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<nettime> ========================================= dead music (fwd)
Alan Sondheim on Sat, 5 Jan 2013 09:58:58 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> ========================================= dead music (fwd)





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dead music

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i do dead music: music of the dead, music by the dead, music for the dead.
sometimes someone listens over my shoulder until our bones fall off. our
bones are bright bracelets but the music goes out. sometimes someone does
dead music. yes because the dead are eternally with us, and my music, at
least to me, appears stillborn. I'm not sure what you mean like all
elements; objects have resonances but if they're chaotic enough they'd
cancel out. Meanwhile for us humans most music dies unrecorded and
probably unheard except for the musician - because I work the graveyard
shift. because there's nothing dreamed of in this world, there's just the
world. because the world does not dream. because it does not i do dead
music. my saz was made by ahmet tekeli a famous saz player. there is a
picture of him in Rebecca Bryant, The soul danced into the body: Nation
and Improvisation in Istanbul. the label reads Figure 5. Saz greats in a
_meyhane_ (bar/restaurant): Left to right, Semsi Yastiman, Kastamonulu
Yorgansiz Hakki Baba, and Ahmet Tekeli in Kastamonu, 1967 (courtesy of
Sinan Yastiman). my saz now has violin pegs, six working strings, a bridge
positioned upon veneer, a somewhat damaged headstock, a poorly-painted
bowl (black), and cracks. the sound is the sound of the dead. on my suroz,
the sound is the sound of the dead. do i play for myself. i imagine all
instruments in flight from the open window ascending silently into the
sky. i imagine they call for me. tonight i walked among them strumming the
open strings. they say, whatever you do is insufficient, your hands are
torn and crippled, your mind bedraggled, you think about death and your
thinking is a dream. i cannot reply unless i dream, and my dreams are
nightmares of death and close-knit families internally torn apart. on the
saz i play without error and without tradition, i know no songs, i cannot
sing anyway. to listen and play dead music is to inhabit the ashes of the
world. the world unsung has no history, no moments. it is the singing of
the world that transforms sound into speaking, that gives stories the
strength of continuing the history of death. our history is the history of
death and there is not, even for a moment, any other history. we do not
revive the past, we are drawn into its graves, we are already accumulation
and abyss. among ourselves with think we are talking. if you listen to a
recording of my saz you can imagine fingers in motion, the light weight of
the instrument, the smoothness of the neck, the roughness of the sound-
board from so many players. it is all grey, the color of non-existent when
the first whites and last blacks transform into last blacks, first whites.
that moment when death seeps through and you realize nothing has seeped in
all eternity, it has always been what we interpret in shuddering as motion
and meaning, just as we are forgetful and the promise or premise of the
fecundity of infinite worlds dies before the music has even a chance of
becoming-music, when it appears to take up residence, reside. besides, you
do not listen, and if you did, you would have to always listen, have
always listened. just in order to make an other order, to make an other.
which you cannot do. which is why i play for myself and it is always an
appeal and always unappealing. it refuses the raggedness of enlightenment
when something crackles and you believe you are transformed. but the
mountain is still a mountain. the mountain always was a mountain. the
solace of geologic time transforms it into flatness. notes are never
carved, they appear dream-like to inhabit the air. they do not. they are
not heard. there is possibility of hearing. there is no hearing. there is
no life, there is either death. there is no history and no death. there is
none of this. there is no writing. there is no sounding and no sounding-
out. nothing is heard. all music is dead music. i do dead music. i do dead
music: music of the dead, music by the dead, music for the dead. i do
nothing. in figure 5, ahmet stares at the camera with an odd expression.
he is on the right. he appears related to me. i am playing his saz which
has been changed through history. it is not his image and it is not ahmet
and he is not looking at anything. every statement precedes with a codicil
and is followed by a codicil. the codicil is mute. the codicil enunciates
the end of the universe within an imaginary belonging to the text. to the
statement. to every statement. the codicil is continuous reiteration. it
precedes and follows everything. it is within everything. it precedes and
follows every word. it is within every word. it precedes and follows every
letter. it is within every letter. it is within every sound. it is within
the sound of the saz. it is within the string and the vibration of the
string. it is the texture and textile of dreams. it precedes and follows
dreams. it is within dreams. it is not imaginary. the codicil is the music
of the dead, music by the dead, music for the dead. but we are dead.

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< nightmares of death and close-knit families internally torn apart. on
the > nightmares of death and closeknit families internally torn apart. on
the < when something crackles and you believe you are transformed. but the
when somethat crackles and you believe you are transformed. but the <
solace of geologic time transforms it into flatness. notes are never >
salce of geologic time transforms it into flatness. notes are never <
letter. it is within every letter. it is within every sound. it is within
leter. it is within every letter. it is within every sound. it is within

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