CONTEMPLATION OF ACTION

 

destruction-grid

[image: R. Alkadhi]


Amid loose gravel and stray shoes, stains and rubbish, Action sees a grid parsing an Iraq in miniature. Within that microcosm, people wander around as if in a daze, pointing, staring, contemplating in silent disbelief. Action observes these miniature people, some of whom may in turn bend down to study the atrocities on the ground below them. – Rheim Alkadhi, Contemplation of Action

& memories pried from decades-old shellac give rise to an equally real & mythopoetic Baghdad as the one Rheim documents

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Kementchedji Alecco – Taqsim

from Give Me Love: Songs of the Brokenhearted – Baghdad 1925-1929. This article opens a window on this music. In a short time a city can swing from open to closed, from something fluid & made of multiples to occupied, divided, entrenched. What awaits us?

bagdad

edit: Rheim just directed my attention towards this excellent post, which has more Iraqi shellac and explains why the Honest Jon’s comp sounds so good:
“For those who are wondering, 78rpm masters have shockingly less surface noise than the final product, the mass-produced gramophone record copy of the master, which often contained loads of garbage, or filler, along with the shellac – Paramount Records used sand and cement in their mix, for instance, making virtually all of their records sound like crap. . . Very few companies exist which still have accessible masters or clean file copies of their original 78s, much less are willing to work with a small label for a release.”

HERE TODAY

tim

“Anything I say here will sound tired, lame and cliched: I’m a loving, caring, empathic person trying to survive in a culture dominated by free market, neo-liberal values, white supremacy, patriarchy and the loathsome cult of individualism. My ‘academic’ work is *never* unconnected to my passions, desires, and ambitions for radical social justice. Black Studies is a calling to me, as strong as some folks’ religious fervour, and without music, my life would be a mistake.” – Tim Haslett

We crossed paths infrequently, but everytime i bumped into Tim he would gently tip new ideas (or new music) into my head.

Somebody play this tune for him for me next Monday. We were emailing each other in amazement when it got released, gun clack and heartbeat, the reality of pain as awareness of fragility, history samples and silence at the end when the voice drops out.

Marxmen (M.O.P.) – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow