Signaling | Poem With A Lot of Parenthetical Asides

Ronald Wilson and John Gilmore in the Sun Ra sax section -- December 4, 1985 Oakland, California --  photo by Mark Weber

Ronald Wilson and John Gilmore in the Sun Ra sax section — December 4, 1985 Oakland, California — photo by Mark Weber

The Thursday Jazz Radio Show

June 18, 2o15 Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER KUNM Albuquerque, USA 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web > KUNM.org Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)

SIGNALING

Poem With A Lot of Parenthetical Asides

There are theories as to
where language came from:

One is that around 50,000 years ago
(80,000 on the outside) a certain gene
mutation occurred (maybe God gave it
a little nudge) that set off a cascade of
developmental phases in modern humans (ie. homo
sapiens) associated with abstract thought,
hence: language

The second theory is rather far-fetched
(which is the one I subscribe to, of course)
is that language is a virus that infected humanity
with self-consciousness around 3,000 BC

Now, remember that the first writing was
not in any way corresponding to spoken word —-
most writing (cuneiform — 3500BC) had to do with merchants
keeping tabs in their ledgers

Also, mix in the idea I have been pondering for
years, that Tolkien believed: that the words preceded
the idea (which is opposite of what you’d think) that
the words engendered further abstraction (meaning)
(JRRT was a philologist so he had a vested interest
in such ideas, although, anything he or Owen Barfield
have to say, I’m listening)
That is: a word is given to a complex circumstance,
juncture, contingency, activity, situation, thing,
intention, consolation, speculation, notion, probability,
and this word has a magic
that accrues meaning to itself

As in ritual: it makes visible
what cannot be seen

Which is why Anglo-Saxon is such a slow language:
every word is power-packed, every word is
a world unto itself (even as verbosity had its beginnings
in Anglo-Saxon it wasn’t until Shakespeare that
the blab got going full blast)

Language gave voice to displacement: a mind shift
wherefore humans could talk about the future
or the past

(Try sitting meditation if
you want to experience the full extent of word virus
and its depredations
upon our consciousness
and the visitations from its bastard stepson the ego)

It was Julian Jaynes in 1976 (I didn’t read the book till 1981)
that first put the idea of something happened with language
like a virus at 3,000 BC)(I recommend you skip his notorious
book THE ORIGIN OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BREAKDOWN
OF THE BICAMERAL MIND because it’s kinda windy, whereas
the Wikipedia citation is quite concise)

SO.
This brings us to signaling, which is a concept I have
only recently become acquainted with and am still
endeavoring to wrap my brain around,
in that,
everything has to have a reason, right?
If not for immediacy, then only to be entered into
the Natural Selection sweepstakes —-
the word “signaling” has been chosen
to describe what might be the impulse
behind that which became writing —-

inasmuch as we are able to
inhabit the mind of early modern man
those thousands of years ago —-

the act of pecking symbols on rocks
eventually evolved toward the idea
of narrative —-

imagine: each symbol is a story unto itself
then one day you put two symbols together . . . .

mix in another 30,000 years
and bing bang boom
you have the earliest written language
that corresponds with speech: which only
came into being around 3,000 BC

Yesterday on a walk pondering origin of words it occurred to me
how eventually the mind goes blank with old age and everything
is erased . . . . . . . .

Highway 99 bluesman Sonny Rhodes at Gaspar's (Fillmore & Union) San Francisco -- August 29, 1978 -- photo by Mark Weber

Highway 99 bluesman Sonny Rhodes at Gaspar’s (Fillmore & Union) San Francisco — August 29, 1978 — photo by Mark Weber

John Lee Hooker -- July 7, 1976 California State University Fullerton -- w/ Ron Thompson (hat)  on guitar and I didn't catch the names of the others but doesn't that bass player look like  Tommy Shannon? -- photo by Mark Weber

John Lee Hooker — July 7, 1976 California State University Fullerton — w/ Ron Thompson (hat) on guitar and I didn’t catch the names of the others but doesn’t that bass player look like Tommy Shannon? — photo by Mark Weber

Stanley Crouch -- April 24, 1977 at The Little Big Horn, Pasadena, California -- photo by Mark Weber

