William S. Burroughs + Brion Gysin Discussion

Started by VORACLE, June 11, 2024, 10:30:52 PM

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VORACLE

Wondering how many on the board were inspired in some way by Burroughs/Gysin. I'm not a big fan of Burroughs' fiction, but I find The Third Mind book they both worked on to be utterly fascinating. I especially appreciate the occult inclinations of both men, and how they influenced the modern Chaos Magic(k) scene, and other individuals such as Genesis P. Orridge.

I especially like the usage of noise-related recordings that Burroughs used to get a particular cafe to cease business. He viewed it as a form of "cursing" akin to black magic. The potential for PE/Noise to be an esoteric "weapon" is very intriguing to me.

Thoughts? Concerns? Have they influenced your worldview/music in any way?

Bigsby

#1
I believe that the three greatest writers of all time, after James Joyce of course, are William Shakespeare, William Faulkner, & William S. Burroughs. It's not even that he's a radical innovator or his fearless experiments that matters most; he is an absolute master of prose. 

Cormac McCarthy can share third place w/ someone.

I'd say Nothing here but the Recordings on the Industrial label was the first noise record I ever bought, I just didn't know it.

Balor/SS1535

While Burroughs is not my most favorite author ever (though I do very much love his book on cats), I value his insights and commentary on culture and his techniques for navigating it.  The idea of the cut-up is extremely fascinating to me, and it ends up being a component of pretty much all of my art---whether it is noise, collage, or (my sorry attempts at) poetry.

The RE/search issue on him and Gysin is fantastic too.

impulse manslaughter

I like reading Burroughts but love the records where he's reading parts. His voice is just hypnotic.

John Cagefight

I recall one of the performers describing the lineup and events from this performance to me some ways back:

https://susanlawly.bandcamp.com/album/live-action-13

The idea that Whitehouse and Burroughs might share the same stage really broke my head open at the time.

Additional details from the Susan Lawly site:
Quotereview:
Few hype slogans by groups are ever really true.

This is an exception.

Throbbing Gristle paved the way toward the newer forms of the Absurd - Industrial music. Combining the French technologies of musique concrete with life's hidden realities. They incited the imagination of others to follow and expand on the groundwork TG explored. Since TG became somewhat superstars in their own way, they became institutionalised, unfortunately musically they became lighter, more easy to consume. Since TG's demise both factions, Chris & Cosey and Psychic TV have developed a far more polished, cleaner sound. But for followers of the early TG sound the hushed dark side of life, Whitehouse develops and explores to the fullest potential.

From London, Whitehouse formed around the visions of William Bennett, visions of Sado-masochistic Marquis de Sade, the Third Reich's slaughter prison camps, that of mass-murderers and rapists. Whitehouse forms sounds to the most violent, intense extremes. Mixing taped urban realities with harsh synth feedback combined with altered human vocal screams of death and the slow decay of life, what remains resembles barren catastrophe.

Around 200 persons from various musical beliefs gathered together here to listen to a virtually unknown 3 man group from the London underground - Whitehouse. All had preconceptions probably on what should a band sound like, either electronic avant or not. I think 90% of the populace in the VFW Hall wasn't expecting this. Possibly an avant version of Human League-ish sound or maybe a new-wave Tangerine Dream. What they received is a virtual destruction of all accepted 'music' standards (along with most of their eardrums).

After William Burroughs and 2-man group Drunk Alcoholics came the finale, the group we paid $4 to see came on. Announce as the best band in the world, from London, Whitehouse. The three members, dressed in street clothes and long black overcoats took their just places on the stage. Kevin Tomkins on one side with small portable Wasp synth, John Murphy (sic) on the other side with Wasp synth, leader/vocalist William Bennett in the middle. And from this moment on tension built, people left and amps failed to function. I'll say off-hand, the avant-garde is becoming extremely popular in England and throughout England they call it 'power electronics'. This new revelation of the avant-garde has not and will never catch on Stateside.

Whitehouse's music is only for people who can accept the furthest extreme in sound experimentation and reproduction. There's no middle ground, either you accept them for starting, and exploring totally new music frontiers, or despise their very existence. Unfortunately, most at that hall on that mid-spring Saturday evening chose the latter. Understandably during the 3/4-hour concert (that is all management could stand), William Bennett was demonic. With mid-floor cleared of chairs, Bennett parading back and forth, on and off stage, he took his verbal barrage/assault and aimed it directly at the audience, charging into the audience then retreating shouting, screaming words, phrases, sometimes actually mocking the audience, nobody knew what he was going to do next. There was no "no man's land" between artist and audience, at least for Bennett. The other two were well in the background. A couple of times Bennett traded with John (sic) on vocal/synth, but mainly this was Bennett's show. The verbal energy Bennett lashed out seemed to be caught and violently caged by the intense beatless constant electronic barrage of John and Kevin's synths.

