For anyone who came to Tyshawn Sorey’s own records through his incredible drumming—what seemed a superhuman ability to take the complex sequenced rhythms of IDM, like those from Autechre, play them back and make them swing—in groups led by Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, and others, the quality of his composing was (and still is) stunning and disorienting.
A towering green man looms over the Far Out area of the Green Man festival, in the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons. His fate is to be burnt at the witching hour, on the final midnight of this Welsh weekender, his leaves, roots, goat horns, and brandished bowl of fruit immolated just prior to an even bigger fireworks display. An ancient mythological figure of cyclic renewal, the green man’s roots might be pagan, but he persisted to the early days of church decoration, and his visage spans variegated global cultures. Greenery was fresh in the 2018 spring, but now as autumn falls, it’s time for flaming destruction. First, though, there were four days full of musical performances, with satellite spaces devoted to film, discussion, comedy, healthy living, installation art, and copious quantities of indigenous Welsh real ale and cider.
“Memory in the present tense. Do the eyes receive other things than what the mind projects on them? Or are they merely mirrors. Perhaps we live in a world invented by ourselves.” These words from the artist Jean Dubuffet can easily be applied or restructured to (fit) the philosophies Milford Graves proposes in the brilliant film by Jake Meginsky, Milford Graves Full Mantis. Rather than filled with talking heads we get ONE GIGANTIC MIND: that of Milford Graves dissecting / eating plants, hearts, life, pulse, music, beat, martial arts, and the drum.
“Day job.” One of the English language’s most richly implicit phrases. With those two words, one creates the assumptions that a.) more than one job is being worked, b.) one of those jobs is the one a person would rather be doing, and c.) the desired job isn’t producing enough money for one to survive. And it’s that last implication, that a desired job is known but isn’t sufficient, that offers the richest seam of supposition. It suggests all sorts of mysteries about a person’s life: thwarted ambition, delayed gratification, unrequited love, hubris, comedy, tragedy, self-abasement, the list is almost endless. What kind of person dedicates themselves to an activity that won’t supply basic physical needs? A selfish person? A passionate person? A mystical person? An immature person? Few phrases invite as much speculation as to a stranger’s background and context.
Highly Selective Listings
October’s Highly Selective Listings