Archive for the ‘ Literature ’ Category

Journey into sound

Before she can really think about what’s happening, her journey has begun, in much the same way that a story begins, that a rhythm begins. She has a strange feeling that things will happen to her on this journey, and she feels happy about this and starts to sing. Her journey is a song, a series of songs, perhaps all the songs in the universe. She’s on her own, but she senses that this won’t be the case for long.

The actress playing Kylie Minogue, who just happens to be called Kylie Minogue, is driving through an industrial landscape towards a city. She has to be driving, not walking, because her journey, a journey that is in the heart of this story, is all about her interaction with machines. She is driving at night or at day along a highway through miles and miles of factories. She is driving towards a city full of anonymous, mysterious lit-up buildings. The city is perhaps the capital city of pleasure. Or it is a city that resembles, in your computer dreams, Toronto or New York or Düsseldorf or Sydney or Tokyo. She’s in a fast car driving towards the city where everything important in modern life is happening. There is no great detail in this film of her drive into the city. On the other hand there is a lot of quite intense detail. So much detail it creates a kind of enigma; so litte detail as to add to the enigma. She drives through a digital world that reveals itself as she drives through it and then disappears as she passes by. (…)

She looks pleased with herself. Liberated from everyday. Her eyes reflect the fate-grey shimmering colour around her, so that her eyes seem the colour of her journey, the colour of a song, lit up by motion, the iris a sea-blue melody hinting at secrets and sensation, the pupils a simple but mysterious rhythm in the regular shape of forever.

Paul Morley – Music and words – a history of pop in the shape of a city


Lone Wolf and Cub

David Mitchell on the historical setting of Jacob de Zoet:

Did you watch a lot of Kurosawa films?

Some, yes. Actually, it would be manga, though. There’s an absolutely wonderful series of stories called Lone Wolf and Cub. It’s about 100 years earlier than my period. Visually, you get the interiors that no amount of scholarly research can give. What authenticity my book might be able to boast owes a great debt to Lone Wolf and Cub. You really should check them out. They really are special—though there’s a necessary quota of what we might think of as something close to soft-core porn.

Q&A with David Mitchell, Literary Platypus : Lone Wolf and Cub

Hendrik Doeff

Hendrik Doeff (2 December 1764 – 19 October 1837) VOC Opperhoofd (Chief) in Dejima from 14 november1803 umtil 6 december 1817.


From The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet, chapter 2: Anchored in Nagasaki Harbour. Evening of the 20th of July, 1799

Dominating the shorefront is his home for the next year: Desjima, a high walled, fan-shaped artificial island, some two hundered paces along its outer curve, Jacob estimates, by eighty paces deep, and erected, like much of Amsterdam, on sunken piles. Sketching the trading factory from the Shinandoah’s foremast during the week gone, he counted some twenty-five roofs: the numbered warehouses of Japanese merchants; the Chief’s and the Captain’s Residences; the Deputy’s house, on whose roof perches the Watchtower; the Guild of Interpreters; a small hospital. Of the four Dutch warehouses, The Roos, the Lelie, the Doorn and the Eik, only the last two survived what Vorstenbosch is calling ‘Snitker’s Fire’. Warehouse Lelie is being rebuilt, but the incinerated Roos must wait until the factory’s debts are in better order. The land-Gate connects Dejima to the shore by a single-span stone bridge over a moat of tidal mud; the Sea-Gate, at the top of a short ramp where the Company sampans are loaded an unloaded, is opened only during trading season. Attached is a Customs House, where all Dutchmen except Chief Resident and the Captain searched for prohibited items.

A list at whose head, Jacob things, is ‘Christian Artifacts’ …

He returns to his sketch and sets about shading the sea with charcoal.

Curious, the oarsmen lean over; Jacob shows the the page:

The older oarsman makes a face to say, Not bad.

A shout from a guard-boat startles the pair: they return to their posts.

The Art of Noise (futurist manifesto, 1913)

This new orchestra will produce the most complex and newest sonic emotions,
not through a succession of imitative noises reproducing life, but rather through a fantastic association of these varied sounds. For this reason, every instrument must make possible the changing of pitches through a built-in, larger or smaller resonator or other exten

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Tengo’s karaoke

Tamura, Ōmura & Adachi’s karaoke