How many times in my life have I been awoken by a bang! or crash! in the middle of the night - some process of decay finally snagging my attention and shocking me out of a dream into some coarse reality? Last night it was my shelf of records toppling over. Nothing too damaged. The Jo New record that was on the player got a little scratched and the front of the player got a new triangular gouge. At the first sound of it, I ran down my stairs to the living room and had neglected to put my glasses on. I felt around in the blur of early morning for parts of the player that had tumbled under the coffee table, felt around with my feet for clear spaces on the floor to stack my records. I put the broken bookshelf out of sight of the records - like punishing a naughty kid or something.
I live in a really lovely place. I have some nice things. A couple days ago it occurred to me that I hadn’t cleaned the apartment since before heading out on the revival hour tour back in early November, and before that, I’d turned the majority of the main room into my recording studio finishing work on album 2. Now that the tour is over and the record mastered, and now that I’m well into another project, my eyes have been opened to my situation. “Living conditions” (sounds so clinical). I have great living conditions, I’d say, but they needed some tidying up. The record player and record collection had been one of the few pieces of furniture i didn’t touch in the process. Still, can’t stop what’s coming, can’t stop what’s on its way.
I’ve hitched onto some generous current lately. Song writing has been an uncomplicated pleasure in the last couple weeks - a process turned on and off each day as easily and reliably as a light switch.
Read Aira’s most recent New Directions release last night. It wasn’t until the last twenty pages of the book that I realized the main character is a mad man (I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here) or at the very least a delusional one. The surprise was that I realized I’m one too - or at least that I live in a world of my own ideas, superstitions and visions. Although I don’t believe I have much of a choice in the matter, at least I’ve set up an environment in my art in which to allow the more volatile notions of my philosophy to develop unprovoked.
“Of course, the transformations the forms undergo during their voyage through time render their destinations fairly unpredictable. Work done in one field can end up exerting an influence on another, or any other, even the most distant and unrelated one. Hence, his efforts in the field of medicine could create, centuries later, new styles in fields as different from his own as astrophysics, sports, or fashion. But what importance does this have? The true cultivator of worlds sows his seeds in change itself, in the maelstrom. Be they as it may, the idea enveloped him in a daydream — innate to him, in fact — in which everything was transformed into everything else, through beautiful transitions like works of art.”
- César Aira, The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira