clouds of evil
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Friday, July 9, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Here's Anne Carson on Emily Bronte:
Whacher is what she was.
She whached God and humans and moor wind and open night.
She whached eyes, stars, inside, outside, actual weather.
She whached the bars of time, which broke.
She whached the poor core of the world,
Beautiful stuff. Especially "the bars of time, which broke."
-The barely perceived bars of time, stoically and heroically whached by Bronte.
-The poor core of the world.
What micro-vision perceives this near-invisible architectonic, these translucent specter-like bars of time, all waving and floating in the soul-cosmos?
Who states that the core of the world is "poor", and resists bedazzling the thing with mighty molten, and rebellious Satan, and vast chambers for plotting and war?
I am thinking too of Emi Honda's art?
Is the woman's gaze pre-determined to be micro and mystic?
No. It just seems that way.
But shit: Lord Nelson/Trafalgar/Middle-Earth be damned, that gaze is the good gaze...The micro gaze is the good gaze...
I have always felt this sense, when reading Dickinson, for example, that the interior mechanisms of the world were being perpetually and minutely mapped out. Here:
She slept beneath a tree
Remembered but by me.
I touched her cradle mute [...]
This poem is not about "the lady of Shallot". It is not about any muse, not about a muse to inspire both feats of verse, and feats of grandeur and epic heroism. It is about a Tulip. It sleeps beneath a tree. Only the speaker records its sway, its undulations under the bows of whatever nameless tree it roots by. The speaker is mute, speechless, as she touches it.
The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.
She felt herself supremer, --
A raised, ethereal thing.
You, speaker, are some raised and ethereal thing. Good guts to state it. For who else might see that sly finger of the sun slyly caress that hopeful twit, the morning? Only an elevated, spectral and ethereal thing might view that. The morning cuckolded; except, of course, that the morning is feminine and the sun is on a macho schedule, first for the dawn, second to the noon, and lastly to lie with his husky, booze-breathed darling, the dusk.
And is this all "metaphysical"? I have never understood that phrase. It seems self-serving, like a rooster scratching his claws in a yard, his puffy red chest blooming in the sun. Rooster-y, if you know what I mean.
And who, to now return to Carson, is seeing these broken bars of time? Carson? Bronte? Carson through Bronte?
Yes, that's it, Carson through Bronte. That's one objective shred of beauty in literature. What a beautiful thing it is to bend time. To bend a century or two and to fall back into Bronte's lap. Bend a few millenniums and walk around with that Alpha-poet who sang of ships and gore and dusty Hector's corpse! Though I would be self-silenced, jittery and nerve-stricken. Hopefully I have in my pocket a copy of Hamlet.
And the "whached". As if Carson is smiling at Bronte, a tacit recognition that she can smile through time at her. A recognition, within herself, that she can speak to the darkness. That she is a real poet. To steal a bite from Joseph Brodsky: like Tsvetavea writing to dead Rilke. She can speak in a myriad of tongues, and even speak the word of Bronte, that word being "Whached".
And it brings to mind Dylan's line: "Shakespeare, he's in the alley". But when Dylan places mere Shakespeare in the back-alley of his mind, it's a snide and self-assured sneer, and a poetic acknowledgment both of Shakespeare's greatness and Dylan (and his scene)'s greater greatness. As if to say, "I will put him wherever I want." Shakespeare, he's in the outhouse. Shakespeare, he's in the drunk tank. It's a one way edict, and Shakespeare's dust cannot mount a retort, much less set it to a catchy beat.
Carson has more of a dialogue going on. Dialogue is a gift, from Zeus.
It is not Shakespeare that makes us human, it is the reading of Shakespeare. The bending of time. Just as it is the reading of Achebe, for me, that bends space. Time=classics. Space=other. Time and Space. These are the two dimensions of literature.
I bend the paths of space, the many thousands of miles between me and Achebe, when I think of his words.
Carson seems to be more into time than space. I have never understood time, except in the sense that it both destroys and reveals, like snails on fresh unpaved pavement, reveling, not revealing, in the sunny second before the steamroller's shadow falls upon their spines.
And I only understand Time Revealer and Time Destroyer because I went to university for a while. They aren't natural ideas.* They are "Milton" ideas.
Anyways: Wonderful creatures: amongst the best: by that I mean they can eat lunch with Shakespeare in Heaven and interrupt his holding court, grill him on Titus (?), weep for Cordelia and sing a song for Ophelia.
