Transfigured Night playlist for 12/08/2012

Xinyu Guan
Artist Title Album Label Link
Steve Beresford Angler; Carp; Flounder; Herring; Minnow; Pike; Salmon; Trout; Zander Fish of the Week Scatter
Sainkho Namchylak & Dickson Dee First Story - Fifth Story Tea Opera Leo Records 537
Eugene Chadbourne Mourning of the Praying Mantis; Termite Damage; The Cricket in My Life; The Swat; The Cricket in My Life Insect and Western: Insect Attracter Leo Records 256
John Cage Mushroom Haiku, excerpt from Silence (1972/69) UbuWeb Sound
John Cage Music for Marcel Duchamp (1947); Music for amplified pianos John Cage nova musicha n.1

We don't say "eggplant," "giraffe," or "mistletoe" every day, but they are present in our consciousness of the world around us. This is a program dedicated to specific plants, animals, herbs, mushrooms that we encounter but occasionally, perhaps once in a few weeks or months. They occupy places in our mental space, in our mental conception of the universe, and remind us of how life cannot be reduced to a few propositions about the physical world, about human consciousness, or about the industrial economy etc. I was in Chinatown the day before, where I encountered various herbs, not laid out on the shelves of a store and classified as part of a totality of foodstuffs, but simply placed haphazardly by the sidewalk; I could walk down a shopfront and turn a street corner, and immediately a plethora of herbs and mushrooms would immediately present themselves before me, without my anticipating them. And every alley I turned into presented more plants, mushrooms, herbs and so on, and opened up a new space in my mental universe. It was crazy. And to think I had just come out of a philosophy class! From a tiny, reductionist world with a few propositions my mental universe was slowly expanded and built up with each street that opened up before my eyes as I turned into it, and with each herb I encountered that I knew as a child (yes I grew up in Asia), but which I consumed perhaps once in a few months, (which means that they can't form part of a reductionist picture of my "daily life"). I wanted to share this experience on air, and thus the theme of tonight's show.