Zero Books launch in Marylebone High Street

Zero Books launched last night at Daunt on Marylebone High Street in central London. Upon arrival I was greeted by Zero editor Tariq Goddard. I hadn’t realised he’d moved out of London, but then I hadn’t seen him around for a while, so I wasn’t too surprised when he told me he was living in the country. Shortly after arrival I found myself chatting to sci-fi novelist China Miéville who brought up the extremely ugly subject of David Tibet (real name David Bunting) of Current 93 and his utterly ridiculous sub-musical collaborations with hardcore fascists. Our anti-fascist exchange was interrupted when the evening’s formal speeches began. I didn’t catch the name of the first speaker who was passionate on the subject of how neo-liberalism had collapsed but we still needed to clear away the ruins.
Next up was journalist David Stubbs who gave a short talk based on his book Fear Of Music. The blurb for this runs as follows: “Modern art is a mass phenomenon… However, while the general public has no trouble embracing avant-garde and experimental art, there is, by contrast, mass resistance to avant-garde and experimental music, although both were born at the same time under similar circumstances… This book examines the parallel histories of modern art and modern music and examines why one is embraced and understood and the other ignored, derided or regarded with bewilderment, as noisy, random nonsense perpetrated by, and listened to by the inexplicably crazed. It draws on interviews and often highly amusing anecdotal evidence in order to find answers to the question: Why do people get Rothko and not Stockhausen?”
My impression is the tabloid press devotes more space to deriding modern art than it does to attacking modern music. That said, the (post)-modern art the ‘red tops’ have derided in  recent years is largely a waste of space anyway; i.e. the yBa bores who put the con back into neo-conceptual art by jettisoning any overt political content and instead concentrating on selling over-priced luxury items to the rich. As a consequence, it has been rather amusing to witness the response of complete bafflement to the Ray Johnson retrospective currently on at Raven Row; most of the London art world simply cannot grasp a visual practice that is so obviously hostile to the commodification of culture. As for Rothko and Stockhausen, for me there is nothing to choose between them, and the bourgeoisie can stick them both up its arse!
In his talk Stubbs appeared to be defending everything about Stockhausen, which I found more than a little odd. There have certainly been reactionary attacks on Stockhausen, but by focusing on these Stubbs seemed to be saying sock it to the critics to my right and ignore my own problematic positions. Personally I agree with the critique of Stockhausen made by Henry Flynt and Action Against Cultural Imperialism back in the 1960s; among other things they pointed out that Stockhausen’s criticisms of jazz were racist. I also find Flynt’s radical avant-garde hillbilly far more of a groove sensation than Stockhausen. And while I can dig much of what Cornelius Cardew did musically from the Scratch Orchestra through to his reworkings of folk melodies, his book Stockhausen Serves Imperialism lacks the edge of Flynt’s critique of this bourgeois hack. I have no problem with listening to modern music, but everything from Luigi Nono to grime is just so much better than Stockhausen. The positions Stubbs defended in his talk were both simplistic and wrong-headed.
As a speaker, Owen Hatherley was a lot more impressive than Stubbs. His book Militant Modernism was billed as a defence of modernism against its defenders. Hatherley was arguing in favour of post-war modernism, not just its early twentieth-century manifestations, and for its entanglement with revolutionary politics. I was with him on that, although I suspect we may well have differences on specific figures such as Bertolt Brecht and what is revolutionary. For me, defending the gains of modernism also means going beyond it, and this necessitates abolishing the capitalist social relations modernism emerged from. Of course, I haven’t read Hatherley’s book yet, because as a proletarian post-modernist, I’m blogging the launch and not the texts. Moving on, after Hatherley there was a quick word from publisher John Hunt. I then spoke to Hales Gallery artists Laura Oldfield Ford and Richard Galpin about the antagonism towards criticism on the gallery circuit. In the spirit of immaterial friendship I got to say hi and little else to Nina Power… and a few others. Then the booze ran out so most people moved on to the pub….
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by The Real Tessie on 2009-04-24 10:47:23 +0000

