Sunday Music

Sunday Music *

* I really should think about renaming this weekly feature to “Monday Music”.

I confess, I was terribly lazy yesterday. I trawled youtube and always ended sooner or later with Cream, or something else the late John Symon Asher BRUCE (1943-2014) (Ger., Eng., website) did on stage together with various companions. But …
Today was the last day I officially was “absent due to illness”. I went to my ophthalmologist in the damn dark morning (coined by Savannah), she measured what had to be measured, found all developing well, and that was it. I’ll see her again in March. No reason not to drive.
My dispatcher greeted me with a deep sigh, and handed me the keys to an old banger that I had to take home & to swap with a colleague later, before the afternoon drive.
My colleague was not amused, because she had the top-notch modern vehicle that had come into service only some months ago. This brand new Ford does not smell of children’s vomit, but still like eau d’vehicle neuf. AND : It comes with an electric “ramp”, what is in fact an elevator for wheelchairs. I heard colleagues complain about this (“too slow, too complicated, generally impractical”), but I liked it today.
Another good invention is that the footstep under the right side sliding door comes out automatically when the door is opened. The older installation had to be pulled out by foot (or, especially in winter, when saltwater, ice and general road dirt blocked it) by hand. I do not know how often I sprayed WD40 or some such on the joints. My tiny framed co-driver complains that the door is too heavy, especially when she has to pull it shut from the inside, but now this is Hulk Mago’s job. So I know that this door is closed. And : No more ruined leather shoes, ha !
Transferring from the older to the brand new model showed me the notable improvements, like better soundproofing and noise reduction, better steering (not that the old would be something to complain about, but one can make things work better), better sound from the speakers : I find it pretty amazing what they did in this heavy modified commercial vehicle in this respect, it is not “opera house”, but crisp & clear. Crisp & clear is also the image of the rear view camera on the small screen – and since I have new glasses I can actually see what is depicted there, in natural colours, hey !
The other thing I noticed is how remarkably larger the whole carriage is, heavier too. The upside is that – at least as I drive it – the thing is absolutely unimpressed by side winds, rutting, bad road surfaces, whatever : This coach goes just where I point it. Feels like a fortress.
Tomorrow it will be back to the grind, getting up before anybody else and coming back home in the morning when a shy sun timidly tries to make us believe that there is still hope, and afternoons driving into the darkness while electric elks & reindeer helplessly blink in tiny front yards, spreading seasonal joy.
It’s raining.

Less than three minutes of pure beauty, Mr DAVIS gives us Générique (1957). I hope you like the music – may we all face a stress free & bearable week.




Strange Daze

Sometimes time seems to crawl. This afternoon I felt very tired, lay down and nodded off. When I regained consciousness I thought that I’d have slept for an hour or so, but it was less than 15 minutes. I do not complain about this, it is only unusual, and a bit confusing. I had a terrible night, sleep did not want to come or to stay, and this morning I felt exhausted, not refreshed.
I had to see the doctor today, I will see him tomorrow, and then I have to wait for another four days, until, yeah … At least I have no urge to smoke or drink, I stuff frozen vegetables into the microwave, and all is well.
The only problem I have to solve is what to read in the days after the procedure. I have to stay in the hospital for three days afterwards, and I doubt that they will give me sleeping pills for all the time. As I understood this is for observation only, without any follow up “actions”. I do not want to buy things like the use of a tv or internet connection – I was handed a list of (rather expensive) options, all things I do not need & do not want. I just want to have my peace, preferably in silence. But it’s a hospital, not a Carthusian monastery, sadly. I will find a solution. It is not too long, after all I expect to come back home on Frayday next week.
In other news – some readers my remember that we once discussed here the topic of “slavery” in Europe. This became a subject of research (homepage), and a conference will be held at the end of this month (Amanda, where art thou ?) – if you have some time to spend, why not go to Bremen ?
And while you are in the region, visit Hamburg and try to find some traces of early rock’n roll in St.Pauli, its history is described in A Social History of Early Rock‘n’Roll in Germany. Hamburg from Burlesque to The Beatles 1956–69 by Julia SNEERINGER (about) (London 2018, German recension). Prof SNEERINGERs book is not a travel guide, but a learned and well received social history of this subculture. Hamburg was not very careful with this kind of heritage, they created a “Beatles Platz” (Ger., Eng.) in 2008 with figures of the musicians – I’d like to see the “hybrid of drummers Pete Best and Ringo Starr” (Bingo Barr ? Peto Stest ?) – but I think that was it.
As the reviewer of SNEERINGERs book mentioned (and I read about this somewhere else lately) the very large archive of the Hamburgian photographer Günter ZINT (Ger.), who documented “the scene” and St.Pauli since the early sixties, has found no public support in any way. I first saw photographs by ZINT in the early eighties, he documented the resistance against the Atomstaat in Brokdorf – now let me put my left fist down, sorry.
But this is “all history” of a state & a society that does not exist anymore. Today the former (green) “subversives” form coalitions with conservatives in stately parliaments, they usually are the second-strongest political party (behind the conservatives), followed by the new Fascists, while the Sozialdemokraten face political irrelevance & extinction – not only in Germany, but in nearly all European states. The Beatles are musealised, the Stones taxidermied themselves, and Dylan vanished in his own galaxy ages ago – Ms FAITHFULL made a new album, maybe its worth a try ; Joni MITCHELL turned 75, time’s a cruel master, darling. Let’s end this seminostalgic prattlebrabble.
Let’s listen to Pharao Tutankhamun’s trumpets (Eng.), as they were played in 1939, five months before the beginning of WWII. Excuse me, now I’ll crawl back into my bubble.




