Sep 11

stephen vitello - sounds building in the fading light

Recorded during a 5 month period on the 91st floor of The World Trade Center in 2000. 

Inexpensive contact microphones were fixed to the windows and routed into a mixing board, tweaked by equalization and a Sherman Filter Bank. Additional experiments were done at night with an amplified photocell placed into the eye of a telescope. Mastered at The Kitchen, NC.


Jul 15

from underworld - delillo

   When he entered a street behind the high school he was surprised to see it was closed to traffic. A play street, the pavement marked with painted game grids, with the numbered spaces of hopscotch and skelly, bases for slapball, and Albert was delighted. He’d thought this old custom of closing off streets for children’s games was long dead, decades dead, a mind relic of life not yet dominated by cars and trucks. He stopped and watched the kids play, holding his cane across his waist as if gripping a stadium rail. Small children, slim and quick, Jamaican cadence in some of the voices and a girl with mottled skin maybe Malaysian or South Indian, he was only guessing, who jumped hopscotch boxes with measured deftness, doing a midair whirl so economical her hair was barely ruffled—bronze skin that went darker and lighter, olive-drab beneath the eyes. He wanted to stop her in midjump, stop everything for half a second, atomic clocks, body clocks, the microworld in which physicist search for time—and then run it backwards, unjump the girl, rewind the life, give us all a chance to do it over. He recalled the word for do-it-over, a word that kids used to shout during a game interrupted by a rare passing car or a lady crossing the street with a baby carriage. In-do, someone cried. In-do or hin-du, he wasn’t completely sure. The Indian girl in sneakers and jeans.
   Cheeky chose always goes. That’s what the kid said when he got a second chance and did the same thing he’d done before the interruption. Hit a homer, kicked the can, shot a marble on a target through the gutter dust. Cheeky chose always goes.
   He saw a vender selling sugarcane from an open-sided van, mangoes in wooden crates and tall cane sheaved with twine. Some things get better, Albert thought, A library, a play street, prods to his optimism block by block.
   But what does do-it-over mean? He didn’t want to lose his soul over compromises, second chances that turned him inside out. And anyway we don’t depend on time finally. There is a balance, a kind of standoff between the time continuum and the human entity, our frail bundle of soma and psych. We eventually succumb to time, it’s true, but time depends on us. We carry it in our muscles and genes, pass it on to the next set of time-factoring creatures, our brown-eyed daughters and jug-eared sons, or how would the world keep going. Never mind the time theorists, the cesium devices that measure the life and death of the smallest silvery trillionth of a second. He thought that we were the only crucial clocks, our minds and bodies, way stations for the distribution of time. Think about it, Einstein, my fellow Albert.
   He walked around to the front of the high school, tempted to go up on the portico and talk to the boys and girls standing there—but, no, they didn’t know him and didn’t care. Then why come here? The old squat pile of limestone and brick held his teacherly corpus, a million words spun into tepid air, and there was no reason to think he’d need to pass this way again. One documentary look to freeze the scene. He made a circuit of the block and headed home.
   In one of the bare streets he came across a large stray dog that looked diseased, all ribs and flecked slaver, and he sidled away from it. In a culture of guard dogs there are always a few that fall from grace and end up haunting the streets. The trick is to skirt the animal without publishing your fear. Festina lente. Make haste slowly.

Jul 5

from swann’s way - proust

So the Méséglise way and the Guemantes way remain for me linked with many of the little incidents of the life which, of all the various lives we lead concurrently, is the most episodic, the most full of vicissitudes; I mean the life of the mind. Doubtless it progresses within us imperceptibly, and we had for a long time been prepared for the discovery of the truths which have changed ints meaning and its aspect, have opened new paths for us; but that preparation was unconscious; and for us those truths date only from the day, from the minute when they became apparent. The flowers which played then among the grass, the water which rippled past in the sunshine, the whole landscape which surrounded their apparition still lingers around the memory of them with its unconscious or unheeding countenance; and, certainly, when they were contemplated at length by that humble passer-by, by that dreaming child—as the face of a king is contemplated by the memorialist buried in the crowd—that piece of nature, that corner of a garden could never suppose that it would be thanks to him that they would be elected to survive in all their most ephemeral details; and yet the scent of hawthorn which flits along the hedge from which, in a little while, the dog-roses will have banished it, a sound of echoless footsteps on gravel path, a bubble formed against the side of a water-plant by the current of the stream and instantaneously bursting—all these my exaltation of mind has borne along with it and kept alive through the succession of the years, while all around them the paths have vanished and those who trod them, and even the memory of those who trod them, are dead. Sometimes the fragment of landscape thus transported into the present will detach itself in such isolation from all associations that it floats uncertainly in my mind like a flowering Delos, and I am unable to say from what place, from what time—perhaps, quite simply, from what dream—it comes.

Jun 24

from sea - kerouac

But these waves scare me——-
I am going to die
in full despair——
Wake up where?
On second breath in life
the atmosphere is dearer
maybe closer to Heaven
———-O Paradise———-
Is the sea really so bad?
Have you sent men
here for this cold clown
& monstrous eater at the
world? whose sound
I mock?

God I’ve got to believe in you
or live in death!
Will you save us——all?
Soon or now?
Send illumination
to our drowning brains
——We’re pitiful, Lord,
we need yr help!
Save us, Dear—-
(Save yourself, God man,
ha ha!)
If you were God man
you’d command these waves
to very well Tennyson stop
& even Tennyson
is dear

now dead 

from the moviegoer - percy

Some children have come into the playground across the street; two big boys give them a ride on the ocean wave. Ordinarily the little children ride only on the merry-go-round which is set close to the ground and revolves in a fixed orbit.

*   *   *   *

The two big boys on the playground have got the ocean wave going fast enough  so they can jump on and keep up the speed by kicking the ground away on the low passes. Iii-oorr iii-oorrr goes the dry socket on its pole in a faraway childish music and the children embrace the iron struts and lay back their heads to watch the whirling world.

*   *   *   *

Round and round goes the ocean wave screeching out its Petrouchka music iii-oorrr iii-oorrr and now belling out so far that the inner bumper catches the pole and slings around in a spurt so outrageously past all outrage that the children embrace the iron struts for dear life.

*   *   *   *

A watery sunlight breaks through the smoke of the Chef and turns the sky yellow. Elysian Fields glistens like a vat of sulfur; the playground looks as if it alone had survived the end of the world. At last I spy Kate; her stiff little Plymouth comes nosing into my bus stop. There she sits like a bomber pilot, resting on her wheel and looking sideways at the children and not seeing, and she could be I myself, sooty eyes and nowhere. Is it possible that—For a long time I have secretly hoped for the end of the world and believed with Kate and my aunt and Sam Yerger and many other people that only after the end could the few who survive creep out of their holes and discover themselves to be themselves and live as merrily as children among tiny ruins. Is it possible that—is it not too late?

Iii-oorrr goes the ocean wave, its struts twinkling in the golden light, its skirts swaying to and fro like a young dancing girl.

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