Stanley Crouch — April 24, 1977 at The Little Big Horn, Pasadena, California — photo by Mark Weber

Jack DeJohnette's New Directions at The Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach, California -- September 29, 1978 --  John Abercrombie, mandolin-guitar; Lester Bowie, trumpet; Jack DeJohnette, drums & piano; Eddie  Gomez, bass -- photo by Mark Weber ---- We'll listen to some of 39 STEPS by the same John  Abercrombie Quartet that just played Albuquerque at the Outpost and laid down some of the real  stuff: jazz of such beauty and effortless guileless simple honesty you wish the whole world could  be like that always . . . .

Jack DeJohnette’s New Directions at The Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach, California — September 29, 1978 — John Abercrombie, mandolin-guitar; Lester Bowie, trumpet; Jack DeJohnette, drums & piano; Eddie Gomez, bass — photo by Mark Weber —- We’ll listen to some of 39 STEPS by the same John Abercrombie Quartet that just played Albuquerque at the Outpost and laid down some of the real stuff: jazz of such beauty and effortless guileless simple honesty you wish the whole world could be like that always . . . .

Clare Fischer Salsa Picante: Gray Foster, soprano saxophone; Roland Vasquez, drums; Hector Andrade, conga; John Chiodini, guitar; Oscar Meza, bass, Clare Fischer, keyboards -- at The Baked Potato, North  Hollywood -- June 8, 1980 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- the other day I got caught up in the sheer gorgeous beauty of Clare's album ON A TURQUOISE CLOUD (2oo1) with his Clarinet Choir (9 clarinets with rhythm section and a couple brass and our old friend Cip on bass-clarinet!  And always Gary Foster on saxophone  interludes and clarinets) -- We'll listen to the title track today, a 1947 composition by Duke Ellington,  as well, listen to other versions of "On A Turquoise Cloud" by Jimmy Jones, Dick Hyman, Duke Ellington  Orchestra, and Scott Robinson.

Clare Fischer Salsa Picante: Gray Foster, soprano saxophone; Roland Vasquez, drums; Hector Andrade, conga; John Chiodini, guitar; Oscar Meza, bass, Clare Fischer, keyboards — at The Baked Potato, North Hollywood — June 8, 1980 — photo by Mark Weber —- the other day I got caught up in the sheer gorgeous beauty of Clare’s album ON A TURQUOISE CLOUD (2oo1) with his Clarinet Choir (9 clarinets with rhythm section and a couple brass and our old friend Cip on bass-clarinet! And always Gary Foster on saxophone interludes and clarinets) — We’ll listen to the title track today, a 1947 composition by Duke Ellington, as well, listen to other versions of “On A Turquoise Cloud” by Jimmy Jones, Dick Hyman, Duke Ellington Orchestra, and Scott Robinson.

Krystall Klear & The Buells: Marty Krystall, tenor saxophone; Buell Neidlinger, bass; Jerry Peters, piano;  Peter Erskine, drums -- Carmelo's, North Hollywood -- March 25, 1981 -- photo by Mark Weber ----  I want to spin something from Buell's CELLO CAFE (2o12) solo cello music in sequence with Bill & Eva &  Carol's new trio CD just to hear what they sound like together, probably spectacular -- it was in my late  teen years when Manny Aron of Aron's Records (Melrose Avenue, L.A.) suggested I check out Bartok  string quartets, and like so often, Manny was right:  I was a pure chamber music head

Krystall Klear & The Buells: Marty Krystall, tenor saxophone; Buell Neidlinger, bass; Jerry Peters, piano; Peter Erskine, drums — Carmelo’s, North Hollywood — March 25, 1981 — photo by Mark Weber —- I want to spin something from Buell’s CELLO CAFE (2o12) solo cello music in sequence with Bill & Eva & Carol’s new trio CD just to hear what they sound like together, probably spectacular — it was in my late teen years when Manny Aron of Aron’s Records (Melrose Avenue, L.A.) suggested I check out Bartok string quartets, and like so often, Manny was right: I was a pure chamber music head

