Monday, September 3, 2012

2012.09.03 — Zoë Keating, Regina Spektor Plugged into Machine & Right-Left Brain Integration: Fushigis*

I have been remiss in my previously stated goal of catching up with blogging my little fushigis that have been sticky piling up. Up until now I was, this afternoon, sitting listening to Zoë Keating, avant cellist extraordinaire:

I thought I would be working on my economic debunking courses, Economics Debunked and Banks Skanks — see Economics Demystified — because this is my last day of holidays before returning to the confines of wage-slavery. That was my best laid aside plan because 'my' mind isn't moving towards doing what needs doing. I spent a long time watching, in wonder and amazement, Keating's pure genius of technique, mastery of form and technology, and composition. In an interview she is modest of her place in changing music, especially the constrictions of contemporary classical music, but I see her as revolutionary.

So, instead of doing what I love to do, I am watching someone else do what they love doing. My mind flitted between the need-to-done stuff, the want-to-do stuff of prose/poem/'popcorn'-plays on Goodreads, reading and blogging. No wonder I don't get things done: I have spent at least an hour dithering, and soon my wife will wake from her nap, the time to make supper will arrive shortly thereafter, and another day will pass without my having done much of anything. Later tonight my stomach will flip-flop a little at my having once again passed a day of my life living it fruitlessly. (Then, of course, my Taoist mind will step back, and from a point slightly above my head and about two feet to left my side, will begin to laugh at my inane pre-occupations with immaterial things!)

And so, I have decided — too strong! Rather, I have drifted into doing an old want-to-do, which is tackling the outstanding unblogged fushigis. In part because there was a funny one that involved Ms. Keating.

If you haven't already, click on play in the video and with good headphones turn up the volume and be prepared to move into music nirvana.

During her web-interview with Chase Jarvis, a woman asks Zoë about how she
integrates both sides of her brain. I didn't think too much of this, although it is an old concept that seemed to have had a faddish popularity about 25 years ago. I am familiar with it, but I haven't heard it used in several perhaps even many years.
@ 45:50
Audience member: … I'm a little overwhelmed… You mentioned your past experience as a programmer … and from the sound of your music it sounds like your left and right hemisphere are working in tandem with so much power —goddess power. So I am curious, though, to understand a little more about your process….
Go to Chase Jarvis's interview with Zoë Keating for a fascinating discussion on the creative process — and some excellent music.

Later that day I was near the TV while ML was watching the news. There was a clip on a child whose school work improved because of his passion for stacking cups, quickly. Some kind of expert averred that the child's school work improvements came about because the cup stacking promotes and exercises
left and right brain integration. (Note: It turns out there is a big marketing campaign on the part of the manufacturer of the 'special' cups, called 'speed stacks'. I was unable to find that broadcasted clip on the web, but I did find a left/right brain integration testimonial from neurokinesiologist, Jean Blaydes Madigan, a proponent of Action Based Learning and author of Thinking On Your Feet.)

Finally, the following day I was flipping through my iTunes because I wanted to listen to something familiar, but I wasn't sure what. I've set iTunes to play randomly by album. I didn't like what came up, and so flipped through a couple of albums,
and came across Regina Spektor. And I began to laugh because of something else Keating talked about in her interview by Chase. And which she re-enforced in a artist-talks-to-artists meeting I also watched yesterday. In both of these videos Keating talks about her connection with the computer and software that she manipulates with her feet and which she considers to be an extension of herself. Also, very prominent are black earphones that stick out of ears and a very visible black wire falls away from them. It looks like she is wired up. Well, in the Chase interview a viewer sent a question about those earphones, that Zoë read out loud:
@ 40.11
Zoë: … I can see that [question]! Laughs.
Do you have a click in your ear or are you a cyborg? [Audience laughter.]
… I am not telling if I am a cyborg or not. But, um, that's a good question, actually. I have— I don't have a click, but what I do is record a little loop of myself playing. And so in the places where I need to have, like a really amorphous place to play, then I'll hear myself coming back. But I find that something like a click, or hearing that all the time, throws me off. It makes me unmusical. So, um, it's all programmed here to turn it on and off at specific times. I know when I need it so it comes up. And I also have a button so I can turn it on.
Chase: Wow. So you're not a cyborg. But you have some components of cyborg-ness.
Why this is funny is because of Spektor's quite brilliant song Machine could be talking about Keating, not just in the process of her creation of music, but in the manner she has used technology to become a poster child of how to be a musician without a label or an agent or a PR machine. To hear her talk about her being hooked into the machine, watch midem: Artists talk to Artists-2012. Here is Spektor's Machine. From the song:
And I'm downloaded daily
I am part of a composite

Hooked into machine
Hooked into machine
I had planned to get more fushigi here today, but the day ran out. So I will stop, now. Good night.


  1. Lately, I've been addicted to Regina Spektor's music especially "Ezra Pound".

    I have a lot of catching up to do on your blog. It feels like it's been months since I've read anything on here. :/

  2. Hello, Al. Yes, Spektor's music is very addictive. I put her songs on repeat many times.

    And there isn't that much to catch up on, here in my blog world because I haven't been too busy. I was, until last week, spending more time in Goodreads than here.