Lion’s Cave & Resignations: Chronicle 64

When you read people about MBTI, they’re all INFJ! If I exaggerate a little I’d say 95% say they are INFJ, though it’s 1% in reality.

“OMG THAT’S SOOOO ME!”.

“I’m an empath, an introvert, I’m so rare, I can feeeeel people”. So rare but they’re all “so rare”. Why not, after all: it’s all a game of grids, right? Percentages for people are rarely accurate, and one can’t forget that some “types” are sometimes used as an excuse or justification for certain unhealthy behaviors – like “I’m doing nothing because I’m like that, so there”.

oOOo

I got rhythm
I got music
I got my guy
Who could ask for anything more?

Mike Oldfield really?

When I was a teenager I went to the neighbors’ house with my parents to have a pre-dinner drink. It was very quiet and boring.

I was maybe 13. My neighbors had two daughters. One of them, who was maybe 16, showed me a record with a blue butterfly on the sleeve and put it on the turntable. It was Platinum, by Mike Oldfield. The most incredible artistic shock of my whole life. I fell off my chair. Almost cried.

What was it? It was like a 20 minutes long track with a disco rhythm, gorgeous guitars, breaks and crescendos. I was flabbergasted. It was pulsing rocketing ideas everywhere. My head exploded.

Years later I understood. Skills. In Platinum, Mike Oldfield :

  1. had the bottle to build a 20 minutes disco complex instrumental “thing” with big guitars, disco rhythms, a big brass and a Phil Glass repetitive ending.
  2. is a great melodist.
  3. likes crescendos, likes to pull levers on crazy levels (cf Amarok)
  4. obviously looks for the audience’s ecstasy.
  5. is a bit crazy, daring crazy, the good crazy.
  6. has a VERY special guitar sound.
  7. dares an energic Punkadiddle “rock with a recorder and a crowd”.
  8. writes dreamy echoes in the night (Woodhenge).
  9. A Gershwin cover track.

So, I bought the album and it was my very first LP! Listened to it for months before I bought others (Ommadawn, etc).

There’s a big question today, in my head, about why he lost his skills as a composer. Lack of energy or inspiration is common when you come to 50, 60 years old, but…

mike-oldfield-platinum-lp-album.jpg

oOOo

There once was a lion who was too lazy to hunt for his food. He pretended to be very sick and announced to all the animals that he was soon to die.

“Please,” he said, “come visit me in my cave and bid me goodbye.”

The lion looked so weak and helpless, the animals felt sorry for him. One by one the visitors came. One by one, the lion ate his fill of them!

When fox arrived to pay his last respects, he stopped in front of the cave’s entrance and looked closely at the ground.

“Come in quickly, I am dying!” cried the sly lion, impatiently.

“No,” said the fox, who was equally clever, “You’ll not have ME for a visitor, though you moan and pout. While I see many footprints going into your cave, NONE are coming out!”

oOOo

Ahhh the rest job face :

Diljob.jpg

oOOo

oOOo

Collins Dictionary: Resignation is the acceptance of an unpleasant situation or fact because you realize that you cannot change it.

Descartes: My third maxim was to endeavor always to conquer myself rather than fortune, and change my desires rather than the order of the world, and in general, accustom myself to the persuasion that, except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

W. Somerset Maugham: I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.

oOOo

I read about a study on the factors that employees consider motivating. Good wages, interesting work, the security of the job, of course, but the number one factor was “to be valued”. Really valued.

It’s not about a bonus or a “best employee of the month” challenge. It’s something like :

“I see what you do and I appreciate what you do”.

People often do the best they can with what they got. And they wait, they need to be seen…

Makes sense, right?

It’s a special case for life, this theory telling that everything we do in society is to be loved.

Thanks for reading!

Oldfield’s Amarok

To talk about Mike Oldfield‘s Amarok makes me feel I have to show a metal rock lover that Puccini’s Manon Lescaut is amazing. Therefore I try.

Oldfield is known for Tubular Bells (1973) and one hit (Moonlight Shadow – 1983).

His wiki talks about Virgin, Warner then Mercury years, but I see this career as a struggle between the Tubular Bells source (long complex and rich progressive instrumentals) and the… need to sell more albums.

