Django Django - Hail Bop
Smuggled flowers from Cornwall
Mona Kuhn (German, b. Brazil, 1969)
© Mona Kuhn/Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery
Graffiti on an Egyptian temple
Metropolitan Museum of Art
In 2001, Willliam Basinski, a New York based avant-garde composer, found a taped composition from 1982. He attempted to preserve it, transferring the tapes to a digital format. The magnetic tapes, however, had already begun to decay after twenty years in storage, and as they ran, they spalled into dust, the music itself gradually warbling and undoing, becoming a fading specter of itself. At around the same time, the events of 9/11 occurred, and his composition, eventually titled The Disintegration Loops, became a beautiful requiem for those lost that day.
It’s a work that’s perfectly at odds with the tacky, violent maximalism that came to define the era, one that demands a quiet, reflective sorrow from its listeners. It’s hard to imagine that this composition was created at the same time, let alone from the same culture, that also gave us a song with the lyrics, “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.”
So here we are, more than ten years later. The brash Toby Keith mentality has become such a parody of itself that it’s swiftly and commonly mocked by saying only “America” with an exaggerated southern accent. But the power of The Disintegration Loops hasn’t diminished at all. Ironically, it seems to have become more impactful in the time since the attacks, and it remains one of the most moving artistic responses. It stands as a triumphant example that feverish, misguided patriotism wasn’t the only response to the attacks. In 2011, it was officially inducted into the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
There exists a sobering hour-long video featuring Basinski’s loop, the footage shot from his Brooklyn rooftop at dusk, showing a view silently shared by so many New Yorkers that day: The remains of thousands of innocent people turned to dust, slowly drifting southwest. The loop disintegrates, the smoke drifts away and the sky fades to black.
(via Death and Taxes)
I think this is the saddest piece of music I know. It is literally the sound of dying, the sound of time passing, the sound of things fading. As the hour long piece passes, you don’t always notice it changing. But once it reaches the final quarter and you realize that the loop sounds completely different, you’ll lose it.
Jake Arrieta gets filthy.
It’s #FossilFriday, and weighing around 1,500 pounds, rivaling a large moose in size, is Megaloceros giganteus, one of the largest known deer.
Megaloceros’s enormous antlers, some of which reached a 13-foot spread, were used in ritualized combat between males. Adapted to live on grassy terrain, this elk became extinct some 10,000 years ago.