Impossible Music/2 [78s, 45s, EPs, LPs]
The needle points the way (Tao) the energy (literal, manifest, i.e., Chi) goes, flows, circulates into the coils of ear
Of precious stones the diamond is preferred, its aspects cut & faceted as the disc itself
(Is the disc its self?)
The medium of recording: ghost oracle
What’s on the disc, in it, was first netted on tape
Sound trapped on tape is faster than its encoded approximate in the disc
A process, a procedure, of approximations
It creates illusions
We make them real through listening
Tape moves straight ahead across the tape-heads
Tape can be moved backwards & heard backwards, tape is more circular than disc, disc moves around in circles
Do we hear in circles?
Music coming out of speakers
But who speaks music?
We don’t hear music we hear the record or tape
In/on tape a hiss that hints of Eden
In/on records a variety of sounds, pops, pulses, shatter created variously, either imprinted during manufacture or the decomposing time does wearing-down the disc’s surface
Tape’s the thread where time & tone weave into a record, or as diamond, the cut
Forget real or unreal time, it’s a collage, a graft of time splices, a weaving
Art in a circle demands tiers of decoding
Each disc as different as how it’s heard
when it’s heard
Ghosts powered by electricity
A record of something that didn’t happen
Dust gathers around the needle
What comes off the record does not return
Dervishes dance in opposition to the turntable
Many musician study circular-breath techniques
But the tape loop does away with breath
Waiting to hear the sound of air the bow cuts into, listening to a Bartok quartet on highschool hi-fi player
The “medium,” mask hole intones spirits out of the circle
His Master’s Voice
Or flip side, yet only one side at a time
With tape it’s possible not only to hear the music backwards but also all at once, sonic geology—two different works, each on its track, in its time & pitch, played simultaneously
What’s heard? The AB Side?
You can alter the turntable’s speed
You can alter the record’s sound via various controls on the tuner
Whenever I read ads in music magazines I wonder why a record in so perishable if the playback equipment is “state-of-the-art”?
Who has state-of-the-art ears?
Bartok recording Hungarian peasants on dictaphone tubes
Wire-recorders remind me of Medusa or Elsa Lanchester’s voltaged wig as Frankenstein’s Eve
Roll, spiral, disc: circle game
Square-note singing; circle of 5ths
Circulate the sound of music in the room I left
David Meltzer was born in Rochester, New York, and raised in Brooklyn. He began his literary career during the San Francisco Beat and Berkeley Renaissance period in North Beach, California, and his work was included in the anthology, The New American Poetry 1945-1960. At the age of 20 he recorded...