Bill Payne, Eb clarinet; Eva Lindal, violin; Ken Filiano, bass & EFX; Carol Liebowitz, piano ---- in  concert in celebration of their long-awaited first CD called BILL PAYNE, EVA LINDAL, CAROL  LIEBOWITZ -- this trio formed in 2o10 on the premise of freely improvised spontaneous music  in the moment -- Ken is a frequent guest with the trio, and I was even asked to join in on this  performance reading a few poems (see this concert on YouTube soon) ----Live at Scholes Street  Studio, Brooklyn -- May 8, 2o15 -- photo by Mark Weber

Bill Payne, Eb clarinet; Eva Lindal, violin; Ken Filiano, bass & EFX; Carol Liebowitz, piano —- in concert in celebration of their long-awaited first CD called BILL PAYNE, EVA LINDAL, CAROL LIEBOWITZ — this trio formed in 2o10 on the premise of freely improvised spontaneous music in the moment — Ken is a frequent guest with the trio, and I was even asked to join in on this performance reading a few poems (see this concert on YouTube soon) —-Live at Scholes Street Studio, Brooklyn — May 8, 2o15 — photo by Mark Weber

One of my favorite pianists: Carol Liebowitz with the trio + guests -- May 8, 2o15 Brooklyn --  photo by Mark Weber

One of my favorite pianists: Carol Liebowitz with the trio + guests — May 8, 2o15 Brooklyn — photo by Mark Weber

Tinbag: Mike Baggetta, guitar, and Kris Tiner, trumpet -- UNM Arts Lab, Albuququerque -- November 10, 2o12 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- MORE chamber music!  Exquisite music just flows from these serious  cats, flows like the skies & rivers ---- Mike lives in Brooklyn and Kris in Bakersfield and they get together  once a year and run around the country, ever since, at least 2006, because they were on my radio show  that July,  AND they're coming back to Albuquerque this coming September

Tinbag: Mike Baggetta, guitar, and Kris Tiner, trumpet — UNM Arts Lab, Albuququerque — November 10, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber —- MORE chamber music! Exquisite music just flows from these serious cats, flows like the skies & rivers —- Mike lives in Brooklyn and Kris in Bakersfield and they get together once a year and run around the country, ever since, at least 2006, because they were on my radio show that July, AND they’re coming back to Albuquerque this coming September

Shakes you down to the core when a fellow human being takes their own life ---- We have framed  prints of Louisa McElwain's paintings all over the house -- She was born the same year  as me (1953) and you always feel a connection to somewhat who's traveled the same distance --  photo by Mark Weber -- Santa Fe -- July 12, 1996 Santa Fe -- what a great painter of New Mexico  landscapes ------ line drawing by Mark Weber "Louisa McElwain"     [poem]     Life catches up with us  the entire planet enveloped in life  a spirit, a force, continuance  we each carry life along in the stream  as it flows on through us and around us ----  mourning doves this morning in Taos  when I found out  (7june15)

Shakes you down to the core when a fellow human being takes their own life —- We have framed prints of Louisa McElwain’s paintings all over the house — She was born the same year as me (1953) and you always feel a connection to somewhat who’s traveled the same distance — photo by Mark Weber — Santa Fe — July 12, 1996 Santa Fe — what a great painter of New Mexico landscapes —— line drawing by Mark Weber “Louisa McElwain”

[poem]

Life catches up with us
the entire planet enveloped in life
a spirit, a force, continuance
we each carry life along in the stream
as it flows on through us and around us —-
mourning doves this morning in Taos
when I found out

(7june15)

Robert Frost (1874-1963) Old Bennington, Vermont -- March 12, 1989 -- photo by Mark Weber --  his headstone said: I had a lover's quarrel with the world

Robert Frost (1874-1963) Old Bennington, Vermont — March 12, 1989 — photo by Mark Weber — his headstone said: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world

8 Comments

  1. 3 or 4 things

    1) Highway 99 is one of the inland north-south highways in California — It comes out of the San Joaquin Valley through towns of Bakersfield, Fresno, Oildale (Merle Haggard’s hometown) …….a lot of cotton fields back there . . . .lot of rednecks . . . . it’s a tough place . . . . ending in Oakland ———–and for post-WW2 bluesmen it was a touring circuit of clubs . . . . . say 1945-1999. . . . . . . In the same way that Mississippi Delta bluesmen gravitated toward Clarksdale and eventually Memphis (it was a much smaller world then) the blues cats & kitties of the Highway 99 circuit gravitated toward Oakland-San Francisco-Berkeley . . . .

