Yoshizen's Blog

Bach — Bernstein — Gould — Zen

Oh my Goodness.    I bumped this old film clip, on Youtube = Leonard Bernstein and Glenn Gould talked about J.S.Bach.
Film was shot on 57 years ago, 1960 then Glenn Gould was 28.   Naturally the film showed the two’s younger looks but what surprised me most was, on that time Bernstein was already “the Educator Bernstein” and Gould was “the Only one, Gould”.

(Other nearby Youtube posts, Gould or Bernstein posts are very educative and highly recommended to watch !)
In fact, me to encounter Bach first time was in the Fellini’s film, “La Dolce Vita” —– in the film, a gossip journalist, Marcello met a church organist and the organist played Bach’s music, Toccata and Fugue in D-miner (the most famous and popular organ music — famous still it was the first encounter to my 15-years-old ear)   (incidentally, that the same actor who played the organist later appeared in the other film “Emanuel” as a sex-gulu ! )

I think, it was the early 90s, I listened a BBC annual radio 3 event, the Christmas Lecture, Bernstein talked about the structure and the music language.  It opened my eyes. —– in fact, it taught me more about our emotion than of the music. —– If the music could expect the same effect, it is the proof of that our emotional pattern is much simpler = such as how we feel from major or minor key, even B-miner is associated with the feeling of death ! — how accurate his view was the other matter, but such a view-point to analyze the relation of us to the music was a shock to me. 

So that, that was the same stance, how and why I adapted my view toward the Zen = instead to see it as a holly spiritual mumbo-jumbo but the scientific / medical phenomenon of the neuro-physical function.

Amazingly looks ordinary young man, Gould was already a master of the finger of a Harpsichordist and already know what is the Bach = mean what he is going to do with him = the man aware of his own karma.  (People became aware of their own karma on their later life —– I wonder how he found it in such early life ?)

***** PS:   Related post (following links)  J.S.Bach,  Aaaaaa~~~~~!  are highly recommended post to go. (They clearly explain what I said here.)

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Metalica of Steel wire

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He said to be a hard-core original member of the heavy metal Metalica

metalica2-a09a7205Though, long time he had been confined in a box in my place.  As a hard iron man, without having a high voltage power he couldn’t play a single note nor even just shake his body.  (The story behind was, that a part of stock taking, I need to document and Video my kinetic works.  But a trouble was, that I couldn’t find the electronic controller of this man.) —  As seen on the photo, he was a man on the stage standing alone = just an empty wire work. — So, how he could play music let alone move his body, as there is no mechanism or trick was seen on the stage.   Well, that IS the ingenious part of producing him. = He play a music with the resonance. = Tune himself to the vive and excite himself.  (The base, stage vibrates almost invisible mode.  Then his wobbly body resonate and amplify the movement, so start to shake, following the resonating frequency.   Acoustically or mechanically, his body is very complexed = depend on the resonating frequency, he vibrates different way — and his heavy instrument got rather large inertia and makes own vibration.)  The reason why I haven’t done this video making was that I wanted to compile it with metal music — how to synchronize the beat and the body movement etc etc, not mention the trouble with music copyright.  metalica3-00

Anyhow, today, I’m going to see my friend video maker Funki Porcini, who got amazing creativity and video editing skill ! = We are going to produce Matalica on wire MV.   (Wish me luck.)    😀

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Wabi – Sabi

wabi-sabi1-a09a7150Time to time, you might have heard the Japanese words, Wabi and Sabi, especially in relation to the Haiku Poet Basho or about Tea making and its pottery work. (such as tea bowl)  The word Sabi is related to Sabi-shii or Sabi-reta etc all of those meaning may be clearer in the visual metaphor than a lexical explanation (since those notions has to be grasped by the naked perception not by the thinking brain = hence direct transmission) — imagine you came across the place looks like abandoned or inhabited houses. = you may use a word ghost town.  No single soul on the street neither any sign of daily activity. Though, it is the very matter I’ve talked about in the previous post = if you were a westerner, your psych imagine a ghost town in a western film which is a dry, dusty, sun stricken street of wooden hoses — but here, in Japanese case, it has to be darker, under the shade of the tree, and rather wet, moss-covered half rotten houses. = you may feel even spooky.  This is rather exaggerated case of Sabi-shii scene.  And if you were here alone, you must feel quite Sabi-shii / lonely or desolated.  Then stretch your imagination further to the inside or the back of the house, what sort of the things you may find — wooden utensil ?  or a kind of bowl for eating, drinking ?  — a kind of the people used to live here, might be a poor farmer or casual worker helping those farmers = anyway, having had hand to mouth kind of the life = everything was a bare minimum.  So, if the bowl was not wooden but a pottery, how it looks like.  A bowl made to exchange for few vegetables or a caught bird, the pottery wouldn’t have a nice glaze or any decoration = just enough function for daily use