Michael K AKA Michael Kearney is a multiple identity based on a character in M. John Harrison’s novel Light. Kearney is a a physicist with some dark secrets who is at the centre of a thread in the book set in 1999. The Michael Kearney character is as tortured as he is amoral, but he nonetheless facilitates the discovery of faster-than-light travel. Kearney’s mind is warped due to a lonely childhood; he can’t interact in a fully human way with other people because he isn’t properly socialised. Kearney is haunted by a vision which leaves him mentally unbalanced:
“Try and imagine,” he had once said to Anna, “something like a horse’s skull. Not a horse’s head,” he had cautioned her, “but its skull.” The skull of a horse looks nothing like the head at all, but like an enormous curved shears, or a bone beak whose two halves meet only at the tip. “Imagine,” he had told her, “a wicked, intelligent, purposeless-looking thing which apparently cannot speak. A few ribbons or strips of flesh dangle and flutter from it. Even the shadow of that is more than you can bear to see.”
Kearney might be read as a monster or a pitiable wretch or a combination of both. Those using the Michael K and Michael Kearney multiple identities deliberately act out this role in the cyber-world.

Comment by Michael K on 2009-04-24 11:04:48 +0000

I escaped from the Harrison novel when it was published in 2002 and now I’m free to be an agent of chaos in undetermined worlds.

Comment by Tessie, Herself The Dutchess of Kitsch on 2009-04-24 11:47:27 +0000

Don’t believe the hype – the K hype that is…. And as for Fear Of Music, what about Fear Of A Black Planet?

Comment by Michael Kearney on 2009-04-24 12:03:09 +0000

I’m not me!

Comment by Karl Marx on 2009-04-24 12:08:28 +0000

I’m not me either; capitalist alienation reduces us all to something less than human. Only by smashing class society can we free ourselves from the fetters of commodification. Down with a world in which objects appear as subjects and vice versa!

Comment by Colours of White on 2009-04-24 12:36:49 +0000

There is, indeed, little tolerance of much so called “avant garde” music — because lots of it can be seen for what it is — elitist crap in many cases, and in other cases, blatant robbery of black music forms, which are then dressed up in the snobby attire and arrogant cod intellectual rags of the avant garde.
A lot of these people are just hucksters, under cover of appearing as “heavy weight art” products — but products and snake oil commodity sellers they are, and not the quaisi sacred representations they present themsleves as.
Steve Reich is a prime example, a man who admittedly made some decent ( albeit derivative) records — “Drumming” in particular and “Early Works” — but if you look at what he did with his multi toned cross rhythm compositions,playing with perceptions of time etc, it’s obvious he spent years listening to African musicians in particular, and dressing up his appropriations in all kinds of cod mysticism,cod science and cod mathematics.
It was also true with artists in the 60’s, who spent years listening to street and forest musicians in Java and Sumatra, and returned to Europe and USA and made a reputation out of “Avant gard-ising” Gamelan, and selling it off at a price to “intellectuals” — I will bet the temple musicians back in Jogjakarta didn’t see any profits from their appropriations.
These “intellectual” avant garde “musicians” have been at it for ages — if you read Dadaist Richard Hulsenbeck’s autobiography, “Memoirs of a Dada Drummer”, it’s clear he was another “intellectual” snob too, a man who made his reputation playing ” primitive native bongo drums” and shouting nonsense rhymes which he says “sounded African” and were suitably “primitive” — he later moved to New York and rubbed shoulders with more European “intellectual” elites, and complained in sniffy snobby tones tones that “parts of NY were like the Congo.”
That didn’t stop him, mind you, from still getting paid in NY art clubs, and getting a good reputation on “the art scene” in NY for playing his “umbongo bongo tongo wongo” deeply patronising, racist and condescending cod “primitive cutting edge” music and reciting his over rated “primitive” “black sounding” poetry.
These “intellectual” avant garde “musicians” have been at it for ages — but who needs their version of avant garde music when we have Jah Shaka, Pharaoh Sanders, and many more like them? Who needs Cage’s explanations of Buddhism when we now have temples and monasteries here in Uk when we can ask the monks themselves about their perceptions? Who needs Stockhausen’s annoyingly pretentious “Stimmung” when we can go and listen to Eastern Orthodox Monastic chant in many towns in UK, or listen to Buddhist chant in Wimbledon, Surrey or Hertfordshire?
No — leave the “intellectual” avant garde where they are — it’s mostly bollocks anyway , either mall muzak dressed up as something clever,like popular snobs Glass or Nyman, or appropriated music dressed up in cod intellectual Hegelian rags.
Ah, now, let me reach for that Ornettte Coleman record, or my Jah Shaka session tape from the early 80’s…….

