Songs of Ruination

[man]
Gather round ya bastards
and I’ll teach ya a lesson
for pissing in all the corner
and pissing on my blinds
Yeah right snarf your food up
then it’s back out in the cold
cubic meters of litter
and ya piss on the toaster
too bad it wasn’t plugged in

[woman]
Honey are you singing to the cats?

[man]
Um yeah

[woman]
Why?

[man]
It calms them while they eat.

[man]
who pisses on blinds anyways?
who gets ideas like that?
only a cute little tuxedo cat.
who pees on appliances
on the stove, boiler and microwave?
it’s the fuzzy little grey psycho that’s who…
too bad it’s not snowing
and freezing with ice
i’d lock you out all day
it would make me feel nice…

Apocryphal fables: The man and the tortoise

Man: [Waters flowers, gives tortoise fresh water] Hi, little turtle. Tortoise.

Tortoise: You’re a little close to my rock, you’re making me nervous.

Man: Sorry. [Steps away from rock]

Tortoise: Hey, nice shoes!

Man: I… carry on, don’t let me distract you.

Tortoise: You have any more of that lettuce? For once I finish here? What’s up, you look down in the dumps.

Man: No, nah. I’m fine. I have time on my hands, is all. Just not infinite time, so I’m forced to prioritize my goof-off agenda, which re-stresses me.

Tortoise: Have you vaccuumed?

Man: Yep.

Tortoise: Mopped?

Man: Just finished.

Tortoise: Made the bed?

Man: Eh, yeah, sure I made the bed.

Tortoise: Decided what to cook on Sunday and done the shopping?

Man: I’ll do that tomorrow.

Tortoise: [Nods]

Man: I mean, should I play the cello, fire up the theremin, try to compose something, record something, write something?

Tortoise: Have you weeded the vegetable garden?

Man: I did that last week.

Tortoise: It grows back, you know. Mowed?

Man: I’m putting that off until tomorrow, in the hopes that it rains and gives me an excuse not to.

Tortoise: Respect.  [Stares at man]

Man: What?

Tortoise: Did you really make the bed?

Man: Mostly.

Tortoise: If I were you, I would write an erotic novel entitled Transit of Venus.

Man: I think that’s been done.

Tortoise: Can’t copyright titles, dude.

Man: Plus, aren’t you supposed to write what you know?

Tortoise: I would totally write it, but I’m busy.

Man: Maybe I will try to come up with a name for the musical genre in which I compose. Unfortunately creepcore is taken.

Tortoise: Crashcreep?

Man: Hrm. Nice.

Tortoise: Don’t mention it.

Composition

A friend in Australia has requested permission to use the recordings some of you sent me in 2009 reading your shopping lists for a piece accompanying a university dance performance and I mailed them to her (all but one recording, from one of you who recently denied me permission to use something else, so don’t worry) with the caveat that I would post this to the blog today informing you and if any of you contact me letting me know that you prefer your recording not to be used that I would tell her and it would not be used. Otherwise, fire away. So let me know if you have any objections, thx.

The perfect way to spend St. Patrick’s Day

Watch the music videos Gamma and I have made:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6D425DBE5B6623E

Maybe don’t watch them all at once. They could, potentially, get a little monotonous. Gamma thinks maybe I ought to try a little structure.

Goldschmutz – Jar of Bolts

And St. Patrick drove the serpents from Ireland.

Some theremin and accordion (and a cereal box and a jar of bolts and a screwdriver) for St. Patrick’s Day. Footage shot by Gamma, and taken from the Prellinger Archive.

Release the Ardbeg, said Sauron, desperately.

My wife and I attended the final concert of this season’s Klangforum subscription at the Konzerthaus last night. I was early so I went for a walk and then waited for her in the bar at a nearby hotel. It was a sunny, warm evening, so it felt good to be sitting in a comfortable chair at a table in a dark bar next to the whisky cabinet.