wabi-sabi2In the case of pottery, those images are the completely opposite of the Wabi, Sabi. Or I should say the typical decoration in the western standard, which the people think “gorgeous”. (but may be rather poor taste though) 

wabi-sabi3-001And in comparison, this is a Japanese dish in its decorative formal style. (This is Nabeshima. — If this one had no clack, it could fetch £10,000 even though this one was made by a trainee (= the lines were rather messy), hence second grade) —– Still, you may noticed that the stark contrast in the visual design = The western approach try to fill all the space with decorative images but Japanese leave the blank space.  Why ? It’s because of the Zen philosophy.   Western philosophy says, Nature avoid the vacuum but Zen is the matter to live with the Void.   So, to the westerner, gorgeous mean filled with nice decoration but Zen sees the peace in the blanc space.  If the nature was not in the free space, it is not natural but a fraud.  And Zen reject any intentional act as an unnatural fraud.  Especially in terms of Tea making, it got to be absolutely humble and everything has to be a bare minimum. —– This principle was in strict force, almost to an austere level.  So, when this principle was applied, a tea bowl has to be as a bare minimum = away from any intentional, artificial decoration or even an attempt to make it looks good.  In this philosophy, Tea-master Rikyu found the cheapest and the most humble pottery made for and used by the poorest people was the most suited for Tea making, which showed the Wabi and Sabi.    (Photo above right)   And this is the typical sample of the Wabi.  (In fact, this was the back or bottom of the dish the photo before.) = There was no intention to make it looks any better — it was naturally shaped and finished.  Its unassuming naturalness was not created by any intention but rather say, it just happened because it did nothing particularly. This absence of human intention = nothing is the core of Wabi. = poor humbleness, be natural in its material is the matter.  —– So, to a potter, this is the most difficult paradox in the pottery and the ZEN. = Tea bowl have to be made but made without having any intention to make it.   The answer is,  Make it with the mind of NO-Mind = Mushin in Zen. 

Wabi Chawan(In practice, just to be a potter, not a business man but just potting and let the pot to have its own fate = a pot made out of soil should have the face of soil and show the face burnt by the fire.)  (Photo above are the most tipical Wabi bowls, left was made by Koetsu)

wabi-sabi4-003wabi-sabi5-a09a7149(To an untrained eyes, “rustic” or lack of skill may looked like or confused with Wabi, though, the important point is, Wabi’s roughness or unevenness  was created by the unexpected accident, such as a fallen ash or unevenness of the fire not by the hand.)  = Think, Karma created Wabi not the hand let alone the brain deliberately thinking.  And the participant for tea ceremony has to appreciate such imperfect feature as an encounter on the moment.  (Which called Keshiki.) — The photo above, the vase showed a kind of Wabi on its glaze though, its pretty shape was too commercial.  Yet still, the right one seemed to have certain character to join Wabi = it’s a poor mans non-assuming daily mug, rather cheap product still it IS nothing else of Just a mag ! — but the photo left is a typical sample of a sham pretense.  On the surface of the mass-produced cup, a fake pattern of the dripped glaze was painted.

—– Now you might start to understand why Japanese garden or even an arranged flowers never had pattern or even a symmetry.

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Jingle for the Season

For a BBC Radio 3 listener (without TV) like me, the situation might 

not be such bad, still usual common Jingles were too much. 

So, how about a bit of change.

(The original music was  Johann Pachelbel’s  famous  Canon D.)

(it’s not that Camera)  🙂 (Originally the name of the camera,

Canon was Kan-non, after a divine figure in the Buddhism, as the

company’s founder had deep religious conviction toward Kan-non.

