Ladies and Gentelmen : get ready for The Seer !!

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Saposcat





  • #41
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 21:58
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tekin wrote:
Just quoted you to say that I loved your avatar! Beckett is my favorite novelist! And I want to say that musically, Philip Glass is Samuel Beckett's soul mate! I don't know whether you've listened to his works or not, but if not give it a try!
Yes Sam Beckett is my favorite novelist too. And I love Phillip Glass. Do you know of the composer Morton Feldman? I believe that as regards the philosophy of their work Feldman is even closer to Beckett than Glass. Feldman even made a 54-minute piece he dedicated to Beckett, and an opera of sorts.

As regards this thread, I know that Gira has read Beckett too, and I hear the influence in his music and lyrics. A friend who knows me to be a big Beckett nerd (and Swans nerd) told me that Gira said once that he had read every book by Beckett but that he is trying to forget all of them so as to go freshly back to them. Beckett really is the best writer there ever was and there ever is to be. Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, which compose his "Trilogy," are where I started, and from there I went to his early novels, Murphy, Watt, and Mercier and Camier, and then his later, How It Is, Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, and Worstward Ho.

The deep continuity in his works--in so far as his novels together are of a piece--is not unlike that in Gira's work, in fact. Like Beckett Gira has been using in even his most recent work ideas from his earliest material such as the self-titled EP, Filth, and Cop. I really appreciate that for it shows how dear these ideas are for Gira: in a word these are not gimmicks. Swans seems to me not just some band but an entity whose works strive to be more than just grandiose stylistic exercises--they feel necessary. And so does the The Seer, especially The Seer, which to me seems the end or start of an era in Swans history. The Seer is perhaps Gira's truest and most critical work: it covers the bases they have previously hit only in live settings. None of the compositions fades out, each goes on till we have heard every necessary variation or permutation of a phrase or have reached the necessary climax.

The instrumental sections do go on for a long time, even for too long a time, but that is intentional, and yes necessary, and so I do not see it as a fault. It allows the music to hypnotise you if you let it. Just give into the music and let it envelop you, just as you would if you were to see them live. Focus on the repetitions and in so doing notice amid those repetitions the slight variations and permutations in texture. Really the album is hypnotic in the way in which Can in their most experimental phase was hypnotic. Cutting the length of any of the songs as they are would be neutering them and disrespecting them. Look at "No Thoughts/No Words," on My Father: at its heart it is an epic song which needs to be at least 20 minutes long, but on the studio album it is fewer then 10 minutes long, and it feels too much like a reduction of the real thing.

This is how Gira in an interview recommends you listen to Swans, and here he actually mentions Sam Beckett, and how to read him, and I agree with him:

Quote:
INTERVIEWER: Well, I’ve seen the show at Roadburn and reviewed it, and the fun thing was that, although it’s obviously a festival with many open-minded people, some people were completely freaked out by the first forty five minutes of the set because it builds up really slowly.

GIRA: I don’t care. As long as you are willing to open your mind… The thing is, it’s like reading Samuel Beckett. It’s not difficult. It’s just a little bit opaque. You have to just give up. It’s like getting fucked in the ass. You have to just relax your muscles and let it come into you [laughs]. And then it’s wonderful [more laughter]. It’s probably like that. If you come in with a critical mind and expect to be entertained in the normal way then you should be disappointed, and then you should leave. I’m glad if you leave then. But if you stay around and get into it then it’s going to be a peak experience.


In this sense I really appreciate that he does not hold back in this studio album. This is Swans as we ought to hear them. This album does not strive to work for you, you have to succumb to it, and if you do not, then you ought to leave (if Gira has not taken out the EXIT lights or locked the doors, haha). The extreme lack of compromise is what makes Gira's music so iconic, and it is this which makes his vision timeless and utterly unique. Similarly this is why Beckett has become timeless. For his play Not I, as I have heard elsewhere, he too locked the door and took out the EXIT lights, and the play consists of a single mouth, a tiny beam of light shining on it, the rest of her face in black paint, so that all you see is this float mouth mumbling sentences for fifteen or twenty minutes, and random shrieks and laughter. I remember hearing that from the first actress ever to perform the play. Goddamn.

