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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the {music} category

 

An Optical Poem by Oskar Fischinger

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Oskar Fischinger’s only successful collaboration with a Hollywood studio was this 7-minute animation made for MGM in 1937. As with some of Fischinger’s earlier films, a piece of classical music is illustrated with dancing shapes of cut-out paper. The music in this instance is Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody, and this short was one of the […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {film}, {music} | No comments »

 


Can esoterics

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As usual, one thing leads to another. Most people who listen to Tago Mago (1971), the third album by Can, won’t be aware of the Aleister Crowley reference in the long improvisation that fills side three (track 5 on the CD). Aumgn was a spontaneous creation that includes one member of the band intoning an […]

Posted in {music}, {occult} | No comments »

 


Can soundtracks

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Trailer for Deep End (1970). Music: Mother Sky. I’ve been listening to a lot of Can over the past week, and thinking—not for the first time—about their erratic soundtrack career. Their soundtrack music is very familiar from their second album, Soundtracks, and the recent Lost Tapes collection which unearthed a few pieces that were previously […]

Posted in {film}, {music}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 295

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Untitled (2014) by Lola Dupré. Via. • Announcement of the week (if not the month/year) is the news that the BFI will be releasing all of the BBC dramas directed by Alan Clarke on DVD/Blu-ray in May. In addition to the long-awaited appearance on disc of Penda’s Fen (1974) we can expect a previously unseen […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture}, {television} | No comments »

 


Mea Culpa, a film by Bruce Conner

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More David Byrne. Artist Bruce Conner made two films in 1981 using pieces of music from Byrne & Eno’s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts album: America Is Waiting and Mea Culpa. The latter is the more abstract of the two, with the drums and fragmented voices matched to dancing particles from science films. […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {music} | 6 comments »

 


The South Bank Show: Talking Heads

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Like many UK arts documentaries, The South Bank Show seldom repeated its films so you had to watch them when they were broadcast or you might never see them at all. This Talking Heads feature from 1979 is one that I missed, a great portrait of the band shortly after the release of their third […]

Posted in {music}, {television} | No comments »

 


Weekend links 294

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Painting by Alex Tavoularis. • There are silent films, and then there is Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927), a five-and-a-half hour historical drama following the emperor’s life from boyhood to the invasion of Italy. The word “epic” is overused but Gance’s film demands the description: in addition to the recreation of huge battles and scenes from […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics} | 1 comment »

 


Cosmic eggs

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1: The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937) by Salvador Dalí. 2: Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943) by Salvador Dalí. 3: The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: Challenging Constructs of Mind and Reality (1971) by Joseph Chilton Pearce.

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {music}, {painting}, {science}, {surrealism} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 293

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Red Petals by Sarah Meyohas. • “For MMoB, I want it to be like a [Werner] Herzog movie, so at our concerts the people on stage aren’t necessarily people who are named. We’re trying to create an entity that is beyond music and relates visually and sonically with everything in a way that’s different.” Randall […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {technology} | No comments »

 


The Song of the White Horse by David Bedford

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Many of the old TV documentaries I link to are ones I saw when first broadcast and wanted to see again, but this edition of the BBC’s Omnibus from 1978 is one I missed. The late David Bedford is a familiar name in British music: in the 1970s he was as much known for his […]

Posted in {music}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


Pierrot in Turquoise, or The Looking Glass Murders

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A final Bowie post included here as much for its connections to Derek Jarman. Pierrot in Turquoise was a pantomime by Lindsay Kemp based on the characters of the Commedia dell’arte, and broadcast by Scottish Television in 1970. David Bowie is “Cloud”, a non-commedia character who provides songs while perched atop a step-ladder. The smaller […]

Posted in {gay}, {music}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 292

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The Black Sun from Splendor Solis (1582) “attributed to the legendary figure Salomon Trismosin”. Topic B predominates this week. The Black Sun of alchemy was the first thing I thought of when the title of David Bowie’s final album was announced late last year. The Black Sun symbolises the nigredo stage of the alchemical process […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {science fiction} | Comments Off

 


The Image, a film by Michael Armstrong

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The image in question is a certain David Bowie making his first (non-speaking) film appearance as “The Boy”, a figure from a painting come to life. The only other character is an artist played by a young Michael Byrne, later a familiar face in many British film and TV productions. Bowie was 20 at the […]

Posted in {film}, {music} | Comments Off

 


Cracked Actor

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This is one of those TV documentaries that it’s tempting to think everyone must have seen by now, but if it’s over-familiar to me it’s undoubtedly new to others. Cracked Actor: A film about David Bowie was broadcast by the BBC in their Omnibus arts strand in January 1975. Director Alan Yentob followed David Bowie […]

Posted in {music}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


Strange fascination

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Another single sleeve (and missing the “?” in the title). Released 22nd June, 1973. Music reinforces memory, and an enduring memory is of discussing the lyrics to Life On Mars? with a friend in the blissful summer of 1973, when the song was in the charts after being released to capitalise on Bowie’s success with […]

Posted in {music} | 5 comments »

 


Single sleeves

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A septet of 7-inch single sleeves from Eastern Bloc Songs, a small but well-selected repository of sleeve art from the record labels of the Eastern Bloc. I’d looked at the album art before but had missed the singles, some of which feature more impressive designs than their 12-inch counterparts. Of special interest are designs that […]

Posted in {design}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {typography} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 291

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Femme avec des fleurs (1912) by Romaine Brooks. • This week’s anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo murders was noted by some of those who defended the magazine last year. “I don’t write about Charlie Hebdo in France,” said Robert McLiam Wilson, “they have plenty of people who can do that. But I’ll do almost anything […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {work} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 290

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The Royal Mint celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare with new £2 coins. The “Tragedies” design gives Britain the Gothiest coin of all time. • “I hate successful films that travel on an easy wave of ‘good taste’: for me, that is simply anti-culture.” Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli talks to Alexandra Heller-Nicholas about photographing Dario Argento’s […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {science}, {theatre} | 2 comments »

 


All About Being Loud

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Photo by Motorcycle Irene. It was very loud. The crowd roared and some yelled “It’s not loud enough!” Lemmy said “Oh” and turned his amp up more, before they went into Keep Us On The Road which was very loud until Lemmy’s amp gave up its internal struggle and was replaced on the run while […]

Posted in {music}, {work} | 2 comments »

 


Master musicians

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This year I’m seeing out December with (among other things) several albums by the Master Musicians of Bukkake, a Seattle group led by producer Randall Dunn. MMOB’s name started as a joke (and no doubt still catches unawares anyone unfamiliar with Japanese pornography) but now positions the ensemble as indigenous performers from an imaginary country, […]

Posted in {film}, {music} | 3 comments »

 


 




 

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