I’ve long been meaning to start a newsletter. Not the kind that wants to sell you some kind of product (I don’t have much to push), but rather the kind of letter that I would write to a friend living abroad – a little update on what’s been going on and what’s been catching my attention. I do of course have my website as a place to share things, but I’m wondering how the newsletter form might open up for a different style of writing – something a little more personal perhaps.
I don’t subscribe to many newsletters myself, but two writers that have brought much reading pleasure over the years have been Robin Sloan with his Primes, The Year of the Meteor, and intermittent convenings of The Society of the Double Dagger. The arrival of Craig Mod’s Roden and Ridgeline in my inbox are moments when I shift my iPad to portrait mode for a little focussed reading time away from the distractions of the day. Other than that I’ve also been enjoying Kai Brach’s Dense Discovery and Luis Mendo’s Tokyo Desk Newsletter.
With those (illustrious) inspirations as a point of reference I’m thinking of starting with sending something out on the 21st of each month for the coming year, and then see where to take it from there.
* * *
What have I been busy with? Outside of my ‘jobby job’, I was mostly occupied with Poetisk Podcast in the time I had available in 2020: Altså netop nu with Lars-Emil Woetmann, Klaus Ib Jørgensen’s Moonpain Revisited, and Kenneth Krabat’s META, the latter still a work in progress.
My only wish is that it wasn’t all in Danish since that limits who it can be shared with. But I’ve very much enjoyed the process of working with all those words and finding sounds to give them some context. Not so much ‘music’ as such, but close to it. Dialogue, like a field recording, contains rhythm and pacing, and much of the fun is finding that internal phrasing a using it as a guide when piecing things together.
When will I write an actual piece of music again? I’m not sure.
I received Walter Zimmerman’s Desert Plants as a Christmas present and one of the 23 interviews is with Robert Ashley – I’ve been thinking (again) of his use of speech as a point of departure: What that’s meant to me in the past and what I might learn from his more fluid approach. (More on that later.) Following on from those thoughts David Bernabo’s documentary Just For the Record: Conversations with and about “Blue” Gene Tyranny is well worth watching.
* * *
The lockdowns of 2020 certainly affected my listening habits. Jogging House’s Be (which has a Companion) and Masayoshi Fujita’s Book of Life have been looping in the background. Here’s a video of Masayoshi doing his stuff.
My good friend Riccardo has also been doing his thing – with two Lyras! See also the two tribute albums to Bruno Maderna with the Biogramma Ensemble.
Otherwise I’ve been diving into MIDI MPE and the possibilities of the wonderful Sensel Morph (more on that to follow) – with my daughter sometimes taking over.
All the best