Comment by Colours of White on 2009-04-24 12:56:21 +0000

I LOVE Ray’s collages — YOU MUST love them too, or I will follow you around and annoy you, forever, starting now.

Comment by Lara on 2009-04-24 17:14:11 +0000

You’re a little bit hard on poor old Stubbs, but you are right that Owen’s talk was much better. But unlike the other comments here, I like Stockhausen. His quartet on helicopters is totally fantastic, and a recent piece I saw in Shoreditch church in which musicians respond to shortwave radios was brilliant. But yes, Stubbs’ case (at least in presentation) was extremely weak. The poor man was terrified. Perhaps the book is better.
(Wish I’d known which person Laura Oldfied was, the artist. Her work is fab too)

Comment by Mandy Smith on 2009-04-24 17:53:15 +0000

I just can’t wait for the final demise of capitalism. Je suis une militant.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-24 18:07:19 +0000

Hey Colours, much of that should go without saying… I think Sotckhausen’s earlier work is better than the later stuff, and I can see why some people might like that. But even if you do like it, that doesn’t mean there can’t be progressive criticisms of Stockhausen, particularly on an ideological level. That’s what I felt was weak about Stubbs, if I wanted to defend Stockhausen’s (early) music then I’d look for a way of doing that against the man and his worldview – but Stubbs only talked about those who attacked Stockhausen from his right, not those who did it from his left as was the case with Flynt, Cardew or indeed me when I organised a protest against one of his concerts in the early 1990s.

Comment by Ray Johnson on 2009-04-24 19:09:50 +0000

I thought Stockhausen was just an ordinary guy who liked to play his piano until Henry Flynt set me straight on that one…..

Comment by I Was Sammo Hung’s Sex Scene Double on 2009-04-24 20:14:03 +0000

I didn’t know Tariq Goddard was an editor now too, but I’m a big fan of his novels.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-25 07:20:41 +0000

Ah Mr Home, I see you mention Nina Powers — she is a good writer. Very original. I follow her work with interest.
A writer to watch out for — a true bright spark amongst the many stereotyped, middlebrow writers comodified business continuously coerces and throws up.

Comment by Major Lance on 2009-04-25 11:14:40 +0000

Let me Investigate, well There Ain’t No Soul in what Stockhausen does, but while there is room for many styles of music in this world, you can’t party to 12 tone… Um Um Um Um Um Um….

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-25 11:46:21 +0000

Ah yes, well it’s not often Howling Wizard puts down his Marcus Aurelius text, “Meditations”, or works by Plotinus and Heraclitus — But the Wiz will make exceptions, and Nina Powers website looks good for a read in my cave :
Shrieking Toad likes her work a lot too.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-25 14:38:59 +0000

Just taking a well earned break and supping on gruel prepared by my Shrieking Toad, I found the following, linked from Nina Powers site :
“Militant Modernism was yesterday officially launched (thank you to everyone who turned up, and who had to talk to me when I was either extremely nervous or extremely drunk) and is today officially published. Regular and increasingly desperate demands that you buy my book will be posted as the sales figures dictate. With remarkable swiftness, Stewart Home has already reviewed the launch, and you’re no-one in this town if you haven’t been looked at somewhat askance by Stewart Home. You can also watch the preliminary k-punk oration here, and me extemporising (always risky) and playing with my fringe, here, should you so wish.”

