The Wire

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In Writing

Links: John Butcher's Portal

September 2012

Browse the improvising sax player's top picks of the web. John Butcher is the subject of The Wire 344's Invisible Jukebox, tested by Clive Bell.

John Cage and Morton Feldman In Conversation
The composers Cage and Feldman discuss listening to Rock & Roll on the beach, boredom and the Black Mountain College. This recording is from three engaging 40 minute conversations they recorded for WBAI radio in 1967.

Philip Guston In Conversation
“I don’t want to understand it like that, analytically.” American painter Philip Guston talking, smoking and working in his studio.

British Library Sounds
In 1977 I wanted to listen to James Joyce’s brief 1929 reading from Finnegans Wake. I made an appointment at the National Sound Archive, and a week later in Kensington, London I sat in a leather armchair in a small wood panelled room whilst Joyce’s voice was piped in. The attendant seemed sniffy when I asked to hear it again. Now they have 50,000 recordings available online. It’s not perfect (Joyce is absent and John Stevens’s 10 hour oral history of jazz in Britain is only available to educational institutions), but it’s packed with fascinating material, from Conan Doyle discussing Spiritualism to American toad calls from 1948.

Richard Feynman on God
Richard Feynman, a remarkable physicist, and happy with not knowing some things... up to a point.

Saxophone Mouthpiece Museum
After 25 years of playing with the same mouthpieces, I’ve recently started re‐exploring the occult world of baffle heights and facings via the sax and clarinet mouthpiece expert Theo Wanne's online museum.

Very Nice, Very Nice
“Very nice, very nice.” Canadian film maker Arthur Lipsett’s finely edited audio and visual montage from 1961. You can tell from the flow that his first enthusiasm was sound collage.

Pilot: Francis Bacon

Beautiful BBC TV interview with Francis Bacon, shot in 1965 for the pilot episode of a live arts discussion programme but never broadcast. The opening title music sounds like The Jimmy Giuffre 3.

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