Digital Provocation • 28 February 2008

For emotional provocation, a girl with a piano is most powerful. A piano was my self-expression during the terrible years—high school—so maybe that’s got something to do with it.

But anymore, the strongest mood-shifter (mental state-shifter) for me is electronica. The Editor, bard to the core with thick icing layers of rock and jazz, protests: “It’s a wall. No movement in it. It is music that tells you to stay still.” 

Yes, sort of. The monotony of digitalism is part of what sucks me in. All that space between the data shortens the distance between 0 and love. Shit, I mean 0 and 1. In a way it’s subversive when beeps render you bliss, but in another way it’s almost easier.

The experience is like this: I want to waltz to its monotony. Interpolate my body in to it while my heartbeat/brainwaves just do what the monotony tells them to do. (Somewhere here there's a connection to Karen's jazz practice… but for me practice music, if any, is devotional cornball stuff: the triggers to downshift and become rhythmic in that context seem to be more about supercalming content than about BPM/form.)

Zero/one. Form/emptiness. Yadda/yadda.

Specifically, yesterday I finally stopped listening to Hot Chip (who sing about bodhi trees–not burning trees!). A really nice wakeup record, in all its moods. Now there are post-digital, yet similarly Enoesque, musics in my stereo: and I don’t know if I should cringe at the signposts in the lyrics or just take it as a indication that we have a little bit more than 1 and 0 in common.

Robert Wyatt (Comicopera, Be Serious):

I reall envy Christians. I envy Moslems too. It must be great to be so sure as a top Hindu or Jew. And I don't believe in willpower; self-expression's such a fraud. I mean how can I express myself when there's no self to express? Be serious! Put a sock in it. Then put a lid on it. Do us a favor.

It's a little more convincing when it's sung.