All entries for Sunday 25 December 2005

December 25, 2005

Birdsong and laughter quote from Kate Bush

Writing about web page

Kate’s A Sky Of Honey (the second CD in Aerial) is “full of birds” – the songs of which repeatedly run across and along the music and words throughout: a real “twittering machine” (Klee). Here’s an intriguing quote from a recent interview:

“I was also trying to draw a comparison between the two languages—it struck me that laughter has got this sort of connection [with] the shapes and patterns and songs of birdsong.”

Having spent the day with a 4 month old boy, i get the point (extraordinary laughter, crying, all kinds of vocal modulation, stutterings, explosions, murmurs – primitive and expressive).

Here’s some notes on this connection…

1) flows interrupted and modulated (into rhythm, and recursively into rhythm interrupted). Laughter is a breakdown in functional discourse. The breakdown often occurs in tandem, or in mass, but with no goal other than the breakdown itself. Similarly, in song the birds break from their productive tasks (contrary to popular belief, birds often sing without the goal of attracting a mate or establishing a territory).

2) the body as an instrument to produce the flow and its modulation and breakdown. Minimal, personal, portable, irrepresible. Requiring neither technical nor social apparatus in support. Even operational when little else remains. But at the same time may act as a trigger to others, connecting up distant unknown bodies in the darkness, penetrating barriers. Or at the least, echoing back to the body of origin, providing a point in time to which a subsequent response can be made. The “refrain” of A Thousand Plateaus.

3) refinement, the emergence of styles (one body/voice refining itself, or a flock of bodies and voices). But always guarding and retaining the closeness to the body. Portability and reconstruction from near zero conditions, but open to connections and forming trigger response partnerships beyond the body.