dancefloor of virtuality?

In The Fold Deleuze writes:

A concert is being performed tonight. It is the event. Vibrations of sound disperse, periodic movements go through space with their harmonics or submultiples. The sounds have inner qualities of height, intensity, and timbre. The sources of the sounds, instrumental or vocal, are not content only to send the sounds out: each one perceives its own, and perceives the others while perceiving its own. These are active perceptions that are expressed among each other, or else prehensions that are prehending one another: ‘First the solitary piano grieved, like a bird abandoned by its mate; the violin heard its wail and responded to it like a neighboring tree. It was like the beginning of the world….’
The origins of the sounds are monads or prehensions that are filled with joy in themselves, with an intense satisfaction, as they fill up with their perceptions and move from one perception to another. And the notes of the scale are eternal objects, pure Virtualities that are actualized in the origins, but also pure Possibilities that are attained in vibrations or flux. ‘As if the instrumentalists played the little phrase far less than they were performing the rites it required in order to appear .. .

Today I have been listening to the Lindy Hop that dogpossum (and her lovely man) got me onto ;). While listening along doing my thing I keep thinking of the passage above where Deleuze indicates an intersection of the virtual and the possible. The virtual (pure potential, already real) and the possible (not real, resonance as sound, and in bodies) conjoin in vertical harmonies that occur in the transversal interplay of instruments communicating with each other. This is cool for a concert, but what if it is dance? Isn’t the dancer’s body another ‘instrument’ of the event in correspondence with the other instruments of the music event or gig? The pure virtualities of music are harmonics with realised possibilities of sound, but they also correlate with the potentiality of the body.

Is this what I was trying to get at with the As Dangerous as a Coffee meme, not a philosophy of a new earth for a new people (ala Deleuze), but philosophy in DJ-mode. From the depths of sickness we gain a new persepctive on health. But who wants to be sick? As wallflowers we gain a perspective on the dancefloor? Philosophy as a new dancefloor for a new dance? By this I mean the music of Lindy Hop clearly extends the dancefloor into the multidimensional space consisting of the virtuality of the music. So you don’t merely dance to the music, but dance on it; all the points (singularities) expressed through the instruments and transversal movements between them become a new dance floor. This produces a problematic. How can one dance on a multidimensional dancefloor created through the virtuality of the music and its harmonic transversal communication across registers? Well, isn’t this the nature of dance? The artistic and aesthetic practice of not only continually finding new solutions to the problematic of the virtual dancefloor, but continuing digging at the problematic itself, of actualising new dancefloors while dancing. That is a new multidimensional dancefloor is enacted in the transversal communication between dancer’s body and instruments, around and along the axes of movement of music and of the body, producing new combinations and movement. This is not even to include the perceptible (actual) correspondence between dancers or wallflowers and dancers, etc.

For me it was working, so my writing was a kind of dance that attempts to continually solve the differential problematic of the dancefloor/workspace produced through the constant actualisation of myself in the world in front of my computer while lsitening to the Dangerous as a Midnight Coffee music.

(My favourite track so far is “All the Cats Join In” by Benny Goodman. I think I like Benny Goodman.)

9 replies on “dancefloor of virtuality?”

  1. craps. ah well.
    i will write more when i have more time, but i’m glad hte cds got their safely and were interesting/fun.

    if you’re interested, there’s a really really good band who play in sydney every sunday afternoon for free- the preservation hall jazz band (?). they do the sort of southern jazz that has lots of improv and really cooks – they feature guest musicians who play things like accordian, piano, violin, etc + the more regular stuff. this sort of jazz is the punk of the jazz world – no rules! i’ll look up the venue and band name – i don’t think that’s right. i want to say unity hall jazz band… they’re named for the pub.

    benny goodman is the fushizzle. but not the king of swing – chick webb kicked his arse at the Savoy Ballroom.

    gunther schuller has a massive chunk devoted to goodman in his seminal ‘swing era’ book. goodman was an anal, obsessive perfectionist who made technically amazing music. sometimes the perfection came at the cost of soul.
    but he was also the first to perform with a mixed-race group – his small groups featured artists like lionel hampton (yeah! go hamp!), teddy wilson, gene krupa and others. a mixed race group at that time was PHENOMENAL and very ground breaking. the groups themselves were muscically ground breaking as well – the sort of ‘chamber jazz’ that people like john kirby got into. you can hear the precursors to bop in that smaller group stuff. there is footage of those doods playing together (i think there’s some in ken burns’ ‘Jazz’ doco) and it’s magic – they work together like superhero musicians.


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