered Trixie had lost her knickers. Picked off.

May 092015

They are chasing after votes, but trying not to say anything. Is it a code they speak in or is it the fear that grips their vitals and all that can exit their mouths and enter into the debate are the semi-strangled sounds of the advertising industry, the special advisers, SPADS as they seem to be called. Yes, don’t be so irritating of course it’s the election that I am talking about. Of course politicians need to know what the people are saying though it seems they also need to control the encounters with us poor voters. What’s the deal? What can we hold them to in exchange for our votes? With the demise of party membership and the emasculation of the unions over the last thirty/forty years we have not done ourselves a lot of favours. We have bought into the cult of the individual and the corrupting ways of consumerism. Advertising is the white noise we are tortured with. A narrative of “this could be you”. Which is tempting because most of us have little idea of who we might be; there is the emptiness at the heart of our souls to be filled by drugs or objects of desire.

But what if we were able to tune into the real world? Could we survive an encounter with the real? Maybe we prefer to simply live within our own created reality, praying that it is enough to protect us from any impact of the real. To listen then would seem to be taking a risk. Governments are always calculating as to the dangers that surround them. How to defend their power, how to dress it up as “defending the people”?

In the current Radical Philosophy (May, June) there are a number of pieces about the arcane arts of listening: 

‘Historically the National Security Agency (NSA) had been charged with the task of intercepting electromagnetic signals for external intelligence – diplomatic cables, military communications, satellite beams, and so on. But with close of the millennium, civil populations were themselves becoming signal transmitters. The whole world was becoming connected, and creating one in which each of us would soon produce more data than any Soviet embassy of the past’.

So on the one hand there is the huge industry of trawling for big data and on the other hand there is the other huge industry of blasting our eyes and ears with advertising and the powerful and lying messages about how we should vote.

Thank God the election is over but oh my God, what a disaster!

So, yes, listen and tune in to what is the going on.