Thus, I deign to wonder: What does Shakespeare think when he reads these following lines, again taken from Anne Carson's The Glass Essay?
I saw a high hill and on it a form shaped against hard air.
It could have been just a pole with some cloth attached,
But as I came closer
I saw it was a human body.
trying to stand against winds so terrible that the flesh was blowing off
And there was no pain.
was cleaning the bones.
They stood forth silver and necessary.
It was not my body, not a woman's body, it was the body of us all.
It walked out of the light.
The essay ends with this beautiful-seraphim/eschatological-angel on the horizon. It is the body of us all. Feminism is an "us". It is for us all. The micro-gaze flows within the intramission of that sight. We can see the micro in the Tulip. We can hear it revealed in the good Coltrane, or the subtle shifts in any good drone. A drone, to me, should always mimic the opening of a spring flower.
And what can we make of this "light"? Is it the light of the renaissance? Surely not! Surely not some empirical light, for that same light is the monster's candle: it illuminated the judge's drawing, just as it illuminated the horrors that, in Sebaldian terms, continue to suck us back into a black hole of unknowing, of Auschwitz and Ivory. Its gravitational pull is so immense it is invisible. It is, in fact, not light, but the antithesis of light.
Not Against Nature.
And when I think of this light, Carson's light, I feel as if swaddled in a birthing light.
This essay is, roughly, and jazzily, about woman poets, and a consistency of vision that I perceive in their works. There still, in 2009, aren't enough woman poets of renown (I do not have my ear to the ground) to make generalizing statements worthless--just as we might say something singular about 19th century Russian poetry. Argue that point if you have the energy--I know I can be made wrong, but it's important to the health and vitality of this essay that I ignore my ignorance, and just stick to this thread. I accept too, that in acknowledging a certain tradition, I enforce and ensure that this tradition exists. Thus, to be transgressive, I should be applauding those women who write like Milton. But, I say, Milton is a complete asshole, and the micro gaze is the good gaze.
And even if it is about a certain strand of women's writing, it is also about threads, and one of these threads seems to be a desire to delineate gender, to delete the conditions that create gender, that subordinate and hem in and, most importantly, that live to classify. I speak here of those impulses that salivate over terms, and limits, and barriers, and zones of the mind. Here's Dickinson's take on big hermeticism:
Arcturus is his other name,-
I'd rather call him star!
It's so unkind of science
To go and interfere!
I pull a flower from the woods, -
A monster with a glass
Computes the stamens in a breath
And has her in a class.
Indeed: that same (but not same) "monster" with a glass...this monster also walks the eschatological wastes of the Blood Meridian: that same judge, the judge who classifies a thing and then destroys it; a thing, a bird, a creature, its freedom serving to insult that vaunted, and macro, sense of the domineering human. It is a thing's freedom that rankles. Remember this.
"Definitions blur", to quote Carson, in her introduction to Euripides' Alkestis. If "Life and Death" can blur, (as it does in the play), then why not every other phenomenon real and imagined? It is the blurring that rankles.
I will end by resurrecting Carson's image of that body that walks out of the light. This body, Carson's body, her body and yet not her body, that walks out of the light: it is not a woman's body. It is certainly not a man's body. It resists classification. Lines are blurred. WIthin this blurring exists a kind of rankling freedom.
A tulip is a tulip, is a small thing, is a connected thing, is a thing that a small tree shadows. And what shadows that tree, but a summer cloud in some stratosphere? And on and on into the celestial gardens.
Rankling freedom and its infinite connections; nothing can really be hermetically sealed. Nothing is a binary. In the world of ones and zeroes there really is just ones, not one one, but a trillion small ones.
It is fatal for anyone who writes to think of their sex. It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple; one must be woman-manly or man-womanly. [...] And fatal is no figure of speech; for anything written with that conscious bias is doomed to death. It ceases to be fertilized. [..] There must be freedom and there must be peace. Not a wheel must grate, not a light glimmer.
I think I understand, if anything, this line about freedom and peace. One must not construct in anger, though the world provides for construction an endless array of fuels for outrage. Rather, one must construct using the last dying embers of righteous indignation withering in the soul of one's conscience, and one must also construct with an eye to the pink dawn. Soft anger, wild new hope, stillness of dawn, rankling freedom. Blurring definitions, with a gaze that is against Nation, against Milton, against systems and didactic talk, and forever and ever against the desecration of the Mysteries.
Here's a poem that has lodged itself into my mind. Maybe it's 2666, maybe it's just, you know, time. But this poem has come across my vision at a time when this shit just seems un-ignorable.
