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July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, July 5, 2008, 12:00 PM
 
Off and running ...
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Re: July 2008
by Susan Allen - Sunday, July 6, 2008, 02:06 AM
 
Did you get my post about August?

Meanwhile, I'd appreciate input from everyone - how's this for a title for the manuscript

Improvisation and Its Many Worlds
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Re: July 2008
by scott s - Sunday, July 6, 2008, 05:55 PM
 
Sounds good.  Is an electronic copy of the manuscript available for reading?
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Re: July 2008
by Susan Allen - Monday, July 7, 2008, 04:04 AM
 
Hi Scott - I can email you the rough draft in MS word if you will give me your email.

thanks
Susie
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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Monday, July 7, 2008, 01:53 PM
 

Susie--

Thanks for the Shierry Nicholson book.  I could not put it down and then I could not put my Adorno or my book about Benjamin down.

First of all, I take back what I said about your manuscript.  The quotes are fine and the "configurational-constellation" style is fine.  I did not realize the extent to which you were dealing with a stylistic matter much deeper than my casual high school type writing.

Ted has my copy--could I have another Word copy at malcolmmcafee@gmail.com?

Eager to talk to you about all this.

Working on my own material, with your inspiration.

--Malcolm 

Scott--

Hi.

--Malcolm

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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 08:36 PM
 
Hi--

Been through three rites of passage:
1) Susie's three days, with Taha
2) Ted and my talk Sunday here in SF
3) Michael and I today here in SF

Look forward to our Northern Fall and the Southern Spring.

--Malcolm
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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Friday, July 18, 2008, 02:04 PM
 
Excellent talk with Scott.

Also read aloud to Ted possible "agenda-like" piece. Will send it along soon, as seems appropriate.

--Malcolm
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Re: July 2008 - Comments about the Book
by scott s - Friday, July 18, 2008, 05:56 PM
 

Be here now. The observations about the transcendental nature and qualities of sound are valid. Embracing improvisation as an ideal behavioral aspiration is reasonable and valid as well. Manifesting it as a particularly sublime quality by way of an integrated lifestyle is another question, whether as a tribe member dreaming in a remote village or someone on their iPod at Starbucks.

A certain irony arises when one is forced, possibly by necessity, to translate the aural experience of music (for lack of a better term) into common language in order to elicit some dialogue, such a crude form of communication, around a subject which by it’s very essence eludes efforts to do so - the inarticulate cascade of associations beyond sense experience - but which by their very processing (sense – response – thought) are very much “alive”. Much like a performance where the objective, even if impromptu, is to “move” the listener beyond their everyday experience, linking them to the opportunities, the possibility, of higher consciousness with its deeper, more robust appreciation of the moment. You talk about nearly passing out with spontaneous joy with evoked by superballs flung on tympani, and I recall being moved to tears by a American Ballet Theatre pas de deux performed on clouds (substituting the stage at the time).

There is evidence of having asked good questions and then gone looking for answers by virtue of the number of quotations and citations reflecting a lot of reading. I’m not sure whose voice I’m hearing when reading through the text with quotations being framed by a sentence or two. I struggled trying to knit all of these together into a coherence amenable to my dulled wits. Not that that means anything. As my own experience trundles along, I consider the point of Habermas, the political philosophy of Wolin or Barber, the psychoanthropology of Becker, the philosophical turn of Adorno, or the aesthetics of Danto, the design of Jantsch, all seasoned academics, my focus tends to blur and I recall looking for insight from them and realizing with a certain sobriety that the deep end of the pool where they are playing is sort of out of my comfort zone anymore. The keyword there is sobriety in terms of knowing where the strong stuff is because I’ve tasted it, but not being up to making a habit of it for its lingering intoxicating consequences or regurgitating it involuntarily. While reading them I appreciated them for their sophistication, but intuit that the longer one spends with them, the farther removed from the “common” one becomes. In this sense, deconstructing the “big words” into a vocabulary I might use in daily conversation is very attractive. 

The common intrigues and confounds me, as my own journey through the power of sound, or its denial, has led me to wonder about the effectiveness of the ethereal in sustainably improving the quality of life beyond the individual engaging it (the ethereal) in one form or another. In that sense, the question of what is “real” begs to be asked within the context of whether or how improvisation, while entertaining, can make a difference in the way we get along with one another and whether it’s possible to change the world with words like love and peace and freedom, to cite the cliche. Ineluctable has a certain appeal, but raises the small red flag I see waving far, far off in the distance.  I was tasked once about the utility of “living a life of contemplation” vis-à-vis engaging the world on different terms. Maybe utility’s not the right sense, but something like that, but it led to acting out in various communities of real people in different socioeconomic straits. Music diverted peoples’ attention, but it’s hard to keep a culture going if you the traditions burn down the earth that feeds it. So, the claim of the power confuses me.

I’m also somewhat confused about the apparent contradiction between the calm centered focus of the third eye and the improvisational virtues of fortissimo staccato expletives bringing conversation to an abrupt halt time after time for reasons escaping the audience.