His greatest albums are the first ones, with little good things in Discovery or Tubular Bells II & III. The whole pack, since, is absolutely bad (and it stays a mystery to me, harmonically, I mean). The good albums :

Tubular Bells (1973)
Hergest Ridge (1974)
Ommadawn (1975)
Incantations (1978)
Platinum (1979)
QE2 (1980)
Five Miles Out (1982)
Crises (1983)
The Killing Fields (1984)
Amarok (1990)

Amarok was the last album he had to do for Virgin, which he… made it a sabotage (it’s all explained in the wiki) :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amarok_(Mike_Oldfield_album)

“a single sixty-minute track of continuous, uninterrupted but constantly changing music”

  • Yes, a bit like Puccini’s music (hundreds of little facets of music).
  • Disturbing or crazy events and noises (hits of orchestra, beer can opening, teeth brushing).
  • Complex and even sometimes difficult harmonies.
  • Gigantic crescendos, like the one in the middle, Ommadawnesque.
  • Fabulous harmonies, reverse sounds, and other chaotic pleasures.
  • Spoons, shoes, a vacuum cleaner, next to acoustic bass guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, bass guitar, bass whistles, bouzouki, bell tree, bodhran, bowed guitar, cabasa, classical guitar, electric guitars, organs, Flamenco guitar, glockenspiel, high-string guitar, jaw harp, kalimba,mandolin, marimba, melodica, Northumbrian bagpipes, penny whistles, percussion, piano, psaltery, rototom, sitar guitar (a Coral electric sitar), spinet, timpani, tubular bells, twelve-string guitar, ukulele, violin, vocals, and wonga box.

 

So imagine a one hour record, made of 784 little pieces of great music, sewed with disturbing machines, almost impossible to listen – but if you do, you reach a pile of as many music orgasms as the number of fingers you have.

Yes it’s cousin to Royksopp. Harmonically, I mean. This is a science.

 

The pattern is :

“A great artist is about, in a crazy move driven by huge work, to build a BIG SICK MASTERPIECE that almost NO ONE can appreciate, except a handful of connoisseurs”.

 

Well, you can try the end, which is a triple monster crescendo. Go to 44:15, put your headphones on, and listen loud.

Tell me what you think in the comments.

Have a nice day!

 

 

Hello everyone
I suppose you think that nothing much is happening at the moment
Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha
Well, that’s what I want to talk to you all about; endings
Now, endings normally happen at the end
But as we all know, endings are just beginnings
You know, once these things really get started, it’s jolly hard to stop them again
However, as we have all come this far, I think, under the circumstances
The best solution is that we all just keep going
Let’s keep this going in sight, never an ending
Let’s remember that this world wants fresh beginnings
I feel here, in this country, and throughout the world,
we are crying out for beginnings, beginnings
We never want to hear this word “endings”
I know we all want to sit down
I know you want to take it easy
Of course we’re looking for the good
Of course we’re looking for the fresh start

 

 

Ommadawn – Mike Oldfield

Well, in 2017, who remembers Mike Oldfield?

I don’t know. Maybe two or three movie lovers who remember the sparkling notes of Tubular Bells…

In the Seventies, this guy was a strange hippie master. Shy, working alone, playing all instruments, mixing piles of flutes, guitars, Phil Glass like synths in loops, percs and strange celtics incantations in haunting symphonies…

Ommadawn, said Oldfield, is a rebirth music. Therefore a crescendo…

This guitar sound…

I chose casually a “rare 7″ single version” (the real one is around 20 minutes long – I put it on the bottom). It was the good old times of English progressive music (King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd), and yeyyyy, I loved it, on my headphones, in these lonely nights you live when you’re at your parents, 15 years old, haunted by unsaid love, huge “I want” energy, and incomprehension.

I imagine, today, his loneliness…

Thank you, Mike!

 

Listen loud, focus on elements (voices, bass, etc) :

 

The whole Face A :

If you really listen and compare with ALL what you know today. Textures, building, structures, sounds, mood, sense of drive, guitar sound, childhood dances, English lights, skies, ecstasy, will, running under clouds, reflections, if you think about how people make music today : what do you think? Who is this Figure in painting, in movies, in novels, today?

 

Non Finito : Inchoateness in #Art

There’s a Wikipedia page about sculpture : Non Finito. We could begin with this.

Non finito is a sculpting technique meaning that the work is unfinished. Italian in origin, it literally means “not finished”. Non finito sculptures appear unfinished because the artist only sculpts part of the block, the figure sometimes appearing to be stuck within the block of material.

