Sunday, June 26, 2016

why there was no birthday card this year

- such was not my intention (of course), indeed i had briefly picked up the laptop on the morning of the 4th to think about what i was going to post... but this was the problem, right there: when i wrote earlier this year about my artistic projects, these had included one as-yet-still-unrealised piece which i could see quite clearly in my mind, and which i was already planning to dedicate to maestro braxton...

...

- problems with seeing things through, with making good on my plans, promises and intentions

- problems in dealing with people, always, always... albeit with rare exceptions (and should these not become more common in adulthood, not rarer? how have i marginalised myself to such an extent?

-  and suddenly, this year, nothing but problems everywhere, in pretty much every area of my daily life, nor with solutions apparent to any of them; the increasing (self-fulfilling) isolation from other people, from society, from even those (relatively) close to me, means too that i have become cut off from most possible sources of solace and support; and, finally, the unique set of circumstances which mean that the particular artistic project i undertook has changed meaning before my very eyes, and the (possible) continuation of it now looks very different. (no, this bit will not make sense to the reader: the reason the project itself has become difficult to continue is also, precisely, the reason why i can't go into detail about any of it here - but basically it involves another person's privacy and sensitivities besides my own)

so... inertia won out... and a downward spiral quickly commenced... and the knowledge, above all, that with this very blog i have  managed the remarkable reverse alchemical transformation of gold into lead, having had originally enjoyed the backing (very much so) of anthony braxton himself, and having finished as so utterly anathema to (at least some of) the tri-centric foundation that they only ever included the blog in the first place because b. himself insisted upon it, and then took the next chance they got to be rid of it. all that time and effort - and all i succeeded in doing was driving everyone with any serious interest in b's music away. how to remain motivated, knowing that?

...

so... the writing stuff just didn't work out, for all sorts of reasons; the artwork is in stasis... and may or may not be resumed, now; (almost) everything in my life is in such a state of flux at present that i can't say anything much with any certainty. i am sorry that this is the way it worked out, but that's how it seems to have ended up - that is the hand i am now sitting here unable to fold, so to speak - and that's why this no longer feels like an appropriate place to be carrying birthday wishes, or anything of the sort.

for the time being, as i needed to spell this out, there are no plans to continue the blog; but i will keep it open, in the hope that the work i did put in can still be of value, even if people will have to discover it from outside the "official channels". in happier times, plenty of people contacted me to say they had found my writing helpful in listening to b's music, and that sort of value (in any critical analysis) is inherent and will not fade.

.............
centrifuge

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

interesting times...



... and we all know what they say about those.

a friend of mine with similar (not identical) spiritual interests as me recently remarked that all the people she knows at the moment who have views and concerns even remotely similar to ours are being sorely tested in one way or another (and often in several ways at once). this is interesting enough in itself, but i can only speak for me here: these are interesting and painful times, yet so obviously filled wth potential for growth and learning that i cannot help feeling optimistic, at least most of the time; that is very new for me, admittedly; but then a part of me only woke up, or grew up, very recently - all sorts of things look and feel different, even while the everyday world has not changed so much, and must be tackled and negotiated today just as it did yesterday.

for me, much of the pain lies in the sudden and inescapable realisation, for the new 45-yr-old, of the unintended years of neglecting, failing to support one person i had promised to support and care for above all others, besides other similar (albeit lesser) failings in other directions; all this needs to be marked on here because it is so personal, and this is where i always tried to be my most honest (alienating people by degrees, in the process) - and also becasue at least once the very neglect itself was flagged up here, as i now understand; but because this is also a very private subject, i do not intend expounding much upon it. quite apart from anything else, i have eventually come back to a conclusion i first reached thirteen years ago, namely that i am rather more articulate and coherent with images than i am with words; i failed to follow it up properly on that occasion, being still childlike in certain insurmountable ways at that time (and later, alas) - although i did build up a pretty fair amount of useful photographic material, some of which has found its way to being used on this very blog...

