Sunday, October 16, 2005

Everything Struggles for Survival

Everything Struggles
for Survival

[NOTE: This is an exact replica of a post that was published at Vaspers the Grate. In case you BCV readers missed it, I'm re-publishing it here.]

I've been very busy working on some audio projects, and gearing up for a website User Observation Test for a client.

Let me at least toss these gems at you, from the book:

Conversations With Iannis Xenakis
Balint Adras Varga (Faber & Faber, 1996)

Xenakis is one of my favorite music composers of all time. He listened to the patterns of raindrops hitting a tin roof, and called the seemingly random, yet structured patterns, "stochastic". There's a lot of math involved in his theories, but that's the basic idea.

He was an electronic music pioneer, in the "classical music" tradition, but he also used melodic systems from ancient Greece. In his final days, he was using computers to create music, while many of his colleagues merely experimented briefly with computers and synthesizers.

Here are two Xenakis quotes from this book of interviews:


* "Composition, action, are nothing but a struggle for existence. To Be. However, if I imitate the past, I do nothing, and consequently am not. In other words, I am sure I exist only if I do something different. The difference is the proof of existence, of knowledge, of participation in the affairs of the world. I'm convinced of that."

* "My greatest achievement would be to compose something which could include any form of expression...It has the precondition that I free myself of any ties or conditioning that prevent me from being free."


How true this is: everything, all compositions, all products, blogs, web sites, technologies, religions, political parties, ideologies, poems, songs, paintings--are struggling to survive and endure.

I lost all my solo music I had recorded on cassette tapes. But my friend Bennett Theissen, lead singer and songwriter in our old band, managed to preserve most of our Camouflage Danse music, and he transferred it to CD. He also transferred our music videos and live performances to DVD.

You must preserve your work and also promote it, for it to survive and endure for future generations.

Everything is struggling to survive.

Your blog, web site, food recipes, poems, marriage, family, reputation, spirituality, rationality, business ideas, whatever--they all can be destroyed, taken from you, lost. They all can perish and be forgotten forever, if you don't devote time, money, and effort to them.

I personally believe that the universe itself is a vast recording device. Eastern mystics refer to the "akashic records" or something like that. I just have an intuitive feeling that this has some truth in it.

When you write a poem, create a blog, marry a person, start a business, whatever you do, is somehow inscribed into reality as a fact.

But we also need to preserve things through our own effort. A failed marriage, an abandoned blog, a lost opportunity--these also are inscribed into reality as facts.

Survival. An interesting way to look at inanimate and conceptual entities. The fight for survival amongst ideas, beliefs, art, science, etc.

What are you doing to ensure the survival of what is important to you?

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


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