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🎼 Relax Your Mind ... You Have Found:
SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS

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Episode One: A TRIBUTE TO DAVID BERMAN (2019)

I originally posted this first set of music in September, 2019. It's March 2020 as I'm putting this on a proper page, and I am still feeling the depth and heartbreak of Berman's work. This is a reworking of three readings of David Berman's, with added music to make them into small audio scenes.

Berman was, of course, one of the world's most gifted writers and creative thinkers. (And rockers, if you consider Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, and how can you not.) -- As a younger person, my mind was changed by Berman's hallucinatory and galvanizing prose. Listen to The Moon (track three) and note the speeding depth of narrative that's achieved in such a short amount of text.

A lament: David had agreed to participate in a track for this project, but time ran out. These tracks were initially planned to be shared with him as a beginning of that conversation, but were finished instead in late 2019 after he'd passed. The opener is an introduction, "The Rubber Strip on the Interstate" to hold the package of three poems together.


Episode Two: PAUL KRASSNER, Interview Part One (and "Earth, Take Four")

Paul was a mentor and political hero to me. He became a close friend through working as his archivist on The Realist Archive. In 2017, I interviewed him for The American Bystander, issue four. Audio from that interview far exceeded the subject of the piece, and when Paul died last year I started to edit the phonecalls into separate sections. The result is a series of audio pieces. This first one deals with Paul's memories of JFK. Follow-up pieces will go into even weirder territory.

The second piece of this episode is "Earth, Take Four". This is a spoken piece I did a few months ago on volcanoes sending laughing gas into the atmosphere. It began as an environmental piece (I'm frustrated with the world's response to climate and hoped the planet would reply in some way to our bad behavior) - But now with odd pandemic occurence, felt as appropriate as ever to post.


Episode Three: PAUL KRASSNER, Part Two and Henry Miller with a 1973 Buchla Music Easel

Side A: "Paul Krassner's 1959 Underground News Report on the Birth Control Pill"

Greetings, all! This week continues my discussion with Paul Krassner, from an interview conducted in 2017. Paul is recognized as an early second-wave feminist, and one of the coolest things he did, in my opinion, was use his reach as a publisher to advocate for reproductive freedoms - including contraception.

In 1959, he began to change The Realist from a satirical paper into one blended with some sharp politics. Subsequently, he published one of the earliest news stories on Enovid, or the Birth Control Pill. At the time, it was sensationally referred to in America as the 1955 Puerto Rican Birth Control Experiments.

Hear Paul's recollection of this significant act of publishing:

Side B: "Henry Miller reads from "The Colossus of Maroussi" with a 1973 Buchla Music Easel, Linn Drum, and a Roland Jupiter-8

A fun side B, this is a reworking of Henry Miller's self-recorded vocal of "The Colossus of Maroussi". The vocal comes from a very rare LP, which is on colored red disc! - I visited a friend who has collected Henry Miller work for decades, who has a copy. Here's a look at one of the rarest literary records ever made, published in very small edition in 1949:

"Written in Greece and New York, 1940. Recorded at Nepenthe, [Henry Miller's] nearest neighbor with electricity in Big Sur, California, June, 1949. Made in New York City."

Adding to this vocal is a three-piece of some of the coolest electronics ever made. I own none of these, as well, but a few years ago I visited a friend with a 1973 Buchla Music Easel, then also visited a friend with a Linn Drum, and finally got a chance to play with a Jupiter 8. All of those recording sessions were combined here into the Henry Miller track. Listen here:

Back next week with more from Paul and some more surprises. Hope you're all doing well, Ethan


Next Update: Episode Three, Monday, April 6