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When in Rome

On 21. September I will perform in Rome at the Teatri di Vetro festival. It will be the first time in a while, and I hope it will be as making love, swimming, speaking a in foreign language or eating andijviestamppot, albeit not specifically in this order, and not in this sense. I mean, I hope I will feel as comfortable as ever when playing a live set.

The evening will be very special, because the curator of the musical part, Enea Tomei makes me almost feel embarrassed when talking about my work. I do love to hear that people admire the things I do, but I love to hear it silently, a bit like waking up on your birthday as a kid and facing all those presents. Once a year is enough, really. So, if you think I am great, please tell me on my birthday. I might need it on that day. Feeling great, I mean.

There will be new friends as well who normally listen to a different thing, called music, so I don’t want to disappoint them either.

Anyways. I have a very precise plan for this performance, which I am not going to reveal to you here for the simple reason that plans are very unstable entities on the plain of my near future endeavours. They are a bit like Schroedingers christmas presents.

But now. One thing is sure. Today I compiled a B-Side to the A-Side I composed earlier this year, entitled ‘Don’t Talk at the Disco.’ Here is a picture of the set-up on my table today.

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There are a lot of tapes in this picture. I used quite a lot. There is no title for the B-Side. Maybe I will choose ‘Maybe No Disco’ or  ‘When I hung out with Michael Jackson at Bobbejaanland back in 1967.’ ‘Hands, feet and red shades.’ It is also possible that the same B-Side will have a different title for each tape. What I recorded is a mix. I played one tape at a time or two tapes and rarely mixed three tapes together. I used my tapes with my own (recent Calabrian) recordings, tapes given to me by friends, tapes that arrived by post as result of a trade and tapes I found, picked up or bought for 30 cents. There is also a surprise guest.

The collage of old magazines, as big as a postcard, will be part of the package. Each one will be different, of course. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of the tape you can buy at my performance in Rome, or if no-one buys them, that I will send out for trade.

Here’s the postcard-size inlay frontside.

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And here is the postcard-size inlay backside, with titles and essential liner notes.

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And this is the tape after some spray-paint treatment. By the way, it is a 60 minutes cassette.

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The tape gets seperately packed to keep it fresh.

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The postcard-sized inlay and the sealed tape get packed together.

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I will prepare more tapes over the next days. The visitors to the performance in Rome can buy one for 10 Euro. That’s cheaper than what you pay for a menu turistico. Some visitors to the concert can expect to receive a copy as a gift.

The ones I won’t sell will be send to cassette-lovers by post.

A Different Metabolism – 2

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“Metabolism is the name of the group, in which each member proposes further designs of our coming world through his concrete designs and illustrations. We regard human society as a vital process – a continuous development from atom to nebula. The reason why we use such a biological word, metabolism, is that we believe design and technology should be a denotation of human society.”

I don’t publish this pictures out of disrespect and as a means of ironic, slightly moralist exposure. I happen to like the organic order; the richness in detail and the fact that myriad storylines can part from each and every object. I recognise my own sense of organisation in it. Things arrive at the shores of time, and it is there where we pick them up.

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Visions

Yesterday when having breakfast I got torn out of my slumbering existence by a penetrating noise I knew so well. O my god, my first thought, the chainsaw season has begun. Soon, chainsaws will sing their song of the sirens from every house on the climbing rows of the natural amphitheater. Of this, near to the sea, I occupy the northern seat, some twenty meters above sealevel. The southern seat, to get the picture right, is on top of Monte Poro, a big bulk of granite that rises right out of the waves in a hypothenusal sense, and bows of into flat land at the top, a seven hundred meters closer to the sky. From there to me lies a gentle shaped curve covered by trees, where between linger a serpentine road and on that road, villa’s with a view, a garden and a chainsaw in the garage.

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When I lived in Berlin I was attacked by deconstructionist noises all the time, most of them produced by a pneumatic hammer. In the courtyard of one carré of apartments the complete outer layer of concrete and paint got redone. Three seasons long my first look out of the window encountered scaffolding. But after my view was cleared, life shone bright in a lemon curd color. In the courtyard of yet another block of houses, soon after I had moved in, work started on a small abandoned factory, while at the meantime isolation works in the basement started. Every morning I woke up to a live cover version of early Einstürzende Neubauten songs, Blixa’s voice replaced by a rotor blade that cut through stone.

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I know that field recorders and sound artists do the best they can to make our environment more listenable. In their quest they are assisted by architects, scientists, designers, urban planners, cultural theorists and by political and religious leaders world wide. To have disturbing sounds peeled off of the skin of our existence and use dark matter for this purpose, as their charming colleagues at CERN in Geneva suggested, is a workable, but, still, theoretic solution. Works at a sound proof cocoon, a hybrid of tent and boiler suit, are in an advanced stadium. Instead of choosing a more critical approach and go out to actually record the chainsaw noises for acoustic ecology’s sake, I decided to wait.

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Half an hour past noon, when my hopes had vanished that the chainsaw man would take a break for lunch, I decided to go for a walk. I encountered a friendly older man who just came back from the beach. He could tell me that the work would go on all day. There were too many wild growing bushes. We shook hands and the noises stopped. Not much later I heard the comforting crackle of burning wood mingle with the lazy rhythm of the waves washing ashore. At the end of day big fumes covered the terrace. The work was done and the wood was burned. I went out for a longer walk, up to an old ruin of a farmer’s house. I entered the garden and spotted the mimosa at the far end. The trees were covered by a very vague shade of yellow.