Tuesday, May 29, 2007

enriched dopaminergic function

The previous post made me google "psychedelia", mainly to check that i'd spelled it correctly, and apart from all the music links, there was this one which spun me out. it seems to go on about the future possibilities of gene manipulation to make life more fun and less painful for people, even to the extent of citing Huxley's Brave New World as something of a desirable possibility (i think). here's an excerpt or two, gee i love the interweb:

"The prospect that what we describe as "mental" pain, too, could ever be eradicated is equally counter-intuitive. The feasibility of its abolition via biotechnology [...]"

"The application of nanotechnology, self-reproducing micro-miniaturised robots armed with quantum supercomputer processing power, and ultra-sophisticated genetic engineering, perhaps using retro-viral vectors, can assure the eradication of the root of all evil in its naturalistic guise throughout the living world. Eventually, the global ecosystem will be redesigned. The vertebrate genome will be rewritten. The advent of the post-Darwinian era will mark a major transition in the evolution of life on earth and beyond..." [punctuation included from original]

"...the neurochemistry of pain and malaise [...]"

also, i think it's great that the text is broken down into a few sentences per page accompanied by an aesthetically coloured illustration indicating the potential future nirvana with dolphins, rays of light, crashing waves and other such glorious and visually uplifting images. there's even fricken koalas on page 12. then lots of elephants towards the end. how weird.

and after all that i remain unsure of what the author is trying to get at. is it pro-psychedelic drugs? it seems to be plugging the idea of "designer babies" with "enriched dopaminergic function," leading to future humans living in absolute bliss with each other and the environment. hmmm. still, an interesting detour through someone's bizarre fantasies. have to get back to that "zombified trance-state" of my "mundane and minimal existence"...

aha, here it is:
"When Paradise - or something better - has been biologically implemented, then perhaps the very notion of tampering with our new-won "natural" condition and feeling "drugged" may come to seem perversely immoral. For who would want to contaminate the purity of their ecstatic biological soul-stuff with alien chemical pollutants? Until that era arrives, we still need chemical mood-enrichers to flourish...."

and now that i've read the abstract, it makes a bit more sense, but is still far-fetched to say the least.

Viral Psychedelia : Glitch Art

thought this was pretty cool too, continuing from teh last post. and if only i could capture my old PC screen crashes (the alt-printscreen way) i would have a goldmine of bizarro by now... should've got the camera out long ago. i think it's awesome to still be running on Win98 almost a decade after it was released, yet still achieving such 'high quality' 'music'.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Stratospheric Annihilation : Glitch Art

My Father-in-Law and I were trying to get a digital set-top box tv tuner thingo to work yesterday, and we couldn't achieve any coherent signal from any of the variations in connection arrangements that we tried, merely confirming the possibility that the item was already malfunctioning. However, all was not lost, since some beautiful colour patterns were displayed. I seized the opportunity and the digital camera, and have now got some awesome glitch artwork for my new noise band side project, Insolitus Sonitus.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Durer - Knight, Death and the Devil (aka "The Rider")

Just looking through my HD for stuff, thinking of starting a new solo noise band, just kicking a few possible names around. but came across this, in amongst all the files, and remembered how much i like this Durer, and saw a great print of it at the NGV a year or so back.

it's a print from a copperplate engraving, 1513.

how ridiculous and horrible does the devil look? and for go here for some interpretation. i'm sure there's much, much more out there.

nice work Albrecht!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Secret Chiefs 3 live review: 12 May 2007 melbourne

Secret Chiefs 3, Saturday 12 May 2007, at the East Brunswick Club, Melbourne. (ad from Inpress Magazine)

the gig was amazing, just as you'd expect. most of the guys pictured (photo below from their label's site) were there, and i can't be bothered working out all their names from the SC3 site.

there were 8 musicians on stage most of the time, occasionally i could only see 7, but it was hard seeing the drummers and occasional others at the back. from l -r in the photo: one of the insane drummers, possibly Ches Smith? (along with Danny Heifetz, not pictured), then Eyvind Kang wasn't there - which my wife and i were very dismayed about, but fortunately the other violinist was nothing short of amazing, Trey Spruance, obviously, looking great with massive goatee, that ninja dude in the front could have been Rich Douchette, and played this thing (photo from SC3 site):

then the dude to the right of 'ninja man' was the amazing new violinist (i think Timb Harris), who really impressed the crowd (and even pulled out a trumpet in the middle of Renunciation, the last song of the 2nd encore), then the final dudes at played keys (can't work out who he might be) and bass (i think Shahzad Ismaily), of course, also really impressively. Bar McKinnon was also there on flute, sax and other. and i think Adam Stacey might also have been there on keys and wind instruments and maybe other percussion, but now that makes 9... oh well. and i wasn't going to try to work them all out.