Comment by Lara on 2009-04-25 17:09:29 +0000

Stewart – what did Stockhausen say about jazz? I’d like to know a bit about his racism. Can you point me in the right direction?

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-25 18:14:37 +0000

Hi Lara – I don’t have everything to hand, such as various Flynt publications and interviews (including the tape of the one I did with him). But a quick web search tunrs up some original leaflets from his Stochkausen pickets. For example:
To highlight the important parts:
“jazz [Black music] is primitive… barbaric… beat and a few simple chords… garbage… [or words to that effect]” Stockhausen, Lecture, Harvard University, fall 1958
Stockhausen is a characteristic European-North American ruling-class Artist. His magazine, The Series, has hardly condescended to mention plebian or non-European music at all; but when it has, as on the first page of the fourth number, it leaves no category for it except “’light music’ that can be summed up by adding a question mark after ‘music’”. Stockhausen’s doings are supported by the West German Government, as well as the rich Americans J. Brimberg, J. Blinken and A. Everett. If there were a genuine equality of national cultures in the world today, if there were no discrimination against non-European cultures, Stockhausen couldn’t possibly enjoy the status he does now. But Stockhausen’s real importance, which separates him from the rich U.S. cretins Leonard Bernstein and Benny Goodman, is that he is a fountainhead of “ideas” to shore up the doctrine of white plutocratic European Art’s supremacy, enunciated in his theoretical organ The Series and elsewhere.
But actually the seriousness in which Stockhausen wraps himself is part of the bigger problem and Flynt is really good on all this. Flynt was a member of Workers World Party when he was doing much of this around the slogan Demolish Serious Culture. So well worth reading not just all of this but many of his other writings.
Another of those leaflets is at:
Stockhausen’s magazine, as well as his lectures, have decreed over and over that the one True Music is European Serious Music. They have decreed over and over that today music must obey the “scientific” Laws of Music, discovered by Stockhausen – or else it does not exist. ( That is, you must compose passage work (Zeitmasse), a concerto grosso (Gruppen), “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” (Gesang), a Mahler Symphony (Carre), or some such. ) In other words, the music of Japan, India, Africa, or in the U.S., R&B or hillbilly music, does not exist! And Stockhausen’s reason: because it is not composed, or is not made up of pitches, etc. etc. (Die Reihe 4, the first essay, sums up the doctrine of Stockhausen’s claque.).
Why does Stockhausen NEED to vilify every kind of toiler’s music, to limit True Music to the European owning classes, to invent “scientific” Laws which require all music to start from the premesis if 19th.- century European Serious Music? And mainly to carry on fascist vilification of the Black peoples’ music as “low and primitive”? Because Stockhausen’s music is composed to serve the West German bosses. Stockhausen is a lackey of the West German bosses and their government, just as Haydn was of the Esterhazys. His patronage comes mainly from the government-owned Cologne Radio. _______Like all court music, Stockhausen’s Music is of course a decoration for the West German bosses. But more than that, it is ideology, capitalist, fascist ideology. Stockhausen’s repeated decrees about the lowness of plebian music and the racial inferiority of non-European music, are an integral, essential part of his Art and its “appreciation”. Stockhausen’s Music is West German fascist ideology.
Of course, some conservative, philistine elements among the bosses have opposed Stockhausen as “too modern”. But this kind of opposition to Stockhausen is rapidly melting away as the bosses of West Europe and America realize that Stockhausen is one of the best salesmen they’re going to get. The West German government, which is in the hands of the bosses there, patronizes Stockhausen and brings him here tonight. Already more than a few U.S. millionaires have begun to spoort Stockhausen. and because of the power of the West German and U.S. bosses, this Musical style is imposed on all weaker nations of the “Free World”.
And for a deeper understanding of where Flynt is coming from:

