And what about Japanese Post Rock?

It is the moment to explore Japanese Post Rock because why not.

So what is “Post Rock”? Let’s Wiki:

Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock instrumentation with electronics.

Good! The tool here is easy:

  • Find a field you don’t know at all
  • Explore a micro-part of it

It can be Hungarian jewelry, or Italian photography, and then you choose a century, or a single artist…

The game here is to listen to things, randomly, like a kid picks up shells on a shore. Here we go:

A Picture of Her is a bit boring with their jazz-rock, technical and with a always-the-same guitar sound.

Anoice: Quiet music with piano, sometimes a little dissonant, sometimes a little “japanish”. Climates, like sad movie music. Some violin. I like it, and some colors are interesting, but… too shy.

Behind the Shadow Drops: simplistic naive melancholia is terrible, right? It is! There’s a laziness, here. Dumb ideas stretched for too long. Not a single harmonic spark. Shame!

Floating in Space has the same problem, but it’s a little better. Too much sugar, and no colors. I couldn’t find a single good track.

Gargle is mildly more interesting, because of the accordion. But, well, sigh…

Kukangendai is Math Rock (a subdivision of Post Rock, more complex). This music is pulsating, it’s like watching fabric, or machines. I find it boring but interesting. Brain, brain, brain. No body.

Lite is much, much better. They’re good, fast, intellingent, complex :

Mono seems the most prolific band on this list. Plenty of albums, between prog rock and film music. They take their time, and they like big badaboum crescendoes. It sounds sometimes like Joe Hisaishi. It’s too conventional for me, but many people love them! Here’s a best of :

Mouse on the Keys, two keyboards and a drummer! More dynamic, more jazz, I like it with a but, always. A bit too… disheveled, maybe?

Nabowa? Cool! :

Ovum seems to like loud music and electric guitars, hmmm.

Qujaku, dark, intense, too much.

Toe, math rock, it knits! :

World’s End Girlfriend, the lone young genius type. First album, 15 years old. Devilish energy in the 1st vid, and a cool waltz to finish this page.

Thanks for reading! What did you like here?

(For this last one wait until 5:20 for a cloud of fantastic harmonies)

2 CDs : Sylvian & Karn’s melancholies

In this series I’ll pick 2 CDs. Exercise to remember why I own them. Game to find links between them. Find out if I like these musics today. Will to share unknown things with you.

  1. David Sylvian, Brilliant Trees , 1984.
  2. Mick Karn, Dreams of Reasons Produce Monsters, 1987.

Both were members of a group named Japan – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_(band) – Sylvian was the singer and Karn the bass player.

Brilliant Trees‘s sleeve was gorgeous in vinyl. I always loved this photography! Sophisticated pop, incredible voice, melancholy. The track I chose to YouTube you is a perfect example : veils, calm trumpets, a very smart way to use modulations, and a magical “I quit the pray to fly up to the sky like a balloon” in the end.

Dreams of Reason Produce Monsters (this title comes from Goya and I let you meditate about this magic phrase) is dark, ethnical, quiet, nocturnal, full of surprises (songs sung by Sylvian, clarinets, percs), like a path in a night of… dreams. Mostly instrumental.

Melancholies, sophistications (constructions, sounds, moods), elegance…

Havve a nice day!

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When you come to me
I’ll question myself again
Is this grip on life still my own

When every step I take
Leads me so far away
Every thought should bring me closer home

And there you stand
Making my life possible
Raise my hands up to heaven
But only you could know

My whole world stands in front of me
By the look in your eyes
By the look in your eyes
My whole life stretches in front of me
Reaching up like a flower
Leading my life back to the soil

Every plan I’ve made’s
Lost in the scheme of things
Within each lesson lies the price to learn

A reason to believe
Divorces itself from me
Every hope I hold lies in my arms

And there you stand
Making my life possible
Raise my hands up to heaven
But only you could know

My whole world stands in front of me
By the look in your eyes
By the look in your eyes
My whole life stretches in front of me
Reaching up like a flower
Leading my life back to the soil

“The Red Turtle” (2016) quiet, intelligent, and dialog free. Presented by Studio Ghibli.