Trey walked through the crowd 10-15min before the start, and asked the girls on the merchandising stall how things were, and said 'hi' to a few people in the audience, and generally seemed like a good, down to earth kinda bloke.

they played for around 2 hours, including two encores, and i've been going back through the albums trying to work out what most of the songs were ... i'll have a stab at it:

The First Grand Constitution & Bylaws (1996)
Assassin's Blade - awesome, of course
Zulfikar ? but it seemed slightly different, perhaps it was Zulfikar/Zulfiqar II

Hurqalya: The Second Grand Constitution & Bylaws (1998)
Book T: Broken Glass Hearse
Renunciation - last song of the night (end of 2nd encore), so glad we got this!

Eyes of Flesh, Eyes of Flame (live, 1999)
(the track with 5 skulls pictured)
Mary of Magdalen (Eyvind Kang cover)
Jabalqa/Jabarsa (from Hurqalya album, but without all the noise)

Book M (2001)
Knights of Damcar
Horsemen of the Invisible
Combat for the Angel
Dolorous Stroke
Blaze of the Grail
Lapsit Exillis

Book of Horizons (2004)
The End Times
The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun)
The 3
Anthropomorphosis: Boxleitner

i think most of these are correct. i wasn't sad that they didn't play either of the two practically death metal tracks on the new album - i don't find them as interesting, even with my background in such music. they played a few newwies too, which sounded a bit like "The 3" and "The 4" from the latest album, which are by the SC3-subband Ishraqiyun (they now have 7 bands playing different genres within SC3, it's complicated), and the new songs were "The Fifteen", "Fast", and "The Nineteen", which you can see in live concert along with "The 3" and "The 4". Actually, not sure if they played the last one, The Nineteen, but there was one with an incredibly difficult rhythm, amongst a set of songs already with insanely complicated rhythms... that was probably it - and it was hard to even nod along to, i can't imagine trying to play it!

in fact, in that 21 minutes of video (which you can download), you can get an idea of what they were like live, they were just a lot heavier, but in a good way, not too loud or noisy. Trey was playing that weird guitar-like thing most of the night, there was only the violinist on the right (i think Timb Harris) not Eyvind, there's that weird instrument Rich Douchette plays (which you can hear really well just after 9 min in), and some sort of accordian and a keyboard, but not that dude playing that weird square sitar like thing (or that thing, as far as i could see), or that guy on bass?, and i think that's the same drummer (on the kit), and i don't think either of the extra percussionists on the floor were there, but there was tons of different and intriguing percussion coming from the back of the stage. my favourite part is The 4, which starts just before 15min. i've had that in my head for days now.

here's Trey and (i think Timb Harris), photo from an article in The Age, not the same gig.

and in case you're reading this and are unsure what SC3 sound like (and haven't bothered with any of the links), then here's a good attempt at a description of their newer material, from their (Trey's?) label's site, where you can also hear some samples:

What does this all end up sounding like? You will hear a kick-ass surf band playing in Arabic/Persian tunings, and then switch over to a wall of Penderecki-style orchestral chord clusters accompanied by AC/DC. Then, perhaps the traditional sounding, pseudo-folk Turk/Central Asian imaginal band will hit center stage with Dhol, Saz, Rabab, Esraj and rock drums and start whacking out to the original, catchy songs that no one knows or cares are in 19/16 time. This might be followed by a totally pummeling, nightmarish, not-kidding one bit blast-beat Death Metal band that employs Boulez-ish atonal serialism, played in dastgah tunings, which of course will naturally segue into a band that specializes in Hindi Film Music from the second Golden Era... you get the picture. We're scratching the surface here, not exaggerating. And again, it’s no joke.