Slave Pianos, SLAVE PIANOS: A diagnosis, 1998–2001, Text
SLAVE PIANOS A Diagnosis, 1998–2001, is an ambitious collection of audio recordings with an accompanying reader.
The impetus to publish these documents in hand arose during a meeting in Los Angeles in February 2000. Pursued for more than a year over three continents, the result is this boxed set edition.
The collection contains an audio triumvirate on vinyl, CD and cassette. This diversity of formats echos the breadth of Slave Pianos concerns. Piano, string quartet and brass band are represented here as three major spheres of activity. They are complimented by recordings of other instrumentations, including jazz ensembles, DJ’s and solo violin. These live and studio recordings represent extracts from most major Slave Pianos presentations current up to a year ago. The recent chamber opera performances will be the subject of a planned second volume to this edition.
The reader provides a specific context for the audio material by introducing the piano as it’s central motif. A trio of writers pay tribute to this most civilizing of instruments with texts that range from the musicological to the fantastical.
Plakarte (English translations)
NOTHING OF GREAT INTEREST HAS BEEN COMPOSED AFTER MONTEVERDI. (George Maciunas)
AMERICANS ARE MOSTLY ANARCHISTS BUT I AM NOT. (George Maciunas)
FLUXUS SHOULD TEND TOWARDS ANTI-EUROPEANISM. (George Maciunas)
PLEASE STOP PERFORMING MY PIECES. (George Maciunas)
I AM NOT AT ALL INTERESTED IN PROMOTING MYSELF. (George Maciunas)
COMMUNISTS MUST GIVE REVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP IN CULTURE. (George Maciunas)
PURGE THE WORLD OF EUROPEANISM. (George Maciunas)
PROMOTE A REVOLUTIONARY FLOOD AND TIDE IN ART. (George Maciunas)
I DON’T BURN YOUR LETTERS, FIRST I MEMORIZE, THEN I BURN. (George Maciunas)
ONE EYE IS GOOD ENOUGH. (George Maciunas)
I ALWAYS CHARGE DOUBLE TO ARTISTS, THAT’S WHAT ARTISTS DESERVE. (George Maciunas)
THAT THIEF! WARHOL ALREADY STOLE EVERY ONE OF MY IDEAS. (George Maciunas)
I’M GOING TO NAIL DOWN THE PIANO KEYS TONIGHT. (George Maciunas)
MAYBE WE WERE MISTAKEN AND WERE JUST CHARLATANS. (George Maciunas)
IT’S NO WORSE THAN BEING BORN. (George Maciunas)
THE PAIN KILLS THE PAIN. (George Maciunas)
GEORGE HAS NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE. (Henrikas Sablevicius)
LITHUANIA IS WATCHING THE STRANGENESS OF THE WORLD AND ATTEMPTING NOT TO ADD TO IT. (Vytautas Landsbergis)
TODAY YOU PLAY JAZZ, TOMORROW YOU WILL BETRAY YOUR COUNTRY
FLUXUS WAS…A KGB TRICK (Almus Salcius)
GEORGE WILL HAVE THE PROGRAM ALL MAPPED FOR US (Emmett Williams)
LETS TELL THE PRESS WE DID EVERYTHING (Ben Vautier)
LETS TELL THE PRESS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM (Ben Vautier)
I THINK THAT WHAT GEORGE MACIUNAS WAS DOING WAS CLEARLY ART (John Cage)
EVEN MUSIC COULDN’T REACH HIM (Billie Hutching Maciunas)
MY SON DESTROYED A PIANO WITH A HAMMER AND AXES (Leokadija Maciunas)
AT THAT TIME HE SEEMED POSSESSED BY A DARK POWER (Leokadija Maciunas)
AND SUDDENLY IT WAS AS IF HE WEREN’T HIMSELF (Leokadija Maciunas)
EVEN IN THE ELEVENTH HOUR GEORGE LET HIS PLANS EXCEED THE POSSIBILITIES (Leokadija Maciunas)
SO MANY FAILURES, SO MUCH SUFFERING (Leokadija Maciunas)
FORGIVE ME MY MISTAKES IN THE LITHUANIAN LANGUAGE (George Maciunas)
SPATIAL POEM # 5. (Vytautas Landsbergis)
IN MEMORIAM ADREANO OLIVETTI (George Maciunas)
I NEVER USE DIACRITICS (George Maciunas)
I HAVE NO CONTACT WITH LITHUANIAN IMMIGRANTS (George Maciunas)
FOR DODECAPHONY IS DECADENT AND PAST ITS TIME (George Maciunas)
IT WOULD BE BEST TO GO TO THE SOVIET UNION VIA SIBERIA (George Maciunas)
I’M GOING TO DIE (George Maciunas)
The Lepidopters: Mandible One: Mind of the Moths
FIRST MANDIBLE: “MIND OF THE MOTHS”
Image shows Indonesian island and weird hive like cloud formations arranged regularly in the skies around.
