Friday, July 30, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
". . . We and many other animals sleep and wake in cycles that repeat every twenty-four hours. Some ocean protists, dinomastigotes, luminesce when dusk comes, ceasing two hours later. So hooked are they into the cosmic rhythm of Earth that even back in the laboratory, away from the sea, they know the sun has set. Many similar examples abound because living matter is not an island but part of the cosmic matter around it, dancing to the beat of the universe.
Life is a material phenomenon so finely tuned and nuanced to its cosmic domicile that the relatively minor shift of angle and temperature change as the tilted Earth moves in its course around the sun is enough to alter life’s mood, to bring on or silence the song of bird, bullfrog, cricket and circada. But the steady background beat of Earth turning and orbiting in its cosmic environment provides more than a metronome for daily and seasonal lives. Larger rhythms, more difficult to discern, can also be heard. . . "
from What is Life?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Consider the body, loud with sound
yet it must wait in silence. Explain
the mind so dense with words
it would mouth the alphabet into the lap
of a listening hand. Observe the heart alive
with language, yet without a single adjective
or verb to be found; no joining words, no
clever nouns lining up for the taking.
Notice the ear resting, as it does
on an outer edge, leaning against the dark
in a place older than speech. Listen. Hear
those swarms of echoes rising? They climb
the walls, pound the air. Imagine.
All that sound
and not a word out of it.
Anyway, when I woke in the wee hours this morning, I reached for my lapdog and started reading the first few Tuesday Poems that had been posted, beginning with T. Clear's chosen poem at the TP hub - The Shape of Words (desert love poem) by Odawni AJ Palmer. Each week's set of Tuesday poems seems to demonstrate an overarching pattern or unspoken understanding, suggesting our wider preoccupations are in synch. I find the way this expresses 'community' inspiring and comforting. Connections are made. Poems become bridges or stepping stones tossed into the oceans between North and South, East and West. Spontaneous conversations rise up. In light of all this, I've decided to keep Rilke for another time and to post Coaxing a bridge out of the sands of a desert as originally intended. (Whew, I eventually got there!)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Last night I received word from a friend over in Australia re; World Listening Day. Anyone with a recorder and the means to upload a soundtrack is invited to participate in this global project...
The first World Listening Day happens tomorrow, Sunday July 18 2010. Its purpose is to celebrate the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and acoustic ecology. July 18 was chosen as the date for World Listening Day because it's the birthday of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. Schafer is one of the founders of the Acoustic Ecology movement. The World Soundscape Project, which he directed, was an important organization which inspired activity in this field, and his book Soundscape: The Tuning of the World helped to define many of the terms and background behind the acoustic ecology movement.
from the World Listening Project website...
". . . Radio aporee is an open project about the creation and exploration of public space. Its creator, Udo Noll asks you for help in creating an “audio snapshot of the world” as heard and recorded on World Listening Day. Aporee maps use the Google maps interface to allow anyone to easily find their location on the map, then upload their audio via the web or mobile phone.
We’re inviting you to send an audio recording from your actual location, or other places of your interest on this day to the maps: http://aporee.org/maps/.
With your contributions collected on World Listening Day, Udo will then create a dedicated project page on the aporee map. As Udo says, “…besides having a nice documentation, I’m really intrigued by the idea of listening to the sounds of a particular day, around the world…”
Monday, July 12, 2010
POEM FOR A DYING FISH
for Rufus, Siamese fighter (Betta splendens)
He appears to have grazed his chin, is bleeding
a slow grace note. An errant fin of red
curls off him, turns the waving water plants
the colour of pale wet donkey. At his peak, his skin
was Doris plum; fins splayed, loose and billowing
scales polished to a gem-blue shimmer. Always
a slow-motion swimmer he is skimming now
just below the surface, an upside-down dancer
of dubious grace, tethering bubbles to the meniscus
of his hour glass flask.
Click here for more Tuesday poems
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
There's another conference coming up in October - in Launceston, Tasmania. Titled Sounding the Earth: Music, Language, Acoustic Ecology it's being orchestrated by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, Australia and New Zealand. I'm hoping to be able to contribute a paper and am in the early stages of putting together an outline with a friend over in Oz. Ideally, we'll end up with a collaborative, 'two-voice' presentation-come-sound installation. The subject of sound inevitably brings up questions around silence for me; the spaces between notes being every bit as important as the notes themselves. Arvo Part's glorious music epitomizes this principle.
I've jotted down thoughts on this subject over the years; it's been interesting to dig some of them up. . .
Silence suggests an experience of absence or aloneness, where it can in fact be one of presence and oneness.
Stillness and silence are dynamic. Each suggests a potent space - a way of being that resonates with energy.
Silence contains and emanates all the fullness of sound. Similarly, stillness is anything but static. Each reveals our connectedness with - and separation from - our selves, others, our environment. Each has the potential to expose memory, challenge reality and the imagined, highlight knowledge or ignorance of self and other.
Silence and stillness accompany us through life and death, teaching us patience, protecting innocence, advising discernment, encouraging autonomy whilst nourishing community.