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Blog entries on '21 February 2007'

Wednesday 21 February 2007

T.S. Eliot remix MP3s

T.S. Eliot remix MP3s (via disquiet). No. Really:


A 30-minute segment of a piece that Janek Schaefer performed one month ago, on January 20, as part of the Sound:Space sonic arts symposium in England, has been uploaded as the latest entry in the Gene Pool Podcast series of the Digital Media Centre. It achieves its meta state through simple means. A man's voice is heard so that each phrase is spoken first into one ear, then the other, and perhaps a third. That the man is saying things like "present in time future" and "what might have been is an abstraction" and, ultimately, "footfalls echo in the memory" gives the repetitions additional meaning. The poem, of course, is T.S. Eliot's "Burnt Norton." In time, an additional element is introduced, chiming background synthesis that nestles the stanzas (MP3).

For a more raw take on this layering, download the version on Schaefer's audioh.com website (MP3). In that edit, which is just over three minutes, nothing is heard but the voice, playing out thanks to three separate tone arms on his single, ingenious Tri-Phonic Turntable. More info at sound-space.info and digitalmediacentre.org. Full text of Eliot's poem, if you weren't encouraged to memorize it during school, at tristan.icom43.net.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 21 February 2007

More on Mai Ghoussoub

The publisher Saqi Books have sent me a press release about Mai Ghoussoub -- I'll quote it in full:


Our dear friend Mai Ghoussoub, artist, author, playwright and founding director of Saqi died suddenly on 17 February 2007 in London.

Mai was born in 1952 in Lebanon. She studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts/Lebanese University and graduated from the American University of Beirut with a BA in French Literature, before moving to London in 1979, where she studied sculpture at Morley College and the Henry Moore Studio. That same year she and her childhood friend, André Gaspard, founded the Al Saqi Bookshop, which has become a beacon of Arab culture in London, occupying 26 Westbourne Grove for the past twenty-eight years. They ventured into publishing in 1983, founding Saqi, and in 1990 started the Arabic publishing house Dar al-Saqi in Beirut. Since the 1980s Mai combined her activities as an artist, writer and publisher: ‘I write for my sculptures and I sculpt for my words.’ Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She wrote numerous articles on culture, gender, aesthetics and the Middle East, and is the author of many books in English, Arabic and French. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies, including Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women and Lebanon, Lebanon. In 2005 she wrote, directed and performed Texterminators at the Lyric and Dominion theatres in London, the Unity Theatre in Liverpool, and the Marignan Theatre in Beirut. It was described as ‘outstanding theatre’ by Time Out. Most recently, her work was featured in the exhibition Beirut Out of War, which she curated with Ara Azad, Suheil Sleiman and Rana Salaam, at the MAN Museum in Liverpool.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Serendipoetry

Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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October's Books of the Month

The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

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