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December 29, 2006 - December 2006 Archives

Time stand still

Between Christmas and New Years - as if time stands still in that period. I wonder how much that has to do with the dark weather, and if I'd perceive it in the same way on the southern hemisphere. Finally finding time (or disregarding time) to get away a bit from the rush of the freelancer with the parttime job on the side. Waking up slowly, drinking coffee while listening to Messiaen's 'Quartet for the end of time', doing some reading - philosophy mainly. What better words to make time stand still...

Finally I've also made (found?) time to work on an idea I've had for a while: making an 'ambient' cd. Late at night, as well as on those silent mornings, I like to listen to the really quiet work of Biosphere (Autour de la lune), but also to the more soundbased work of people like Gal, John Hudak, Jacob Kirkegaard. After finding an interesting and high potential soundsource in Supercollider, and inspired by the winter in Amsterdam, I decided to start a new project, based on minimalism in sound, using mainly that soundsource in Supercollider. I'll post some snippets later.

So I've been trying to wrap my mind around french philosopher Alain Badiou. His essay 'Ethics' is halfway between a political pamphlet and a philosophical discussion. I find it quite a difficult read, also because of this duality: should I read certain statements as his political opinion (with which I generally agree) or should I try to read it as logical conclusions of philosophical reasoning. Not trying to summarize his philosophy, his political statements are about how Human Rights are in today's world used as a mockup of political games, as a tool to keep the Western Lifestyle dominant. I've written and erased a couple of sentences here, as I'm terrible in putting these complicated issues into words. But I highly recommend reading Badiou yourself.

December 20, 2006 - December 2006 Archives

Recent CD acquisitions

* Noxagt - Norwegian Black Sabbath meets Mastodon
* Anne Norheim - dodeka / electric - I only knew him through Biosphere's Nordheim transformed - but the original is so much better!
* Geir Jenssen - Cho Oyu - sound log from a trip up to the Cho Oyu mountain in Tibet - the liner notes read like a real exciting short story, and the music is environmental with the typical Biosphere twitch
* Tim Hecker - Harmony in ultraviolet - better than Fennesz

December 19, 2006 - December 2006 Archives


Borrowed from the <tag> mailing:

"The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished."
George Bernard Shaw

I feel very connected with this through my work as a mathematican in ancient times, studying the Dutch mathematician LEJ Brouwer and Intuitionism. Brouwer believed that mathematical constructions are impossible to convey through any written or spoken language - they are purely constructions of the mind, and to try to capture those events in any language will never give you any certainty that the person you try to convey this to will build the same constructions in their minds.

From Brouwer's Cambridge Lectures on Intuitionism:

Completely separating mathematics from mathematical language and hence from the phenomena of language described by theoretical logic, recognising that intuitionistic mathematics is an essentially languageless activity of the mind [..]."

Recently I've found similar ideas in Trevor Wishart's book On sonic art - writing about the dominion of the written word, as being a way to 'objectively' convey ideas. Stating that musical communication is on a whole different level then spoken or written words.

December 5, 2006 - December 2006 Archives

back to work..

After getting that out of my system, let me mention the STEIM Mirco Jamboree we're putting together for next week. Sessions with experts in the field of sensorsystems, artists putting these systems into practice, and concerts with the full new artistic staff of STEIM for 2007. More info on


So. It seems the democracy in the Netherlands is going down the drain. My confidence in the democratic system wasn't that big to begin with, but the following is really flabbergasting. Last week the people have cast their votes, creating a shift in the electorial field. Both extreme right and extreme left gained, and the current government lost bigtime, especially on the right side. Forming a new government is going to be tough, but it seems a center-left coalition (CDA/PvdA/SP) could make a chance. In the meantime, while this process is just starting up, the PvdA, the biggest leftish party, commanded a vote about the policy of the to-be-replaced government of expelling illegal immigrants, some of whom have waited more than 5 years for the decision - while having build up a new life, kids grown up in a dutch way, and really becoming 'new' dutch citizins. And, most of all, not having any life to go back to in their 'home country'. This policy is inhuman, and now was actually voted against by the '2e kamer' ('congress') 75-74. So this is clearly the people speaking I'd say, so close after elections. But what does the soon-to-be-replaced government do? They refuse to carry it out!! What!? Because it was a not a big majority voting against? That's the way democracy works, not?? I'm outta words....

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