SOMEONE IS BEATING A WOMAN, by Andrei Voznesensky
Someone is beating a woman.
In the car that is dark and hot
Only the whites of her eyes shine.
Her legs thrash against the roof
Like berserk searchlight beams.
Someone is beating a woman.
This is the way slaves are beaten.
Frantic, she wrenches open the door.
And plunges out--onto the road.
Someone runs up to her,
Strikes her and drags her, face down,
In the grass lashing with nettles.
Scum, how meticulously he beats her,
Stilgaya, bastard, big hero,
His smart flatiron-pointed shoe
Stabbing into her ribs.
Such are the pleasures of enemy soldiers
And the brute refinements of peasants.
Trampling underfoot the moonlit grass,
Someone is beating a woman.
Someone is beating a woman.
Century on century, no end to this.
It's the young that are beaten. Somberly
Our wedding bells start up the alarum.
Someone is beating a woman.
What about the flaming weals
In the braziers of their cheeks?
That's life, you say. Are you telling me?
Someone is beating a woman.
But her light is unfaltering.
There are no religions,
There are women.
Lying there pale as water
Her eyes tear-closed and still,
She doesn't belong to him
Any more than a meadow deep in a wood.
And the stars? Rattling in the sky
Like raindrops against black glass,
Her grief-fevered forehead.
Translated by Jean Garrigue
Friday, June 5, 2009
Recently my phone rang.
-Do you want to be in our music video?
I threw the phone down in disgust. Why would I want to do that? I have pride--a certain sense of principles.
-No fucking way. As if I'd be in your music video. I am an artist, not a fancy dazzler. Fuck you.
-Oh, sorry; I forgot to mention we'll pay you one thousand dollars.
I threw the phone down in shock. I trembled. I crawled over to the shrine of Zeus, a supplicant at his stony knees. I emailed Delphi and asked how I might best handle this.
-Ummm, hello. Yeah: just looking at my calendar. Hmmm; actually, as it happens, I do have a fewwww days off.
-Oh, really? That's awesome!
-What kind of a video is it? Not that it matters. And who is the star? Not that it matters.
-You are the star. And it's a surf video, to be filmed in the West Coast town of Tofino.
I winked at the glowing, encouraging eyes of Zeus--time to push this into overdrive.
-I demand to be paid in cash, in American currency, and I demand to be flown in and out of location by float plane.
-That sounds reasonable.
And I laughed, and put it out of my mind, and thanked blessed Zeus, and for the next two months I did not think about it once, until the night before I was to board my float-plane.
I realized, rather late, that I had not received a ticket. Do float planes run on reservations? Am I on a list?
I made the appropriate queries.
-Oh, ummm. Yeah. The float plane. It will be two thousand dollars--
-And? Yes? I am sure you have access to that kind of money.
-Ummm? Are you serious? I can't tell if you are serious.
-Why would I not be serious? How would I benefit from un-seriousness?
-Hey: listen. We are sending by two old friends to pick you up. Haydn and Mike Rak.
Zeus' eyes were glowing red at this insult and blasphemy. I hung up.
We drove up to Tofino. The whole time I sat in the back and spread strife and discordance.
-Yes, hmmm, I wonder what I will spend my ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS on. Yes, it is nice to be a star. Hmmm, I wonder what the rest of the crew is being paid. Oh, it is none on my business, really. I should just be happy to be paid one thousand dollars, and be happy, I suppose.
I could see a few crumpled and dirty 5 dollar bills hanging out of their pockets. Their cheeks were hollow. I bit into my artisan hoagie. I tasted caramelized onions and fine salami. I instructed Mike Rak to drive more in the center of the road, so as to not get any gravel dust in my beautiful, luscious hair.
When we got to the film shoot, Mike Rak and Haydn marched over to the director. There was some kind of angry exchange. I yawned and fanned myself.
At the beach there was a commotion. The director had rented the same camera that had captured, in stunning slo-mo, the sharks in Planet Earth. It cost close to one million dollars, but only thousands of dollars to rent. It gleamed in the sunny haze.
The "locals" walked by. Their wet-suits hung from their sinewy bodies. Their stringy hair spoke to days in the rip-tube, in the swell-curl. They saw a million-dollar camera, on a ten-thousand dollar tripod, and many kinds of professional lights strung around the camera.
They began to assess the facts. Grizzled men in wet-suits, huddled around a million-dollar camera. Surely this was some kind of professional filming event, and these were professional surfers, for if not, then why the expensive camera?
