irr. public performance #5 - part 3: A Distressing Event Leads To Several Important Discoveries
R K Faulhaber: mixing desk
Greg Scharpen: prepared electric guitar
John Scharpen: prepared acoustic guitar
M. S. Waldron: prepared electric bass, field recordings
Diana Rogerson: pre-recorded narration
I don't think I recognised it at the time (it's usually not easy to hear exactly what is going on during a performance), but John & Greg did a great job with their contribution to the prepared guitar trio in this section.
Diana Rogerson’s spoken contribution was recorded in Cooloorta in April 2002 (during the same session where she read ‘The Famine Road’ texts).
The spleen-curdling horror of what had been undertaken on that day is something I would not be inclined to describe with accuracy -- even were the powers of language to do so not handicapped (as they are) by my meagre facility to put them to use after such an experience. This, certainly not for the first time.
The aftermath of the ordeal, however, proved to be entirely worthwhile: for, in my distress, I let the still-muddy handful of carrots fall where they would and fled in the only direction that seemed to offer any hope of security: that is, down into the perfumed bowels of the earth itself.
My progress at first was guided only by the desire for escape; but, some few hours later when my arms were growing tired, I began to gain an appreciation for my position and for the journey I was undertaking. I realised that all around me the earth must be teeming with life that sighted eyes had never been set upon before, each engaged in subterranean rituals of which the sun would remain forever ignorant. And somewhere farther below me was the secret heart of the world itself, pulsing and seething in the enormity of its volcanic ardour. My efforts guided now by enthusiasm rather than fear, I managed to double my rate of progress as I wormed deeper into the yielding clay.
After 3 weeks of burrowing into the compressed mass of the world, I had been long expecting that any moment I would find myself arriving into the embrace of its molten core. To my dismay, I instead emerged -- blinking and dumbfounded -- into the unforgiving glare of the afternoon sun. My expectations crashed headlong into the truth of my situation like a near-sighted Pomeranian running into a glass door. The air was literally humming in my ears.
I reclined, still half-buried, upon the moss-splattered soil, while my vision wandered aimlessly in and out of focus. Vague, undulating shapes converged in the sky above my head; I could only stare in helpless fascination as they performed an endless series of bizarre aerial gyrations across the width and breadth of my vision. That these manifestations were fully cognisant of my presence -- and, most likely, my circumstances as well -- was gradually made apparent to me; their ceaseless acrobatics all but demanded that I remained motionless, and in this I was only too happy to oblige. In the end I must have fallen asleep with my mouth open, for I woke to find the gyrations now taking place in the pit of my stomach, and the burnt-sugar aftertaste of the forms' passage in that direction lingering upon my tongue.
I have now decided to pursue my course in a different way: the contents of the ground will have to wait for some other time. Instead, I spent a good deal of the afternoon sitting in dark room filled with a dozen chairs, while trying as hard as I might to imagine what it might have been like to be sitting in several of the chairs other than the one I was actually sitting upon. Not to be sitting in several several of these other chairs -simultaneously-, I should clarify, but rather upon several of them -in succession-. What it might have been like to sit in several of them simultaneously, I must admit, is something that is well beyond my assumptive abilities.
A storm of some magnitude was taking place outside while I sat, and the windows would occasionally light up from the flashes of atmospheric electricity that sought to indulge their craving for all things conductive. The walls and the ceiling would groan beneath the onslaught of the wind, or rustle from the impact of countless drops of water that had been careless enough to be caught in the devious mechanisations of gravity. The floor creaked from time to time under the pressure of an unseen foot. I did my best not to allow any of these things to distract me from my efforts; and, although I have no means by which I can prove it, I feel that I was at least moderately successful.
from irr. public performance #5 @ the Elbo Room, SF 07-Jan-2005 [eie dig003], released 11 April 2011
Recorded live at the Elbo Room, San Francisco, CA on 07-January-2005.
Preliminary mastering done at the Felton Empire Studio in Felton, CA in 2008. Final scrub & polish at Rock Creek Tributary, Hillsboro, OR in March 2011.