... but this time, i have actually followed through on a concept. i have already produced more than fifty photographic collages, some deceptively basic and some exceptionally complex, all supposedly with similar thematic content, but with no formulas for their creation, each being unique whilst all are multilayered, based around several different angles or lines of approach; among a dozen major influences on my visual creativity (since early childhood), the two most recent and emphatic names would be anthony braxton (funnily enough!) and alan moore, despite my working in a medium which is different from any they have explored (at least up till now): the multi-layering, the essentially organic nature of the work and of the processes which shape and change it; these two mega-geniuses have really helped me develop my own ideas into (at last) something which i can feel is worth exhibiting, though still not quite yet: -

- the other person mentioned so obliquely above, to whom i owe such a massive debt for helping to keep me alive thus far, has also at long last started to understand the way in which she can express herself freely and creatively, and for various reasons we both rather think it will be appropriate for her to go first (this will all eventually make sense... he says, just in case anyone is actually trying to make sense of this right now). just as it took me this long, and so much struggle to be at a point where i can produce something both head-worked and heartfelt, it took the other one this long to amass the necessary emotional experience for what she truly wants to do. hence, these interesting times are not just about suffering and pain, but will (i strongly believe) come to be all worthwhile... and more than that i really can't say, for once not for the usual reasons (i.e. writing feverishly ahead of time about the stuff i might or might not get round to doing in the future) but through the exact opposite state of affairs: in my case the work is already done - is in fact still being done, being developed and explored, on a weekly basis - but the time for publishing it is not yet at hand. when my sometime collaborator is ready to establish herself, i shall know i am ready to make my own move towards self-promotion as a visual artist;

... and in the meantime, the work i am now doing on myself is quite enough to be getting on with.

haldane centrifuge x

Thursday, February 25, 2016

i am awake (2016 manifesto)


yes, awake. how long was i asleep? at least forty-three years... what happened? oh yes, i remember...

but i am now awake.

so much has changed just recently - and not just for me. where do i begin? well, this particular blog begins again like this:

greetings to you! my name is haldane charles, and i am (among other things) a friendly experiencer of the music of maestro anthony braxton. and: i am sorry, if personal challenges and considerations have obscured that basic fact in the past, even to the point where i may have presented myself as the most unfriendly of creatures. i regret this - but it happened.

there will be more to say on such matters, though not necessarily here. and of course there will be more - always more! - to say on the music of mr braxton. but for now -


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

... and taking the airs



...


- - -





...



(just to prove to myself how seriously i am taking this newfound deep relaxation stuff, i left this post open, just the picture up there to inspire - for ooh, at least forty-eight hours in the end (while i worked in the other place, among other things)... taking the airs i say - je vous le raconte - and this in turn folds back into, reflects back upon the circumstances under which said post was conceived.

to wit: -

after saying previously (and not for the first time) that some braxton experiencing was imminent, though not quite quite yet underway, i did follow this up for a (recent, punk- or post-punk-obsessed) change. and - you know what, after all this time, it turns out it really really doesn't matter what i actually listened to or how i ("randomly" selected it (i.e. let my physical-presence-in-the-world make the choice instead of my "self-aware onboard processor")). for that matter, i wasn't 100% listening to it either, because i was doing other things some of which required a great deal of (already-layered) thought and attention. but that's actually fine too, as it turns out, because - hey! haha, get this, in case you didn't know already - and as i have reminded myself on numerous occasions before - b's music, above all, else, instantly betows upon the space within which it is played the status of deep and open learning zone. it's... magic/k ;-)  so, just walking around in it - especially whilst indulged in something as carefully-assembled as the thousand-filament twist i'm in the middle of working around the place - greatly benefits the advanced concentration, as well as supplying continuous, on-hand spiritual nourishment and support. [none of this is bullshit either (as i hope you realise, whoever you are).] it also also provides, like, light-hearted entertainment along the way in the form of, say, two or three musicians sharing a quick joke by introducing such a theme to a gtm exploration at such a time. (i did listen to gtm quite a bit on more than occasion, i can say that much - nothing stochastic about that at any rate.)