Later it was re-named to the Canon = western notion of “Rules” —–

Music term Canon was, as the repeating pattern follow the Rules.)

If you like even more visual fun.

I have no idea where this viz was made but I’m sure this project gave them

good fun and a feeling of unity.

And this one is for quiet rest.

Sometime, this kind of Ethereal sound is not too bad to the ears.

Have a nice holiday time.

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Cult Party

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My friend’s Immersible Cult got 2 years anniversary and had

an end of the year party.  Especially they organized “Tokyo Dream”

party this year which was even featured in the Evening Standard

ES magazine, the party got quite few Japanese guests as well.

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Free meals and drinks — though, they were completely vegetarian 

= boiled alive potatoes, skinned alive carrot etc etc.

= not much mercy for them.   🙂

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In fact the guests are the staffs or the freelance artists who has been

involved into those projects etc = worked together, familiar faces.

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Still, I do necessary know every faces neither who was doing what.

(In this time, those fuzzy photos were taken by a homemade

So-called Gaudy Lens — though some of them were out of focus)

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Then the attraction started = Japanese singing/performing group

Frank Chickens. (Started here as the female Ninja !)

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But, I’m not sure what are they doing.  🙂

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The singers group Frank Chickens started 70s —–

and now having some new and young members.

(and even Irish and Polish men as well)

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They sound something Rockefeller Building — ?

Don’t ask me what.  🙂

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Then the party went into a dancing conclusion.

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And so on, so on ~ ~ ~ till early morning.

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OMG ! Is this Japanese Heavy Metal ? — No, it’s Baby Metal Sir.

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Three Vocals of the Baby Metal = Yuimetal, Su-Metal, Mormetal. (16 years old)

(Screen shot photos from — http://www.oricon.co.jp/news/2056265/?anc=015)

Past six months or a year so, the name Baby Metal often came to my ears.

Though, my only thought was, It’s a good name for a band = Without using 

any ferocious word, the sarcasm is far more stronger.  —– Yet I didn’t know

they are a Japanese Girls’ band.     When I saw a Japanese news saying that

Baby Metal is going to have a concert in the Wenbury Alena ( 2nd April 2016 ),

I started to wonder what’s the sound like ? = I clicked Youtube links.

Wao ! This is the genuine article.  (Very rare to see among the Japanese staff)

—– Of course, it is a mix of Japanese Kawaii staff in a guise of Heavy Metal, 

still, the impressive instruments, guitar, drum — its danceable rhythm, sound, 

pretty good. (—– the visualization too !)

— And this is the more joky exotic staff (for export to the west)  🙂

( Still, the marriage of Japanese Taiko rhythm and the Techno beat created

quite a drive = my kind of the speed ! )

—– Only a thing I dread about Heavy Metal is, = the long-haired audience

dance = head-banging = the smell of their hair is the hell !    😀  😀

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Jazz at the Cafe / February

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Jazz night on this month at the Small White Elephant Cafe had a guest musician

Harrison Cole as a trumpet player.

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Handsome boy Harrison (originally from Colombia) has been in Japan several

times, so, I teased him “You must be chased by many pretty girls there” — he said

“No no, nothing like that. My friend tried to chase those Kawaii-ko, neither him

was successful”  ” Ha, ha, ha, I don’t believe you”.

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—- Left  Harrison Cole / Trumpet ——– Tris Harris / Drum ——- Les Booth / Bass Guitar

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(They were experienced enough to ignore trespassing photographer — thanks ! )

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With a good rethome and a touch of latin Trumpet, the customers started dancing.

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During a break and after the music, a lots of chat with musicians, visitors

each other — there was even other photographer who was wondering what a

funny lens I was using. (my handmade fuzzy lens !)

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It was more like a socializing occasion —– good fun !

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Jazz at the Cafe

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Every last Thursday evening of the month, at Small White Elephant Cafe

in Peckham, South London has a Jazz Night.

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The music starts 8:00 o’clock evening till 10:00, and this night had Tris Harris,

the Drummer Trigger Finger with Les Booth the Bassist and a guest

Saxophone player, Adrian Northover. = naturally, it’s a collection of

Horne Musics — even down to Take Five ! 

