From feet away: Loren Connors and Keiji Haino at the Whitney last night, performing as part of the Blues for Smoke show curated by Jay Sanders. Listening to these men make music is like taking part in a seance, except that you are never quite sure as to who exactly is the ghost and who is the medium. Matana Roberts performed on the second half of the bill, and yes, she is absolutely, absolutely a medium, and you can really hear the spirit coming through her instrument, through the breaking in the voice.
“Strange” is too easy of a word. Still I am drawn to a particular strangeness in sound. What other word – – for a long time I used to think that the meaning of the word “alterity” had something to do with time until I learned that it was more about the state of otherness than time, but maybe that’s where the strangeness of sound comes in. How do you do something so strange but beautiful so that everybody becomes fixed on you, how do you pull someone into your own sense, measurement of time. And to think of the blues in relation to time: how do you remake the source, the memory of your blues, into your blues; and then how might your blues, whatever the source, become someone else’s blues. Music as, almost always, as a way of making a kind of sound through a kind of time and as a thing with the intent of transcending. Something for the maker and something for the listener. Or, how might the strangeness of your sound be an act of love for the world, for the state in which it was, is, you wish for it to be. Every musical moment with the potential to be a small apocalypse, in the sense of uncovering hidden things, in the sense that time gets redefined, maybe. More for the notebooks, always.