Gen's upcoming events and Misc.upcoming projects...

GENS MISC. UPCOMING PROJECTS: Heartworm Press are publishing “Collected Lyrics and Poems of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – Volume One 1961 to 1971. Later they will publish Gen's first novel, written in 1969, “Mrs. Askwith”. Other books will follow.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


"Nothing here now but the recordings" was an album compiled by Genesis of William S.Burroughs audio work, Released via Industrial records in 1980.
Genesis P-Orridge, founder of Throbbing Gristle, salvaged these recordings from Burroughs’ archives and was responsible for their preservation and release. The recordings highlight Burroughs’ influence on concrete poetry and industrial music. The recordings also spotlight Burroughs’ link with the sound experiments of Carl Weissner and Henri Chopin who published Burroughs on vinyl and in magazines in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s.

Notes on the release follow, all borrowed from the extensive Burroughs archive site

Borrowed from the article The Lost Tapes of Carl Weissner, Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach, 1967-1969

by Edward S. Robinson
...Burroughs’ own recordings, however, remained in the vaults. Initially recorded for the purposes of his own personal research, the tapes were not intended for public consumption. It wasn Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle who convinced Burroughs to allow him to release a selection of these experiments commercially. After spending many long hours going through the tapes, Orridge compiled the hour’s worth of material that was released as Nothing Here Now But the Recordings on Industrial Records in 1980

.Nevertheless, Burroughs’ influence on music, particularly the music of the avant-garde, precedes the public release of his experimental recordings, primarily on account of his book Electronic Revolution (1970, 1972, 1976), which expounds the theoretical contexts of some of his practical experiments with audio. Throbbing Gristle were among the first to explore the possibilities of using tape loops, cut-ups, samples and “found sounds” to make music. It was in this work that Burroughs’ influence on music became truly tangible.This was true of many of the bands involved in the Industrial scene that exploded on both sides of the Atlantic between 1978 and 1984. They immersed themselves in studio experimentation and the application of techniques first explored by Burroughs and Gysin some 20 years previous. The reason for the delayed spread of the Virus in sound recordings was largely due to the lack of technology to facilitate widespread experimentation prior to 1978. But once Burroughs and Gysin had made the “breakthrough,” it was almost inevitable that their ideas would spread.
The appeal of Electronic Revolution is obvious. While those who had followed Burroughs’ writing through the cut-up experiments would have been able to admire the many qualities of the writing, and even the methodology behind it, to the extent that it was possible to “write like Burroughs,” Electronic Revolution revealed new possibilities, demonstrating the potential for the written word to develop and mutate in new directions off the page. It also represented a “call to arms” for dissenters, providing as it did directions for sonic terrorism with the potential for “real” results:

…make recordings and take pictures of some location you wish to discommode or destroy, now play recordings back and take more pictures, will result in accidents, fires, removals. Especially the latter. The target moves. We carried out this operation with the Scientology Center at 37 Fitzroy Street. Some months later they moved to 68 Tottenham Court Road, where a similar operation was carried out…

Like Naked Lunch and The Third Mind, Electronic Revolution is a “how-to” book, a handbook, with instructions for the replication of the author’s techniques to achieve specific effects. “Riot sound effects can produce an actual riot in a riot situation. Recorded police whistles will draw cops. Recorded gunshots, and their guns are out.”14 Burroughs explained the function of site-specific recording and playback thus:

…playback on location can produce definite effects. Playing back recordings of an accident can produce another accident… We carried out a number of these operations: street recordings, cut in of other material, playback in the streets …(I recall I had cut in fire engines and while playing this tape back in the street fire engines passed.)… (I wonder if anybody but CIA agents read this article or thought of putting these techniques into actual operation.) Anybody who carries out similar experiments over a period of time will turn up more “coincidences” than the law of averages allows.

It was the capacity to achieve a specific desired effect, as Burroughs’ empirical testing of the theories demonstrated, which proved a significant factor in the book’s appeal to a certain audience. Although Burroughs believed that “the influence of fiction is not direct,” he always intended for his writing to have a tangible effect upon the reader in some way — after all, “if your writing had no effect, then you would have something to worry about.”

1 comment:

Emil Lee Wroth said...

If anyone knows anyone who is going to any PTV shows - PLEASE take photo's! I NEED pictures!