Assorted Listening: Repetition and Not

...mp3blogging, meaning these will have a short shelf life:

Carl Orff, Wiegenlied bei Mondschein zu singen (Lullaby to be Sung by Moonlight) [mp3 removed]

(Orff-Shulwerk Vol 2 - Musik fur Kinder)

Orff's daughter Godela is reading the poem by Matthias Claudius (in German). From the liner notes: the piece "...develops its specific force not only from a rocking 6/8 rhythm but also from the rhythmic ostinato of a bass-xylophone and the lute-like chordal accompaniment of two marimbaphones which alternate between G-major and d-minor with unshakeable consistency." I EQ'd it and raised the volume from the CD, as it was barely audible. The text of the poem is here. Anyone with a better translation than Google's, please drop me a line, I am curious about this work.

Moondog, Bird's Lament [mp3 removed]

On this latest DJ Kicks release, Henrik Schwarz takes it back to the music's spiritual beginnings with 23 deep and esoteric selections. This is not a party mix. In addition to more recognizable names, the album incorporates Moondog's jazz shuffler "Bird's Lament" (which served as sample fodder for UK producer Mr. Scruff)...

Moondog in 1969:

"Lament I (Bird's Lament) was written in honor of Charlie Parker, on hearing of his death. It is a chaconne, a four-bar accompaniment that is repeated over and over with a free melodic line over it, played by an alto sax, Bird's instrument, with an obligato played on a baritone sax. Bird used to stop by my door-way back in 1951-2 and talk about music. One night I met him in Times Square and shook a shaking hand, not realizing that would be the last time we would meet."

This music is drop dead gorgeous but I'm not sure I agree that it's a chaconne. Also the term obbligato has contradictory meanings. It's interesting that the part sampled by Hendrik Schwarz on the fade is the bari sax, not the "main" melody.

The Orff and Moondog are notable for the use of repetition, which is a strong interest of this page, but Daniel Albright's description of Arnold Schoenberg's short opera Erwartung tugs from the opposite end of the musical spectrum:

But for Schoenberg--at least the "atonal" Schoenberg of 1908-13--music is not exempt from time; music is time, time given a voice. Music does not set itself the task of constructing memorable units; music instead sets itself the task of rendering the contours and discontinuities of a shifting subjectivity.


In Erwartung, Schoenberg has not surrendered the authority of musical form to the authority of literary form: he has instead employed a shattered, splintery sort of diction in order to help him investigate form at a level of improvisation almost unprecedented in the history of the arts.

If you are feeling adventurous you can listen to this piece online. I think I like Albright's writing about it more than the music, but I'm open to having my mind changed through...repeated listenings. (Albright says he listened to it 2 or 3 times a day one summer: "I wanted to assimilate its wonders, to understand its discontinuities as occult forms of continuity." That simply rocks.)

[hat tip to shm for the Moondog]

Add to 8 BIT Timeline

A German group called Yypasswdd Daemons released the CD-R Cracked in the Year 2000 in 2000.
The music and a Quicktime .mov are on the Mutant Sounds blog. The content is nerdy but more drony/spacy than the 8-Bit Construction Set. Song titles like "Denial of Service," "TCP Packet," "Backspace Virus Networking Transfer Protocol" lay it on pretty thick. Mentioned mostly as a prequel to the current Blipfest scene.

Joe McKay

Joe McKay

Joe McKay, Wofford, sculpture, 2007. Many of the works in McKay's current vertexList show are made with discarded cell phones. It's hard to escape the usage history of these ubiquitous devices and make them anything but an "artists do crazy things with the tools of the information age" statement but McKay's fuck all attitude almost escapes the Vvorklike. Don't know if this is the one described in the press release as "dog chewed"--in any case, the stuck orange pixel and its reflection makes a nice found Adolf Gottlieb.

Blackwater links

A couple of articles on Blackwater, the US mercenary force that is allegedly shooting innocent civilians in Iraq and was recently hired [update: dead link] by the Pentagon "to conduct global counter-narcotics operations":

Jim McDonald, A Blackwater Bouquet

Naomi Wolf , Blackwater: Are You Scared Yet?

From McClatchy news service:


Founded in 1996 by Erik Prince, a former Navy Seal, multimillionaire and conservative Republican donor, Blackwater began as a training facility for police and the military but began offering security services after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Prince, whose father helped bankroll conservative Christian organizations such as Focus On Family and Family Research Council, has given at least $225,000 to the Republican Party and its candidates.

The Congressional Research Service said that as of May there were 987 Blackwater security contractors in Iraq. The director of the Private Security Company Association of Iraq told Congress in 2006 that there were 48,000 contractors from 181 companies providing security in Iraq.

A Short History of Carpet in Contemporary Art

Barbara Gallucci

Barbara Gallucci, Begin Again, 1999, Site Santa Fe


Rudolf Stingel, Plan B, 2004 (wall-to-wall pink and blue floral carpet for Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall)

Judi Werthein

Judi Werthein, Corporate Logo, 2007, installation view, Art in General, NY, photo AFC

This is not a "clone attack" because each idea is good and they all make rather different points. Gallucci's recursive carpet comes with a video of itself and a not-too-oblique pop culture reference: a low angle shot recalling the steadycam behind Danny's big wheel in The Shining. The Stingel is called a "painting" and warms up the normally cold lobby architecture, while at the same time Vegas-kitschifying it. The Werthein replaces one element in the gallery's "white cube" formula--the wood or concrete floor--and profanes the sacred art space with suspect commercialism. This could be the gallery space of the future, once silly notions like “autonomy” and “neutrality” are thoroughly disposed of. In each case the carpet is functional--meant to be walked on--and treads a line between object and performance background.

Updated with some thoughts from this discussion.