Category Archives: books
Maybe you know this game where you get blindfolded and you throw a dart on a world map and the spot you hit will be your next camping destination?
Well I sort of did the same with a collection of country, blues, jazz and gospel books.
The spot I hit, was the photograph of Dick Boggs, and once you start seeing things they pop up everywhere!
Truly iconic picture of an iconic musician.
Jean- Luc Godard [1930-2022]
JLG Designer of Meditations
USE HEADPHONES FOR THE BEST DETAILED LISTENING EXPERIENCE!
A lot of the music is soft, in terms of loudness. This is an essential part of the music.
‘i’m trying to hold onto my own thoughts.
What about words? Where do our words come from?
Maybe men talk incessantly, as if searching for gold..
in their quest for the truth.But instead of digging in riverbeds,
they dig deep in their thoughts. They cast aside all the worthless words.
And they end up with just one. One single golden word…silence.’
[Jean-Luc Godard ‘le Petit Soldat’]
Most people specialise in one thing, and sometimes become a genius specialist. Designing cars, writing books, making money, making films, making war, philosophise, designing chairs, making peace, composing, the list is as long as there are people specialising in one thing.
Some people specialise in 2 or 3 things, sometimes completely different things, sometimes combinations.
JLG concentrates on different design tools that will fit his meditations at hand. This is the JLG that came into my life while being a teenager. And all along he’s been giving me tools to improve myself.
What has this to do with FILM? Is JLG a filmmaker? I say, he is a designer of MEDITATIONS. But JLG has something to offer for all of us. He is a homo universalis!
This meditation-maker will take you on an endless tour, showing you editing, graphic design, the art of color, sound-art, collage, politics, history, the art of motion design, films for the ear, trailers, ….
His meditations are confronting, puzzling, provoking improvisations, sometimes in the form of a movie or a documentary or a mix of both, but mostly they are essays using son+image.
Through the years I’m making my conversations with JLG, there’s always a moment in time where I feel inspired to give him some credit. Like a title! So when I was composing some music for electric guitar and the EHX FREEZE, I knew that one of them would be a ‘salut’ and indeed ‘ à Godard ‘ turned out to be the one.
‘ à Godard ‘ = Part of a collection of Solo Pieces for Electric Guitar and EHX Freeze
MORTON FELDMAN & the Electric Guitar
When Morton Feldman’s electric guitar piece for Christian Wolff was stolen from Wolff’s car in 1967 [the score was actually in the guitar case that was stolen], it was considered to be lost forever. All there was left was a raw sketch, found in the late 1990’s by Jogrim Erland, but still no-one knew how the original score looked like.
However in 2008 a radio recording was discovered of Wolff playing the Feldman composition ‘The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar’.
Recorded in the mid 60’s, with a very poor sound quality, it was the start of Seth Josel’s reconstruction of the score. The reconstruction of the Feldman sketch is on the left page, and the transcription of the Wolff audio-recording is on the right page.
So what to make of this? Is this the real thing? Or will it always be what it is, a reconstruction? We wanted it so badly! A piece by Feldman for our beloved instrument.
Listen for yourself! Here are three guitar players working with Seth Josel’s reconstruction of the score.
Today, while working on a transcription for electric guitar of a Telemann ‘Fantasia’ , i was thinking of another transcription i once made a long time ago of a piece by Orlando Gibbons [1583-1625],
The piece i’m referring to ‘Five Part In Nomine’ was scored for Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Vibraphone and Electric Guitar. A fine instrumentation!
This may be the right moment to post a transcription i made of a panel discussion that was video taped by Other Minds in 2010. Charles Armirkhanian is discussing the 2nd String Quartet with composer Jurg Frey. You can see it here: https://archive.org/details/OMF_2010_03_04_c2_01
My transcription: ” I can tell something of the background of the piece, which is a book which I have at home, it’s an old book of the late 18th Century, which is a choral book, a book with chorals and psalms, and many years before I wrote this string quartet I was busy with these books, I copied single voices and parts in my sketchbook and made scores of these chorals, because this book is not in the usual score, it’s written first the soprano, alto and then tenor and then the bass. If you want to know how the harmonisation is then you have to make a score. And I like it very much to copy without a special focus why I’m doing that, and I combined it, this material, with other material of my work and slowly slowly it started to become a process into the direction of the String Quartet. And this process I think was the interesting thing, how can you turn a choral book into my own music, and this was a slow process. It was also a very delicate balance between pushing it forward and let it happen, and you cannot force a piece process, but if you are doing nothing you will not have a piece in the end.
So, it’s some kind of letting go for it, let it happen and to come to, yeah, slowly the piece comes into focus and after months, it was not a struggle, sometimes I stopped for weeks and then after months I thought maybe this could be a String Quartet and then it took me another 1 and a 1/2 years to elaborate all details of color, of durations and so on.
So this book is on the background, and this book doesn’t have any variation it’s just this book and it’s 80 or 90 psalms..”
What strikes me so is this important role church music, psalms and hymns and chorales still play in music. This leads me to my own fascination with church music in general. From the Ecole de Notre Dame, to Orlando Gibbons, to Claude Goudimel, [the composer to which Jurg Frey might be referring to, when he speaks of his book of chorals], Goudimel the composer of the Genevan Psalter Book, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Goudimel], to Jurg Frey, to Morton Feldman [” if i want my music to demonstrate anything, it is that ‘nature and human nature are one. Unlike Stockhausen, i don’t feel called upon to forcefully ‘mediate’ between the two. Stockhausen believes in Hegel; i believe in God. it is as simple as that”].
[‘A life without Bach and Beethoven’ – Give my Regards to Eight Street].
I get the feeling this is a universal thing, at least in the context of western music, and it surely is of importance to me. I’m convinced that some knowledge of this subject will give you good insights of music in general.
So for now i’d like to end with the mentioning of Roscoe Holcomb, a Kentucky Mountain Music man with a strong faith.
Beautiful book/DVD/CD by John Cohen!
Listen to Roscoe singing an old Baptist song:
studying the ‘Harmonium-Schule’  with my Gibson ‘Howard Roberts Fusion’, the EHX ‘Metal Muff’ and the Black Star ‘FLY’ amplifier
Black Book 2015-2019
inside the Black Book 2015-2019
system diagrams, modulair thinking, composition, notation
11 studies for the ehx freeze
a selection of 11 studies for the ehx FREEZE are brought together in this collection.
Instrumentation for guitar [s], vibraphone, percussion and ehx freeze
NEW electric souvenir PROJECT – 2019
A NEW PROJECT STARTED IN JANUARY 2015
…and now, at the beginning of 2019, everything starts to come together, the Sijmen Storm Ensemble started rehearsals for a contemporary electric chamber music. Compositions are being made for intimate, soft, abstract and harmonious musical adventures. Rehearsals are recorded. There is a sound cloud page for this project : electric souvenir notes.
More info and musical output will be available in the near future.