Mike Rak pointed to me.
-Yeah, this guy is the star. He's a bit of a Malibu legend. You've probably heard of him: His name is--
--Zane. Zane McDermott.
I heard a telephone wire of Zanes rocket around the beach. Zane McDermott; a legend. A surf hero, so true to the wave that they had not even heard of Zane. Amazing, awesome, incommensurable, that Zane should be dipping his toes into the rip-swirl.
I looked into the sun. I looked into the quilt of clouds. I gazed as Zane might gaze.
After about an hour of dry-shots, the tension was unfathomable. People were crowded around the shoot, chanting Zane's name in time to the crashing of the waves.
No one stopped to think, 'Why does this chubby little beaver not look like a professional surfer? Doesn't his belly get in the way? What is his secret?'
I gazed some more. Pure 100 percent Zane McDermott.
It was finally time. I twirled my board up over my head with just my little finger. I trotted with assured confidence into the foam. I was Zane. I became Zane as my ankles disappeared beneath the foam. But I fell down. I tripped. I spat water. I blubbered. I sat in the foam for twenty minutes and tried to velcro my leash on. When I looked up, in faint hope, I saw that my career as a professional surfer had ended. Even the crew had disbanded, for a short time perhaps believing their own lies.
I looked to my right and saw the sea hurl Mike Rak onto the rocks. It was like an Egyptian myth-painting. I laughed. Hubris.
That night there was another commotion. They hadn't brought enough wood to make a brilliant fire. We needed a camp-fire, for a very important shot where my character, aka the star of the video, falls asleep by the campfire. And then sea creatures come out of the sea and rip my guts out.
So Todd had an idea. Since he is a pyrotechnics wizard, he suggested that I lie on one side of the fire, and he would go on the other side, just out of the vision of the kino-eye, and then dump gasoline on the fire, just as the sea-creatures came into vision.
I objected to the plan. I have a wife who loves me as I am. But I do not want to test the bounds of that love by coming home with gas burns all over my face.
There ensued a righteous chorus of tut-tut-tutting, and assurances. Todd even filled up a trash-can of water so I might quickly douse myself, should the unthinkable occur. I ignored my suspicion that gas burns hotter than the cooling properties of water, and consented. It was 4 in the morning.
The last scene was to have me dragged into the actual sea; the moon was to illuminate the gentle, celestial-lit foam. But it was raining. The tide was out. The tide was so far out, that after being dragged for two hundred feet through the murk and mud and seaweed, we were no closer to the lip of the sea.
-Cursed ocean! Where are you! Show thyself!
The electrical cord had reached its limit. They had only brought two hundred feet of cable. I had been dragged through two hundred feet of muck.
Someone pointed to a creek, a tiny tributary.
-Drag the star through that. It might look okay.
So they did. They dragged me over a small ledge into a creek, and dragged my flailing body for another one hundred yards.
I ran away.
In the morning the director drove me to the bus. He had got some good shots. He paid me that which I demand and deserve. We hugged.
I burned one twenty-dollar bill and the thigh of a bull for sweet Zeus when I got home.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Swan Lake is a musical project that I am a part of. It’s not quite a “band”—we have no drummer, no bass player, no help. There are only songwriters. There are three songwriters: me and my good friends Spencer Krug and Dan Bejar.
Dan dubbed the project Swan Lake, further cementing his position in the skate-punk Mecca that is EAST VAN/STRATHCONA as a lunatic, a pompous member of the bourgeoisie, a man too obsessed with the immutable worth of his own cantos to even crack a WILDCAT ©or a DUDE ©. Before he christened our association, I jokingly and self-effacingly called the project MODERN SONGWRITERS, a name so cringe-inducing that I thought “surely no one will think we actually would call ourselves MODERN SONGWRITERS”. I was wrong, sarcasm sucks.
One day we were in the studio, and we were sitting in what studios call “the lobby”, which is a front-window-secretary-space with couches and a coffee maker and usually a Nintendo machine. We were sitting on these leather couches when the most tortured, un-listenable sounds started floating out of the mixing room. This was the sound of our first record: I think Dan or Spencer said “it sounds like a boar dying in a tar pit.”
I am an excellent synthesizer: I have very little creativity, very little spark, and I only possess a knack at fusing things together and making causal connections. Immediately the image of a wild and frenzied boar in a tar-pit passed through my mind: it was gasping, bleating, gnashing, and death-moaning in the tar-pit, the ugliest sound on earth and in earth. I said “Let’s call our record Beast Moans”. We were laughing a lot—it was nice. I miss those guys even now.
