3 July 2013

“Our speech,” wrote the German poet Noralis two centuries ago, “was at first far more musical, but it has gradually become prosaic and lost its note; it is now noise or a ‘loudness’; it must become song again.”

Stephen jerked his thumb towards the window, saying:
— That is God.
Hooray! Ay! Whrrwhee!
— What? Mr Deasy asked.
— A shout in the street, Stephen answered, shrugging his shoulders.

And tumble out your hair that the salt drops have wet; being young you have not known the fool’s triumph, nor yet love lost as soon as won, nor the best labourer dead and all the sheaves to bind. What need have you to dread the monstrous crying of wind?

And while the children’s games became increasingly noisier and more complicated, while the city’s flushes darkened into purple, the whole world suddenly began to wilt and blacken and exude an uncertain dusk which contaminated everything.

Whether it be in mid-sea
Or the dark, green water-wheel
Or on the beaches
There must be no cessation
Of motion, or of the noise of motion,
The renewal of noise
And manifold continuation

And most, of the motion of thought
And its restless iteration

In the Hellenistic Hidden Sacred Book of Moses Called “Eighth” orHoly,” an Egyptian Jew describes the seven laughs of God:

Hha       Hha     Hha      Hha      Hha      Hha      Hha      Hha

Cortés and his men were taken to the palace of Axayácatl, the home and headquarters of Montezuma’s father, the emperor before last. At this, the conclusion to their extraordinary journey, the arquebusiers let off a discharge, filling the air with acrid smoke. The artillery was also fired to mark the triumph which all felt, if only temporarily, at having arrived in the city. Doubtless the few Valencians in Cortés’ army rejoiced especially at such a familiar celebration. The Valencian Rodrigo Borgia similarly marked his arrival in Rome as Pope Alexander VI. Very loud noise, especially of fireworks, has always characterised Valencian celebrations.

… cited by some historians as the first printed appearance of the bass figure that would come to be identified with boogie-woogie. It was recorded only as an instrumental, by a septet of white American soldiers based in Paris in 1919 and billed as L’Orchestre Scrap Iron Jazzerinos.


Works cited:

Collected Poems, W.B. Yeats
Collected Poems, Wallace Stevens
Conquest, Hugh Thomas
The Dozens: A History of Rap’s Mama, Elijah Wald
Making Noise: From Babel to the Big Bang & Beyond, Hillel Schwartz
The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories, Bruno Schulz
Ulysses, James Joyce