26 June 2005

Mork and Mindy

Good to see the annual Shamanic-Depression Dance again... I tried myself last year after staying up all night trying to get tickets but stubbed my toe on a discarded chicken bone and felt the full power of Glastonbury Voudon bursting my skin at the seams.

Also a chance remark on a meme post at The Original Soundtrack set me off on a mini-bender in the comments box (i can see why people sometimes choose to turn comments off) which I figured I may as well use my own space to continue...

It concerned two books on Dance/Ambient culture which seem to sum up the two approaches to music in general.

For inconvenience, we'll call them Mork and Mindy:

Example


Mork approaches rave culture from the standpoint of someone grateful to be ecstatic again. It's a social directive, one strewn with lost memories and impressions but essentially reflective. Mork looks back and tries to piece together not so much what he thought at the time (which is perhaps necessarily unspecific if you're in the midst of the flash) but how that experience has been attenuated after the fact. It looks back and allows music to be detached from private language; in fact implies the (Wittgenstein?) idea that private language, and therefore understanding/perception/assimilation, is essentially impractical if not utterly impossible.

It's a book written from a primarily social perspective, seeing music as an essentially communal experience, one best understood from the middle of a large crowd while trying to avoid that long haired guy from Mudhoney who's always auditioning for a Silvikrin hair-swish advert (target market: the homeless)

It is the same guy at all gigs where people move, isn't it? You never seem to see him anywhere else.

Example


Mindy takes a more solipsistic approach, wandering through music like a lucid dream. It's written in a light-touch stream of consciousness style, aiming perhaps to evoke the old Mixmaster Morris misquote: "I think therefore I ambient".

Mindy writes as if the world existed of one. He travels alone with his ears tuned outwards only to suck information in. It's a black hole approach: nothing can escape. Even the cover seems to suggest a notebook approach, as if these are comprehensions written while experiencing.

I guess Mork's notebook fell out during his body-popping.

Mindy seems to experience music on an individual level, heading towards the drift of ambience as a means of getting out of the social world and into the inner. Mindy seems uncomfortable with the 'tribal gathering' aspect of music and instead of bitching about the kids decides instead to celebrate the spinal fluids that can be condensed when you're alone in a darkened room with nothing but your own mind for company.

Together these books act towards an understanding of the point of music and seem to illustrate its ability to act as internal working model for contemplation and for action.

Today, I went into the local shop (for local people) and the woman (think a post-op transsexual 1976 Darts Champion) said: "Is it me or is it hot in here?"

"Both of those things seem to be true," I replied.

14 comments:

Psychbloke said...

If I was an American, I'd not be putting "post-op transsexual 1976 Darts Champion" and "Hot" together........

Also:

"It looks back and allows music to be detached from private language; in fact implies the (Wittgenstein?) idea that private language, and therefore understanding/perception/assimilation, is essentially impractical if not utterly impossible".

VS.

"Mindy writes as if the world existed of one. He travels alone with his ears tuned outwards only to suck information in".

This looks like the old compare and contrast Piaget and Vygotsky essay to me.....

the X said...

I'm not one for fancy words or clever academic language, but as I've said before, reading David Toop's 'Ocean of Sound' as a music-obsessed 17-year-old was a life-changing experience for me...

(i also took to writing in a similarly stream-of-consciousness,'everything is connected'-style which majorly fucked up all my exams and made me decide to drop out of music college...but hey...that would probably have happened anyway)
Why the publishers never printed it in hardback is beyond me, as my old copy is getting yellow and the pages are starting to fall out...very 'zen', i must say

Loki said...

"fancy words and academic language"? - that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me...normally someone just runs in and yells "The Emperor's got no clothes!"

and, psychbloke: yes, you have me - i miss that old essay like it was one of my lungs...

the X said...

-heh, you're welcome...

-now, if anyone could explain to me what this "shamanic depression"-state is supposed to be, i'd be very intrigued and happy...?!
('cos if you've said A, you got to say B, innit!)
otherwise it just isn't fair, tempting our inquisitive braincells like that, but leaving everything shrouded in deepest mystery- a kid could get gastric ulcers for lesser ruminations! we crave answers- we've got Sami shamans up in the north country, you know- they told me my totem animal and everything...

(If you're lucky they'll take you on a Drum Journey with the Shaman banging on the replica of an ancient Rune Drum, which after a while will get you into trance-like states where you will cross over the border and into the Spirit World, meeting creatures which will tell you part of your destiny and what animal will protect you...It's good fun really, they used to use hallucinogens too, but that tradition is almost extinct because of the christian ban and demonisation of Sami/shamanic culture which started with witch processes worse than Salem in the 1600's and the burning of "wise women"/shamans/runedrums and prohibition of language and culture and continued with forced assimilation and children in boarding schools to indoctrinate them in majority language/culture in the 1800s, and didn't end until the late 1970's(!), when they got their rights back- almost-)
Anyway. Um...Got to go outside in the sun now, sorry for the confused rants...Peace-
X

Loki said...

you see X, that's why people are always running in yelling about Emperors... i say these things and never have anything to back them up - i'm atheoretical; know a lot about philosophy, shamanism, enthnobotanism etc but don't really know what I like... and without my customary sad ironic visual glitches my words are left utterly alone, as if any of them are sacred enough to stand up for themselves...

so, Shamanic-Depression: "...a state of gross incompletion and interpersonal transience, characterised by a voluminous inability to articulate ontological angst (cf. Being and Nothingnession) and a generative function towards dissonance, irritability (esp. with regard to fast moving trends), withdrawal, inappropriate effect (cf. Coldplay) and anthropomorphism..."

But mostly it's about feeling guilty for loving it when Glastonbury rains...

kek-w said...

That was a pretty bang-on summing-up, there, O Loki Owlwoman.

My personal totemic shamanic-depressive mind-manimal is every single species of beetle at once.

Preferably crawling all over me, millions of them, "their mandibles gleaming in the moonliiiiight, toniiiight....."

Psychbloke said...

Christ....I'm gonna have to nip over there and post some Girls Aloud aren't I?

the X said...

Now Kek, if this 'shamanic determinism' malarkey business really inhabits the powers to transform Loki into a WOman, then i'll definately have to look into it!
(-I'd like to try some hours as a man, me! ;)
All genre-defying/gender-redundant mindtrickstery is definately the way forward for "modern man in search of a soul", to nick some words from our man Jung...chop chop

Loki said...

These days almost anything has the ability to transform my fragile self into a female and back again: walnut whips, tepid swimming pools, salvia divinorum, weak lemon drink... I probably should keep out of those lesbian chat-rooms...can't be doing me any good...

the X said...

a-ha, so it was you...!
well i did understand there was something wrong when s/he started to talk about "kittens, knobs and broomsticks vol.5" and if i had been involved in drug-fuelled threesomes lately...:P

(-sorry, VERY bad joke!!:)
i should get out more...now

Psychbloke said...

As I said.....

the X said...

:P
no wonder i have silly humour, i grew up with brothers you know...

GTTRBRKZ said...

it's funny...last week I took a digital 'still life' photo for possible blog use. the shot consisted of various 'important' things, and included both these books. in sync, yet again...

the X said...

in Shamanism, synchronicities like that are a sign that you are "on the right path"...

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