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-26 05:34:54 +0000

Mr Home, wasn’t Theodor Adorno equally snobby about Jazz and by implication, if not explicitly, much black cultural influence in America?
( I have the chapters somewhere in my cave — toad, go and find them! )
The irony is, that much early avant garde culture seemed to want to immerse itself in some form of “primitiveness” in retalitaion against “European” rationality — clearly though, that “immersion” took place only on the terms dictated and decided by white middle class intellectuals though.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-26 05:51:38 +0000

You only get a single chance
The rules are very plain,
The truth is well concealed inside
The details of the game,
You can hear it coming,
You can see it from afar,
It’s pale and it glimmers
Like a faded movie star
And out there in the castle,
They’re trying to make us scream,
By sticking thumb tags in a flash
And cancelling the dream,
Can you find the Valium,
Can you bring them soon,
Lost Johnny’s out there,
Baying at the moon
The time has come for you to choose,
You’d better get it right,
Pulling girls with sharp white teeth
Are waiting in the night,
But you want to really get some,
It surely can’t be hard,
There’s always trouble lurking
When you leave your own backyard
Underneath the city,
The alligators sing,
Of how the fool he cannot dance,
When someone cuts the strings,
Can you find the morphine,
Try to be so brief,
Lost Johnny’s out there,
Looking for relief
That laddie looks so evil,
And you know he really tries,
But every time he makes a play,
That battle compromise,
And shall I find their underwear,
From a store where no-one goes,
She makes it big in dugs,
On the strength of what she shows,
And here inside the waiting room,
The radio still screams,
And we’re shooting children,
To murder all young things,
Can you find your credit card,
For god’s sake make it quick,
Lost Johnny’s out there,
Trying to turn a trick

Comment by George Maciunas on 2009-04-26 06:20:11 +0000

And don’t forget Flynt’s seminal pamphlet “Communists Must Give Revolutionary Leadership In Culture”….

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-26 08:26:50 +0000

Hey Howling Wiz, I’m with you on Adorno, a stupid elitist snob when it came to music and much else, oh and I can dig Hawkwind too!

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-26 11:56:24 +0000

“Adorno’s Minima Moralia: Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben” has to be one of the most painfully snobby and irritating books I have ever read. It’s horribly elitist.

Comment by Michael Roth on 2009-04-26 16:50:42 +0000

Adorno is my cure for insomnia … *snore*

Comment by Michael Roth on 2009-04-26 16:57:23 +0000

Howling Wizard, cool links. Looks like it was an interesting event, although unfortunately the video clips only gave a small sampling. At first blush, I can see where Stubbs is coming from, although I think it’s a simplistic argument. Hatherley’s piece seemed interesting, although it the video ended just as he was getting started. I will definitely check out his book.

Comment by Lara on 2009-04-27 11:49:52 +0000

Mr Trippy – thanks for the links. I will take a look. I did some searching myself and came across quite a lot of material in which Miles Davies salutes Stockhausen as a musician and also an important influence. And MD was certainly not shy to talk about racism. Contradictions… contradictions…

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-27 12:41:32 +0000

Hi Lara… You’d need to provide the Miles Davis links and references for me to judge them, but I don’t think you are saying MD went to the same 1958 Harvard lecture as Flynt and went through the same Stockhausen writings! Therefore, there is not necessarily any contradiction. MD may have been unaware of the things Flynt was criticising, and of course Cardew made similar criticisms to Flynt too (on imperialism not racism). But even if MD engages with and disputes the figures criticising Stockhausen from his left – which I doubt – that still doesn’t disprove the point I make that in his talk Stubbs failed to do this. Maybe Stubbs does this in his book or maybe he doesn’t, but in his talk he seemed to be pulling a rhetorical trick by making it sound as if all criticism of Stockhausen comes from a reactionary perspective, and this is simply not the case!
Figures like Allen Ginsberg were able to enthuse about Ezra Pound despite this older poet being anti-Semitic, so you saying Miles Davis praised Stockhausen’s music strikes me as pretty incidental as regards Flynt criticising the latter figure for racism. For the material you invoke to be relevant, Davis would either have to explicitly attack Flynt’s positions or state Stockhausen was non or anti-racist, and in the latter instance we might also need to look at dates and other matters. Having spoken to Flynt in person on a several occasions, interviewed him and read many of his texts, I find his arguments on this score convincing. I have done some web searches but can find nothing about Davis on Stockhausen that undermines Flynt, although it is possible you are using printed texts that wouldn’t show up on a web search or I’m somehow missing online material, if this is the case I’d be grateful if you could provide references.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-27 13:25:05 +0000