Oh Herr …

Since I stumbled out of this fancy doctor’s office on Wednesday afternoon i feel like living in a bubble. I held the papers they gave me, close to my chest and moved carefully since my eyes were still widened from the drops they had poured in “so that the professor can see better what is in your eyes”.
What he saw and showed me on a screen was not very nice, and since this afternoon i have to handle the unavoidable, an operation on my right eye. If it is not done soon things will deteriorate, so there is no real “choice”. I had to think of my venerated academic teacher who spent the last years of his life in his large library unable to read, a man who taught us “to see”, hinschauen, erkennen, the main capabilities in this field called Geisteswissenschaft. And i had to remember the old man I worked for in the early nineties, who only could read with the help of a very strong magnifying glass that was installed on his desk … Waiting is no option. And as Eros said, and what I know from experiences of humans very close to me, modern medicine made astonishing steps forward, there is no more payne … yes, I want to believe this.
I sit around, try to read. And since my eyes were examined more often in the last two weeks than in the years before, I realise how bad it has become. Especially since I sat the last time at my optician for last measurements, and something had to be checked for the final glasses’ strength. One more time a rack with lenses was put on my nose, a little tweak here & there – “Can you read this ?”
And all of a sudden i could read a text in (I guess) eight point (perhaps less) at my usual reading distance. Actually I have to take the glasses off and hold it close to my eyes for small print.
So progress is imminent. I have to take care for some things first, and then the procedure will be very soon.
All will be good.
I came to think about music that accompanied me through the years while I traveled through youtube lately. Of course this was triggered by the various list of “Top Tens” published by fellow bloggers through the last week(s) – Jon, IDV, Savannah, MsScarlet, Dinahmow, Eroswings – I only hope I missed no one.
There is some music I always come back to. I fear it may be boring to most of my venerated readers, sorry.
I do not use the lp-player any more, the large loudspeakers gather dust. They are made to fill a pretty large space with sound, this is not viable here. Thinking about it, when I go to youtube and search for a Sunday Music, I often begin with some of the music I like, liked from the start, when I started to listen, to buy records. Of course I missed a lot, there is an abundant mass of music out there, especially since it is not necessary anymore to depend on a record company and all this. A lot changed how to meet music, musicians, artists. but this is not the topic. There is a kind of old core, music I found sometime, mostly in my younger age, and that stayed with me. In fact, when I squint towards the shelf of records, I think that a lot of them could go, mostly newer ones, I would not miss them.
What I would miss, if I could not hear it anymore, is COLOSSEUMs (Ger., Eng.) Valentyne Suite (Eng.) (11/1969), of course the second side with the suite itself (here’s a link).
This music is often categorised as “Jazz Rock”, ach labels …
I am not too keen with the rock’n rollers of the fifties, somehow music started for me with the STONES, and Let It Bleed (Ger., Eng.) (12/1969) still is it (here Midnight Rambler).
I do not think that Mr RICHARDS is one of the “best” guitarreros in the world, it is nonsense to categorise artists this way. I simply like the guitar and admire what can be done with this instrument.
One of the live albums I always come back to (admittedly after some drinks), and one of the guitarreros I deeply admire, is Rory GALLAGHERs (Ger., Eng.) Irish Tour (Eng.) (6/1974) (here A Million Miles Away, remastered).
Sadly Rory’s dead, but Mr Robin TROWER (Ger., Eng.) is still active, and his album Bridge of Sighs (Eng.) (4/1974) is nothing to sneeze at ; other live albums I remember are THE WHOs Live at Leeds (rambam) (Ger., Eng.) (2/1970), and KING CRIMSONS Earthbound (rambam on steroids) (Eng. (6/1972).
But all this music obtains that the basic feeling is rage, anger, even for Rory’s drunken excursions.
Miles DAVIS Kind of Blue (Ger., Eng.) (8/1959) is totally different, one of the greatest lps ever made in my humble opinion. It speaks to you only when you are in the mood for it (here Flamenco Sketches).
There is so much, and so much still to be discovered, at least for me : From Orlando di LASSO to the latest stuff I can not name. It is always new, a new start. No need for Living in the Past (Ger., Eng. (6/1972) (song) only, it’s always Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day, like a rabbit on the run (here), hopefully not Thick as a Brick (here).