An unfinished piece of Art can be caused by the death of the artist, obviously, but now it’s also an esthetics purpose. You can imagine many ways of reading it :

  • Showing you a little of the act of creation
  • A failure, fatigue
  • No more money/no more inspiration
  • A refusal to decide it is “done”
  • A way to say it could be improved indefinitely
  • Impossibility to find perfection
  • Something finished or “too beautiful” is exhausting, disagreeable
  • It makes the audience think and wander within the “what could have happened”

 

In some fields, the “never finished” thing is constant : there are, for example, no finished Cathedrals in France. And I should explore it about Orson Welles, for example, who constantly seemed to be away and off with the idea of finishing and editing a movie.

Of course, there are problems with that concept. The “unfinished” thing can make the artist appear as a smart-ass doing is “non finito” thing. If it’s a trend to do this, what’s the point?

“This can be finished later” : some composers (or theater plays writers) constantly work on their stuff, and Proust, the French writer, is well known for his “quillings” : he added and added hundreds of little papers, adding fragments of texts to the existing text, and, as says Wikipedia : Proust died before he was able to complete his revision of the drafts and proofs of the final volumes.

In fact, it’s difficult for an artist to know, therefore to decide, when a piece of art is DONE. Some artists, like the painter Turner, decided to come back to work after a long time, and to put it further. Thus, you can finish is… many times.

Of course, this makes you think about the way it’s done. You can work back on a poem, even on a movie, but it’s harder to do it on an album – I read an interview of Peter Gabriel who was telling that he would love to redo some of his CDs. It can be remixed, remastered, but the record companies would unlikely allow him to change them really.

Mike Oldfield did it with Tubular Bells. He said in an hilarious interview that the original album was full of mistakes and flaws, so he redid it completely with a perfect sound and digital recording. Decades after the 1973 one, the new version was a success, but after a few months, the good old one was back on the shelves…

Tools & Dials :

What about YOUR art? How do you blog? How do you write? When do you know it’s over? Do you ask someone? Do you think about it if you paint?

Thanks for reading!

(So sorry for my bad English)

pleasesoft_-_I_pulled_the_skin_off_my_lip_______alinatrifan.jpg

Instagram : pleasesoft

 

 

 

 

 

“Without Music Life would be a Mistake” ? Nope…

“Without Music Life would be a Mistake”

You can find this quote from Nietzsche on all kinds of tee-shirts.

In fact, you can replace “Music” with some other pleasant words, like “Wine”, or “Love”, or “Philosophy”, “Fashion”, who cares ? Is it an order, some kind of pressure ?

Of course, without music life would not be a mistake AT ALL.

The Persuaders

If you suddenly take seriously how music is important to people, you’ll be SO surprised that you will be floored. I use this “floored” expression because I’m french and I LOVE it. Floored, you on the floor, voilà pour vous.

I asked about the opera, one day. One loves opera because of the magic of the place. Some because of the archetypal terrible stories. For some others, it’s the performance of the singers (ahhhh the “high notes” !). Some guys are in love with one voice only (Callas !). Some guys love only one composer (Wagner, or for me : Puccini). Many love opera and only opera. You can find fools who love to collect all versions of the same thing. Etc.

Elephant Woman

You should and you have to think about it when you want to SHARE a music. You give YouTube links to your lover and most all the time you’ll be surprised. She doesn’t care. What moves you does nothing to the others.

Personaly I love risky modulations (I love Mike Oldfield, John Barry, Progressive Rock and Royksopp, and Puccini, and Prokofiev for this reason). I love to analyse production (Floors of sound in Depeche Mode Violator, different veils in Brian Eno’s work). I love crescendos. I love when the magic is hidden in a mist (Royksopp, Blonde Redhead). I love David Sylvian’s voice. OK I stop here. What about YOU ?

Brilliant Trees

Some like an era (the sixties !), a style (new wave !), an energy (dance !), an attitude (punk !), a flow (rap !), productors (Trevor Horn ?), a sound, a label (4AD), a social field (gothic culture), a movement (house), a nostalgy (“I listened to The Police when she kissed me !”), the singer (Arctic Monkeys oh he’s so cute)…

Tools :

Oh, just this : It’s always more complicated.

Do not think that you have a human typology in mind. You’re wrong.

(and fuck Nietzsche on this quote)

https://youtu.be/cFig-OiIwDo

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