Saturday, December 9, 2017

gaspard de la nuit

(Invisible Birds Archive of Nothing - Soundtracks, volume one)

Music by Tarrl Morley and Matthew Swiezynski. Recorded in San Francisco in 1998 using a 78 rpm recording of Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit (interpreted by Walter Gieseking), a reel to reel deck, and restraining techniques. The music was also used as a soundtrack to Mr. Swiezynski’s 16mm film Juliette from the same year.

Why the ensemble did not try and get the music published that year is a mystery but Invisible Birds is very proud to be issuing it now, as it resonates so very strongly with the label's vision.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

plato's cave forty nine (being a film journal) : influence

(factory photograph of David Lynch)

Re watching David Lynch films (post Twin Peaks The Return obliteration), and reading Chris Rodley's fine book Lynch on Lynch, I compiled a list of influences on Lynch.  I remember reading long ago that a primary influence on Lynch was blasting at deafening volumes Krzysztof Penderecki's work (I can no longer remember where I saw this interview), that seemed much more evocative to me than the paintings of the champagne drunk Bacon. It got me curious what else got his goat. I probably missed some.

- Robert Aldrich's film Kiss Me Deadly

- Robert Altman's film Images

- Kenneth Anger's film Rabbits Moon

- Frank Bacon's paintings

- Angelo Badalamenti's music

- Bernd and Hilla Becher's photography (Lynch's factory photos)

- Ingmar Bergman's films esp. Persona & Cries and Whispers (The whispering that ends Twin Peaks the Return is a clear reference to his work)

- Arnold Böcklin's paintings

- David Bowie

- Marlon Brando's One-Eyed Jacks (Twin Peaks' house of pleasure, across the border)

- Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí's film Un Chien Andalou

- Frank Capra's films

- Jean Cocteau's films esp. Orphée and Le Sang d’un poète (very obvious with all the backwards and trick photography seen in The Blood of a Poet)

- Maya Deren's films

- Marcel Duchamp (Étant donnés is very clearly seen in films like Blue Velvet)

- Germaine Dulac's film The Seashell and The Clergyman

- Blake Edward's film Experiment in Terror and the Henry Mancini soundtrack

- Federico Fellini's films, esp. 8 1/2 and La Strada

- Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, and King Vidor's film Wizard of Oz

- Judy Garland (from Well now, I'm not gonna talk about Judy. In fact, we're not gonna talk about Judy at all, we're gonna keep her out of it to our hero Garland Briggs)

- Barry Gifford's writings (present in two Lynch films)

- Ron Hardy's film The Wicker Man

- Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze

- Werner Herzog's films esp. Stroszek

- Alfred Hitchcock's films, esp. Vertigo and Rear Window

- Edward Hopper's paintings and work

- Roy Huggins' The Fugitive TV series

- Franz Kafka's writings (“The one artist that I feel could be my brother is Franz Kafka.” Lynch on Lynch)

- Bushnell Keeler, painter. Lynch friend and mentor

- Oskar Kokoshka's paintings

- Stanley Kubrick's films, esp. 2001, The Shining and Lolita

- Charles Laughton's film The Night of the Hunter (shot by Stanley Cortez)

- René Magritte's paintings and Surrealism in general

- Chris Marker's film La Jetée

- Roy Orbison's music

- Krzysztof Penderecki's music

- Philadelphia the city, his biggest influence

- The Platter's music

- Roman Polanski's films esp. Chinatown

- Jackson Pollock's paintings

- Otto Preminger's film Laura

- Elvis Presley's music

- Jacques Rivette's film Out 1

- Mark Robson's film Peyton Place

- Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone

- Douglas Sirk's film Written on the Wind

- This Mortal Coil's music

- Jacques Tourneur's film Out of the Past 

- Jacques Tati's films, esp. Mr. Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle

- Edward G. Ulmer's film Detour

- Bobby Vinton's singing in Blue Velvet

- Billy Wilder's films Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment (very clear references esp. the minor character Gordon Cole in SB)

- W.C. Fields' acting, esp. It's a Gift

- Robert Wise's films esp. The Sound of Music and West Side Story (WSS includes Twin Peaks' Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn)

- Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture and design

- Neil Young's song Love and War

- The 1950s in general

Monday, October 30, 2017

Oiseaux Invisibles sale on bandcamp

Invisible Birds is having a 55% off sale for the next 30 days. Use the code "oiseaux" to get the discount on digital or merch. Need some space in our cramped apartment, and a bit of cash for such is life. thanks for the continuing support!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

se concentrer sur le noir

Caspar David Friedrich / Jean Dubuffet

was away for trip in Mexico.... back and back to business

Saturday, September 16, 2017

plato's cave forty eight (being a film journal) it is happening again

Mark Frost and David Lynch - Twin Peaks: The Return - 2017
Seascapes, Avant-Garde Scrub editing and Transcendental Electricity in Part Three

Purple burst of liquid light transcends to Sugimoto / Vija Celmins / Michael Snow like
Seascapes with a bass heavy oceanic drone not unlike Thomas Köner.  Nearness & Infinity.