I WANT MY PREORDER OR A GOOD QUALITY OF THE LEAK. Brick wall


Last edited by Saposcat on 08/15/2012 22:50; edited 1 time in total
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  • #42
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 22:39
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Necharsian wrote:
What??? Im actually not too what you're even trying to say...

How is growling a more "specific" element of musc than clean vocal singing? Furthermore if you think that shrieks define black metal than that's just ignorant. I'm just guessing that you haven't heard that much metal. "Stuff every part"? As if black metal is just one continuous shriek for 80min.

Black metal is not your childhood snowball fight and sledding kind of winter. Its as if you were lost in a blizzard with no chance of survival. The shrieks are intense and emotional. Something you'd expect if you were inches away from death.


Growling is more specific because what you call clean voice covers much wider range of frequencies, pitches and notes, in fact much much wider. I didn't say that shrieks alone define black metal, but shrieking in black metal and growling in death metal are defining elements.

So if you like black metal, you can like it; but it doesn't make a good argument for it being a proper representative of emotions you've mentioned. You see, the point is that when you're inches away from death, you don't shriek. Perhaps sometimes, but that's for sudden incidents. For most of the time, there's a deep silence.
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cartoken
The Seer


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Age: 35
Location: Paris
France

  • #43
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 22:52
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Saposcat wrote:


The deep continuity in his works--in so far as his novels together are of a piece--is not unlike that in Gira's work, in fact. Like Beckett Gira has been using in even his most recent work ideas from his earliest material such as the self-titled EP, Filth, and Cop. I really appreciate that for it shows how dear these ideas are for Gira: in a word these are not gimmicks. Swans seems to me not just some band but an entity whose works strive to be more than just grandiose stylistic exercises--they feel necessary. And so does the The Seer, especially The Seer, which to me seems the end or start of an era in Swans history. The Seer is perhaps Gira's truest and most critical work: it covers the bases they have previously hit only in live settings. None of the compositions fades out, each goes on till we have heard every necessary variation or permutation of a phrase or have reached the necessary climax.

The instrumental sections do go on for a long time, even for too long a time, but that is intentional, and yes necessary, and so I do not see it as a fault. It allows the music to hypnotise you if you let it. Just give into the music and let it envelop you, just as you would if you were to see them live. Focus on the repetitions and in so doing notice amid those repetitions the slight variations and permutations in texture. Really the album is hypnotic in the way in which Can in their most experimental phase was hypnotic. Cutting the length of any of the songs as they are would be neutering them and disrespecting them. Look at "No Thoughts/No Words," on My Father: at its heart it is an epic song which needs to be at least 20 minutes long, but on the studio album it is fewer then 10 minutes long, and it feels too much like a reduction of the real thing.



100% agree ! each second of The Seer is just a gift !
i'm very curious Saposcat to see your albums chart if you're ever planning to have one Wink
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Mother Nature's Son



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  • #44
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 23:00
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CalamityCat wrote:
Everybody all around the world, gotta tell you what I just heard: there's gonna be a party all over the woooorld


That's 1 out of 2 ELO albums that I don't know any songs from. You just brought me down CalamityCat! Sad
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Saposcat





  • #45
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 23:13
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cartoken wrote:
100% agree ! each second of The Seer is just a gift !
i'm very curious Saposcat to see your albums chart if you're ever planning to have one Wink
I am sorry to say that I am not a fan of cataloguing or rating albums. I like discussions and I even like reading insightful reviews, but getting caught up in average user ratings tends to make it difficult for me to listen to only the music, so I avoid using sites like Rate Your Music, which severely damages my actual listening experience. I do not take pride in the music I listen to, nor does it shame me--I like what I like and I do not want lists or numbers to interfere with my tastes. This is my own problem, and it is not my intention to say that people who use sites like those rely on average ratings more than they do on their own developing taste.

That this site also has a rating system? I don't know, but I'm not going to find out either, but I like that, if there is such a system, it is completely separate from the forum.
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  • #46
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 23:19
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Saposcat wrote:
Yes Sam Beckett is my favorite novelist too. And I love Phillip Glass. Do you know of the composer Morton Feldman? I believe that as regards the philosophy of their work Feldman is even closer to Beckett than Glass. Feldman even made a 54-minute piece he dedicated to Beckett, and an opera of sorts.