The effects were felt. Hostilities were mounting. The concert ended by a member of the audience taking revenge on the table on which John's synth was on, and to alleviate other trouble the management pulled the plug and Whitehouse quickly disappeared from sight. There were about 20 people left and I guess those were the curious ones, the ones maybe that will accept any new music, new prophesies and other people's views no matter how different and accept them for what they are trying to convey.

Remember one thing, people laughed at Igor Stravinsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Erik Satie and others, saying their 'music' was worthless and should be permanently banned. I wonder what people 20 years from now will say about Whitehouse and their 'music'.

Strömkarlen

Quote from: VORACLE on June 11, 2024, 10:30:52 PMWondering how many on the board were inspired in some way by Burroughs/Gysin. I'm not a big fan of Burroughs' fiction, but I find The Third Mind book they both worked on to be utterly fascinating. I especially appreciate the occult inclinations of both men, and how they influenced the modern Chaos Magic(k) scene, and other individuals such as Genesis P. Orridge.

I especially like the usage of noise-related recordings that Burroughs used to get a particular cafe to cease business. He viewed it as a form of "cursing" akin to black magic. The potential for PE/Noise to be an esoteric "weapon" is very intriguing to me.

Thoughts? Concerns? Have they influenced your worldview/music in any way?

Yeah I'm interested in WSB and Gysin. I find them to be an inspiration and I always return to them. I even released a book of Jack Sargeant with his writing on WSB. https://studioexpanded.bigcartel.com/product/against-control

Balor/SS1535

Quote from: John Cagefight on June 17, 2024, 08:09:10 PMI recall one of the performers describing the lineup and events from this performance to me some ways back:

https://susanlawly.bandcamp.com/album/live-action-13

The idea that Whitehouse and Burroughs might share the same stage really broke my head open at the time.

Additional details from the Susan Lawly site:
Quotereview:
Few hype slogans by groups are ever really true.

This is an exception.

Throbbing Gristle paved the way toward the newer forms of the Absurd - Industrial music. Combining the French technologies of musique concrete with life's hidden realities. They incited the imagination of others to follow and expand on the groundwork TG explored. Since TG became somewhat superstars in their own way, they became institutionalised, unfortunately musically they became lighter, more easy to consume. Since TG's demise both factions, Chris & Cosey and Psychic TV have developed a far more polished, cleaner sound. But for followers of the early TG sound the hushed dark side of life, Whitehouse develops and explores to the fullest potential.

From London, Whitehouse formed around the visions of William Bennett, visions of Sado-masochistic Marquis de Sade, the Third Reich's slaughter prison camps, that of mass-murderers and rapists. Whitehouse forms sounds to the most violent, intense extremes. Mixing taped urban realities with harsh synth feedback combined with altered human vocal screams of death and the slow decay of life, what remains resembles barren catastrophe.

Around 200 persons from various musical beliefs gathered together here to listen to a virtually unknown 3 man group from the London underground - Whitehouse. All had preconceptions probably on what should a band sound like, either electronic avant or not. I think 90% of the populace in the VFW Hall wasn't expecting this. Possibly an avant version of Human League-ish sound or maybe a new-wave Tangerine Dream. What they received is a virtual destruction of all accepted 'music' standards (along with most of their eardrums).

After William Burroughs and 2-man group Drunk Alcoholics came the finale, the group we paid $4 to see came on. Announce as the best band in the world, from London, Whitehouse. The three members, dressed in street clothes and long black overcoats took their just places on the stage. Kevin Tomkins on one side with small portable Wasp synth, John Murphy (sic) on the other side with Wasp synth, leader/vocalist William Bennett in the middle. And from this moment on tension built, people left and amps failed to function. I'll say off-hand, the avant-garde is becoming extremely popular in England and throughout England they call it 'power electronics'. This new revelation of the avant-garde has not and will never catch on Stateside.

Whitehouse's music is only for people who can accept the furthest extreme in sound experimentation and reproduction. There's no middle ground, either you accept them for starting, and exploring totally new music frontiers, or despise their very existence. Unfortunately, most at that hall on that mid-spring Saturday evening chose the latter. Understandably during the 3/4-hour concert (that is all management could stand), William Bennett was demonic. With mid-floor cleared of chairs, Bennett parading back and forth, on and off stage, he took his verbal barrage/assault and aimed it directly at the audience, charging into the audience then retreating shouting, screaming words, phrases, sometimes actually mocking the audience, nobody knew what he was going to do next. There was no "no man's land" between artist and audience, at least for Bennett. The other two were well in the background. A couple of times Bennett traded with John (sic) on vocal/synth, but mainly this was Bennett's show. The verbal energy Bennett lashed out seemed to be caught and violently caged by the intense beatless constant electronic barrage of John and Kevin's synths.