And then there are moments like this.
And there’s nothing left to say.


Books Read

Or looked at, some are photograph collections only. It’s a while since the last book report, in July. Before I put them back into the shelves – maybe you find something here that is interesting for your own reading adventures.

PITTROF, Thomas (Ed.) : Christian GARVE. Über die Moden. Frankfurt / Main , 1. Auflage 1987 (insel taschenbuch 989)
Christian GARVE (1742-1798) (Ger., Eng.) was a philosopher of the late enlightenment (“Spätaufklärung”), and for reasons I can not explain, he got somehow “lost”. If he was / is mentioned he is often called, a little pejorative, a “popular philosopher” / Populärphilosoph – as if he would not necessarily deserve to be taken fully serious.
After all GARVE, seven years older than GOETHE, was a very well known author in his lifetime, had a serious public discussion with KANT, and was several times invited to meet the Prussian king Friedrich II.  So dismissing him as a “popular writer” seems not doing justice to the man in my humble opinion. Perhaps it is because he wrote essays, not “the” book to display his ideas systematically. Something he has in common with LEIBNIZ I think, who of course published (Latin) disputationes, and a monadology, but not a coherent system of his ideas. I do not believe that GARVE could or should be compared to LEIBNIZ.
Thomas PITTROF is ordinarius for Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft at the University of Eichstätt.

[Anonymous :] Am Wege. Kleines Wander-Lehrbüchlein in 47 Naturaufnahmen. Königstein im Taunus o.J. [1948] (Der eiserne Hammer)
“Publication authorized by Publications Control Branch” – this little booklet was printed while Germany was still divided into zones and Hesse was part of the American zone. It is a collection of 47 b/w photographs showing vistas and “Kleindenkmäler” like Bildstöcke (Ger., Eng.). I simply like these old black-white photographs. The booklet displays some very interesting Franconian examples. While the covers are already dark brown & weak from acid, the pages with the printed photographs are remarkably well preserved.

BOHMERT, Friedrich : Hauptsache sauber ? Vom Waschen und Reinigen im Wandel der Zeit. Würzburg 1988
This is a work sponsored by Henkel, based on the contents of the Henkel Werksarchiv und Werksbibliothek. What is not necessarily bad, and disqualifies the work in no way. It makes clear from the start that it is written by someone who works for Henkel, and focuses on the impact Henkel products had on the daily grind of washing clothes and cleaning things. While the praise of Persil is sung, also a lot of useful information about the history of washing clothes of different kind, and of cleaning all kind of things is included, presented in a well readable form with generous use of illustrations – a solid publication.
I could not find more information on Friedrich BOHMERT, he seems to have been a Henkel archivist.

SCHOTT, Rolf : Michelangelo. Der Mensch und sein Werk. Paris o.J.
I am absolutely not sure about the author Rolf SCHOTT (1891-1977) (It.). He is without a doubt a very erudite scholar, has developed a deep understanding and knowledge of Renaissance art in general, Michelangelo’s œvre in particular ; he writes elegant, draws lines, leads the reader to insights – but I can not help, it always feels a bit like SCHOTT writing about SCHOTT, as if he’d use Michelangelo (Ger., Eng.) as a starting point for  showing …  off ?
I may be absolutely wrong, I may be doing harm to this author, but after having finished the book, only two things stuck : Michelangelo very likely formed his madonnas as idealised images of his mother early lost , and SCHOTT knows a lot.
Anyway, if you can get the 1963 English version of this book, give it a chance. I hope the translation is good, because SCHOTTs admirable use of the German language may be hard to reproduce – and a lot of the charm of this text depends in my humble opinion of the author’s ability to form twisting and surprising sentences.

