Was in the symphony one day – many rainy years ago -- and Beethoven’s message was just crystalline to me. Me, Shroud Jr. Like a telegraph message through the foam of time – Beethoven heard the birds, the guns, he was losing his hearing. He was writing it down. Sending it out. Shroud Jr. was pickin up on it.
On April day in 2000, in Boston, they again put the needle in the groove, the cannon of orchestra salvoed, and the pensioners, Brahmin and punters heard the master voice. He said ‘I was alive on the Earth and here is what it was like.’
Beethoven world’s is somewhat like Mars to us now. Or we are Mars, I don’t know. The message I was heard was as if from space, or, I thought, this would be a worthile message to send spaceward in case the planet needs to be reconstructed from a few small existent artifacts. Like sea monkeys from sponge grindings. Carl Sagan set up some of these notions with his Voyager record.
Listening has attuned Shroud the Latter. For years, drive time Boston, WCRB has been playing Mozart [only a portion, though]. This Guy Mozart didn’t have guns and history in his music as far as we know. But had a unique human diction overlaid on nature. Send him in the Sagan machine, too we say. To the stars, Alice. So, when Atlantis blows up, they can reconstruct us better some day. When I hear the WCRB Mozart Block, I always stop for a minute and try to get on the wave length of the genius. The player piano roll across an eon.
Yesterday, a sweet winded evening in hot July, wine and reading on the vacationing summer porch…reading New Yorker magazine, Alex Ross. One of Shroud’s original resources to leave Wisconsin: The New Yorker. Ross describes Mozart and The Storm of Style. He set about to get with Mozart big time. As part of that process he transferred the Philips complete Mozart edition [180 CDs] to iPod [9.7 gigabytes]. So he groks on his iPod on and on and basically get through the whole Mozart in 3 months. “I got the feeling,” writes Ross, “that Mozart’s brain contained an array of musical archetypes that were connected to particular dramatic situations or emotional states – figures connoting vengeance, reconciliation, longing, and so on.”
For example, “the idea of forgiveness apparently triggered certain sounds in his mind.”
Sounds in the mind are still lost on the AI machinery. Last week was the 50th birthday of Artificial Intelligence. Did Geri Miller jump out of a cake for Marvin Minsky as for Mick Jaegger? If I have seen anything, I have seen one of its offshoots, neural networks; did sink in the morass of hype. The same could be said of AI generally, featured in a somewhat recent film of the same name, but it is more complicated than that. As recent post indicates, if it works, it aint AI, anymore. I suspect ‘archetypes’ is what they AI crew is moving at, as is the ‘what is consciousness’ bunch.
Archetypes haunt me. Learned first about them as part of comparative religion studies. Archetypes seem an apt description for the grey chimera that chunk-like hover in the mind at night. When the life and times meld in networked signal clusters. The tough thing about this part of Shroud’s life ... they begin to corner you. I find myself like the kid suddenly alone in the department store that moves from joy, to worry, to the edge of panic, as the situation becomes apparent.
But when I go, at least I know, Marvin Minsky will be as far away as I am from an accurate model of the human nogginworks. Very small gratis.
[But that’s not what I came here speak to you about]
Introducing: The Anvil of Civilization
When I first got to this town, honey -- I had a library job at night.
I would take the last Red Line train out of Boston South Station.
Would run like the devil -- to make my connections. I had to catch that train.
Had to make the South Shore all right.
And the Second-Shift Postal Workers from South Station Annex
They’d be getting on too. And I came to befriend Fred - Mail Sorter 1st class.
He carried the Boston Herald American going south to Nantasket.
It was midnight run, mind you, and his Herald was becoming
Yesterday’s news. I knew no one. And found a friend in Fred.
Tired. We would speak. In short sighs. As workers do. Devoted as much attention to the streaming landscape. Eyeballing it in stupor. World where halogen lights were passing car lots. As much our minds on that than on over-simmering Watergate imbroglio.
An archetype formed. Fred on the train. This was 1974.
During the making of this blog, found interesting site knows as The Celestial Monchord http://www.celestialmonochord.org/2006/04/john_cohen_and_.html
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