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——— The Drummer Tris Harris —– Bassist Les Booth —– and Adrian Northover

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Taking the opportunity of the evening people having a party as well,

bringing their own party food and the drinks.

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I like this kind of rather casual (not a snobby “Jazz club like” ) atmosphere.

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To the owner, Dale, it’s a once in a month occasion — a bit of pressure though,  

Don’t worry you can manage.

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It’s an occasion for his friends coming down too. —– and it’s turned out to be

a small world. = The lady here happen to have her studio next door of Dale.

And I met her in the Immersive Cult party when she told me about this Cafe !

—– indeed, our world is pretty small. ( still, your world may be big   🙂 )

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Ai Music — What ? ? ?

This music said to have composed entirely by a computer.  It’s mean, a computer

(its program) had its mind how to compose a music, in other words it was an

Artificial Intelligence to be a classic music composer in Bach’s style.  

—– It’s pointless to talk about the music without listen it first.  (So, ask your ears.)

Sound somewhat a part of J.S.Bach’s clavier collection —– though, what did you 

find of this composition ? — In my feeling, I found this, very irritating to listen.  

So that, it convinced me that how the man who composed the original

Well Tempered Clavier, Book one = J.S.Bach  had  human mind and a sensitivity.

I think, the mind was conceived phrase by phrase such as  “I like this flower”,

“A is equal to B” or “As A was equal to B, therefore A plus B will be the amount

of twice of A” kind.  So, the music expression has more or less the same structure,

whether it has a poetical dialogue inside of the composer or the description of the

landscape etc, in any case, each phrase, description etc is a complete packet.

They never drug the argument endlessly, as they ought to settle somewhere.

Yet, this  “so called, Ai composed Music”  has no such packet structure, but just

continuing on and on for the sake of making it to the length.   How irritating !

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 —– My guess is, that the man who programmed this so called Ai,  just made an 

algorithm  “What most likely choice of a note after the note, according to the 

statistical tendency of  J.S.Bach” not the artificial emulation of  Bach’s Mind.

Music is not a permutation of the note,  but the emotional phrase induced by

a musical language.  —– Language need to have a structure and the words.

They are not an endless line of  alphabet.  

I don’t mind if this music was played to a computer, but human ear is not a machine. 

If you like to follow this Ai story, the link was :

http://www.gizmag.com/creative-artificial-intelligence-computer-algorithmic-music/35764/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=6730ebc432-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-6730ebc432-90317158

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Pre-Christmas Street

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Together with some shoppings I went up to the center and I saw

the town has been prepared for the coming Christmas.

Leicester square was having a Fair Ground.

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I wouldn’t be impressed by the Swiss Center having colorful LED trick

or see a huge Snowman, still I dropped the jaw

to see the Stature of Eros was in a huge plastic dome  😀

Until decades ago, the drunken people in the Xmas to New-year’s Eve,  

were accustomed to climb up the stature and caused a damage, was an

annual ritual together with jumping into a fountain in Trafalgar square

though, as the England grown into a civilised country, Eros Stature has

been covered-up by ugly boarding —— and now, it’s in a plastic dome !

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After some shopping in the China-town I went up to the Oxford Street.

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Before, “after Xmas Sale” literally started after Xmas though, with

a rather harsh economical situation,

all the shops are having their Sale already started.

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And it is in the season of Christmas Carol, I encountered a Steel-band

playing beautiful Xmas tune !  

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I still couldn’t comprehend how and why the slight dent on a

steel-drum can be tonally tuned = What a beautiful invention ! 

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They are almost a fixture in a Christmas time,

the Special Window Decoration of the Selfridge.

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—————– (Photo right:  LED decoration on the South Molton Street )

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————————————————————- ( Photo right: London Rikishow !)

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——- (Piccadilly Circus again —– The plastic dome with it’s AD panels

——- seems to be a good business venture.  🙂 )

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Same old Trafalgar Square and a Christmas Tree

= an annual gift from the Norway.

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Northern side of Trafalgar square is the National Gallery.  

Western side is Canada House and east is South African House.

And there is a mountain of flowers for departed Madiva. 

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After walk up Oxford Street to Selfridge and walk down from there ,

it was already the night —– still it wasn’t too dark for a photo or two.

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