Page is divided with top two thirds showing:
MANDIBLE 1: “THE TEMPLE”
A military/science ship is anchored far ashore near sunset. It’s American, called Jack B. Quick, but it’s a stealth ship. Two men stand on the boat gunwale, looking out over a weird scene. One is a military officer, the other a strong-bodied civilian. There’s a full duffel bag beside him on the deck.
Over the choppy seas enormous hive-shaped (cone shapes) occupy great swaths of sky. Are they clouds? There is something oddly regular and peculiar about them.
Text says: INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO, DECEMBER 2013, ONE YEAR AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD.
Bottom third has two panels.
Left: The Officer, close up, looking out over the sea, is saying: THEY HAVEN’T BUDGED FOR THREE DAYS.
Right: The Civilian (Michael Moran) is saying: ARE YOU TELLING ME PEOPLE STILL THINK IT’S REALLY A CLOUD FORMATION?
This page is divided into two parts. The top part has one row of three panels.
Top left: Officer saying: THEY’LL THINK WHAT WE WANT THEM TO THINK, MR. MORAN.
Top center: Moran: ALL OF THEM?
Top right: Officer: THE GOVERNMENT’S CLAMPED DOWN. TOTAL SILENCE HAS BEEN MAINTAINED WITH REGARD TO THE PHENOMENON. THE POPULATION IS BUSY WITH PROBLEMS OF ITS OWN.
Second part of page is two larger pictures.
Left: Djakarta newspaper shows front page article. ROCK IS DEAD. PUNKZILLA TO PLAY OUTDOOR FEST. Picture shows Guerilla style punk band holding guns not instruments. Side column left states: CURFEW RE-INSTALLED COASTAL ACCESS LIMITED. Text begins: DUE TO UNUSUAL TYPHOON WARNINGS, CURFEW …. Other headline: AIRPORTS CLOSED INDEFINITELY.
Right: A TV set shows a newsman with the image of a Moth behind him. The text on the screen says: RETURN OF THE MOTHS?
The page is divided into 3 rows of two panels each.
The conversation continues in speech-bubbles left and right, as we see.
Top left: Moran climbing down a rope ladder into a black launch. The sun has set and the sky is deep red, the “clouds” lit peculiarly.
Moran: AND WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Officer: EVERY DRONE WE’VE SENT HAS FAILED. ALL COMPUTER EQUIPMENT THAT COMES NEAR IT REPORTS IT AS IF IT ISN’T THERE. NO INFORMATION PENETRATES IT. ONLY RADIO GETS THROUGH.
Top right: Moran and officer on the deck of a launch as it heads away from the Jack B. Quick.
Officer: YOU’RE GOING TO DEPLOY THE ORDNANCE . WASHINGTON WON’T RISK A PLANE. THERE’S A FLEET ON THE WAY, BUT THEY’RE HELD UP BY THE TYPHOON.
Moran: WHERE DO YOU WANT IT?
Center Left. Moran being rowed ashore by a black-clad sailor. It’s now basically night. The night is starry, and the foliage of the coast dark and forbidding. A dock is in the distance.