Even if a black musician such as Miles Davis did namecheck Stockhausen — so what? What does that show exactly? It happens all the time in music. Reggae and dub musicians for example, are well known for liking some of the most reactionary, conservative and racially prejudiced American country music artists. White Country and Western music has long been acknowledged as a major influence on early reggae artists.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-04-27 13:33:34 +0000

Anthony Braxton also dug Stockhausen, though acknowledged that he ( and Cage apparently ) were “profound(ly) racist”
Check out page 122 on the link here :

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-28 00:08:37 +0000

Thanks Howling Wizard, I’m sure Lara Pawson will be as pleased to get the tip on Braxton’s view of Stockhausen’s racism as I am.

Comment by Lara on 2009-04-28 09:29:01 +0000

I’m not here to defend everything about Stockhausen. Delighted though, for the tips (HW, ST) on how to spot a racist and the information on the dubbers. If only I’d known.
There seems to be plenty out there on Stockhausen’s racism, & Cage’s too. I still enjoy their music. VS Naipaul is a racist too, and I still appreciate his writing. Mentioning Miles Davis was not an attempt to stop criticism of Stockhausen. Shame I have to spell it out. If only things were less fuzzy, and as clear-cut as some of the comments here seem to imply. The quote of Stockhausen seems to be hearsay and a half-quote by its own admission. That’s not to say he wasn’t a racist either, just to point out the inadequacy of starting an article with a quote that is not a quote as stated by the author.
Anyway… while we’re on the subject of the bourgeois… it struck me as interesting that Zero Books held the launch of both books at Daunt Books, owned and established by a former investment banker from JP Morgan.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-28 11:38:31 +0000

