Monday, July 26, 2010

Pi Sympony by Lars Erikson

Pi Symphony Overview

"Pi symphony was born in a Calculus I class in the early 1990's. With my habit of making numbers into melodies, I decided to try the digits of pi. I was astonished to discover the simple melody which does not sound at all random out to 32 digits. At that time I did some more research and found that the digits of pi have only been calculated out to several hundred digits for a couple of hundred years. My goal then became to create a classic orchestration of this melody which imparts the emotions associated with scientific discovery. Within a year or two, I had finished the Pi Symphony, while studying Engineering/Physics at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I had several orchestral arrangements performed, but alas, never Pi. I spent one entire summer editing and writing more on the score. There are some .mp3 files of excerpts (on my website) from the synthesized rendition. One goal of this site is to sell copies of my synthesized rendition, to hopefully connect with an appropriate debut environment."

Check out the amazing art and inventions at Lars Creative Warehouse.

Listen to the interview with Lars and Belinda.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Interview with British writer, Glyn Hughes

Ian: Jules Smith, in his excellent piece on you for the British Council, suggests that 'human conflicts are an essential subject'. How far would you agree with this statement? How might it apply to the tensions in your poems?

Glyn: "Human conflicts" (and sympathies!) are an essential subject for me, yes .... is there a writer for whom they are not? Sometimes conflicts are autobiographical and visible on the surface. Sometimes the “personal” in a poem is like the bed of the river over which the subject of the poem or novel flows. I rather like that form of writing. Sometimes human conflict is dramatised as my sympathy (or distaste) for the conflicts of others ... either in a historical context, or in relationship to a natural environment, or (even more likely) both. That would be more my mark, I think, that brings the poetic ouevre and the novels together. The other "essential subject" is and always has been what we call "nature" ... that I don't quite share with everyone. A great many (English especially?) writers today are urban, even exclusively urban. Or sub-urban.

That "raggedness" is something that I should ponder. It has seemed to me that, whenever I came across an obstacle for one talent, I would pick up the traces from another one that I believed I had. When writing grew difficult, I would start painting again. When poems became difficult, I would turn to prose. So much time would be lost in catching up to where I had been before I had abandoned one or other of these art forms for another one. It has baffled me very much, like wheels dropping off a cart all the time, constantly halting progress to mend them.

I have a weakness for seeing myself negatively (that's upbringing for you!). Yet I have been thinking more positively lately about how one individual, poet, scientist, philosopher, might with benefit break through this human need for sheltering within categories. Aren't physicists now making their huge advances through discoveries that break down the boundaries of our simplified thinking about space, time, and materiality? As humans we can recognise that we are bafflingly limited by our "categories" -- or, by what William Blake called "the prison of our senses five" - simply by the fact that we cannot comprehend infinity; that, being time-bound, we cannot comprehend a Universe without a beginning nor end, even though intellectually we can prove to ourselves that so it is. Quantum physics, "string theory" and all the rest, is quite beyond my capacity, but like everyone else I can read newspapers, and I don't think it is merely because I am searching for it, that they seem to very often report physicists' empirical evidence that coincides with the poetry and "mystical" thinking running through the Ages. As Carl Jung said, wherever as a scientist he looked into the human psyche, he found that a poet had been there before him.

Perhaps I am reaching ahead of myself here. What I am getting at, is that at a very much simpler level than that of the boundaries of thinking being gloriously breached by physicists, we can look back over the history of poetry and the arts and see the limitations of its being bound within categories - all that typifying into styles that we are taught is "the history of literature" and art, for the sake of simplifying the teaching of it. Look at any period of the history of art, and one sees later how much greater it would all have been, had for example the Baroque not been thus, had the Romantic not been so, on and on. In fact the shining lights of all periods have in common that they do not fit the categories, they are too big for them. Yet, despite these exemplars, in our own times we find ourselves constantly being confined by categories that we assume define us. We baffle ourselves against our own, home-made, prison bars. As, when I look back, I feel perhaps I have been doing for much of my life. Strange. Just this week, I have been reading about the American musician, John Cage, who currently has an exhibition running at the Baltic gallery in Newcastle, and I read about him with a great deal of sympathy now for his heroic trust in chance - in other words, in a phenomenon that simply does not allow the artist to be bound by temporary and contemporary assumptions. What a relief!

