Monday, August 28, 2023

32nd Series on the Different Kinds of Series

The 32nd Series returns to earlier concepts in The Logic of Sense but this time in the context of Freudian psychology and analysis. The serial form begins with the release of the sexual drives. It talks about three different kinds of series and the type of synthesis they provide; the connective, conjunctive and dynamic syntheses. It recapitulates the dynamic genesis of the developing child learning language starting from the chaotic noises in the depths, then hearing their parents use language (the voice on high) and finally beginning to use speech at the surface. This still isn't language until the Event or sense occurs.

Working from Psychanalyzer by Serge Leclaire, Deleuze connects the basic elements of language, phonemes, morphemes and semantemes, with the three sexual positions: erogenous zones (connective synthesis), the phallic coordination of the surface (conjunctive synthesis) and the Oedipal affairs or castration complex (disjunctive synthesis).
The paradoxical nature of the phallic image both coordinating the surface and contributing to the dissipation of the castration complex is compared to the paradoxical "Object = X" that circulates between the two series of the signifier and the signified. It is both an excess and a lack and is always in a state of disequilibration. Not said in the video: The disjunctive synthesis proves to be "the destination and truth of the others."

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Picture Frame by Cassidy Joy

 A strong invocation brings its own resistance. I tell my clients that unusual obstacles or adversity in the recording process often indicate the music coming through carries a strong force. Giving birth in any realm presents its own challenges. This appears clearly evident with the capturing of Cassidy Joy's new single Picture Frame

The first recording date was postponed due to a slight cold – nothing too uncommon there. On the morning of the new date, a power outage shut down all electricity to the studio. Our irresponsible provider, PG&E, said it would be back on by 11:30 am; no problem there, the session was scheduled for noon. Indeed, power was restored shortly after 11. Cassidy arrived and got settled. She did a little warm up run through of the song as I set my levels. We checked the tuning on her acoustic guitar – looking good, we were all set to go. At that exact moment, the power goes out again. Unbelievable! I got my emergency generator going and we finally began. This is less than ideal as my generator and all the other generators in the neighborhood increases the ambient noise hum in the space, but I thought I could deal with it.  Halfway way into her performance the power came back on, but near the end of the song my audio software abruptly stopped. That had never happened before – likely due to the less than steady electricity provided by my generator. Cassidy felt good about the take, but I had to sheepishly tell her about the drop out and ask her to play it again. 

We did another run through; it was a significantly stronger delivery, the best.  The obstacles had pushed her to another level. It felt like the one. During the playback to confirm, we heard the yowling of a cat. Was it in the recording? Would this great performance be compromised? Fortunately not, the cat's contribution only occurred during playback not the recording itself. We added another rhythm guitar part, did some minor editing and had a track. After much more than usual resistance, a new piece of beauty had come down from wherever it comes from for all the world to hear. Perseverance paid off.

As I interpret the song, it tells a story of someone looking at a photo and reading the biography of what they see there:

Pretty lady in a picture frame
Silk white dress
Wreaths the baby's breath

Pretty mama of a high born name
Keeps a treasure chest
Never leaves a mess

There's a subtle sense of tragedy, a mood of melancholy in this song.

And if I didn't know better
I'd say you had it all together
And if I couldn't see through you
I'd almost swear that I knew you
From the face that you were wearing in a picture frame.

One belief in philosophy holds that the artistic expression of tragedy is just as necessary as comedy in the balanced development of society. Perhaps when feeling some pain in a work of art, it helps us deal with any pain we'll inevitably experience in life itself?

Pretty mama sitting all alone
Underneath the roses, hoping someone would notice
She built her castle from her father's stone
And though she'd never know it
Inside the tears are flowing.

It goes on to tell the tale of this woman's family and the hardness of their lives. These words don't and can't tell the complete story. You have to listen to the emotion of Cassidy's vocal delivery together with the key and chord changes in the song. My advice is to listen many times. I naturally do in the production of it. The repetition of the playback, always hearing something different each time, searching for the technical parameters that will give the best expression, made me feel like I was in a picture frame. Listening to it now without any technical considerations, makes me want to find a way to heal all the pain in the world. To quote John Lennon: "You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." Perhaps if enough people hear Picture Frame enough times, the empathy in world will increase by one slight degree. Maybe that will help get us through the night?

Ain't love a funny thing?

You can download Picture Frame here. It will be available to listen on Spotify and Apple music soon.