Officer: AS I’VE SAID WE KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EXCEPT THEY CAN BE SEEN. THAT’S NOT QUITE TRUE. THE FACT IS THEY ARE ALIGNED OVER THE SURFACE IN SOME SORT OF PATTERN.
Moran: WHAT PATTERN?
Center right. Moran met at the docks by Indonesian soldier.
Bottom left. Moran walking up a sandy, if dingy local lane behind the officer, coming over a rise. He’s a black silhouette with his duffel bag.
Officer: YOU CAN’T SEE IT WITH THE ORDINARY EYE.
Bottom right: Moran has stopped to take in the view (we can’t see it).
Officer: BUT ACCORDING TO THE COMPUTER …
Officer: IT’S ARRANGED AROUND A VERY PARTICULAR CENTER …
Full-page image showing a dingy two-story degraded modernist motel with one or two lights on, in a post-capitalist wasteland sort of area however with nice seaside view.
From Moran’s perspective, the cloud formations appear now surrounding the place. Insects are everywhere among the rich foliage. Moths in particular flying by. Musical notes tinkle out the window. Sign says UNIK MOTEL. Two rental cars and a motorcycle in the driveway. Chainlink fence is visible.
Super-imposed on this is a map of the region showing circles ringing around the island in such a way that a weird complicated spiral is originating from out of the Unik motel.
Officer speech bubble: THE UNIK MOTEL. ROOM 11A.
This page is divided in half. Top contains two large panels.
Top left: A pretty young Indonesian girl in a short plain dress, bare legs and sneakers walks along a road out of a city. It’s dusk and curfew is coming so vagrants, cops, citizens, and local types and punks are heading indoors. We see an old bookshop. Posters on the wall announce punk shows and protest. Odd insects are visible.
Top right: She’s a bit outside the city now; the road is going to nature. Night has fallen. There are stars in the sky, large black cone shapes are visible in the darkness. She is holding a smart phone gleaming before her.
Computer chat text at bottom of the frame: MISTRX: ARE YOU TELLING ME NOTHING HAS CHANGED?
The bottom half of the page is divided into two rows of three smaller panels.
Row 1 Left: We see her from the side from the distance in silhouette. A large moth is right up near us, as if we’re seeing what it sees. She’s walking all alone and the road is now full-on country. She’s typing on the illuminated smart phone.
Center: Close-up on her face. She’s the perfection of worried innocence.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: NOTHING’S CHANGED. IM ON THE BUS. :)
Right: She comes over the rise in the road and we see there are road blocks set up with signs saying: NO COASTAL ACCESS. STAY INLAND. COASTAL ACCESS PROHIBITED. OBEY CURFEW. A bored cop leers at her.
Chat text: MISTRX: WHERE ARE YOU GOING TONIGHT?
Row 2 Left: In the darkness beneath some palm trees, by the guard’s car, we see her kneeling and apparently fellating him from the distance.
Chat text: MISTRX: YOU THERE, LITTLE ONE?
Center: She sneaks over a fence and goes down a road. Sign says: MOTEL — OCEAN VIEWS. We see the stars again, and the gaps in them.
Right: She comes to the last rise. We see her back silhouetted before the stars and sea. In the distance the lights of distant ships. A few helicopters.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: :) YEAH. I’M THERE.
Full page image of the motel below Cheryl. Over a bluff looking at the sea, the opposite direction from Moran’s approach. The cones in the sky seem to have gathered around. Musical notes emit from the door. There are thousands of odd insect species in Indonesia. It seems a good selection of them has swarmed also encircling the motel, leaving clear space around it. Moths are prevalent.
Chat text: (perhaps we see the phone itself in foreground and her finger) CHRYLSWEET: TEMPLE. :)
The top section of this page has two large panels.
Left: Inside the motel. Not so dingy at all inside. It looks almost temple-like, in a pagan tropical sort of way. Moran, duffle bag on his shoulder takes key from the young pimply man behind the desk. A TV is on behind him showing the musical show by the water. It seems like mayhem.