So that's the way I am at present trying to look at the "raggedness" that superficially seems to characterise my career. All in hope of having sufficient time remaining to make one sense of it all. I am at any rate painting and drawing again with some relaxing of the tensions that used to accompany "deserting" writing for that purpose.

Ian: Which brings me finally to your most recent, uncollected poems, and Endgame in particular. How far are these new poems a departure from what has gone before? Perhaps you could say something too about process. How does a poem like Endgame come to be?

Glyn: Endgame began as a poem about a specific lane of my childhood. It was the one direct connection (apart from the canal towpath) from the council-estate of my childhood - Oldfield Brow, near Altrincham, Cheshire - into the countryside. After a mile it spread out into the delta of lanes and footpaths that fascinated and freed me. It is the most important road of my whole lifetime, and one of my earliest memories of beauty. It must have been an original track from the farm on which the housing estate had been built. Revisiting it towards the end of life, it was as mysterious and delicious as ever. But this was a time when mortality had struck, for I had survived the cancer ward. Of itself, the poem grew without forethought into a metaphor of my gratitude at being in life, my sense of beauty and of being one with nature. Also it was written on an upswing of gratitude and joy for the people who had sustained me through illness. I had an epiphanic realisation of how kind and loving so many people have been throughout my life. The great beauty of Oldfield Lane linked itself with the beauty of kindness I have received. The title came when I had almost finished the poem, and I realised consciously in what way I was connecting the beauty of the beginning of life with the beauty of its end.

The book that I have ready for press, A Year In The Bull-Pen, details as you might expect the experiences of this year of cancer. On the wall at the foot of my bed during my first days in hospital was a clock, and I dreamed that in its place was a huge scroll, unrolled to show runics which I must understand so as to unravel my fate. I was woken arbitrarily, as happens in hospital, and it came to me instantly that there are three parts to my recovery. One is medical care. The second is my mental/ psychological approach - I must defeat cancer in myself, through my attitude of mind. Most important, is the third, a spiritual matter. I realised the extent to which I had neglected the spiritual (as poets so very often do, these days). Everything changed for ever (I hope) from this dream. I had a new, or long neglected, task. As Peter Ackroyd put it in his book on William Blake that I had been reading: “his own close and earnest study of spiritual matters was preceded, as is so often the case, by private loss”.

Bull Pen is an ironic name for a male cancer-ward, of course. It is also the name of the stone hut in the Ribble Valley on which I had just acquired a lease before being struck by illness. For me - spiritual life being connected to nature - recovery meant what I gained from the intimacy with nature in this Ribble Valley regio. In practice, writing a sequence detailing the events of the year; poems about salmon mating in the brook and the emerging parr, lambs, etcetera; and, with the cancer at the bottom of everything I saw, felt and wrote, also specific metaphors of memory and mortality, as in Endgame. In my stays in the Ribble Valley, I felt cured and lifted, as I knew that I would be. I would want to kiss he leaves on my arrival. And the act of writing in itself intensifies the senses, so writing became truly a matter of life and death - spiritual life and death, as well as of the body.

I have just come across an interesting quotation from Cocteau: "Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie." Again and again as a poet, one tries to link up the circle of earliest childhood to the end of life. Perhaps, after that, there is a different circle in another Universe.

Visit Glyn's website.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Music by Aux. 78

"I am a complete lover of music and musical things. My name is Nicholas Matta. As you can see I dabble in other art forms. Art is the way that I express myself. Sometimes I learn about myself from where I’ve been and my music and art is the sole chronicle of my life. Enjoy the music, art work, photography, videos, etc. I provide my music as full albums for free at There you can read more about each song, read lyrics and get other goodies. Thank you for sampling my world as Aux.78 and tell your friends, add a song or visit again. I am your musical jester."

Aux.78 The Passing

Aux.78 | MySpace Music Videos

This is an album about harsh reality, written in a singer-songwriter format. The album is about subjects that people have a hard time talking about. Hypocrisy in the church, corruption, child abuse, human trafficking, prostitution, drug trafficking, domestic abuse, broken dreams, church sex crimes, greed, etc, etc, and sad etc. In presenting such rigid material I was hoping to create a dialog amongst my fans and in doing so, maybe hang some demons out to dry. I wrote the album based off of subject material that I found related to the borderland, but I found out that these issues transcended "border issues" and presented truths that we all tend to shy away from in the overall human condition.

I URGE you to check out AppleLeg Music..down in the top friends. That site features players, videos and information on current AppleLeg projects, past work, and current work of former contributors to the AppleLeg Enigma."

The following instruments and gadgets make up what you hear. Electric 6 string Guitars, Acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars, Bass Guitar, Drums and Percussion, keyboards, sythesizers, xylophone, accordian, vocals, drum machines, original sampling, flute, trumpet, violin, kalimba, harmonica, frequencies transmitted through the air, computer hum, and air conditioner noise. Additional clatter and background noise provided by Chicken, random neighbors turning on various household sources of sound, and modern transportation.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Heavy Metal Vampires on Nuclear Waste

Experimental music/words/art

Ralf “GYPSY” Bevis (England)

“Have been an artist for as long as I can remember. As a youth it was drawing and painting. As a adolescent it was writing, progressed into music, which it is still now, though. Sculptors use all kinds of material to sculpt, stone, clay, marble, I consider myself an audio sculptor, I use sound... Grew up in Germany, England and Africa. Moved back to England in 1979. Lived in Brighton for the first few years, where I played in various bands, avant garde/punk/rock/rubbish type material, Performed in clubs and seafront pubs, for free drinks and a laugh. From Brighton, I went to Salisbury where i stayed with the peace convoy on green lane, was there for the 1984 Stonehenge concert, film of that is on youtube. .After Salisbury went back to Brighton for a short while but soon moved to London, lived all over London, Earls court, Finsbury Park, Brixton, Played in various bands in and around London, though most of the time was spent in the West End clubs, Sound & Vision and Alice in Wonderland, being our main haunts, from what I can remember we had a great time. While in London I ran an independent label called Rodent Tapes, dealing in home recorded and small independent studio produced material.”


Born Folkestone Kent 1948, lived in Canada for the last 40something years. Started as a drummer in local bands in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in 1967, started to pick up guitar seriously in 1970. Played in various psychedelic outfits (notably a band called Oberon, which was the forerunner of another band called The Melodic Energy Commission (which at times included Paul Rudolf of Pink Faeries and Del Dettmar of Hawkwind) Moved to Ontario Canada and played in lots of bands, New Wave, Punk, Psych/Jam and ( Experimental at University of Waterloo's Independent Studies Program.) Became part of The AMBiENT PiNG community in Toronto, and have played pretty regularly at venues in Toronto associated with the PiNG. Lots of collabs, notably with Anne Sulikowski (Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks) and others. Solo project (recently expanded to a trio) The Devil In The Design ( HAROLD (psyche/jam band) and Moon Dandies with my wife Catherine Tammaro and Jeff Howard (also in TDITD and HAROLD)


is a poet, writer, filmmaker, podcaster, artist, traveler and Registered Nurse. Working on a novel. Latest poetry book is BLUE ROOMS, BLACK HOLES, WHITE LIGHTS.




Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Poems by Linda Benninghoff

Linda has been published most recently in Oranges and Sardines and Agenda. She has published five chapbooks, one of them winning a prize at Kritya, in India. She is assistant poetry editor at Women Writers. She graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University where she was an English major. She has an MA in English with an emphasis on creative writing from Stony Brook.


How many summers
Will I wait
To find you again?

I have to have
Blunt nerves
To withstand
Your seeming
Always to rise up again,
And return.
The silence
By our
Waiting voices.


For nights
I have not slept
Only to be startled by
The peace of a catbird’s
Many-pronged song.

The blonde grasses
Rehearse the spells of summer.
Torn, I lay between them,
I hear sounds
Crisp as the bell my pet
Once rang.

Where Are the Tears of the World? After Roethke

The fox envelops his part of the field.
I have waited here,
Worn out as I always am,
Hoping to glimpse him.
And then I do
And he moves smoothly,
Like water flowing.

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