This week has been the productive sort, with all manner of delicious projects approaching fruition, including but not limited to frames and/or shelves. It has also been a week in which everybody else but me appears to find their bodies failing them, hence this being Tuesday’s column on what is now Thursday because time. If it’s of any consolation, I come bearing both tidings and gifts and hope to pacify you with such.
Room Of Combs has concluded its tenth circling of Sol and as usual, some people are kinda mad. I have held my tongue thus far, determined to see the cycle through and I can’t say that I’m entirely surprised? George hasn’t finished writing the last book yet so presumably, even he doesn’t know quite how that ending fashions itself. They are working from the dead sea scrolls of a fictional world that occurs in the future and I have always been prepared for them to have myths or alternative fictions set in that universe. I understand that not everyone is going to have time for the books and that this is their Ragnarök and they are upset but writing things is hard and D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are not George R. R. Martin. That’s not their fault. It’s not even my fault and most things are, or so I’ve been told. Whether I would like to let them near #mystarwars is a different question and I shall stay my gavel for now. It was…fine.
‘You Will Not Have My Hate’ by Antoine Leiris is an incredibly level book about an incredibly somber subject. The Bataclan shootings in November of 2015 caused an infinite degree of pain around the world, not least for those in attendance that evening, their families and friends. This is a memoir of something profoundly dark. It is a memoir about coping with and living with loss. It is a testament to the human spirit and our enduring strength in the face of such brutal, alien hatred. Antoine’s assertion, that those responsible for the murder of Hélène, his wife, would not have his hate or the hatred of their infant son, is an unfathomably dense, totemic thing. It is poetic in the most terrible and perfect of ways. Describing his identification of Hélène at the morgue, he recalls how “Our life together flashes before my eyes. I feel as though I never had another life. Hélène was the moon. A brunette with milk-white skin, eyes that made her look like a frightened owl, a smile you could fit the whole world inside.” There must be a word for that which is beyond courageous but my vocabulary fails me and the thesaurus appears distinctly blurry today.
It is not a book that makes for an average birthday present but that is what it was this past weekend, as I gave it to T for his 30th. He is from Paris and I am convinced that gifts are allowed to touch as well as surprise & delight. He is a kind soul and I shall trust that I have not done him a disservice in telling you this. I did have the latter part of a 35mm disposable with me and you can leaf through a few related shots from the affiliated Incredible Society gig at Servants Jazz Quarters - featuring the frankly phenomenal Mathieu Boogaerts, with support from the psycho-sexual Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business - along with some snaps from back in the shire with the tiny version of Bassface as promised. There’s even one of Lydia Kavina, who’s grandfather was first cousin to Lev Sergeyevich Theremin, inventor of that thing. She allowed me a candid snap after her incredible performance at The Gallery Of Everything, as part of ‘Studies in Verberation’, featuring the brilliantly obsessive ACM who’s real name is Alfred.
You might recall the theremin as that weird, spooky/sci fi sound used in every spooky/sci fi movie ever made in the 80s. I encourage you to entertain the idea that it has more vast and wondrous applications than that alone; capable of tugging at the heart strings with fantastical slight of hand, darting with joyous lilt, lending voice to the future of whimsy and even conjuring a Victorian gothic hell-scape, the likes of which would send ‘Bloodborne’ running for its mother’s hem. As far as I can tell, the play occurs through posture, guesture and sheer force of will. Most intruiging of all was Lydia’s comment that there is indeed a prototype polyphonic version of the Theramin out there. It’s not this but thanks anyway Moog. I need to show you all for fear I’d be alone.
I was singing this song for you.
JD - TACOCAT