The effects were felt. Hostilities were mounting. The concert ended by a member of the audience taking revenge on the table on which John's synth was on, and to alleviate other trouble the management pulled the plug and Whitehouse quickly disappeared from sight. There were about 20 people left and I guess those were the curious ones, the ones maybe that will accept any new music, new prophesies and other people's views no matter how different and accept them for what they are trying to convey.

Remember one thing, people laughed at Igor Stravinsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Erik Satie and others, saying their 'music' was worthless and should be permanently banned. I wonder what people 20 years from now will say about Whitehouse and their 'music'.

That's really amazing, never heard of them sharing a stage before either.  I wonder if there are any interviews with Burroughs where he mentions Whitehouse?

VORACLE

Quote from: John Cagefight on June 17, 2024, 08:09:10 PMI recall one of the performers describing the lineup and events from this performance to me some ways back:

https://susanlawly.bandcamp.com/album/live-action-13

The idea that Whitehouse and Burroughs might share the same stage really broke my head open at the time.

Additional details from the Susan Lawly site:
Quotereview:
Few hype slogans by groups are ever really true.

This is an exception.

Throbbing Gristle paved the way toward the newer forms of the Absurd - Industrial music. Combining the French technologies of musique concrete with life's hidden realities. They incited the imagination of others to follow and expand on the groundwork TG explored. Since TG became somewhat superstars in their own way, they became institutionalised, unfortunately musically they became lighter, more easy to consume. Since TG's demise both factions, Chris & Cosey and Psychic TV have developed a far more polished, cleaner sound. But for followers of the early TG sound the hushed dark side of life, Whitehouse develops and explores to the fullest potential.

From London, Whitehouse formed around the visions of William Bennett, visions of Sado-masochistic Marquis de Sade, the Third Reich's slaughter prison camps, that of mass-murderers and rapists. Whitehouse forms sounds to the most violent, intense extremes. Mixing taped urban realities with harsh synth feedback combined with altered human vocal screams of death and the slow decay of life, what remains resembles barren catastrophe.

Around 200 persons from various musical beliefs gathered together here to listen to a virtually unknown 3 man group from the London underground - Whitehouse. All had preconceptions probably on what should a band sound like, either electronic avant or not. I think 90% of the populace in the VFW Hall wasn't expecting this. Possibly an avant version of Human League-ish sound or maybe a new-wave Tangerine Dream. What they received is a virtual destruction of all accepted 'music' standards (along with most of their eardrums).

After William Burroughs and 2-man group Drunk Alcoholics came the finale, the group we paid $4 to see came on. Announce as the best band in the world, from London, Whitehouse. The three members, dressed in street clothes and long black overcoats took their just places on the stage. Kevin Tomkins on one side with small portable Wasp synth, John Murphy (sic) on the other side with Wasp synth, leader/vocalist William Bennett in the middle. And from this moment on tension built, people left and amps failed to function. I'll say off-hand, the avant-garde is becoming extremely popular in England and throughout England they call it 'power electronics'. This new revelation of the avant-garde has not and will never catch on Stateside.

Whitehouse's music is only for people who can accept the furthest extreme in sound experimentation and reproduction. There's no middle ground, either you accept them for starting, and exploring totally new music frontiers, or despise their very existence. Unfortunately, most at that hall on that mid-spring Saturday evening chose the latter. Understandably during the 3/4-hour concert (that is all management could stand), William Bennett was demonic. With mid-floor cleared of chairs, Bennett parading back and forth, on and off stage, he took his verbal barrage/assault and aimed it directly at the audience, charging into the audience then retreating shouting, screaming words, phrases, sometimes actually mocking the audience, nobody knew what he was going to do next. There was no "no man's land" between artist and audience, at least for Bennett. The other two were well in the background. A couple of times Bennett traded with John (sic) on vocal/synth, but mainly this was Bennett's show. The verbal energy Bennett lashed out seemed to be caught and violently caged by the intense beatless constant electronic barrage of John and Kevin's synths.

The effects were felt. Hostilities were mounting. The concert ended by a member of the audience taking revenge on the table on which John's synth was on, and to alleviate other trouble the management pulled the plug and Whitehouse quickly disappeared from sight. There were about 20 people left and I guess those were the curious ones, the ones maybe that will accept any new music, new prophesies and other people's views no matter how different and accept them for what they are trying to convey.

Remember one thing, people laughed at Igor Stravinsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Erik Satie and others, saying their 'music' was worthless and should be permanently banned. I wonder what people 20 years from now will say about Whitehouse and their 'music'.

God damn, this is the first I've heard of this...