Mortuos

“The expression that

  there is nothing to express

  nothing with which to express

  nothing from which to express

  no power to express

  no desire to express

  together with the obligation to express”.

 Samuel Beckett.

I have just finished watching Patrick Magee in a short filmed version of “Krapps last tape” by Samuel Beckett. McGee was the actor in mind when this play was written. He is dead along with the playwright. Apparently Magee drunk himself to death, I didn’t know him, so cannot say with any authority if this is true. In the play, Krapp eats two bananas and listens to old tape recorded monologues from his past. I don’t know if Beckett ate Bananas but he drank a lot of Irish Whiskey and French Champagne. He died an old man with the most impressive furrows on his brow. Beckett was a member of the French resistance in the Second World War and narrowly escaped capture and certain death for his work against the Nazis.
 

R.I.P. Patrick Magee.

R.I.P. Samuel Beckett

 

I was minded to consider someone else who had an affinity, or a working relationship at least, with tape recorders, someone I had met in 1984. Henri Chopin. A Dadaist sound poet. An artist who expressed himself by swallowing microphones and recording the sound of his nasal hair. The story goes, his work was inspired by being tortured by the Nazis, He survived medical experimentation and forced death march in the 1940’s. I never asked him about it. It didn’t seem right somehow. I “YouTubed” him. Watched a couple of live performance’s. Then discovered that he had died in 2008.

R.I.P. Henri Chopin.

Below Henri Chopin in the YouTube suggestions, Sits Frank Zappa: “Hot Rats” ?Riding through Camden on my motorcycle several years ago, the News-stand headline outside the tube station said: “Rock star dead”, “Good” I thought, “Good riddance to them all”. (I guessed the world could do without Bono). Arriving home I switched on the TV, only to discover the rock star was Frank Zappa. My my I felt bad. I had all of his albums and knew his work inside out, seen him in concert…and there I was cheering his death.

Oh dear.

R.I.P. Franz Zappa.

I was going to write today about rooting through the rubbish sacks thrown away by my neighbor. As a kind of “Anti-Blog”. Exposing his predilections and pizza preferences. Instead I have woken to confront death, a valuable confrontation, so I will film his rubbish instead and record a piece on the cello in memory of Chopin, Zappa and Krapp. It is entitled “Mortuos”. Which means “Dead Again” in Latin.

Upon investigation my neighbor seems to smoke a lot of different brands of cigarettes and drinks Strongbow cider.

The YouTube Video is here:

http://youtu.be/Toc7AigP1tw

Image

Here I am at my mothers 80th birthday party, (I am on the right), she neither smokes or drinks. She wasn’t tortured by the Nazis but she did watch the Doodlebugs fly over her school in 1944. The Nazis tried to kill her too. She said that they (the V 1′s), made a very loud burping noise as they flew overhead, and as long as they kept burping; you were alright.

Thinking about it I have just realised I am sitting next to Harry, he is my mums next door neighbor. He was a navigator flying Lancasters in the Second World War. He drooped high-explosives on Germans, who weren’t always Nazi’s.

As Kurt Vonnegut would say; “So it goes”.

Robert Garnham. 20th August 2012. Woodbridge Suffolk UK

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