Youth says: IT’S ON THE BOTTOM. CORNER ROOM.But Moran’s looking to his left.
Right: Moran looks and sees a young, not so pretty, obvious prostitute, sitting sassily, leg crossed by another TV.
She says: ANYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TONIGHT MISTER?
Bottom section of page has three panels.
Left: Moran entering room 11A in darkness. Only insect visible is one very odd looking moth on the door.
Center: Moran inside. One big double bed in standard looking motel room. The bathroom is a large room. The windows by the door are curtained. The duffle bag is open. There’s a walkie-talkie in his hand, saying:
OPERATION IS A GO. I REPEAT A GO. STAY TILL MIDNIGHT. IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD FROM US BY THEN. GET OUT. MOVE FAST. WE’RE LIFTING ANCHOR AT 01:00.
Right: Moran has unpacked ordnance and set it up in the closet. We see an atomic symbol. And a timer set for 03:59:59
Moran is holding walkie-talkie. Saying. ALL SYSTEMS GO. MORAN OUT.
Top half of page is one large frame.
Cheryl is entering the Unik Motel. The doorway’s open. The insects have left the area surrounding the place free of interference. But they are everywhere around
Chat text: MISTRX: AND DID YOU VISIT YOUR GODS TODAY, LITTLE ONE?
Second half of page is two rows of two panels.
Row 1: Left: Cheryl walks by desk, looking at phone. Kid says: SHIT. I KNEW YOU’D COME.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: YEAH.
Right: Cheryl walks by a piano we haven’t seen which is playing on remote, apparently, from where the notes are coming. Kid says from behind: NO ONE TOLD YOU ABOUT THE CURFEW?
Chat text: MISTRX: WHAT DID THE GODS SAY, LITTLE ONE?
Row 2: Left: Cheryl smiles wide, looking up from phone, seeing someone.
Right: She and the prostitute hug, prostitute whispering in her ear: HOT GUY IN 11A TONIGHT. AMERICAN. YOUR TYPE.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: THE GODS WERE DIFFERENT. THEY WERE ANGRY. :( THEY SAID I HAVEN’T GONE ENOUGH TO TEMPLE.
Full spread showing one large image of Cheryl on her knees, in dress with flowers in her hair before an altar in her parent’s house, with three strange statues of almost Lovecraftian nature, apparently insect gods of some sort. There is incense burning and candles, and religious paraphernalia in a bamboo lined tropical sort of home.
Over this image are scattered snap-shot images from Cheryl’s life. Some show her with two older remote parents. She seems the innocent perfect beauty. One with some sort of graduation hat. Others show her serving strangers sexually in motel rooms. Group sex. Old single married men. Also nice pictures of her and johns being together lovingly. Military and strangers. In one or two others the prostitute from the Unik Motel is visible. The gods’ eyes look angry.
This page has three rows of three panels.
Top left: Cheryl goes outside, walking along the lower level of the motel, past rooms 2 and 3. The moths and insects watch from beyond their radius, thick into the night sky. She’s looking at her phone, typing. A speech bubble comes from behind: HEY. YOU’RE ONLINE? THERE’S SUPPOSED TO BE NO SERVICE.
Top center: Cheryl stops, looking back.
Chat text: CHERYLSWEET: THEY’RE ASKING HOW COME I’M ONLINE.
Top right: A peculiar large Moth (only insect inside the radius of hotel) is up front of the frame. We see from its point of view as she looks back to the open motel reception door, with Prostitute leaning out.
Chat text: MISTRX: :)
Center left: Same image. Cheryl saying: MY FRIEND’S A HACKER.
Center center: Prostitute looking out, says: WHAT’S WITH ALL THE BUGS TONIGHT?
Center right: Weird close-up of Cheryl. She smiles. THEY’RE JUST WATCHING I GUESS.
Bottom left: Moran’s POV. He’s sitting on the bed. Walkie-talkie in hand. Looking at television. Television is showing riotous Punkzilla concert. Banner words say: CURFEW IGNORED BY CONCERT-GOERS.
