Walls of books and waves of ambient guitar

Things have been quiet here over the last few weeks. Offline activities took precedence: among other things, I moved house, which meant transporting more books, boxes and kipple than I can quickly organise. But I’m overdue a clear-out. Sifting through the mountains of matter, I’ve segregated several boxes of clothes and bric-a-brac destined for delivery to the local charity shops, and I’ve built parts 1–6 of a temporary wall of books. Now to figure out how to stack or stash the remaining 85% without barricading my bed.

The new place is a little further from the seashore, but still just a few minutes’ walk away. There are more trees outside, which means more birds, which means more birdsong — a welcome soundtrack to most activities, including unpacking. Until the return of what passes for normal service, then, here are three performances of something structured far more carefully and subtly than my budding book wall: Steve Reich’s minimalist electro-ambient beauty Electric Counterpoint, part 1:


Gaku Yamada


Joseph Perez Mirandilla


Joby Burgess


The third video includes all three movements.

Reich’s notes on Electric Counterpoint are here.


4 Responses to Walls of books and waves of ambient guitar

  1. Claudia says:

    Send your kipple over here, Stan. I like nosing around in people’s junk. I used to go to garage sales with a friend. We had so much fun buying for one dollar the ugliest bric-a-brac inimaginable. I hope you’re succeeding with your bookwalls. You put them by size, or by colour? (Just joking…)

    I enjoyed Reich. It’s a bit hypnotic. Now that I’ve listened to some of Double Egg’s presentations, I wouldn’t call Reich minimalist and experimental anymore. Actually, after the first 2 minutes, it becomes quite crowded. And a melody is very perceptible. I prefer the third interpretation to the other two. It’s fun when the artist stops playing for a moment, but you still hear pre-recorded music. I wish my piano would do that!…

    Thanks for taking the time to post, in the midst of your busy move. Hope you’ll have great days in your new home, and lovely walks near the sea. Cheers!

  2. Stan says:

    Thanks for your good wishes, Claudia. You would be welcome to comb through my kipple! The boxes include not just old bits & bobs and tacky travel souvenirs, but also good clothes from my sister and friend. It will all find a welcome new home, I’m sure. You were joking, but the books are arranged generally by size, since this makes the most sense physically and aesthetically. If I had the time and space to arrange them by colour, I might be tempted to see how it looks.

    Reich is certainly hypnotic. I’d consider his music minimalist and experimental only by classical standards. Much of it has a pulsating quality that gradually builds momentum, like the tide. Sometimes the layered loops become noisy, but there is always a discernible direction and structure to it, and a restless energy that propels it to the end or to the next temporary lull.

  3. Sean Jeating says:

    Here’s me, (at least) virtually welcoming you in your new home with a slice of bread, salt and a glass of water*, and wishing you all the best, Stan.

    * an old German custom, not often practised anymore.

  4. Stan says:

    Thank you Sean, both for the welcome and for the traditional gift. Though I did without the salt for the sake of my blood!

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