Woke up this morning to find that all the airports in the UK are in chaos. No hand luggage is allowed on board, queues are running right out of the doors and onto the runways, women and children are crying, short flights are being dropped, long haulers are stuck on the tarmac and swarms of people are bedding down on terminal floors with no hope for a quick move, phones, sunglasses, pens and baby milk bottles are being ground under foot and kicked across concourse floors… The familiar hysteria surrounding the news these days.
What was once greeted with a gasp of horror is, of course, through familiarity, now watered down to a very sad, very tired sigh.
As ever, one simply feels further disenfranchised and under represented in the world as politics, religion and history spiral further and further from anything one can actually emotionally engage with.
I remember when long bouts of unemployment merely revealed the opportunity to sign on with the enterprise allowance scheme, sleep in til the afternoon, stay up all night and attend free life drawing classes at art college. Now it seems to automatically lead to a fiery wish for jihad and a longing for martyrdom – when will it sink in to the culture to realise, address and challenge the fact that is always the poor, disenfranchised, desperate losers who are led into perpetrating acts of hate, willful distruction, and terror by wealthy, ambitious men? All terror, veiled in religion may simply be class warfare in disguise – internal abuse – manipulation… a world of shame. After all, who was it who said the world of men divides into two… those who move things from one place to another, and those who tell people to move tings from one place to another.
The ambitious politician and – to borrow Burrough’s line – “the religious son of a bitch” have so very much to answer for. Of course, the only true artistic response is negation. What else can one do?
It always fascinates me the way that random phenomena build instant relationships/constellations/greater meaning!
I have been in correspondence recently with the artistic director of an experimental music festival asking about the possibility of Human greed appearing live.
Normally, this would raise the usual anxiety from me indicating the impossibility of live work on account of the amount of processing involved in our recording techniques. (The underlying truth to this has always been that I can’t think of it as being anything other than boring to sit and watch a couple of grown men dicker around with little buttons and sliders. Hardly dynamic, is it – but that’s an aside)
However, this correspondence coincides with me submitting to peer pressure and acquiring a Mac! One of the first things I loaded into the little silver box was Ableton Live and I have been impressed by the amount of real time manipulation that the software allows for – particularly in session view.
Now, in addition to this I have been indulging in a campaign to get sound creation back out of the software environment that has occupied me for five years – primarily through frustration with PCs being unable to handle the processing load demanded by our “technique” – and hence another reason for the move to Mac!
This has resulted in processing and altering alternatives to standard acoustic guitar audio capture, acquiring samplers and microphones and some other odds and trinkets, and so forth.
So the alignment is falling in to place. i can now, after all this time, imagine Human Greed as a live proposition – quite a formidable one at that. Now that I am attuned to that particular constellation of phenomena it will, I imagine, begin gathering strength and form over the coming months.
Human Greed’s PILGRIM was recently reviewed by “cult cyberpunk writer” Kenji Siratori for Gaze into a Gloom. He sent me a very nice email asking if we would consider collaborating with him. At first, I balked at the idea of being associated with any kind of “cyberpunk” and, frankly, i don’t pretend to understand what drives that kind of writing. But I gave it some thought and listened to the mp3 files he sent and, remembering that HG has no agenda to be tyranised by, I thought ok, why not?
I figured that I brought HG into being because of a growing disaffection with language and words. Words, in this time, are too easily compromised, interpreted, debated. In the flurry of iterative dialogue and personal interpretation the strength of the single statement has been all but lost. i had to turn to sound in the broader sense to get an accurate representation of a pure emotional response.
I wrote back to Siratori mentioning this and how it may be worth exploring this disaffection and how it may align with his own reactionary approach to abusing language. His response was to send back a further selection of mp3s with the simple instruction to deconstruct the text. So, no dialogue, no real collaboration. Just an instrucion to deconstruct what, to my eyes, looks pretty well fucking deconstructed as it is!
It is only now that I type this that i realise it is the perfect collaboration given what I said at the outset about compromise. One of the pieces he sent was called Black Paper and I will do something with it on account fo nothing more than an emotional response to the title. He has provided an English translation in text form to accompany his own reading, in Japanese, of the text. I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet; if it will become part of the new HG album, or will surface – like most of Siratori’s work – in a wholly virtual form – that is, with no physical artefact to represent it.
I’ll see how the idea shapes up over time…
This morning, in the park, I saw a little boy fall out from his buggy.
His “guardian” was sitting with an assortment of ragged, drunk, and “ill” people. “Aw Naw, Aw naw” the adults kept saying. The “guardian” swayed around on unsteady feet trying to pick up child, buggy and coke can with one hand while holding onto a beer bottle with his other hand.
Ugly, yes – just like you see in cities the world over – and lets face it this kind of social disgrace is common and prosaic enough without this humble add on. But what got to me was the boy – barely two years old – fell back from a buggy and hit his head and his elbow off the concrete path – and not a single peep from his injured mouth.
He looked up with a look half sullen, half filled with fear and tried not to make eye contact with his “guardian”
Maybe it is because i am the father of a two year old. Maybe it was because it was a Monday morning and i had been away from the city for a few days… but this hit me raw and sore and i was filled, I mean FILLED with sorrow and disgust and helpless rage. A child of two already understands that for him to make a noise, to show pain, is a potentially fatal move. Where does he sleep? What does he see? How long before he heals over completely and becomes unreachably cold, loveless, and dangerous?