“A few days ago, I was present at a discussion about the theater […] There was some question, I believe, of determining the future orientation of the theater and, in other terms, its destiny.
No one determined anything, and at no time was there any question of the true destiny of the theater, i.e., of what, by definition and essence, the theater is destined to represent, nor of the means at its disposal for realizing this destiny. On the contrary the theater seemed to me a sort of frozen world, its artists cramped among gestures that will never be good for anything again, brittle intonations which are already falling to pieces, music reduced to a kind of arithmetic whose figures are beginning to fade, some sort of luminous explosions, themselves congealed and responding to vague traces of movement- and around all this an extraordinary fluttering of men in black suits who quarrel over the receipts, at the threshold of a white-hot box office. As if the theatrical mechanism were henceforth reduced to all that surrounds it; and because it is reduced to what surrounds it and because the theater is reduced to everything that is not the theater, its atmosphere stinks in the nostrils of people of taste.”
from “The Theater And Its Double,” (Grove Press: 1958), by Antonin Artaud, pg. 45.
London. Days off- reading, walking, writing, checking out the Tate. Trying to remember all that’s happened since the end of October FME sessions… The fall has been an amazing recording period. In September SONORE live on tour, and the newest version of the TERRITORY BAND documented in Chicago. In October the last three concerts by Paul Lytton, Philipp Waschmann, and myself during our European tour were recorded- hoping the tapes sound good enough for a release, the music was incredible. Then Oslo for the FME “cave sessions,” new material for a new album.
I left Oslo early in the morning of the 30th and flew back home. On the 1st of November the CHICAGO TENTET began work on a project called, “Be Music, Night,” involving the poems of Kenneth Patchen. Peter Brötzmann developed a beautiful system for organizing the music around Mike Pearson’s reading of the texts by integrating an adapted version of Fred Lonberg-Holm’s “Lightbox,” three featured instrumentalists (Jeb Bishop, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee) and four composed themes ranging from a blues, a jumping mid tempo melody, a kinetic riff piece, and a hymn-like ballad. We finished the Chicago session (with Bob Weston at Wall To Wall again) and concerts (Chicago and Milwaukee), and a few days later I flew back to Oslo to begin work on the new FREE FALL material for a short tour (Oslo, Strasbourg, Weikersheim, Amsterdam [see November Notes pt. 2]) before recording in Osnabruck with the engineer Hrolfour Vagnsson at Fattoria Musica.
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