Friday, January 29, 2016

From Turkey to Bulgaria and Back

Sooo... back in 2003, I went on a trip to Bulgaria via Turkey for a month with Jessica Naugle. And a I made an audio travelogue on a little hand held recorder. Came back, transferred it all onto tape with and ADAT machine I picked up off my friend Sonny Walker (who recorded my first American Chamber Music EP), edited it, played it for friends and family... and there it sat... for thirteen years.

Now listen, this was 2003. There was no Soundcloud, no Bandcamp, and Myspace launched August 1, 2003, the very same day we started our trip. So, on ADAT tape it slept. As platforms and hosting has become basically free on places like Soundcloud and Bandcamp, I'd been thinking of popping this bad boy onto the web. So, I did!

Here it is:

It was a pretty great trip. Both Bulgaria and Turkey are totally worth checking out.

In case you want notes on the sounds, here are the comments I tagged up on Soundcloud:

We rode a lot of trains on the trip.
And we had to find ways to entertain ourselves.
This was taken from a whirling dervish performance in Istanbul, if I recall correctly. At the train station. I think it's a thing.
The sound of a real mechanical recorder. It's tape folks. Actually, I like that little warp.
This is one of my favorite recorded moments: outside a mosque, everyone coming up and washing their feet. Hey, it's Turkey, it's hot, let's wash our feet in nice cool water. Was very communal and everyone was in great spirits.
The ezan in Istanbul.
Love these crickets.
This is in Bulgaria. We were just hiking and came across this natural bubbling spring.
I really like how audio-telegraphing these religions and regions are. The ezan in Turkey, church bells in Bulgaria.
Aaaand then we came across this abandoned train tunnel. Just in the middle of the forest. Was very creepy. So we bang shit and made weird noises. Had a blast.
Pretty sure this is a harbor on the Black Sea.
Back to civilization. Sofia, Bulgaria.
Jessica laughing. Probably at me.
Street Busker, his English singing wasn't half bad.
Crickets. Nighttime in Bulgaria.
An organ grinder. Like a real old school, monkey in a funny hat and vest working the organ, organ grinder. Was awesome.
Then we came across an outdoor music festival. Don't think we ever really figured out what it was for. Just happened.
Street musician. He was playing a tiny little bagpipes. Bagpipes, folks, aren't just from Scotland:
Same festival. Marching drums.
And then we had to go back to Turkey. We flew in and out of Istanbul so we got back on the rails.
We were terrible. But had a great time.
Istanbul rail station. Don't know why they had such light and airy music.
Medley of my favorite moments.

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria, where you can spend the night with monks.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

All Art Of the Past Must Be Destroyed

Pierre Boulez died this week. What bummer. Still, he was around a long time. This guy was doing all sorts of great things back in the day. You should check him out sometime.

One of the greatest things he said, something that's stayed with me for a while: 

Okay, anyhow, here's some tunes by ol' Boulie:

Also, this list he compiled of the best of 20th Century music is a great list. The list is here.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Mr. Burns

Going through some posts I started last year and for whatever reason forgot to finish, or in the case of this one, forgot to press "Post." Weird. This is a little late for most, as it's not playing in SF anymore, but if it comes round to theater near you. Check it out:

I don't rate plays, because I don't go to them, but saw Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play: it was fantastic. Go watch it. Here's a pretty good podcast about it.

James Tiptree Jr

Hey, y'all! Bit of good news: seems someone cares! And I don't think it's just my mom!

I got on the recommended reading list for the James Tiptree, Jr award, for "The Body Corporate," which went up over at GigaNotoSaurus in September. An award is always cool, but what's even more cool is that I actually follow this award. I wrote my entry essay for Clarion West on Science Fiction and Gender, which ever since my friend Jef Samp lent me an anthology of androgynous-themed science fiction (it had some plucky name like Andropunk or something; I'll have to dig around) in High School I've always had an eye out for gender in science fiction. I wasn't ready for it then, in High School, kinda blew my mind, but that anthology stayed with me and I've always thought that gender and sexuality were two secret subversive weapons of Science Fiction, both in literature and in Fandom. It's something I toy with from time to time. So it'd nice someone noticed.

So, to whoever you are out there: You've got good taste.

Check out the list here.

Oh, and a Clarionmate from my year also got nominated, check out her story here.