As regards this thread, I know that Gira has read Beckett too, and I hear the influence in his music and lyrics. A friend who knows me to be a big Beckett nerd (and Swans nerd) told me that Gira said once that he had read every book by Beckett but that he is trying to forget all of them so as to go freshly back to them. Beckett really is the best writer there ever was and there ever is to be. Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, which compose his "Trilogy," are where I started, and from there I went to his early novels, Murphy, Watt, and Mercier and Camier, and then his later, How It Is, Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, and Worstward Ho.

The extreme lack of compromise is what makes Gira's music so iconic, and it is this which makes his vision timeless and utterly unique. Similarly this is why Beckett has become timeless. For his play Not I, as I have heard elsewhere, he too locked the door and took out the EXIT lights, and the play consists of a single mouth, a tiny beam of light shining on it, the rest of her face in black paint, so that all you see is this float mouth mumbling sentences for fifteen or twenty minutes, and random shrieks and laughter. I remember hearing that from the first actress ever to perform the play. Goddamn.


Yea, I suppose Feldman and Beckett had a cooperation on some project, but I'm not sure. What's the name of 54-minute opera that you mentioned? that sounds very interesting indeed. Should check it out.

But I'm really like that; I mean I've read Malone Dies about ten times, and every time I don't think that I've read this before. It seems so fresh. This is no exaggeration. I have that exact feeling. Not I is real genius. In every new work, Beckett pushed his extremes far aside, and the character in Not I is an archetypal character in Beckett's work that has pushed back the boundaries of Molloys and Malones traits which he has in common with them. The character is no more a character. That's true in Krapp's Last Tape as well; Krapp is a character in his past, his present is lost. In fact he has always been worrying that he will forget who he is and that is the reason he has recorded that tape. This loss is even more tangible in Not I where the character has no body.

I wonder how one can take inspiration from Beckett's works to make music. There should be feeble struggles and comic but not self-conscious moments in there. That's very hard but Philip Glass has been getting very close in some of his works.


Last edited by Guest on 08/15/2012 23:29; edited 1 time in total
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Guest





  • #47
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 23:21
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cartoken wrote:
100% agree ! each second of The Seer is just a gift !
i'm very curious Saposcat to see your albums chart if you're ever planning to have one Wink


Seconded!
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Necharsian
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Canada

  • #48
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 23:23
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tekin wrote:
I didn't say that shrieks alone define black metal, but shrieking in black metal and growling in death metal are defining elements.


Yes, in the same way that Thom Yorke's voice is a defining element on Radiohead.

tekin wrote:
So if you like black metal, you can like it; but it doesn't make a good argument for it being a proper representative of emotions you've mentioned. You see, the point is that when you're inches away from death, you don't shriek. Perhaps sometimes, but that's for sudden incidents. For most of the time, there's a deep silence.


I doubt that when you're being followed in a forest you would sing, either.

Either you're completely oblivious to symbolism in art, or you're trying to justify youre dislike of black metal by trying to strip away its emotion. Either way, you're wrong.
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  • #49
  • Posted: 08/15/2012 23:24
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Saposcat wrote:
I am sorry to say that I am not a fan of cataloguing or rating albums. I like discussions and I even like reading insightful reviews, but getting caught up in average user ratings tends to make it difficult for me to listen to only the music, so I avoid using sites like Rate Your Music, which severely damages my actual listening experience. I do not take pride in the music I listen to, nor does it shame me--I like what I like and I do not want lists or numbers to interfere with my tastes. This is my own problem, and it is not my intention to say that people who use sites like those rely on average ratings more than they do on their own developing taste.

That this site also has a rating system? I don't know, but I'm not going to find out either, but I like that, if there is such a system, it is completely separate from the forum.


There's a part called my chart, where you can add the albums you like; You can just add albums and not get into the rating process. We'll be glad to see a collection of your favorite albums.
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Saposcat





  • #50
  • Posted: 08/18/2012 08:07
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I try to hear as much new stuff as it is possible. Albums currently on heavy rotation are Golden Retriever's Occupied with the Unspoken, Richard Skelton's Verse of Birds, Botanist's Doom in Bloom, Julia Holter's Ekstasis, Burial's Kindred, and Actress' R.I.P.
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