Friday, July 21, 2006

Can there be more than one two-ity?

First, an excerpt from Jadran Mimica's Intimations of Infinity: The Mythopoeia of the Iqwaye Counting System and Number (Berg 1988, pp. 136-137):

In the Iqwaye case there is a binary mode of the ordering of elements, and there is an intrinsic rhythmicity which temporalises the entire structure of numeration and is the source of its dynamics. But in this scheme the digital progression is contained or, rather, closed in upon itself. The binary rhythm of succession reproduces the primordial rhythm (temporality) of the cosmic process of self-generation. Out of the one emerges two from which emerges one, and so on. This self-propogation, as we saw, is the pluralisation of the all inclusive oneness (the body) by means of the totalising particularisation of its composite parts (the digits). The totalised parts in turn fuse back into the original unity of the one which as such becomes an internally multiplied higher totality (201 --> 202 --> 203 ...). Understood thus in terms of the Iqwaye cosmology, we come to realise that in their arithmetical succession neither its logical form nor its inner temporality have an independent or ontological priority. Both are subsumed by the process of totalisation which relates counting to its cosmological foundations. We then have to accept that within the purview of the Iqwaye cosmology, our Western, intellectually seperated and idealised categories of intuition such as time, space, number, and so on, ultimately melt into the organismic unity of the body, consciousness and the world.

Organismic--hot stuff, two-ity. Anyhow, what I'm taking from my reading of Mimica is that two-ity is both irreducible and composite, and the thematicization of two-ity is not instantaneous but, rather, it unfolds. If flows. Is the intuition of two-ity also not realized in an instant? That would be a strange quality for an intuition to have, to be divorced from any single experiential moment. But perhaps much of our experience is like that, constituted in flows, rhythms, grooves.

A thinking person should have little trouble with Mimica's argument about the openness of the concept of number (albeit many people who work with numbers have a sedimentend, taken-for-granted conceptualization of number). But isn't there something paradoxical here? Can we have two-ity before number? And if we achieve an imagination of two-ity while number yet remains inchoate, should we really be calling it a two-ity? Might it not be some other kind of intuition, related to number perhaps, but not itself numerical, whatever the numerical will come to mean? Couldn't tell you. Just saying.

posted by Fido the Yak at 9:11 AM. 0 comments

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Diese Kirschen der Ganzen Welt!

Cherry Pie! After several false starts I've finally baked a yummy cherry pie following the recipe in Joy of Cooking. And speaking of joy, this morning we listened to the Minnesota Orchestra doing Beethoven's Ninth. (That performance isn't in the listening archives yet, but you might be able to catch a rerun of this week's broadcast on your favorite public radio station.)

posted by Fido the Yak at 12:17 PM. 0 comments

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Orange was the Color of her Dress, then Blue Silk

It dawned on me that Charles Mingus' "Orange was the Color of her Dress, then Blue Silk," rather than being merely another example of Mingus' penchant for surreal titles is actually a fine gem of celestial poetry, and that this poetic metaphor is a key to the tune. It's surreal too, because depending on the shade of blue, it could describe sunrise or sunset. In my own playing I like to have a time and setting in mind--like I actually like to play "Round Mindight" round midnight and "April in Paris" between March and May. And I like tunes like "Orange" that can be interpreted in different moods and still remain distinctive.

As I lay in bed trying to remember how I got to "Then Blue Silk," thinking it couldn't have been just any old Orange was the Color blues--well, it was maddening. I could hear the tune well enough from the B section through to a conclusion, but just couldn't get started. And now, having listened to it a few times (esp. the Paris 1964 concert on Revenge!), and studying the analysis of the tune in Charles Mingus: More than a Fakebook, I can appreciate the amorphousness of the "orange was the color of her dress," but, man, it's hard to wrap the mind around that one. This is music of not a fixed melodic form, but an awakening. Just dive in and when the time comes, Then Blue Silk, the turnaround. And away you go.

I'm a ways from being able to call "Orange"--does anybody call this tune outside of a tight working band? Well, it's keeping me busy.

posted by Fido the Yak at 12:01 AM. 0 comments