- and i realised - at long last/yet again - that this, above all, is one surface so complex and multilayered that not even i am expected or required to cut it (dissect it): the universe alone could do that, because everything is in there. 

{{{@@@@@@@}}}



(transmission ends - to be continued)



 - silence resumes -


- -



-





..


c x

Sunday, July 5, 2015

setting up a few chairs...


- and this too shall pass, and the natural rhythm of things will bring me back to braxton's music again. lo, and -

well, we are still not quite there yet. but yesterday, finding myself alone-and-in-the-mood, i switched at long last from punk rock to jazz, and beyond; and this doesn't always work, if i's forced, but on this occasion it wasn't, and lots of good stuff just came flooding on back.

i played:

1. miles davis (quintet), in person friday night at the blackhawk (disc one, of four) - w/ mobley, wynton kelly, chambers and cobb: cooking!

2. evan parker, 50th birthday concert - but plunged right in at the deep end now: played 24 minutes of schlippenbach trio (parker, lovens) and twenty of parker/guy/lytton, my head and ears now well and truly opened up..!

3. henry threadgill's zooid, up popped the two lips in its entirety - incredible stuff; it is an absolute dead cert that the more one knows about (different attitudes and approaches to) music, the more experienced one's ears are... the better this stuff'll sound, guaranteed...

4. greg osby, banned in new york, tracks one and two... the girls were home by this point. i was quite impressed that not only did my (six-going-on-seven(teen)) daughter not demand to turn it off, she came in and showed me her she can do the "uptown funk" dance, all the way through - following the tune in her head, while standing right in front of the free-ish jazz which was permeating the room and operating at a very different rhythmic wavelength altogether - ! i'm not at all sure the six-year-old me coulda done that, or anything like it ;-)  as for the music, i am just gonna say this: jason moran... 'nuff said! just starting out he was, but he was on it -  oh and the leader was no slouch, neither...  (*)

- see, i would say that's a pretty fair warm-up for some braxton... stay tuned - !

c x

* these were all from my cd collection, not from rips or cd-rs or whatever... not sure why that's significant, but... anyway, that limits me mostly to music which i purchased in the years 2001-2005 and which survived the culls which accompanied imminent parenthood, then moving house... just the jazz (...) stuff (and not including any braxton whatsoever), that makes around 300 cds to choose from, all of it good... but it's a very scattershot selection in many respects and has barely been added to over the last few years, not much really. (how many braxton albums do i have? who cares?! lots! but even i do not need an answer to that question...) i just have this random greg osby album and none of his other stuff, but i do also have the osby-lovano team-up date friendly fire (featuring moran again, and lovano's bassist and drummer at the time, cameron brown and idris muhammad) - which i have not listened to in donkey's, but as it happens i can hear lovano in my head anytime i choose, and listening to osby yesterday, i could totally see how these two found each other: their sounds have several different overlapping qualities such as (seeming) dryness, intelligence, deceptive warmth and wit, etc ... i remember the album comes out with the usual blather about how the two leaders requested each other, but in this case, one can well believe it...





Thursday, June 4, 2015

birthday card


anthony braxton is seventy years old today. happy birthday maestro!

so... 70th birthdays... a big deal, or not? many would say yes, but there are others who would simply prefer not to make a fuss about such things. i suspect our man falls into the latter category, but i don't actually know for sure; he has gone very quiet lately.

- and of course he is not the only one. this is all pretty weird, but my drifting (definitively - for now!) away from this blog has coincided with the maestro's post-academic "self-imposed exile" - as he is apparently calling it. he is busily composing the rest of his opera cycle... and me? no, i just drifted off it seems. - but then, i thought i was starting something else, didn't i? and just never (yet) got going (yet) on that one at all (yet). don't know what to say, really... for most of this year i have been off the ganja, and that in turn (as it usually does) has left me short of inspiration... i just have not felt like writing at all. [more recently, i did in fact begin still another blog, but as this is on a totally different subject - the novels which donald westlake wrote under the pseudonym richard stark - it's not necessarily likely to appeal to any readers here - assuming there are any.]

anyway... this is not the occasion for bemoaning my own lack of activity. many happy returns of the day to a master composer, instrumentalist and educator, and may he enjoy his retirement!

