Saturday, January 27, 2007
Sunday, January 07, 2007
A New Williams-Machine
The only criticism of this addition to PENNsound is that I’d prefer more random access to the data; in fact, PENNsound goes against a point in its own manifesto: “it must be singles.” The content is too overwhelming and sometimes repetitive (note: I won’t eat your plums, if you just put that wheelbarrow away). These very large files need to be chopped up more, or at least the files need to be equipped with better metadata. I downloaded most of the files so that I could listen in my car, but the mp3 names of the files proved useless for navigation. The only way I could slog through it with any kind of direction was to have the site popped up on my computer at home while playing the files.
In the end, I found his voice sweeter than expected. It gave me no clue, however, into the way he’s organized his lines in Paterson. (Which makes me a little less self-conscious about the fact that Blogger abuts all his lines against a single indentation, regardless of my tabbing.) Interestingly enough, when reading Paterson, he skips over the archival passages, which are undoubtedly his most interesting innovation.
Let the remixing begin.
[Dec. 18, 2007 note: since this post, PennSound has divided up the Williams audio files into more manageable "singles."]
Monday, January 01, 2007
Make A Song Out of That: Concretely
The Paterson Museum is a bonanza of found language. A yellowed tag provided an addendum to the Silk Machinery Exchange text: Reeds, Harness, Lingoes, Shuttles, Quills, Pickers, Twine, General Weavers Supplies, Loom Fittings. I wondered how the pride of the “lingo” went apace with the development and mastery of the machine. We’ve (weave?) come a long way from the crack of the Jacquard Q to the narcissistic buzz of terms MySpace, iPod, and YouTube, even though the Jacquard card started it all, the origin of the computer. (Let’s not get sucked into the eddy of the mise-en-abyme again.) The words--like the machines whose noise once filled the air of the streets here--are now silent.
In a dark corner of the museum, a lexicon of nostrums: delphinium, quassiae, jalapae, digitalis, pimpenell, aether, lavender, anisi, citronella, myrrhae, cudbear, Syrup of Rhei, Mavis Talcum, Tancro Cough syrup, Unguentine, Salva-cea, Anti-Drink, Granulated Black Draught, Larkspur lotion, Vinol, Kondremul, 4-Way Cold Tablets, etc.