I’ve been on the road pretty much nonstop for the past month. First Barcelona, then Boston, then Los Angeles, then San Francisco. Now, as of a few days ago, I’m in Boston again. Soon New York. Then who knows where.

It’s nice to be home. The long summer days are inconceivably hot, almost baking. I don’t have an air conditioner; I haven’t used one in years, I think. I’m far more sensitive to cold than I am to heat. During the day, I work in the basement of the Media Lab, which is frigid, windowless and airless — like working inside of a refrigerator. My writing desk at home is under a skylight, which is blinding during the day; I keep a lot of my plants perched underneath it and they’re doing extraordinarily well. Orchids, lavender, jade. I planted a bunch of avocado pits in a jar and they’re shooting up like trees. I do most of my writing and reading at night, when a cool breeze blows through the window.

I’m working on the Discreet Music chapter, which is a long one. If there was space on the book cover, I think I’d retitle the book “Another Green World/Discreet Music/Evening Star.” Discreet Music was released the same year as Another Green World — the year 1975, if you were in the UK. (They were released later in the US.) Discreet Music was released the same week as Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music! DM and MMM are two of my favorite records. I have them both in various redundant formats (vinyl, CD, mp3, etc etc.) and persist in believing that the various formats actually do sound different. For a long time when I lived in New York City, I would fall asleep with Metal Machine Music spinning on my record player. I didn’t find it harsh and abrasive at all; at a low volume, it had a comforting, shimmering effect, and did a fine job of drowning out street noise.

Re-reading: Haunted Weather (Toop), Swollen Appendices (Eno), Experimental Music (Nyman), Echo and Reverb (Doyle), Audio-Vision (Chion). Going on lots of long bicycle rides to clear my mind, between long work shifts.

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  1. Owen

    I’d love to read you on Evening Star – of all the Eno I’ve been listening to obsessively lately (as consequence of reviewing that rubbish book) it’s probably the one I’ve been going back to most. Oddly enough, it evokes a very specific sort of place, for me – (a non-place to be sure) – the part of London suburbia where it reaches towards Heathrow Airport, with its estuaries, reservoirs, stately homes and middle class villas – calm, elegant, sometimes incredibly sinister. The guitars on the title track, like roaring fuselages, over that placid, repetitious pattern…

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