People: Alan Sondheim
Tags: death, music

debris, dawning
left over from day1 performance; somehow the sound was
transformed into something unworldly and beautiful
left over from the performance materials, here for the color
it's the central gate that fascinates me, holds me
it's the same light over the Matterhorn I do believe



oud, double-course strings played individually: i worked this out
originally for cobza; here it creates bell-like tones resonant
with the poetics of the origin of the world. i hallucinated korea,
playing the figures of goddesses and dragons from the great tomb.
i hallucinated figures making their way slowly across the stretch
of strings, roads of limited durations. i hallucinated them
literally, my eyes closed, head pressed against the belly of the
instrument, its vibrations my very own, the singular music of
historical memory occasioned by the figures; it was their memory,
not mine, they communicated through the murmur of the wood. for


1980s Egyptian oud

- just received this, shallow bowl, nice rounded sound, lots
of cracks. think this was originally inexpensive (poorly made
sound hole filigree for example), but the spruce top has aged
beautifully, so the sound is good and the action isn't
terrible. when i listened to the recording, i could hear my
nails, my breathing (upper and lower chest, wheezing, tense
from allergic reactions), moving the instrument around, etc.
- and thought - this is the sound of the flesh - using hiss
reduction - keeping only the hiss - i sought to bring this
out - this labor - fully - finding the sound fantastically
transformed, something else of the wonder of the world


Last Night's Music at Unnameable Books::

Alan Sondheim, oud
Chris Diasparra, baritone sax

This is a fair amount to watch, but it gives a good idea of the labor
involved in music production, something I've wanted to emphasize.
The oud is plugged in. To 'play like this' requires hours of practice
and an exactness that's difficult for me; I've only been playing
fretless instruments for maybe two years now. So the speed involves
quick stopping and starting (with all the issues of accelerating and
inertia involved), as well as hopefully minute adjustments to bring
the position into tune. Fingers, wrists, arms are involved. To get a
greater reach it's sometimes necessary to move the hand from under
the neck, fretting from above; I gain at least a fourth from that,


(edited from Adam Tobin at Unnameable Books)
Meanwhile, a ragtag gang of roving musicians has stumbled into our
basement, creating a space we never knew was there before, and making
sounds we'd like to hear again. This Sunday evening, for one, our very own
ALAN SONDHEIM plays the oud and pipa with EspDisk's CHRIS DIASPARRA on
baritone sax and JUDY of Caspar the Holy Ghost. WHAT? Improvised music.
They are amazing, and I'm not just saying that because I love them. They
start making music at 7pm on Sunday, and may they never stop.  That's
Sunday the 4th, at 8 pm.
Much love,
yours at Unnameable Books
600 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn NY 11238
(718) 789-1534

People: Alan Sondheim
Tags: music, sound

the stirring dance of ossi oswalda with ossi the cat solo oud



sondheims one-step

yes, fast and jumpy the way we like it up here on the north slope
you can dance and jiggle all you want to the sondheims one-step
and what's more it's fast and sneaky but you gotta be faster
than sondheims one-step and you can jance and diggle to

(parlor guitar, maybe my best playing to date)


distractions (oud)

a repeated song or figure, while i am being distracted
by images and issues of muscle tone, my mind tend towards
continuous repair and corralling the figures that are
produced in this piece, repeatedly, that is to say, with
variations, or losing track, backing up, so that this is
THE MIND AT WORK and quite possibly as a result the best
piece of music/soundwork i have produced, one in which
the MIND'S HEART itself is audible, the working through
the fantastic, circumlocutions, working through THOUGHT
ITSELF which is negated, not allowed to proceed, that is
REFUSED PROCEDURE, as if i could allow myself, give
myself permission towards or encompassing NO-MIND, which
is unavailable, but the beauty of this is, you are a
WITNESS TO ME as you have never been before, and along

People: Alan Sondheim
Research: Sound
Tags: sound, research, oud, music
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