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April 29, 2012


ASSEMBLAGE (Electronics)

Milo Fine: electronic piano (electronics), B flat clarinet (electronics) ~~ Joe Smith: electronics ~~ Charles Gillett: guitar ~~ Elaine Evans: violin (electronics) ~~ Kevin Cosgrove: electric shelf, wave drum ~~ Erkki Huovinen: guitar (electronics), keyboard/organ module (electronics) ~~ Jesse Petersen: guitar (electronics)

Concert begins at 7p. $5-$10 donation requested.

each of us harbors a dark space within. no, not that dark space. not the one we are comfortable speaking about. acknowledging with ah air of aplomb. it is that other dark place. the one named fear. the one we would rather not. the one informed by voices neither translatable nor comforting. the darkness that ignores us but that we cannot wholly forget. ~~ we spend lifetimes arranging our senses giving vocabulary to rhythms, harmonies, images and dances which soothe us. what lies outside that understanding we consign to the darkness. the below. the fearful. but why? why limit the scope of experience? why put a fence around “this much” or even “this much” and say enough, good. beyond that, no thank you. what is a limit? a boundary? an enclosure of any kind? what inclines us to lean away form now, the unexperienced, the surprising, the scratchy and the ticklish? barefoot walking on broken glass? or spilled honey? why not this, now, instead of birkenstocks and bamboo flooring?

the long, accelerating run down the tarmac. double yellow line streaking by underneath. rumble and thump, flomp and click of tires on the imperfect surface, then… silence. shift of sound to air noise. flight noise. bird noise. wing noise. feather noise. cloud noise. weather noise. a storm thinking about becoming. electricity charging particles of dust, inducing water to adhere. ~~ and the tarmac below, ticking in the afternoon heat. breathing. moving with the roll of the earth and the pull of the moon, waiting for the storm above to gather, to swirl, to fling itself down… and the darkness below all that.

sound fades to a hum, a fan left on somewhere. the night cooling. nightbirds, bats and insects hazarding the darkness, each fitted out with a trick for fooling the night. each with a sun in its pocket. each invading the space reserved for darkness. not the darkness. just the everyday dark. the darkness. that darkness does not care what time of day, what kind of light – moon, star, sun or LED. that darkness, like the ghost-pale fish living in subterranean ponds for millions of years, has no eyes. navigates with other senses. other tools. finds us buy the odor we give off when afraid. by the rhythms thumping off our skin. by the hesitation in our step. or the pause in lifting our hand to say goodbye.

the barking fish. caught in the cataract. of melting ice. thundering. down the. mountainside. stream. a four-legged caught. in the mud. up to its. knees. bellowing. to the fish. for help. “why is this? happening?” ~~ can animals think. like that? if humans. can make these sounds. why not? if these musicians can sculpt. such a landscape. why not? why say something in not. possible. just because. no one has seen. or heard. or felt it. yet. suppose this. our senses are not. well-enough attuned. but such events have been. occurring since time. began. suppose. there are seven. other senses. we are capable of developing. or nineteen. but we have not yet…

watching. expectant. wondering. hungry for you to appear. anxious for you to declare your presence. watching you. watching you watch the way the air filled up. looking for a door. listening for a way in. one not superfluous. necessary. encouraging. and then it was… and they did… and everyone…

all the flywheels whirling. same velocity. same key. machinery humming. while the darkness attends… silent. its entrails coiling. its heartbeat pinging like sonar in a russian submarine. darkness skipping through the water like a silent fish. calcified shells of tiny sea animals, dying, dropping to the sea floor. raining down through the wet, dark salt-drift current to bang, in their minute ways, on the sea floor. like molecules of light striking the skin of a drum. the lens of a diode, the rods and cones of a vat eye in the dark. the dark in the dark. spinning cat noise. like flax on the wheel of night.

cosmic ping pong. three- (or more) dimensioned table. international championships. too fast for anyone to see. audience ears special glasses. wired to the cameras which slow the action of a viewable level. awards are give tom those who teach themselves to watch the game without glasses, to appreciate the nuances. these are the elect. who jump the fence. who cut the wire. who break the rules. who ask why?

something vibrates from so far below. it moves the floor. the sidewalks. we do not hear the sound. we breathe it in. inhale it. draw it down into the soles of our feet and farther. down back into the earth. ankles and shins tingle. toes float in our shoes. walking might be a problem. balance is so far away. this is teetering. on the brink. this is hello darkness. anxious to meet you. I have been waiting for this vibration. waiting to feel the chair seat flutter under me. waiting to be escorted well beyond the room. the floor. this gallery. to a space where altered perceptions are the norm. where skin folds and stretches. ears and heart contract into surprising and unexpected shapes. where no one knows anyone’s name but no one is a stranger. even the knocking at the door. a sign of the unexpected, the darkness, deciding to join the party.

the frog’s ignition needs work. the mechanic is off duty. the stars pool their light in the dark pond.

if these were bells, they would be hanging in a distant spire beyond the forest and pathway up the mountain. the clanging vibration rattling down the hill, into the ground, and travels all the way back to our feet. which turn into ears lying on the ground. like fish our of water. gasping and flipping about. for more of what is drawing them toward the darkness.

these sounds ignite the base of my spine. shuffle the vertebrae. realign the pelvic muscles, the cradle of bones that are my hips. these hip bones become cellos, bowed by the throbbing night. fingers lithe as iridescent insects flit up and down the strings, the spinal cord of this music. wrapping it ecstatic arms around us in an embrace that feels like insight. like looking inward toward the darkness and growing ready, willing, anxious to name it…at last.