Thursday, November 23, 2006

Melodic dreamscapes to follow the path of the heart A serene, gently atmospheric, and cohesive package, The Emerald Way may be, end to end, the most satisfying of the eight recordings released so far by the husband-and-wife team of Pamela and Randy Copus, known as 2002. The pair specialize in creating pillow-soft, melodic dreamscapes that could be fairly termed Enya-lite. What gives The Emerald Way its particular appeal is the duo’s willingness to probe a little deeper into the cosmos, giving this disc a boost over This Moment Now, 2002’s previous release, which at times is too dainty for its own good. Stardusted selections here such as “Soul Doors,” “Timeless,” and the title track exhibit yearning, searching qualities that seem capable of elevating the spirit as well as soothing it, which seems to be the duo’s usual aspiration. This is not serious space music, of course. Rather, it is a gentle-on-the-ear mix of keyboards, guitar, strings, flute, pennywhistle, and female voicings intended to evoke a heart-lifting state of calm–soundtrack-like music suited for relaxed moments when you’re mentally rolling the closing credits on a benign daydream. –Terry Wood
Album Description:Inspired by a tale from Sri Aurobindo, this album is about choosing to follow the path of the heart. Soulful flutes, silky guitar and piano tell the story, accompanied by lush strings, harp and chimes blending into 2002’s signature sound, renowned for comfort and deep relaxation. The Emerald Way Posted on November 21st, 2006 at 10:31 pm by andreas

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sonorous effusions of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri

YOUR OWN DIVIDED FACE - Discomfort with the either/or lies at the heart of Jejuri TELLING TALES AMIT CHAUDHURI This is the introduction to the New York Review of Books Classics reissue of Jejuri.
A generation of Indian poets in English (A.K. Ramanujan, Mehrotra, Kolatkar) had turned to the idiosyncratic language, and the capacity for eye-level attentiveness, of American poetry to create yet another mongrel Indian diction — to reorder familiar experience, and to fashion a demotic that escaped the echoes of both Queen’s English and the sonorous effusions of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri and the poorly-translated but ubiquitous Gitanjali of Tagore; to bypass, as it were, the expectations that terms like ‘English literature’ and ‘Indian culture’ raised...
I’ve said that in the larger unfolding story of the independent nation, writing poetry in English was a minor, marginal and occasionally controversial activity. This remained so in spite of Nissim Ezekiel’s attempts to invest the enterprise with seriousness, to stir Anglophone readers as well as writers in the vernaculars, both of whom were busy with more important projects, to see it as something more than, at best, a genteel and harmless preoccupation; at worst, as a waste of time, even a betrayal. Ezekiel defied this combination of indifference and moral and nationalistic chauvinism with a critical puritanism, and had a small measure of success. But marginal endeavours have their own excitements, disappointments, and dangers.

Shelley was not an evolutionary being but a being of a higher plane

Re: The Death of Man or Post-Humanism 101 by RY Deshpande
on Mon 20 Nov 2006 08:43 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
We have a letter from Sri Aurobindo about Shelley, the British romantic poet. When Amal asked him if Harindranath Chattopadhaya was the reincarnation of Shelley, he replied: “I imagine Shelley was not an evolutionary being but a being of a higher plane assisting the evolution.” Could that not be the reason also for his suffering here in a very poignant way?—“I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed.” It is said that at the beginning of the Indian independence movement, about a hundred years ago, special souls had come down to participate in it. Sri Aurobindo has spoken about the necessity of India’s freedom for his spiritual work. Are these not connected with it?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sri Aurobindo's Exposition on the Nature of Poetry

by Dr. Nithyanantha Bhat
Half - yearly Research Journal - Vol. 7, No. 2, April 2006
[MLBD Newletter Nov '06]

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Merleau Ponty comes closer to the truth of language