    2) The Texas bassist Tommy Shannon was a member of Johnny Winter’s band 1968-1969 that made some great records and played Woodstock ——- joined Steve Ray Vaughan’s band in 1980

    3) Things have changed immensely in the world of anthropology since the mapping of the genome was completed in 2003, including our understanding of language

    4) You can subscribe to automatic Updates to this on-line photo journal via the box at end of page . . .

  2. You and I have often talked about consciousness,language, and art: you perhaps more interested in origins than I.
    (Dismissing all the wonder between Beowolf and the “verbosity” of Shakespeare in your musings is a case in point. You are clearly talking only to yourself.) It is probably time for both of us to go beyond mostly Western examples of language and art, don’t you think?

  3. I’ve thought for some time that Language was originally spawned by man’s need to express pain and joy . . . and/or, by man’s need to communicate (their emotions, wants and needs) with others. At first, man thought in images only. Then later, symbols/associations . . . and much later, words. The problem with thinking in words is there tends to be values/bias attached to them . . . they are not pure.

    “The Word” and “Narrative” developed out of “Symbols on Rocks” because of the “preposition” problem. That is, one can draw a noun, and even a universally understood verb, but prepositions are sketchy(sic) and arbitrary at best.

    Writing seems to be a “survival mechanism” for man. Man realizes he forgets shit (or hasn’t quite processed something fully though) and so out of fear of loss and annihilation he neurotically writes stuff down in an attempt to assuage his anxiety.

    I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

    In the beginning there was “the word” and the word was LOVE!

  4. Great poem (which is really all I dropped in to say).

  5. the one thing I took a chance in venturing in that poem is the idea that Anglo-Saxon is a language that was spoken slower, in that fewer words were used and the phrases didn’t go on forever in complicated twists —– this occurred to me, right or wrong, a year or so ago when I was clunking my way through my Anglo-Saxon lessons . . . . . (home studies on CD & lesson book)

  6. Mark,
    Great ruminations on language,
    very well and precisely stated.
    Joan and I are lifting our champagne glasses to you
    on our silver 25th anniversary thanking you for all your
    beautiful poems and photos
    onward,
    Fred

  7. —————-playlist——————-
    Thursday Jazz Show
    June 18, 2015
    KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER

    1. Clare Fischer Clarinet Choir “Basic Blues & Blues Parisien” w/Gary Foster alto solo — 2001 cd ON A TURQUOISE CLOUD
    2. John Abercrombie Quartet “Vertigo” –2013 cd 39 STEPS
    3. John Lee Hooker & Miles Davis & Earl Palmer “Coming to Town”(Jack Nitzsche) sdtrk THE HOT SPOT (Dennis Hopper) 1990
    4. Mike Baggetta & Kris Tiner “Bridges” –16jan2010 cd BRIDGES
    5. Bill Payne – Eva Lindal – Carol Liebowitz trio “blue flame” –12june12
    6. Buell Neidlinger solo cello “Lady Sings the Blues” –2013 cd CELLO CAFE
    7. Miles Davis Quintet “So What” AT THE BLACKHAWK — April 1961
    8. Clare Fischer Clarinet Choir (9 clarinets) “On a Turquoise Cloud”
    9. Jimmy Jones solo piano “On a Turquoise Cloud” –1947
    10. Duke Ellington Orchestra “On a Turquoise Cloud” –22dec47
    11. Duke Ellington Orch “I Like the Sunrise” –24dec47
    12. Brian Landrus “Fly” –Aug.2o14 cd THE DEEP BELOW
    13. Ornette Coleman & Pat Metheny “Trigonometry” –Dec.1985

  8. Great to hear from you, and thanks for the play. Chasing the Hot Spot soundtrack… wow, that’s a rare one.

    Looking forward to September!

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