After a storm, a man is alone on an island. There, he meets a red turtle…

It’s a French/Japanese animated movie, directed and written by a Dutch man. It’s just made of images and music, no word is spoken. It’s so quiet… and mesmerizing.

Have a nice day

JP

 

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Takuma Nakahira & Daidō Moriyama and other Provoke Japanese Photographers

 

Provoke, it was a magazine in Japan, with a subtitle : Provocative Materials for Thought

I already talked about Moriyama. I add Nakahira today. And some others : I don’t tell you which one took which picture, OK?

There are other guys in this “style”, I’ll dig it later.

What do I find here? Disturbing and a bit too much black and white photography, right? But… there’s always a “but”.

A little tender core hidden somewhere? “Gorgeous Dark”?

I have to say I LOVE this extreme inner fight between harshdark and gorgeous light. Like showing the struggle in the picture…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Click to access daido_moriama_tokio.pdf

Click to access jpp-portfolio-provoke.pdf

 

Moriyama, Yeste, “Nah won’t go”s & Ironing in Swedish 19th Century

Moriyama, Yeste, “Nah won’t go”s & Ironing in Swedish 19th Century

Today I met a pattern. Three times.

ONE

I discovered a Spanish photographer named Txema Yeste. I immediately put him in a labelled box : “Eccentric overcoloured top model bullshit Vogue-like”. Nah, won’t go. But I don’t know why, picture by picture I was like “Hey… wait a minute!…”.

Talent. Something else. Something More.

TWO

Today was a grey lonely day for me. I went out for errands and met a neighbor in the lift, who told me that tonight she goes to hear a lecture about Swedish ironing in the old times. I laughed (of course), and she did too. “Nah, won’t go”, right? Then I thought about it and left her these words : “If someone makes a lecture about that, there will be probably ideas to find”.

Of course! Plunge or dig in any domain where someone show passion, and find your seeds. There are some. For sure.

THREE

Intrigued by Yeste, this afternoon, I read an interview of the man. He said he liked a Japanese photographer called Daido Moriyama. Thus, I google-imaged him. My quick-eyed instinct was grinning (labelled box) : “Sooty disturbing black & white photography”. Nah, won’t go.

But, crap and dang : Talent! Surprises. Good ideas. Gorgeous ideas!

 

I found two things today :

  1. We should maybe explore a little more fields we are sure we do not like. We just need a little help from an expert, or a little insistence.
  2. I had to search a little to understand and find the common chromosome between Moriyama and Yeste. Intensity/Generosity? I probably need another article to explain it…

 

Have a great day!

 

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“Oh Fabiola!” – Tremendous Love & Speechless Shock are two Stendhal’s Syndromes

Stendhal was a French writer (1783-1842 – let’s say it was the time of Napoleon). He wrote great novels, but I want to talk today about two stendhalian concepts : Cristallization and what we call the Stendhal Syndrome.

The Stendhal Syndrome happens when a human being becomes speechless in front of too much beauty : overcome, overwhelmed by emotion in front, for example, of Art.

Wikipedia : The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.

There is a Paris Syndrome too, of course, mostly happening to Japanese visitors, crushed by the City and its beauties (but also by the differences they find between their “idealized” vision of France and the reality). Yes, it’s like a “mega culture shock”. There’s a book (“Les Fous de l’Inde”) about a similar shock for India, felt by people from the whole Occident. A oceanic feeling leading to craziness. Embassies know this very well : they take care of people, and put them in planes to go back to normal life.

It’s interesting to study this and its source : Expectations? Tension between reason and feelings? Between brain and reality? What do you think? Have you been crushed by beauty one day? In front of a painting? A place? A light?

Cristallization has also been described by Stendhal. It is about love, of course! It’s when, in the beginning of a love story, the “marvellous” feeling cristallizes around every characteristic of the loved person, who is seen as perfect in every way, or as they say in wiki : a mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty.

We have all probably been there : when we’re ready to love someone, when our “love” chooses a person, we open some gates and a big lake of sweet sugary love is poured, unleashed on the poor chosen “other”. Admiration, Acknowledgement, Hope and Delight are steps of the journey.

