(August 29, 2011)
[Please include your first and last names, and your city and state of residence. Thank you.]
Abiding Love of Music: Isidor Saslav's "Chaconne, Anyone?"
To the Editor:
Just happened across this article. Thank you! While I do not play the violin nor any musical instrument very well, I have an abiding love of music, especially that of J.S. Bach. I have been privileged to experience live performances of this Partita and it's Chaconne. It's always like climbing a huge mountain. Each section is huge and leaves you out of breath, but the mountain looms above you. And so it goes, carrying you into the rarified air of the stratosphere. And just when one would expect the piece to be complete, there is the Chaconne, ahead of you and higher still.
I asked Daniel Philips once after he performed it what his experience was. I can't remember the exact statement but the gist was, "It's unnerving because I have this violin, and there's me, and the music I'm performing, and then there's Bach." (Saying that, he pointed behind us over our heads.
As a visual artist, it was my goal to create a visual transcription of the Chaconne as I had done with the Art of Fugue, but even now, there are sketches only. It is a daunting conceptual project. The concept of a morimur or tombeau gives me a sense of why this piece always sounds so "deep" and why the partita would have a 5th part which is as large as all the rest put together, and why it would be in d minor.
Thank you for writing the article and posting it.
North Bay, New York, USA - August 26, 2011
Eyes on the Horizon.
Move always forward.
Stay on high ground.
Be a friend.
Choose best over good.
An Appreciation for a Work Well Done
I have just sent a donation to you through PayPal. I have been reluctant to use PayPal: in fact I cancelled my account with them as a form of protest for them refusing to do business with Julian Assange. However, as I deal with Canadian banks and not US banks I decided to use PayPal just this once. Swans, in my opinion, is a classy publication and I want to show my appreciation for all the good work you are doing.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - August 15, 2011
Ongoing Dismay: Jan Baughman's I Want My NYT
To the Editor:
I very much enjoyed today Jan's recounting of The New York Times delivery saga, but was dismayed to read that we still have a delivery problem in the Anderson Valley. Please do not hesitate to reach out to either Colin Winter or myself if or when your paper is missed again. The only way that we can possibly resolve any delivery issues is if we know that they exist. I know we both thought that the tube would resolve the issue, but obviously it did not.
Southern California coordinator for The New York Times
Los Angeles, California, USA - August 15, 2011
Asger Jorn's Writings on Art and Architecture at the Bureau of Public Secrets
To the Editor:
Guy Debord and Asger Jorn were the key co-founders of the Situationist International (1957). Despite significant differences in style and personality, the two were close collaborators at that time and remained close personal friends until Jorn's death in 1973, long after Jorn had left the SI.
One of the first projects of the newly formed SI was the publication of a large French-language collection of Asger Jorn's texts from the immediately preceding period: Pour la Forme: ébauche d'une méthodologie des arts (1958). This collection was reprinted by Éditions Allia and is still in print, but up till now very few of Jorn's writings have been available in English.
Now, at long last, there is a comprehensive English-language collection of Jorn's writings:
FRATERNITÉ AVANT TOUT: ASGER JORN'S WRITINGS ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE, 1938-1958
Edited by Ruth Baumeister
Translated by Paul Larkin and Ken Knabb
Published by "010" (Rotterdam)
Most of this new collection consists of articles translated from the Danish and Swedish by Paul Larkin, but it also includes four articles from Pour la Forme translated from the French by Ken Knabb. Excerpts from these latter articles are online at:
Those excerpts provide just a little taste of the richness and liveliness of Jorn's ideas and explorations. I encourage you to get Baumeister's book if you are interested in further exploring this provocative yet genial pioneer of the interface between cultural and political radicalism.
"Making petrified conditions dance by singing them their own tune."
Berkeley, California, USA - August 18, 2011
Editorial Suggestion: Michael Barker's Jon Snow's Big Society: (Part I of II)
If you wish to label the Commonwealth Expedition "imperialist," (even though it began with Nehru's invitation) that is, of course, your privilege. However, perhaps you could link to http://www.comex40.org.uk and let people judge for themselves.
Christopher Brown-Syed, PhD
Editor, Library and Archival Security
Toronto, Ontario, Canada - August 15, 2011
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