Hi Lara, no criticism of you intended, if you enjoy Stockhausen’s music I don’t have a problem with that, it was the Stubbs defence I dislike. I am mixed on Miles but you can’t beat an album like On The Corner (his best to my ears – I don’t like stuff like Porky & Bess or Sketches of Spain but do like Kind of Blue from that earlier era), and it is probably more around the Bitches Brew/On The Corner period than the earlier stuff that Miles could be seen as having a Stockhausen influence.
As HW points out with regard to early reggae (and the same argument might be applied to southern soul – look at Dobie Grey in the Drift Away period for example, although I prefer his earlier cuts like Out On The Floor), you can take a musical influence without taking on world views. So nothing wrong with Miles using Stockhausen if that’s what he did. Stockhausen’s more important compositions are largely instrumental, which also neatly avoids the problems with lyrical content you might find elsewhere.
I wouldn’t suggest that people shouldn’t use cars because Henry Ford was a racist, that would be silly, although I do think we should get rid of the private car for other reasons. My problem was that Stubbs presented all criticisms of Stockhausen as reactionary, and since this is not true it becomes a defence of what is reactionary in Stockhausen. Stubbs may do better in the book, or he may not have been aware of these criticisms (strange if this is the case because these criticisms fractured the avant-garde at the time they were made – Flynt in New York even more so than Cardew in London). Stubbs’s argument in his talk was wrong-headed.
I think Flynt’s critique is really spot on and racism is only one aspect of it. I came across Flynt’s attacks on Stockhausen before reading Cardew’s Stockhausen Serves Imperialism which being later seemed to me in some ways a weak echo of Flynt. My impression is Flynt was very meticulous in the way he went through Stockhausen’s writing, as well as attending that lecture. I do not agree with all Flynt’s ideas (Creep Theory for example) but my view is he can be trusted to report matters accurately. Flynt takes himself very seriously and would be horrified by your suggestion that he may have misreported something (which isn’t to argue he couldn’t have made a mistake, only that he would never do so deliberately). And Stochhausen’s views as recorded elsewhere mesh with what Flynt reports. Also if you look at Stockhausen’s justifications for his music they are ridiculous, absolutely absurd. So to enjoy the music – if that’s what you want to do – it seems to me it is very necessary to separate it from the man. Leaving aside the racism, there is still much that was both ridiculous and reactionary in Stockhausen, and as a result I found the all round defence from Stubbs in his talk really annoying!
With regard to Flynt, I was disappointed that I was unable to find a copy of his Communists Must Give Revolutionary Leadership In Culture online. I had a photocopy and that should be available for you to look at in the archive of my material at The National Art Library in London (should you want to look at it of course!). The tape of the interview I did with Flynt should also be there, alongside some other Flynt materials. I kept my copy of Flynt’s book Blueprint For A Higher Civilization, not sure if the NAL has a copy of that, it is very hard to source, there only ever seem to have been about 200 copies in circulation. But much of that is online now anyway,.
Not knowing much about Daunt Books, I didn’t know it was owned by JP Morgan, so thanks for pointing that out. I wouldn’t necessarily criticise Zero for that, we all have to live out the contradictions of capitalism until it is finally abolished…

Comment by Lara on 2009-04-29 08:45:24 +0000

Thanks for all this on Flynt. I’d love to hear your interview and read the material. As for Stockhausen, and your advice “to enjoy the music – if that’s what you want to do – it seems to me it is very necessary to separate it from the man”: I’d say ditto to that for at least 50% of all the art, music, literature etc that I like. (There is no author, only text etc etc etc…)
P.S. Stubbs was on Radio 4 this morning promoting his book. Perhaps we should try to read it & then critique it. But, like you, from his talk, I don’t feel too tempted.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-04-29 09:42:10 +0000

Strangely or not, Stubbs sent a friend request to me on Facebook last night. He also sent a brief message about his position of Stockhausen, so I accepted the request since I don’t have the impression his world view is the same as Stockhausen, and in fact he seems like a nice guy (even if we disagree about some things). I agree with you completely about separating music/text/art from those who make it… where and as far as you can.
Somewhere I have an MP3 of a two hour or something radio show where Henry Flynt is talking about music and playing some of his plus tunes he likes. This is old and I can’t find it from a quick search. I may not have got it from the web, someone may have passed it to me. However, it is great if only I could identify it. But there is Flynt stuff online including these more recent video interviews which I haven’t looked at yet:

Comment by Lara on 2009-05-01 13:28:17 +0000

I keep forgetting to say, by the way, that there is something vaguely absurd about discussing Stockhausen’s racism given that the man believed he actually came from a star: “Other snippets of vitally important information then came to me through a couple of revelatory dreams. Crazy dreams, from which it emerged that not only did I come from Sirius itself, but that, in fact, I completed my musical education there.” On that basis you might not want to take anything that emerges from his mouth very seriously.

Comment by Vincent Dawn on 2009-05-01 16:22:16 +0000

For those who are interested, Resonance FM are having a Cornelius Cardew/Scratch Orchestra Fest this weekend. The schedule is here
Don’t know any more than that, but there should be some interesting sounds and conversations coming up

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-05-01 22:40:01 +0000

Resonance FM director Ed Baxter was already absolutely obsessed by Cardew when I first met him in 1985, strangely enough – or not – we were introduced at an opening by Stefan Szczelkun who played in the Scratch Orchestra. Anyway, I’m sure the Resonance special will be a good one coz Ed knows that stuff inside out!

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