Code and the pentecostal condition by Rich on Fri 17 Nov 2006 10:53 AM PST Permanent Link (since any attempt at a cross-epochal, hermeneutics founded upon The Future Poetry must begin with a consideration of language, so here again is chapter 1) Disappearances
chapter 1 (code and the pentecostal condition) by Richard Carlson
In contrast to Derrida who argues that both oral and written language are the same Abrams argues: “Derrida does not notice some of the most glaring differences between alphabetic and non-alphabetic modes of thought differences that make themselves evident in our experience to the animate earth. While Derrida assimilates all language to writing (l'ecriture) my approach has been largely the reverse, to show all discourse, even written discourse such as this is implicitly sensorial and bodily, and hence remains bound like a sensing world that is never exclusively human. (Abram 1987 p 289)
Abram claims phenomenologist Merleau Ponty comes closer to the truth of language and phenomena as he explored the mystery between the rules of language la langue and its creative expression la parole. In the following passage he describes and how Merleau Ponty's perspective diverges from Saussure and Derrida.
“Sassure's distinction between the structure of language and the activity of speech is ultimately under mind by Merleau-Ponty who blended the two dimensions (langua, parole) back together into a single ever evolving matrix. While individual speech acts are surely guided by the structural lattice of language, the lattice is nothing other than a sedimented result of previous acts of speech, and will itself be altered by the very activity it now guides. Language is not a fixed or ideal form but an evolving medium we collectively inhabit, a vast topological matrix in which speaking bodies are generative sites, vortices where the matrix itself is continually being spun out of the silence of sensorial experience.
What Merleau Ponty retains from Saussure is his notion of any language as an interdependent, web like system of relations. But since our expressive bodies are for Merleau Ponty necessary parts of this system -since the web of language is for him a carnal medium woven from the depths of our perceptual world that is relational and web like in character, and hence that the organic , interconnected matrix of sensorial reality itself. Ultimately it is not human language that is primary , but rather the sensuous , perceptual life-world, whose wild, participatory logic ramifies itself in language”.. (Abram 1997 p84)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sound Wizard Audio Design and Consultancy of Auroville

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 A.M Studio - See What's Inside
A.R. Rahman launches his new studio in 2005. The 3,000 square-foot recording studio in Chennai, India renamed A.M. Studios (pictured) is the most comprehensive and equipped with latest technology in Asia. It took nearly three years to complete. Acoustic design and architectural plans for the studios were conceived by Studio 440 Architecture & Acoustics in Hollywood, Calif. Sound Wizard Audio Design and Consultancy of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India, provided project management and acoustical consulting. Equipment for the studios was specified and supplied by Daxco Digital of Singapore. A local architectural and construction firm in Chennai did the construction work. Posted by arrahmanfan at 7:33 AM

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The musical communities of Pondicherry and Auroville

Jalshaghar Tuesday, November 14, 2006 The Dawn of a Dream
The musical communities of Pondicherry and Auroville with their diverse range of musicians from differing backgrounds have always lent themselves to great possibilities of linking musical styles and cultures. The word “fusion” that has long been used to describe music that unites in this way, has however often lead to misrepresentation, since it is rare that music from different cultures can be convincingly fused together. Jalshaghar aims to move away from this notion, allowing the genres of both Indian classical and Jazz to run side by side and transport their music on parallel tracks rather than an attempt to merge them together. In this project accomplished musicians from both fields have come together, the result of which is a blend of each players individual style and sound, combined with the inspiration and ideas drawn from the other musicians around them. posted by Matt AV @ 8:28 PM