LINDENBERG, Christoph : Rudolf Steiner mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten dargestellt. Reinbek bei Hamburg, Originalausgabe 1992 (rowohlts monographien 500)
No Iron Cross here, but the strange biography of an autodidact. Whatever your thoughts are on STEINERs (Ger., Eng.) philosophy, what no one can deny is his seriousness, and his work ethic. The man literally worked himself up for the development of his “movement”, something that seemingly became an ever faster growing, in the end overwhelming task for him that took him by surprise. What I learned from this short biography, and really surprised me, was how politically active STEINER became through the revolution of 1918/1919, how he actively supported the workers’ movement.
This text gives the outline of the “outer” biography of STEINER, and does not deal deeply with his teachings, of which I know basically nothing. I “know” a little about the Waldorfschulen, but I may be wrong, simply because I never seriously digged into the whole concept.
The author LINDENBERG (1930-1999)  (Ger.) was not only a Waldorflehrer, but worked as teacher at the Seminar für Waldorfpädagogik in Stuttgart, and as historian. I will definitely look for his  book about the pre-history of nazism titled Die Technik des Bösen, Technique of Evil.

VALLIER, Dora : Henrie ROUSSEAU, der Zöllner. Eine Akte.  Bindlach 1994 (zuerst : Vaduz 1991) (Meister der modernen Kunst)
ROUSSEAU (Ger., Eng.) was an outsider, always. The traditionalists, the modernists, all looked at his paintings and basically said the same : Naw … Is he a tragic figure ? Is he a happy fool ? I do not know. This is a nice book about a strange man by an interesting woman (Ger., Fr., about).

ALBRECHT, Herbert : Worpswede. Kunst in der Landschaft. Fischerhude 1981
This is a collection of short essays about the people who lived in Worpswede and formed, more or less, the artists’ colony through the twentieth century. ALBRECHT, about whom I could find sadly no more information on the web, is an opinioned critic, who was involved in the region’s cultural politics since the 1950s, and knew since this time the people he writes about personally. He seems to have been working as journalist for diverse German publications.

GOLDSWORTHY, Andy : Mauer. Storm King Art Center. Mit einem Essay von Kenneth BAKER. Frankfurt / Main, 1. Aufl. 2000
Mr GOLDSWORTHY (Ger., Eng.) has a wall built by other people and Mr Baker (a now retired American art critic) writes an essay about it. Nice photographs.

Heilbronn anno dazumal. Mit sämtlichen Stadtteilen. Fotos von 1858-1944. Heilbronn 1974 (Kleine Schriftenreihe des Archivs der Stadt Heilbronn, 6)
It is the catalogue of an exhibition held in autumn 1974 in the local Kunsthalle. This is only interesting for people who have a connection, however shallow, to the places shown. I lived there for some years. Now & then I travel through this town by train, but have no urge to get out and visit, this simply was.

Staatsklugheit und Frömmigkeit. Herzog Julius zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg, ein norddeutscher Landesherr des 16. Jahrhunderts. Wölfenbüttel 1989 (Ausstellungskatalog der Herzog August Bibliothek, 61)
As you may have noticed, venerated reader, I always come back to this magical place called Herzog August Bibliothek. They had an exhibition about Duke Julius (Ger., Eng.) there in 1989/1990, and this is the catalogue. It contains some learned essays about different aspects of the duke’s reign, his personality and hence the state he was running. Julius is a strong personality, important for the history of his house, and always fighting against his father. An interesting man who was accidentally confronted with the task to reign (his older brothers both died in another stupid war), he solved the given task with merit.

KENGEL, Rainer (O.S.B.) : Die Benediktinerabtei Münsterschwarzach. Münsterschwarzach 1952
Good readable short history of the abbey Münsterschwarzach (Ger., Eng.) in Lower Franconia. Nice place.

DETTELBACHER, Werner : Denk- und merkwürdige Kriminalfälle wie sie sich zugetragen in fränkischen Landen. Würzburg 1982
A popular written collection of historical crimes in Franconia, collected from the sources by the teacher and local historian DETTELBACHER (1926-2007), a prolific author of Franconica. He covers the span from the late 15th to the early 20th century.

DRECZKO, Werner : Teppiche Europas. Recklinghausen 1962
Expert DRECZKO explains how a rug is made, what one has to watch for when buying a European rug – very practical, a real good manual for anyone who wants to learn something about European rugs. He published a book about Oriental rugs too, and a lady with the same family name wrote a dissertation about rugs in the eighties.  A family business.

This is it. Looks more than it actually was, most of these “books” are “booklets”. Perhaps you find something inspirational, motivating for own reading among these titles.