At the Still Point


Image: ‘Stargazer’ – Sam Wolfe Connelly

“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht — I can see they have already begun.” – Hermann Hesse; Glass Bead Game

“I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who…

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The Sound of Folk, Experimental Electronics, and Avant-Garde Music in Ireland

Bandcamp Daily

roslyn-steer-by-mary-kelleher-600 Roslyn Steer. Photo by Mary Kelleher.

“There was a club night called Lazybird active in Dublin in the ’00s,” recalls Paul Condon, founder of the Fort Evil Fruit label. “This was the first time I recall having a sense of a consolidated underground scene here. They put on the likes of Christina Carter, Flaherty / Corsano, Circle, and Josephine Foster alongside local bands. After being turfed out of the venue—a narrow, windowless upstairs room in a city centre pub—they struggled to keep it going elsewhere, and it fizzled out. But it had an enduring impact in that it represented a sense of possibility and sparked off a lot of connections.”

There’s more than a few comparisons to be made between a contemporary underground in Ireland and the US-based movement dubbed by writer David Keenan back in 2003 as “New Weird America.” While both the Irish and U.S. scenes have roots…

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Wild Anima: Blue Twenty-Two

We need no swords

blue_twenty-two_for_webBlue Tapes cassette

In times like these, who wouldn’t want to be a ghost? Able to pass through the world unaffected by precariat freelancing, normalized prejudice, deferred retirement, environmental catastrophe, and all the rest? Add to this the old k-punk trope of a weary nostalgia for a cancelled future, thanks to brazenly ideological austerity and lowest common denominator populism and, well, you have a bunch of pretty good reasons for the continuing haunto-isms that proliferate across the varying strains of out-there sound manufacture. Alex Alexopolous’s Wild Anima project fits into this stream of sonic exploration as naturally as a fish swims downriver, her revenant chants and keening, minimalist orchestration channeling both the echo-laden haze of Liz Harris’s Grouper and the crumbling tape loop melancholy of William Basinski into ethereal compositions that, despite their weightlessness, always seem anchored to the material world.

Originally released as Blue Twenty Two last year this Wild…

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Chik White

We need no swords

soft-shapesChik White: Malform (self-released cassette and download); Soft Shapes (Power Moves Library cassette and download)

The jaw harp must surely be one of the most intimate of musical instruments. Few others require so much insertion of the sound-making object into the body. The reeds of the woodwind comes close, I guess, although only a relatively small proportion of the instrument actually goes into the mouth. With the jaw harp (and related instruments in the Carnatic, Sindic, Sicilian and other musical traditions), a goodly amount of the instrument is held in the mouth, and, indeed, depends upon the action of the jaw, throat and lungs for its sonic character. Odd, then, that the results of this near consumption are such seemingly-alien sounds, a generative stream of rubbery twangs resembling the eternal belching of a giant toad from deep in the rainforest.

Given the jaw harp’s rather esoteric outputs…

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