Of course, this is far from a balanced process of inventing a couple! You can watch out for disillusion. Cristallization often grows when the loved person is far (great for perfection, right?). This “love” generally explodes like a multicolor comet in front of reality.

Then remains possibilities : nothing, a friendship, a real love, an impetus to build something stronger, etc.

Thanks for reading!

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Mistaken & Mugged : Chronicle 1

Sometimes you just need a title to make an article. Not a good article, OK, just “an” article. Or a chronicle. I realized (it’s never too late) that many bloggers just write chronicles, little things of life. I have to admit that it works, it gives a color, and somehow the reader can grab a little seed from it.

My daughters are discovering a movie : Forrest Gump. I could hear the drawling southern accent (now I hear that) from the first seconds (happening in Alabama). Remembering the “Life is like a box of chocolate you never know what you get” thing. Seeing Forrest finding a feather, delicately opening his suitcase to put her in a book. Yes, “her”. For a French, a feather is “une plume”, it’s absolutely and strongly feminine. Her.

I used to find feathers a lot, a long time ago, as signs and coincidences. At this time, I was writing hundreds of letters for Swanny – who never read them (of course). You never know what you get, right? Now when I see a feather I see a feather. I try to.

Just watched Pina, from Wim Wenders (the trailer is here). This movie (about the great choreographer Pina Bausch) needs to be seen in High Definition. It succeeds tremendously in making us understand that dance is telling us things out of ideas, out of subtleties of words or even concepts. Then I discussed about Hip Hop Battles with my daughter. Thinking two things :

  • I don’t like improvisation. I have too much empathy for that. I can SEE the guy trying this and that, this is exhausting. Same in music. OK for masters, Coltrane and Monk, but generally I prefer written music. And rehearsed, organized dance…
  • I said to my girl – watch Pina. Thinking about this idea, this tool : If you’re good in your Art, you should read and study OTHER Arts, or other branches of the tree. I’d respect a lot an architect studying harmony in music, or a rapper studying Verlaine.

Most of my American friends tend to dissuade me to visit “The South”. Nevertheless, I will go (if I visit the USA one day). And Atlanta too. I love Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams, you know? Yes it’s a paradox : I live in the North of France, and I think I’d be happier to live in Portland, Seattle or Minneapolis, my type of climate, my type of mood. I dislike sedativeness :

I read this morning a frightening article about San Andreas Fault (it’s here : http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-jones-quake-05142017-story.html ). I just remember this paragraph :

It’s human nature to live in denial, especially in California, where natural beauty is a sedative. We know the state is cracked and creviced from head to toe, San Francisco once burned to the ground, and we’re overdue for another massive shaker that could take lives, cripple the economy and leave millions of people without water and power for months.

As I study English daily, I daily find difficult words, new words, or vague words, like mug (can be a large cup, to rob violently, a face, or a stupid person). That’s very confusing : a ugly mug lost his mug, mugged by a mug?! So I typed “mugged”. For my title, remember?

I watched a live moment from the always whispering Filthyratbag (Celeste, it’s on Instagram), who is very enigmatic. You never know how to dance with her. I added a little drawing, là, en bas, down under. Quietly sarcastic, tenderly ugly, a new type of chekovian heroin, for sure. Always when I meet her work my left eyebrow climbs a bit.

I read a little the Japanese travel book of Nicolas Bouvier. Found this Basho haiku in it :

Summer grass, all that remains of warriors dreams.

The French way is :

L’herbe flétrie d’été
C’est bien tout ce qui reste
Du rêve des guerriers

What remains of MY dreams? Summer witted grass?

Also, this from Seng t’san :

Cessez de vous en faire
Et suivez le courant
Si vos pensées sont liées
Elles perdent leur fraîcheur

Stop worrying,
and follow the current
If your thoughts are tied up,
they lose their freshness

So, OK, I follow. Observer sans juger (watch without judging), Amor Fati and sequere deum!

Thanks for reading! Bon dimanche !

 

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