Every artpop band should have its own lost mutating TV show.
If music is organized sound, is intentionality a prerequisite?
Meanwhile, in a forthcoming UNIVERSAL EAR adventure, Harley Byrne discusses intentionality vis-a-vis his hostess’s proto-human lullaby, then argues that birdsong cannot really be considered birdsong at all.
You’re claiming, a cynical smile played on her chapped lips, that before last night’s lullaby, no-one had ever conceived of hearing the same piece of music a second time?
To the best of my knowledge, I went on, backed up by the calculations of my brother, Santiago, last night represented a unique turning point in human evolution: your community’s advances in stone-based technology, indicating a fledgling ability to apply cause-and-effect logic to phenomena beyond your immediate perception, coupled with your unique ear for a tune. I don’t believe you – nor anyone else - has ever sung, nor even been asked to sing, the same tune twice. Do you deny this?
Sharo shrugged. I went on:
Yet I sensed I was not alone in hoping to hear it again; your people this morning were already talking about a rudimentary playlist; and I have every indication you will sing the same song again tonight. My assignment will not be complete until I have recorded it.
I couldn’t tell if Sharo was still listening: perhaps I had tired her rudimentary intellectual faculties. Laying back in submission to the sun’s ancient rays, I closed my eyes, scanning the soundscape out of habit: I could hear flamingos splashing each other in the lake, the crack of reptilian jaws upon the bony neck of one such bird, followed by the inevitable drag, roll and munch. It seemed the local crocodile population were more interested in a convenient snack than the risky business of hunting the Earth’s new janitors. All of this, though, was white noise against the coarse rhythm of Sharo’s grooming process, the regular ploughing of the comb broken by the occasional ripping of another matted clump.
I opened my eyes at Sharo’s touch. She pointed at a bird-like creature sitting behind us in a sort of tree, engaged in a call-and-response dialogue with an unseen cousin. The audio patterns were undoubtedly similar. I put my hand on Sharo’s shoulder.
They’re playing back, I acknowledged, and perhaps even enjoying it. But are they enjoying it as music, or just conversation?
Come on, Pink Man, she laughed, rapping the back of my hand with the sharp edge of the comb. You have been licked by the sun.
BERNARD + EDITH - SOUNDTRACK THE FILM DREAM MACHINE BY VIDEO ARTIST SARAH HILL.
This is what we had planned for our performance at @VideoJam in Manchester Art galley, but due to some technical problems we had to play a different song, so we have recorded it live for you and put it to Sarah’s beautiful film.
If dance is your weapon, know your enemy - a lesson Harley Byrne would do well to heed when attempting to out-pronk a Peugeot-sized prehistoric wolfhound in the forthcoming extract from his memoirs, The First Second Time Song.
A lone synth operator roboticizes in the snow surrounded by monolithic mirrors. The Millennium Falcon glides tantalisingly between layers of superimposition. The panpipes are not visualised. Science fiction dream of the absurdly serious.
Not to knock the method though; you can expect to see scenes from Turkish Star Wars covering up the holes in Banned Insubstance, the damaged new episode of UNIVERSAL EAR currently being restored in the Institute’s lab in Sarajevo. As such, we hold out a white-gloved hand out across time and the Balkans to Miha Kralj, a man who dared to electric dream.
Music hidden in music: Jessica Pratt’s Midnight Wheels is a beautiful song, but the Institute’s house band thought it was too fast and lacked synth so they slowed it down and added synth. Buy the original: http://www.midheaven.com/item/jessica-pratt-by-pratt-jessica-lp
Source: SoundCloud / zoomcitta
If you’re bored, why not give the UNIVERSAL EAR Christmas play a read. It is now available as a free ebook. This is Elly Strigner’s excellent cover.
" When I talk you talk over me. When I come up with an idea, you hijack it. When I touch you, you shrug me off or try to shoot yourself to death.”
It’s arguably the worst play ever written - and now you can download the ebook for free!
‘Away In A Sand Dune’ is a stage adaptation of one of Harley Byrne’s adventures in the long-running UNIVERSAL EAR series. Byrne takes a holiday from work but crash-lands on a tropical island on Christmas Eve. The natives’ carols sound oddly familiar but, when Byrne interferes, the island’s corrupt king condemns him to be eaten to death. Only some bloke claiming to be Jesus can save him now…
In this trailer for the ebook, the worst theatre company in Bosnia and Herzegovina perform a reading of the play, also known as “Jesus vs. Cannibals”.