Hiroshi Sugimoto Lake Superior, Cascade River - 1995

Vija Celmins Untitled Ocean - 1970

Michael Snow Wavelength - 1967

Scrub editing by Duwayne Dunham and David Lynch. I have never seen editing quite like this. The edits move freely through the shots like a scrubbing tool or a disc jockey scratching a vinyl record, back and forth, sometimes fluid, sometimes not. Visual ellipsis, like parts of the film got destroyed and edits needed to be made (P. Adam Sitney on the films of Joseph Cornell). In addition; foreign shots are added in, interrupting and causing havoc, in these already scrubbed moments. Scrubs go between being smooth and hypnotic to jarring and nearing out of control. This editing effect is used to an astounding effect in Part Eight, especially around the gas station/convenience store, but basically introduced in this section with Cooper and Naido. One of the outstanding achievements in this new series is the disorienting editing techniques used. People disappearing in flickers also appears numerous times. The history of avant-garde film has unconventional editing techniques more commonplace; works by Kurt Kren, Saul Levine or Peter Kubelka, but here the subtleties and complexities of this scrub technique (for lack of a better word) is quite novel. In addition, seeing these techniques in television is really quite crazy even with all the unconventional tv of the day.
If one looks close at these techniques an attempts a description; we start a slow zoom into a character (Naido), with edits here and there to remove frames, interrupted with reversing back to a previous part of the zoom, again interrupted with edits. Camera movements and hard cuts between different camera set ups further extend this technique. The overall feeling of a solid decision is present, no randomness… this decision adds such gravity to the editing. Lynchian drones and Badalamenti melodies are an  undercurrent to this fuckery and slowly Electricity makes itself present (last image) which has such a profound presence in this 18 hour work.

As we exit to the cosmic bell, the sound design is beyond sophistication, with distorted banging and drones followed by sonic electricity, then to near silence as Naido falls into space (second image).

Vija Celmins Night Sky #2 - 1991

Vija Celmins  Night Sky #18 - 1998

Jules Janssen Photograph de la surface solaire * - 1884

Ernest Mouchez La Photographie astronomique a l'observatoire de Paris - 1887

The scenes of Cooper and Naido in space resonate quite clearly for me as I am a follower of artist's and scientists depicting space, like Vija Celmins and early cosmos photography (see Dans le champ des étoiles. Les photographes et le ciel, 1850-2000).

James Turrell Meeting at MoMA PS1, photo by Chi Yun

Post cosmos, we enter a James Turrell like interior, which leads us back to Electricity (third image) and a lovely ring-like tone to a deep drone.

Images of Electricity
Face and body morph as Cooper moves through the outlet, rendered even more otherworldly with scrub editing.  Electricity further manifests itself with Mr. C, and then he barfs black corn Garmonbozia.

Dougie Jones electrical disintegration in the Red Room reminds of Hans Holbein anamorphic painting The Ambassadors from 1533. The strange and often times childlike special effects throughout the 18 part series are so very beautiful and novel. They are mostly very painterly, like Dougie Jones appearing as black smoke in the Rancho Rosa empty house fuck pad; Jade gives two rides (third image).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

plato's cave forty seven (being a film journal) it is happening again

Mark Frost and David Lynch - Twin Peaks: The Return - 2017
Some radical visual disorientations from Part Two, starting with a passing train

The woods at night, lit by flashlight. Flares & circles of confusion, Angelo Badalamenti melody creeps out of the darkness, Hawk moves through the woods with flashlight and illuminates his path as he talks with Margaret Lanterman (née Coulson).  Circles of confusion everywhere, Hawk approaches Glastonbury Grove and backwards drones via Lynch sound design unbalance the viewer as the red curtains are superimposed over the trees. Fade to white. Curtains of Red Room appear.

Very disorienting effect as Mike is present in the Red Room, and then disappears. The camera is moved slightly between shots to heighten the strangeness of this disappearance. Images superimposed here to illuminate (3rd image: note corner of chair, left side).

Numerous very fucked up backwards blinks from Laura Palmer.

Cooper after exiting the glass box, realm of The Experiment.

Horrors of nature reflected in mirrors as Sarah Palmer inebriates herself.

On a side note, the only negative deal with the series (for this viewer) is much of the millennial pitchfork music. Here we are in Part Two with band number one, The Chromatics. It indeed has elements that fit in with Lynch's work : they are visually playing guitars but one hears only synths. They heavily borrow from Sonic Youth's Wish Fulfillment, a song I had not listened to since my sonic youth ("at night, I'm driving in your car, pretending that we'll leave this town").  The borrow seems more than an hommage. Other songs borrow but in a more interesting way, like The Nine Inch Nails apocalyptic guitar (the best part of the song) which sounds quite like Lustmord's Rising and other albums from him (compare NIN at 58 seconds with Lustmord at 1 minute 29 seconds and the majority of the album). The repetition of non poetic lyrics seems to be quite the thing with millennial music; like Ed Sheeran's I'm in love with your body nonsense.... we hear it often with bands in this series like Lissie and her I'm fine fine.... wouldn't it have been more interesting to see a techno set by Andy Stott or some MF Autechre than the one in Part Nine?

Hurley, Freddie Sykes, Shelly and Red in The Roadhouse make up for The Chromatics. James Marshall's child-like obsession with Renee (Jessica Szohr) as he moves through the bar is truly hypnotic, especially in contrast to Red's ultra cool flirting with Shelly. Re-watching the series after finishing Part Eighteen, Freddy's presence here in The Roadhouse is truly wondrous for a reason that is hard to put into words.

The best songs from the series for me were Edward Louis Severson's Out of Sand,  James Hurley's Just You (written by David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti and James Marshall), Angelo Badalamenti’s Heartbreaking, Rebekah Del Rio, Moby And Nick Launay's No Stars (David Lynch Co-Written), Trouble's (Dean Hurley, Riley Lynch, and Alex Zhang Hungtai) Snake Eyes, Harry Dean Stanton's Red River Valley, and Julee Cruise' The World Spins. Seeing Alessandro Cortini in Part Eight was very a nice surprise as well.