You’ve touched on a lot of great points.

Picture of Malcolm McAfee
Re: July 2008 - Comments about the Book
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, July 19, 2008, 02:35 PM
 
Malcolm responding to Scott responding to Susie--

Paragraph #1--"Be here now"
My reaction to Susie's manuscript, her recent three day visit to Northern California and my recollections and reflections on her work of the last four years meld with Scott's positive response to her contribution to our life together.
What she has to say resonates on my fond memories of how Victor Turner proposed that the arts transport or transform us. She also evokes for me the heart of what I, like Scott, get out of Danto--the arts transfigure the commonplace, usually by providing metaphors that capture our imaginations and emotions.

Paragraph #2--"A certain irony arises....."
Like Scott and Susie, music "makes me jump", as Susanne Langer (of my era)
put it. One of the things Susie is doing for me, is helping me deal with the subtleties and complexities around the relation of the arts to the rest of my life.
I had the terrible feeling, after reading Susie's gift of the Nicholson introduction to Adorno, that aesthetics was even more complex than theology, let alone social theory or critical literary theory.
As with any difficulty, I would as soon someone else see it through for me or
just give me permission to abandon the quest. It may not be that easy.

(Interrupted--MORE follows)
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Re: July 2008 - Comments about the Book
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, July 19, 2008, 05:47 PM
 
Still interrupted.

Did give some thought to another related matter--this week. Check out

http://borderstudiesassociates.net/mod/resource/view.php?id=155

if you are interested. There is more material in manuscript form that is not

up yet.

Eager to get back to Susie and Scott. Have three paragraphs in manuscript to add.
Trust you'all are having a good weekend. The Susie-Scott dialogue is right to the point.

--Malcolm


Picture of Susan Allen
Re: July 2008 - Comments about the Book
by Susan Allen - Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 03:47 AM
 
Dear Scott, thank you so much for your time to read and comment...I really appreciate it so much.

I am curious what you meant by this:

I’m also somewhat confused about the apparent contradiction between the calm centered focus of the third eye and the improvisational virtues of fortissimo staccato expletives bringing conversation to an abrupt halt time after time for reasons escaping the audience.

Also, I hope it is somehow clear here that I wish to make the music improvisation more of a metaphor for human creativity in social settings than actually improvising or making music....??? If not, perhaps you could assist as to how I could make it more clear?

Many thanks again
Susie
Picture of Dennis Bathory-Kitsz
Re: July 2008
by Dennis Bathory-Kitsz - Saturday, July 26, 2008, 08:12 PM
 
Hi all,

I thought there was no activity for the summer ... apparently the automatic email generation hasn't been working for me.

So I'll be catching up over the next few weeks.

I would like to announce that my new book has just arrived in bookstores and on Amazon:
Country Stores of Vermont

Back over the next few days to try to catch up! Happy summer everyone!

Dennis


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Re: July 2008
by Susan Allen - Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 03:27 AM
 
HI Dennis, I have not been receiving the email notices either - wonder what is up....

good work on the book!

Malcolm - still waiting to hear if August 16 is a SF group day? I have been invited to do a radio show in Stanford on the 14th and would like to combine with a visit to Border Studies group?

thanks!

Susie
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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 07:09 PM
 
Dennis--

How good to be in cahoots again. Will get book immediately.

Susie--

Sorry we missed Stella's recital and not seeing you. Trust all goes well.

As far as I know, the 16th is on--do Stanford!!!

--Malcolm


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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 07:11 PM
 
Will check out e-mail problem immediately.

--Malcolm
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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Thursday, July 31, 2008, 08:56 PM
 
Still working at e-mail problem.

---Malcolm
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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Thursday, July 31, 2008, 08:58 PM
 
Maybe its solved--note "mail immediately" as last check on each reply!!!

Let me know if it works.

--Malcolm
Picture of Dennis Bathory-Kitsz
Re: July 2008
by Dennis Bathory-Kitsz - Thursday, July 31, 2008, 09:08 PM
 
Mail is arriving again, many thanks!

D


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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Thursday, July 31, 2008, 09:32 PM
 
it worked for me, too.

Complete change in system--never realized they had changed it!

Makes some sense over the earlier automatic system.

Ordered my copy of the General Stores... Will have it in a week and report!!!

Trust the weekend looks good.

--Malcolm
Picture of Dennis Bathory-Kitsz
Re: July 2008
by Dennis Bathory-Kitsz - Thursday, July 31, 2008, 09:50 PM
 
Thanks -- I hope you enjoy it. As you know, local culture is very important to me, and if one culture can be 'translated' across the border into other cultures, then the work has succeeded. Whether the translation is out of the tiny culture of new music or the tiny culture of country stores, making sense of it in/to another language seems to matter in an increasingly homogenizing world.

Dennis


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Re: July 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Friday, August 1, 2008, 11:13 AM
 
Switching to August