Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ubuweb has posted an entire series of MP3’s of lectures given by Roland Barthes during his first 2 years' teaching at the Collège de France in 1977 and 1978.

Barthes had been elected to the Collège de France on Michel Foucault's recommendation, and the series of lectures began a few days after his inaugural lecture as the chair of semiology.
As I predicted a few weeks ago, Hilary Spurling's Matisse The Master won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. It's only the fifth biography to do so, as the Whitbread loves novels.
Also, this Saturday is the last day to catch my curated group show, Means Without End, at Guild and Greyshkul in SoHo, which also has work by Fried and Tilman, along with Helena Almeida, Valie Export, Mauricio Kagel, and others.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

We'll Always Have Darmstäd...

Tonight is the final night of The Essence of Ligeti at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at Alice Tully Hall.

Tonight's program includes The String Quartet No. 2 (from 1968) which is among my personal favorites of Ligeti's chamber work--the Arditti String Quartet recording of it is highly recommended. And on the subject of Second String Quartets, Wolfgang Rihm's is still vastly underated, as is most of his later work. You can read an informative interview with Rihm here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Newly signed to V2, rock act The Mooney Suzuki, of which I was a founding member, played a 'secret' show at Sin-e last night here in NYC. They performed some new songs from their forthcoming--as of yet unrecorded---album. It was great to hear the new material, see old friends, and realize how far the new record will be from the last record I made with them. They are playing there again next Tuesday.

People I ran into kept asking me why I don't write about music....I didn't really have an answer, and still don't, except maybe the fact that having been a musician makes me less keen to write about it.....that plus the fact I don't listen to new rock or pop music all that much, and there's very little chance to write about the music I do enjoy--outside of composer's birthdays, centenaries, or reissues....

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ali Smith's novel The Accidental has won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, beating out both Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie and A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Smith was shorlisted for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award and the Man Booker Prize.

The book now competes for the £25,000 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, its stiffest competition being Hilary Spurling's Matisse the Master, which I think will win, despite the precedent: the past two winners of were both novels, Mark Haddon's oustanding cross-over novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in 2004, and Small Island by Andrea Levy in 2003.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Looking, Walking, Being

I look and look.
Looking's a way of being: one becomes,
sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.
Walking wherever looking takes one.

The eyes
dig and burrow into the world.
They touch
fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.
World and the past of it,
not only
visible present, solid and shadow
that looks at one looking.

And language? Rhythms
of echo and interruption?
a way of breathing.

breathing to sustain
walking and looking,
through the world,
in it.

Denise Levertov

I shudder even now how everything
turns into syllables and prefixes when I write
and read, and spine after spine on the shelves
into books
four letters reduce a life to a single word and eight, no seven
speak of a century and
fates need even fewer letters
just one is all it takes for us to know
whether someone frowned or drowned
o this brevity of language that just can’t get it

Walther Petri
Listen to Thomas Kling read his poems:

If there are any graduate students in German literature out there, start translating his collected poetry into English.