Beast Moans was recorded through a DIGI 001, a piece of shit that looks like a dolphin. I remember a week before we started our project, waking up in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, thinking ‘Oh my God all we have is a DIGI 001 and it looks like a fucking dolphin.’ I was really scared.
We had a bit of money and I thought about buying an APOGEE ENSEMBLE, until I turned one on. Every light starts blinking at once, and all the lights are barney-coloured and cotton-candy coloured, and any hope of conjuring up some “Morrison-like plunge into the darkness with me baby mojo fest” is eliminated by this gaudy and pukey light show.
I am speaking about analog to digital converters here: The microphone captures the sound, the pre-amp gives the sound its shape and its tone, but this sound or signal is still in an analog format. After the pre-amp, the sound can go to either an additional shaping device, like EQ or Compression, or straight to the recorder. If the recorder is digital, like a computer, the analog signal needs to be transmogrified into a digital code, represented as “zeroes and ones”. Some boxes do this really well. Other boxes are shitty—the DIGI 001 is famously shitty.
So the record ended up sounding pretty shitty!
There are some pretty interesting ideas on Beast Moans though, and at least shitty is a sound.
I've had an idea, a concept, for my music for some time. This idea is best represented as a gigantic bowl of vibrant, pulsating, intersecting wet spaghetti noodles that wrap themselves around two or three monolithic meatballs. So in a song like “City Calls”, the umpteen snaking vocal lines and mimetic organ and guitar lines wrap around the only slightly-saucy meatball of a floor tom, or a meatball of a Dan Bejar singing “and the ill-milk in your bones…”, and this song might be thought of as flying towards you in space, and as it grows closer you realize that it gets bigger and fills more of your vision, that is to say that the negative space is being continually blocked out, continually being eaten up by this spherical mass. At the same time you realize that the plate is getting bigger, you also realize that your vision does not become more acute, you do not notice any new detail about the surface of the meatballs or about the make-up or consistency of the vibrant noodles—the image eats up more space, but you don’t ever get any more information about what is eating up more space. So in the end you feel angry and like puking, but you also can’t really look away. I hope.
Except that I do not feel that I have ever represented this idea in my music successfully.
We laid down our bare-bones parts in a small barn on top of a mountain range. We used RCA 77dx mics, and great river pre-amps, and a blackface 1176 compressor, thanks for asking. The bare-bones tracks sounded pretty cool. We should have just left it at that, but I wanted spaghetti and meatballs. So I fucked it all up or whatever. It’s no big deal: I fuck a lot of things up.
I can’t remember if this essay had a point. I started it a month ago and remembered to try and finish it today.
One of the funny things about Enemy Mine was that, for all this talk about collaboration, there wasn’t too many times that we were all in front of a microphone or a monitor together.
Allow me to digress, and through digression I will come to a point.
Melanie and I: we live a soft, domestic life. We go to the same video store everyday. We have a relationship with the woman at the beer store. We know the cashiers at the grocery store.
The recording of Enemy Mine, due to everyone’s schedules, was kind of weird and intense and I did not get to see Melanie as much as I usually like, which is of course every waking second. In fact, I hardly saw her at all.
And I never saw Spencer for the first two weeks because he was tangled up in his life in Montreal.
So for the first stretch of Enemy Mine recording in February 2008, I spent every waking second with someone whose soul I am slightly less mystically connected to: Dan Bejar.
The clerks and cashiers who, for years, have seen Melanie and I cuddling in line to buy our carrots or arguing over Terms of Endearment (my choice) or Krull (her choice) or canoodling while we wait for our Africanos, now saw me with a new constant companion: Daniel, with his trimmed beard, and his scarf, and his tan jacket, and his city-guy loafers, and his eccentric hair and his distant, superior, European sensibility.
Every day at the video store, and the beer store (buying Strongbows no less), we would giggle over something, and he would buy his Spanish wine and me my Strongbows.
Important: all of the “Recording” money was in Dan’s account, so he was always paying for everything. This act occurred many times, and the act procured more than a six-pack: he bought Toilet-paper and coffee. The kind I always get. And a toothbrush.
I think these are things couples buy.
I started to sense this palpable anguish from the younger members of our cashier-community. This anguish was not strictly homophobic, but more a question of TRUE LOVE: where was Mel? We seemed so in love!
