All entries for March 2008

March 11, 2008

Kaplan's Korner

Writing about web page

Yo La Tengo are, on and off, my favourite band; partly it's the attitude and not just the music. Therefore you should probably be watching this video:

March 08, 2008

Correspondence with the Books

Hey Ben,

Well, i've always had a love/hate relationship with language, written and

on the one hand it seems to fail miserably at capturing the essence of an
experience, such as the 'real' sound of something, or the way light is
working at a particular moment. it's a finger pointing to the moon in
that respect, and i think it's important for a culture to recognize the
difference between the finger and the moon.

on the other hand, working with language as we've done has been a meaning
making activity as well. language excels at generating abstract
possibilities, new combinations of ideas that at their best can help
dissolve idiomatic thinking and push a culture forward. and that can have
very real effects in the non-literary world as the learning moves from
conscious to subconscious.

good luck with your paper,


On Fri, February 29, 2008 8:38 am, Mr B R Osborn wrote:

> Dear Nick and Paul,
> I'm in my first year of an undergraduate course in English Literature at
> Warwick University, England. I was recently introduced to your music by a
> friend from New York, who bought me a copy of 'Lost and Safe'.
> I'm just beginning work on an essay for my course, the title is a
> quotation from Greenblatt's 'Touching the Real'; 'will reality come when
> it is called?', and the essay is about whether, and how, literature
> represents and relates to reality, that is, the non-literary world. When I
> saw this question I thought immediately of 'Be Good to Them Always', the
> use of found sounds and sampling not as a kind of peripheral to the song
> but as the basis of the composition; this is not real life, this is
> aleatoric television... I would say that you take directly from other
> sources, you build your music and poetry out of quotations, contained
> within a strong sense of aesthetic form.
> I thought I might as well try and get your opinions on this, not
> neccesarily to help my essay (after all, it's not really the intention of
> the artist that is important, just as Alan Watts didn't know that his
> voice would make such an interesting compositional device...), but because
> I'd be really interested to know what you thought.
> Well, actually it would help my essay a lot.
> Thanks,
> Ben

March 04, 2008

welcome to the whalesong (Music Mailout)

Writing about web page

There is now a new band, THE SLEEPING PASSENGERS I think, or possibly SLEEPING PASSENGERS, or possibly FEIJOADA, or FEIJOADA AND THE SLEEPING PASSENGERS... not sure.

Anyway, I wrote a song, and recorded it (badly) on Sunday night, based on going to the Chumbye or however you spell it gig, which was obviously all in Spanish, and my attempt to understand what they were saying led me to sing along with the words WELCOME TO THE WHALESONG.

I am convinced that if I ever write anything of any value it will be because of this technique, of misheard words. I might start running my life around them. In the spirit of this style, I googled "WELCOME TO THE WHALESONG" and found this fantastic website:

You can click on the notes or use your computer's keyboard, and make your own whalesong. Obviously it mostly sounds pretty horrific, but it is such a brilliant idea. If anyone actually reads this, goes to that website, and does anything cool with it, please let me know, send me soundfiles etc... Also anything else you do with, or find out about, whalesongs, I would really love to hear about.

And also, if you'd like to be part of the SLEEPING PASSENGERS artwork, please send me photos of sleeping passengers. If they're staged, make it obvious, that will be cooler.

To listen to the song go here: ... please do let me know what you think.

x Ben 

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  • man, the people of edward moon are pretty badass. by on this entry
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