Friday, November 10, 2006

New forms of epics will continue to be written

The real goal of the epic, from Homer to Spenser over Vergil and Dante, has been to help man understand the past (which in epic poetry, as we have stated, includes "what might have happened") through the deeds of a hero representing the fate of his community in order to better shape the future. In the West, the "Iliad", "Odyssey", and "Nibelungenlied", and in the East, the "Mahabharata", "Ramayana", and "Shahnama" are often cited as outstanding examples of the epic genre. To these we have to add Vergil's "Aeneid", Lucan's "Pharsalia", and Statius's "Thebaid". The first recorded epic is the Sumerian "Gilgamesh", while the longest is the "Tibetan Epic" of King Gesar, composed of roughly 20 volumes and more than one million verses.1
It is also appropriate at this stage to mention some of the translations of the greatest epics, as they constitute works of art in themselves, like Douglas's "Aeneid", Harington's "Ariosto", Fairfax's "Tasso", Chapman's "Homer", Sylvester's "Du Bartas", and Pope's "Iliad". It is thanks to them that we can read the greatest epics of the past, although of course a translation will never be like the original...
"Beowulf", written in alliterative measure, represents about 10% of the extant corpus of Old English poetry. It has 3,182 lines in a single manuscript (Cotton Vitellius A XV) and is considered the masterpiece of Old English literature. It was most probably written between 700 and 750 (but only printed in 1815) by a Christian poet (Beowulf himself was a pagan, but in a Christian setting, as Grendel and Grendel's mother are described as the kin of Cain in a Germanic warrior society, thus mixing Christian and pagan elements) and describes events of the 6th century...
"Paradise Lost" is an epic poem of extraordinary organization and power of imagination, not lacking a touch of irony too, written in blank verse5 (a very unconventional decision for an epic work, as rhyme was the standard for this kind of dignified poetry, as established by the great continental epic writers6) and recounting the story of the fall of Satan and the subsequent temptation of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden "“ another innovative act giving up the traditional heroic theme for a more "human" story, as Adam and Eve are represented in all their humanity, a little bit like the French impressionist painters had shifted from officialdom and war to scenes of ordinary life, and Shakespeare from the traditional historical play to a kind of play where ordinary people are the real protagonists...
The eighteenth century also witnessed the creation of two great works belonging to the traditional epic, as traditions are always hard to die: Pope's "Iliad" and Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". Pope's translation of the "Iliad" is the result of six years of hard work, although Pope confessed that his work was nothing compared to Homer's, whom he admired with quasi-religious reverence...
By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the idea of the epic and its zeal had almost perished. The few attempts at an epic work were unsuccessful, like Crabbe's, an impossibility of attainment of which he was fully conscious. The old mystical idea of the epic itself didn't exist any more in the nineteenth century, as new forces and interests were gaining ground...
The twentieth century has also produced some significant poetry works of epic scope, like "Savitri" by Aurobindo Ghose, "The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel" by Nikos Kazantzakis, "Paterson" by William Carlos Williams, to name just a few, as well as new kinds of modern epics like "The Prelude" by William Wordsworth (a long lyric biographical poem), "Der Ring der Nibelungen" by Richard Wagner (an opera), "The Waste Land" by T. S. Eliot, and "The Cantos" by Ezra Pound.
To conclude, I would like to remark that with different objectives and styles, new forms of epics will continue to be written also in the twenty-first century, as we are witnessing in the works of the proponents of "Expansive Poetry", an umbrella term coined by Frederick Feirstein for a new kind of long poetry started in the 1980s and characterized by strong narrative and dramatic elements. Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The underworld stories

Descent to the Underworld: Networked Creative Collaboration

Nora Barry March 2, 2006
I chose the Descent story as the project backbone, because the story of a journey to the underworld appears in every culture, as does a story of creation. In the underworld stories, a lover or child dies, or is kidnapped by a ruler of the underworld. The bereaved person then goes in search of the loved one, wandering the world until he or she finds the entrance to the underworld, gets past the guardian and confronts/overcome the underworld king. Frequently there is one final challenge on the ascent, which many do not pass. The underworld stories most familiar to Western Culture are “Demeter and Persephone” and “Orpheus and Eurydice”. Other versions include the Nordic “Baldur”, the Egyptian “Isis”, the Indian “Savitri” and the American Indian, “Blue Jay”.

All of the students and faculty were sent copies of the different tales, and asked to work with their partner school in developing their own interpretation of the story. For the game itself, we chose the “Orpheus” motif, though we did not disclose that to the students. Ironically, they all chose the “Orpheus” storyline, right down to the gender roles (in the game we designed an option to rescue a man or a woman). While most of them had probably not seen Cocteau’s movie version, “Orphee”, it could be that this was the narrative most familiar to all of them, because it the Underworld narrative motif is found in a number of video games. Or maybe Jung was more right than we know.