Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Golden Age of Wireless

I'm afraid once again the Controlling Thompson is being a little neglectful, for which I can only apologise. These last couple of weeks have been a bit swampy, mostly because of the teaching gig at Rose Bruford. On the whole it's been a lot of fun, the students are without exception interesting and provoking, and quite a few of them are (or are going to be) seriously talented, but the project delivers all of the stress of directing (with a cast of fifteen) in eight-hour sessions (which I'd normally never do) bundled up with all of the stress of community policing, and tied with the bow of a two-hour commute at each end of the day. My admiration for people who do this all the time is just boundless. Still, four more days and then my work there is done. Probably no bad thing: a couple of nights ago I had a profoundly inappropriate dream about one of the students. It could be worse, they're all well into their twenties and if you peeked through the window into one of the sessions I don't think you'd mistake me for someone with any kind of suasive authority, so I don't feel as wrong wrong wrong as I otherwise would.

In fact it's my erratic and largely undistinguished dream-life that's brought about the only real-world activity of any Thompsonian moment of the last few days. I've been listening to as much as possible of the Ashes on DAB, certainly catching the beginning and the end of Test Match Special every night and leaving it on while I drift in and out of sleep. (Infuriatingly, the wonderful Vic Marks, who I could happily listen to for hours on end, speaks so liltingly that I'm leaking zeds within seconds of him stepping into the commentary box; while conversely I seem to be woken up at least six times a night by that pest Geoffrey Boycott booming on about the Corridor of Uncertainty, or the vital importance of grafting.)

So I don't know whether it's these nocturnal emissions that are to blame but I dreamt last Friday night that I was a radio DJ and it appeared to be an immensely pleasurable and appealing activity: to the extent that I woke up recalling from some dark recess of the Thompsonian noggin that the bespoke radio station accessible through the Muppet Central website had at some point advertised to me the possibility that I too might have my own station.

And so, one lost Saturday later, I was, and am, the owner-occupier of Gevorts Box, the official Thompson's Bank radio stream. At the moment it's just four hours or so of mostly likeable music on an endless loop (interrupted every so often by adverts for the host service and Gevorts Box ident stings -- which I spent more time making than you could ever imagine...), but I hope eventually I might be able to start being a bit creative with it, at least programming some poetry and more experimental sound stuff onto the playlist, perhaps making some stuff myself. And also, of course, I'll be able to drivel on about music here in my usual fashion and then upload it over there so you can drivel on about it too. What a public service. Given that I only seem to update Thompson's HQ once every ten or fourteen days on average, it seems unlikely that Gevorts Box is going to be a maelstrom of activity any time soon, but it seems like it might be a nice tinkery sort of pastime. For now, if you're in the mood to hear, oh, Alfred 23 Harth, or Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, or Lonnie Donegan, or Don Cherry, or Crass, or even that blue-remembered chestnut "The Umpire Strikes Back" by The Brat, I can only warmly invite you to tune around to Gevorts Box where satisfaction awaits (interrupted every so often by adverts etc.).

And if that doesn't tickle your culture-glottis, can I just make one of my occasional hoots in celebration of Ubuweb, where the film section has recently expanded and been recoded for YouTube-style streaming. In some respects a slightly disappointing development but it will certainly be more convenient for users. In particular there's a superb Face to Face interview with Allen Ginsberg which I found moving and heartening in some quite unexpected ways. Also Peter Greenaway's exceptionally useful series of films on Four American Composers: viz., Cage, Glass, Meredith Monk and (most enthrallingly of all, for me) Robert Ashley.

So much in the world! Such plenitude, such whizzing, such great heights. Which is why I'm particularly looking forward to spending the rest of today doing laundry and filling in visa application forms. Anyone wishing to investigate the extent of displacement activity that I have already quite pitifully brought to bear on today's matters-in-hand will note that the list of links on the right hand side of this page has been not only updated but alphabetized. Note also that by the time he was my age, Franz Schubert, composer of slightly fewer than one thousand pieces of music, had been dead for two years. ...Not that he had his own radio station, of course.

1 comment:

sbs said...

oh dear am in the British Library and have just made a spectacle of myself laughing (in recognition) at your and Geoffrey's Ashen corridor.