Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Song of the Morning: Leviathan, Bound

I'm feeling kind of under the weather these past few days, so when I woke up today with a "Still is racing" going over and over in my head, it took me a few minutes. When I've finally recognized part of Shearwater's "Leviathan, Bound" chorus, I just had to keep still and let the magnificent song end before I could properly get up.

This "Song of the Morning" segment is about being haunted by these elusive songs, about being awaken to music playing in your head that you're not even aware of, music that speaks to you in the deepest possible way. Playing that song pretty much guarantees an experience even a sub-conscious as bizarre as mine will appreciate.

Shearwater - "Leviathan, Bound" (MP3), from the beautiful Rook.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Farewell, Dr. Pausch

Yesterday I've learned that Dr. Randy Pausch, among other and many things the deliverer of "The Last Lecture", has passed away on Friday. I am still somewhat in a state of shock as I feel strangely touched by him and his words.

As I've mentioned before, Dr. Pausch has been battling cancer for the last nine months or so, and has chosen to spend his time not only with his loving family but also trying to pass along his message of life and passion about life. During this time, he has been able to reach out to many people on the net and in "real life", providing much needed inspiration (here at Carnegie Mellon).

People, including myself, have the capacity to learn from mistakes, especially in light of inspirations that walk among us, sometimes unseen. We don't always do so. Perhaps we need something extra to make that shift, to leave behind our past and start living.

Wittgenstein said something along the lines of "Death is not one of Life's events. We do not experience Death. If we understand eternity to mean not a temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our lives are endless just like our vision, which is boundless" (rough translation from the Tractatus). If this is so, Randy Pausch is immortal.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Old Man River is coming to town

Exciting news! Old Man River, a.k.a . Ohad Rein, is coming to Tel Aviv for a couple of concerts. He's been performing and living in Australia for several years after traveling around the world.

He'll be performing at Levontin 7 on July 23rd and at Ha'Ozen Hashlishit (The Third Ear) on July the 28th (both in Tel Aviv).

For more details and updates see his MySpace.

Listen: Old Man River - Sunshine (MP3) from Good Morning.
Old Man River picture from his MySpace.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Song of the Morning: Tobias Fröberg

Do you know how it's like waking up with a song in your head? And then 'hear it' playing over and over, sometimes repeating certain parts of it or changing a little of the lyrics or the melody?

I'm sure you do. Psychology tells us it's a sign of stress or maybe parts of an unfinished dream. But what sort of dream can be truly 'finished' or 'realized' at all? Not a very satisfying one, I should think.

Anyway, I've decided to try to bring as close as possible a song a day, that musical thought I woke up with or permeated my morning routine (teeth brushing, shaving, gawking at the mirror trying to muster enough strength and patience for the day's labor... you know what I'm talking about).

So, today I woke up with Tobias Fröberg' "Grace", from his 2006 "For Elisabeth Wherever She Is". I believe it was inspired by my last night's watching of one of Babylon 5's last episodes and the love story it entailed.

P.S - a couple of mental notes that came up on my way to work:
1. Is there a similarity between how Frege and Marx view language and money, respectively? Is money a sort of a language, a device that needs to be 'cleaned up' and become formal and therefore truly communicable and understandable? Are the power relations (Foucault-like) in the economical-monetary-financial discourses around money similar to the power relations surrounding the use of language itself?

2. What is the difference between rationality and irrationality? Rationality is supposedly rooted in Logic, but what is Logic founded on? How do we know and feel that a logical statement is correct? Could it involve supposedly irrational elements such as feelings and emotions? If so, then the difference between rationality and irrationality would depend on the actions or behavior arising from the thoughts or feelings, not the thoughts or feelings themselves. In other words, it would have to be context dependent to identify an action as rational or irrational. Does that mean that the thoughts or feelings themselves are neutral in regards to rationality, that it's all how they come into practice?

Tobias Fröberg - Grace (MP3)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Featured Art: Sigur Rós' "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust"

So, I've finally bought "með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust" ("with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly"), Sigur Rós' latest work. When I first heard the first track, "Gobbledigook", a few weeks ago (as a preview download from Sigurros.com), I was somehow reminded of The Dodos. Something in the life-filled frenzy of the beating of the drums or the excited vocals, I guess.

But to really appreciate the song you have to listen to the whole album, and the context there is a little different, much more Sigur Rós. A new direction, some say. Perhaps so. There's definite feeling of the "old" Sigur Rós in tracks like "Ára Bátur" for those who want to look for it, as though it has gone missing or lost. It hasn't. They've grown.

P.S - I've waited around for a bit before buying this CD as I was a little worried they've "changed". Fortunately, I saw this amazing clip of Sigur Rós, Björk + Ólöf Arnalds play "Gobbldigook" live at Náttúra in Iceland. After seeing their earnest enthusiasm there I simply had no choice... :-)

Sigur Rós - "Gobbledigook" (MP3)
CD cover from CDNOW.