And who is this bearded guy who is buying everything? What are you two giggling about? What are you doing, man! You’re throwing your life away! This guy: what’s his story! And shouldn’t I have waited a respectable month before I introduced this new companion to my community?
Lines were drawn, and though Melanie and I did not know it, the community sided with Mel. It’s funny to think: she was just working away at her nursing job, totally oblivious to the immense community outpouring of sympathy that was being psychically channeled against me (and this decrepit urban usurper), and in favor of her.
We had no idea.
This went on for two weeks: by the end of our time together, I fully expected some life counseling: a cashier intervention.
And then one day Spencer showed up, and the very next day Dan left. And the whole sordid, or seemingly sordid, ritual of video-renting and Strongbow-purchasing and toothpaste/toiletries buying started up again, but now with my new friend. This ritualistic living began anew, but now with my new young-looking handsome cherubic friend. And still: no sign of Melanie.
As if I had ditched Melanie, burned through Dan, and had now settled on this latest untarnished prize.
Succubus with a blonde beard.
So now they were like “Well, we were just starting to get used to that old dude, that guy with the beard, and now you’re bringing this new little guy in? With his soft voice and his canvas shoes and his gentle mannerisms? What’s next? Who the fuck is next? Where’s Melanie? Where’s old guy? Who’s this young guy?” and so on and so on, a vicious and dizzying cycle of serial mono-ga-tude and homophobia-lite chorusing out of their judgmental gaze.
And then, as if the torrid clouds of my new “experimental lifestyle” had passed over our island and headed out to the open ocean, Melanie returned to my side.
The first part of the tracking of Enemy Mine was done!
We had our gentle life back. I made all kinds of triumphant appearances at our local haunts, my arm wrapped proudly around Mel: Even the nihilistic stock-boy who doesn’t believe in love and who makes puking sounds when we smooch by the canned peas, even he was openly sobbing tears of relief. The universe had righted itself. Old poet and young page/squire were phantoms of mist. Melanie and I laughed and joked in the aisles.
The old guy at the video store who loves his rye and cokes looked me in the eye again.
We did a second round of singing and plinking in Vancouver, at JC/DC studio, in April 2008.
I felt comfortable there. I had one great experience at JC/DC.
Let me write it down if I can.
Dan was off reading Paul Reiser’s Fatherhood, or grabbing a pizza, and Spencer was in the singing room. JC and DC were out of town. So, on this day, I was without qualification the master of the control room.
I was rolling around the floor, rolling in freedom, rolling because the control chair has wheels. I had my feet up on the computer like Spider-man’s boss. I was in charge.
We were working on one of Dan’s songs—I think it’s called “Ballad of a Swan Lake”. The last two minutes of the song is chiefly Spencer and I wailing “I sat down / and took a number / at the table where / death resides”
What a beautiful line. It’s courageous, and noir, and of course very funny. I walked around for months softly singing this song, this one line: it puts a lilt in my step. I felt lucky.
As I’ve said, for the last half of this song, there’s one track of me wailing this line, over and over again. And then Spencer said “let me try wailing!”
And of course he did his wailing. And then he said, into the microphone, “Let me try doing another track of wailing!”
And I was like “Fucking A”!
So I panned his first wail to his left headphone. This means you only hear it in your left headphone or speaker. This is the difference between “Stereo” and “Mono”: the ability to assign or weight specific tracks to one speaker. It supposedly creates more space.
I kept my wail “in the middle”, meaning it went to both headphones equally in volume. And I put his soon to be recorded second wail on the right side.
Think: Three horsemen galloping down a narrow and short stone canyon, two of them identical twins, all three riders screeching a litany about death. Each horse has an identical human face, a classic mix of Spaniard and Sephardic Jew. The face of the horse bears a well-manicured beard.
I had a kind of platonic vision of music when he was recording his second wail. I saw beams and streams of yellow light emanating from the tweeters, and I saw condensed tendrils of purple oozing from the woofers. I spun around and around on my control chair. I lost my mind in the righteousness of it all. I flew into the birth milk of the cosmos and I smelt a star, I fell onto the top of Mt. Olympus and I picked a yellow flower out of Zeus’ sandal. I did, I did: all of this, I swear. But this is personal, and I am not sure if anyone else will have a similar reaction if anyone else ever comes to hear the song.
And then Spencer asked “How was that?”
And I pushed the speak button and said “Pretty good, bud.”
And that is all I have to say about Enemy Mine.
- ► 2009 (10)