It took the waitress a while to find me, but I was in no hurry at all. I used the time to observe a couple guys at a nearby table and when that grew too depressing I looked at the single malts in the cabinet. They were beautiful and alluring, but when the waitress found me I ordered a gin martini. As I have mentioned before, I specify gin when I order martinis but that was unnecessary this time. Maybe they know me there by now. She asked if I wanted ice. This time I said no. She asked if I wanted olives or a twist of lemon, I said olives.

My drink came. I sat there and meditated on the single malts.

My wife called and said she was almost there. I considered ordering her her frankfurters and the glass of mineral water she wanted, but decided to wait until she arrived, to avoid the frankfurters getting cold and wrinkly. Service is fast in that bar anyhow. It was the right decision because she called a few minutes later, in tears. Right after she had called me the first time, a police officer had knocked on her window and pulled her over and gave her a €50 ticket for using a mobile phone while driving, but she was unable to pay because all she had was €40 so now she was wandering the streets of Vienna looking for a cash machine and the one the policeman had directed her to was closed and she didn’t know where another one was.

I said okay. I expressed sympathy and told her no problem, we have plenty of time and so on and I’ll be here when she gets here.

We did have plenty of time.

All the single malts, or many of them, had names that reminded me of Tolkein characters. “The leathery wings of the Laphroaigs beat the darkling skies like a drum, and their screeches turned Frodo’s bones to ice.”

“He is an archer, of the Lagavullin tribe.”

“And the race of the elves abandoned Tallisker, and sailed to the Western Lands.”

“Betrayed by the treacherous traiter Auchentoshan, King Glenfarclas died a hero’s death beneath the Giant Elm in his beloved Glendronach.”

“Is it a Cnoc? You have a Cnoc in your pocket, amirite?” hissed Gollum.

My wife called after a while and interrupted an epiphany I was having about Tolkein. She changed her order to champagne, no sausages. It was on the table when she arrived a few minutes later. As was my second martini.

The waiter also brought more nuts, dispelling my fear that they had my picture behind the bar with the note, “don’t give him too many nuts, he’s like a goldfish and will absent-mindedly eat them until he bursts.”

My wife was a bit stressed but in a better mood because she had been so miserable when she finally returned to her car that the police officer, who had been abandoned there by his colleagues, standing guard with her registration in one hand and the ticket in the other, took pity on her, tore up the ticket and told her to have a nice evening. So champagne was a good call, I guess – to take the edge off the stress, on the one hand, and to celebrate not getting a ticket after all on the other.

Something you should know about my wife is that she gets out of about half of her tickets by winning the sympathy of the ticketing officer. Not always, but more than me. We both have the same approach – throw ourselves at their mercy – but maybe she looks unhappier. I have, in fact, never gotten out of a ticket.

The concert itself was, as always, good. I didn’t fall asleep until the last piece, when the hall ran out of oxygen, despite having two drinks in me. As always in this series, they performed compositions by modern composers. All but one were living, and present, and took bows on the stage afterwards. We especially enjoyed the first piece, and the penultimate one, which featured electronics and a burping soprano (an idea I had considered for a composition, but discarded out of pity for my singer. I guess that is what separates the men from the boys in the world of composition).

Needless to say, we have renewed our subscription.

About fish

What are you listening to?

This piece I’m composing.

What kind of piece?

String quartet.

Can I listen?

Sure, here.

(the piece is 2.45 long currently. the guy starts getting antsy around 2.00, gives up at 2.30) Okay. What’s the, um, theme?

Fish.

Fish? It didn’t sound like fish.

It’s about fish. Grunion.

Grunion.

They’re special fish. Once a year during the same full moon each year they swim onto the same beach and mate and… (sees the guy has lost interest) … and so on.

Okay.

Grunion.

Okay.

They’re special fish.

Okay. You ever post compositions to MySpace or something so people can comment about them?

No.

Useful feedback.

Grunion. Remember that.