***

a glance at the blog's stats suggests that a few people lately have been looking at the town hall: trio and quintet entries from the original braxtothon, or more specifically at the one for the quintet. what readers may or may not have realised is that i did eventually get back to that piece with a deeper level of understanding: check it out if you're interested. (damn. was that really back in 2011?? how these last few years have flown, with so little to show for them...)

... that is all for now.

c x

Saturday, January 31, 2015

why i am (among other things) a born-again punk rocker...


... at the age of 44 ;-)

erm, so this is what you (assuming anyone reads this during my lifetime and i haven't totally succeeded in genociding my readership, heh)  get instead of a manifesto this year. i have done enough of those for the time being, i think. for those who don't know what the hell i'm talking about, this is the quick way to get to them in order. now, with that out the way - what the fuck is the point in starting an eighth instalment, as it were, whwen i currently feel i have little or nothing to say round here? i have even listened to some braxton - a bit - and a very few other jazz or improvised/ experimental-creative things, and have been reassured to discover that i really haven't "lost my ear" at all. i just - well, there is a reason, are reasons why i keep being dragged back to this hardcore punk business. it reminds me, at a very important time in my life by the looks of things, of the basic lessons of punk rock, wheresoever it springs up in response to perceived oppression:

- don't let anyone else tell you how to think
- don't let anyone else tell you what to do
- don't let anyone else till you who to be

these are so important, so crucial indeed, that i made sure i laboriously typed them out (ok, it wasn't exactly hard labour - but i am shit typist most of the time so it's ofetn a chore) rather than copy and paste, i made sure i carefully typed them out like spiritual exercises. the first one - well, i have been practising that for years and decades already, since childhood for sure, it is long ingrained already. but the other two, really? i think i rather needed my nose rubbed in them just a bit. hence, just lately most of my life lessons have been coming to me, not via mr braxton's (manifold) horn(s), but from the warped mind of jerry a., mastermind (i use the term advisedly) behind poison idea. - jerry has almost no discernible "vocal talent" to speak of (except of course an innate understanding of how to deploy phrasing, absolutely essential for a punk singer of any stripe) - yet his voice bespeaks both power, vulnerability and a true and valid viewpoint, and he writes remarkably tight songs for a guy with "no musical ability"; and like all such vehicles of great bandleader-composers, PI always sounds like PI right off the bat, whoever is backing the big man behind the mic at the time. (tom "pig champion" roberts, synonymous with the band's notorious image for years and years, died in 2006 age 47.)

anyway... fuck it, right, let's keep this relatively brief for once and just remind myself what i am and am not saying here. i am not closing the blog, since there wil come a time (could even be soon) when i shall have plenty more to say on the music of our maestro. this is a definite i think. meantime -

 - i am seriously considering attempting to launch a new site, using for a name an epithet by which i briefly described myself in these very pages, some while back. (unnecessarily cryptic, say you. you'd probably be right.) i said then that i was a guerrilla musicologist (among other things) and i still very much have that hat on, even if i haven't been communicating it to anyone. maybe that is time to change though. let's see if i actually fucken do it ;-)

any actual braxton-related stuff at all, whatever it may be... will still appear here as and when...

meantime, since i seem to be saying that a lot at the moment, for anyone who gives a flying fuck, here is my current state-of the medium address, or my "top five of punk and hardcore" (in strictly alphabetical order):

bad brains
black flag
crass
poison idea
sex pistols

- the last one in paerticular is doubtless highly controversial to some - and far too "obvious" to others, all of which i care less about than even the usual breed of punk rocker, since of course i have an autistic-spectrum disorder to be factored into the mix as well ;-)  suffice it to say that i can defend it easily enough as and when , but this is not then or thereabouts. - more soon i hope.

happy february everybody :-D

cent x