Books...

Book

02013-04-25 @ 15:04

From Jaron Lanier’s latest book – read more on Wired. Here he writes about musicians, who no longer earn money from recordings and have to rely on performing:

It is one thing to sing for your supper occasionally, but to have to do so for every meal forces you into a peasant’s dilemma: The peasant’s dilemma is that there’s no buffer. A musician who is sick or old, or who has a sick kid, cannot perform and cannot earn. A few musicians, a very tiny number indeed, will do well, but even the most successful real-time-only careers can fall apart suddenly because of a spate of bad luck. Real life cannot avoid those spates, so eventually almost everyone living a real-time economic life falls on hard times.

Listening

02013-04-24 @ 12:04

Without the listener there is no music. The listener completes the musical circuit, and, even though I am not a musician, I feel as if I am a form of musician when I listen and believe that, by hearing the piece, by responding to it with my thoughts of what it is and what it is doing – what it means – I am actually helping to finish it off. As the listener I am the final element in the making of the music. I have made the music useful. I have put it into context: the context of my own life, and my own perception of what music is, and why it exists.

– Paul Morley, Words and Music: a history of pop in the shape of a city

I do not think that music has to have a listener aside from the person or persons making the music, and I don’t believe that music has to be useful, but I like the above description of the listener completing a circle.

We could say the same about a reader who, by imagining the people and the landscapes described in a book, makes words come to life and thus completes the circle.

See also this, which I wrote about twenty years ago for Musician magazine.

2012 Reading List

02012-10-07 @ 08:10

My 2012 reading list, in no particular order. Could not put “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” down and finished it yesterday, a little after midnight.

√ – simply means that I read the book. The unread titles are at the ready, mostly in the form of hardcovers and paperbacks, some bought used but most bought at Collected Works, which is a fantastic bookstore in Santa Fe.

Spiegel und Maske (1970-1983) – Jorge Luis Borges √
Momo – Michael Ende √
The Offensive Traveler – V. S. Pritchett √
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco √
Angelmaker – Nick Harkaway √
The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway √
Peter Høeg – Das Stille Mädchen √
A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway √
Alif the Unseen – G. Willow Wilson √
The Secret Race – Tyler Hamilton √
Gods Without Men – Hari Kunzru √
1Q84 – Haruki Murakami √
Buddha in Blue Jeans -Tai Sheridan √
Distrust that Particular Flavor – William Gibson √
Lying – Sam Harris √
Years of Red Dust – Qui Xiaolong √
Ratking – Michael Dibdin √
Vendetta – Michael Dibdin √
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell √
Tribal Peoples – Stephen Corry √
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan √
Le Freak – Nile Rodgers √
How Music Works – David Byrne
Cabal – Michael Dibdin
Dead Lagoon – Michael Dibdin
Cosi Fan Tutti – Michael Dibdin
Some Remarks – Neal Stephenson
The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan Eng
Ninja – 1,000 Years of the Shadow Warriors – John Man
The Quantum Universe – Brian Cox

Words

02010-07-08 @ 12:07

[aiming a video camera] …at anything doesn’t collect what is meaningful to me. I need someone to gather it in with all their senses, mix it round in their head, and make it over into words.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

 


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