Chat text continues: MISTRX: I’M EXCITED. A SPECIAL DAY. WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Bottom center: Moran’s face, grim, lost in thought. A thought bubble is saying. I’M AFRAID YOU CAN’T LIVE WITH US ANY MORE MIKE …
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: ONE GUY. AMERICAN. :)
MISTRX: LET ME GUESS. 11A.
Bottom right: Moran’s flashback. A boy is at a payphone on a dirty American corner. The phone is saying: BUT YOUR UNCLE GOT YOU INTO THAT HOME FOR TROUBLED BOYS.
A sound emits over the image. RRRRIIINNNG
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: YEAH.
Top half of page is two rectangular panels.
Top left: Moran rising from bed, cocking his pistol, looking at the door.
Top right: Moran up against the door, peering through peephole of door.
Bottom half of page is a round view of Cheryl through the peephole but there’s a weird moth between them and in the perspective it seems like she has the head of a Moth.
Top half of page is three long thin panels.
Left: A sweating freaked-out Moran, back against the door, gun out.
Center: Close-up of his hand on his gun.
Right: Close-up of Cheryl’s hand on the door-bell.
Second half of page is also three long thin panels.
Left: Moran close-up, sweat-drops on face.
Middle: Flashback. A 21 yr old Moran is getting hauled away by cops. One’s saying: SORRY PRIVATE MORAN, IT’S A RESTRAINING ORDER.
A moth-headed woman is screaming: I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE!
Right: Closer up on Moran’s face of raw fear.
The top half of page round peephole view, as before, but now showing moth moved away, large in the foreground. It has eye-like rings on its wings. Cheryl glows in the center in her most radiant innocent beauty. She smiles, waves a little, phone behind her back.
The bottom half of the page has three panels.
Left: Moran’s hand on door knob, gun stuck in the back of his trousers.
Center: Door open, his silhouette before it.
Right: Eye-Moth flies in over his shoulder.
Top third of page has three square panels.
Top left: TV showing riots at the Concert. Band is wearing gasmasks and looks moth-like. Scrolling text reads: ROCK N ROLL BAND FIRES ON POLICE …
Chat text: MISTRX: YOU’RE INSIDE … :)
Top center: TV showing picture of satellite in space. Scrolling text on TV says: SPACE JUNK OR SABOTAGE?…
Chat text below: MISTRX: ARE YOU THERE, LITTLE ONE?
Top right: TV shows huge numbers of insects on island streets.
Scrolling text says: THE SUPER-MOTH?
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: I’M IN THE BATHROOM. HE TOLD ME TO CLEAN MYSELF FIRST. :)
Bottom two thirds of page is taken up by two rows of two panels.
Top left: Close-up of Cheryl’s face before the oval bathroom mirror.
She’s applying lipstick. A moth face looks back but she doesn’t seem to notice.
Chat text: MISTRX: YOU EXCITED?
Top right: Moran with curtains open, looks out. Walkie-talkie in hand.
Chat text: MISTRX: GO TO HIM NOW, MY OWN ONE.
Bottom left: Moran’s face reflected against the moth-thick window. He can’t see past all the bugs.
Bottom left: We see Cheryl walking into the main room from behind. She’s naked, but still texting. The Eye Moth also flies behind her.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: OK.
Bottom right. Cheryl’s POV. Moran sitting on the edge of the bed, waiting. Walkie-talkie is laying beside him. Moran is suspicious, saying: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?
Two rows of two panels take up top half.
Top left: Moran’s POV. Cheryl naked, phone down. She says: CHATTING WITH A FRIEND.
Top right: Moran stands up, reaching out. Moran says: GIVE ME THAT!
Bottom left: Moran has the phone, looks at it. Behind him the Moth is visible landing on the walkie-talkie.
Two rows of two panels take up bottom half of page also.
Top left: Close-up of Cheryl’s phone, showing chat software.
Screen says. MISTRX: GREETINGS MICHAEL MORAN.
Top right: Moran sitting on the bed, sweating, eyes wide looking at phone.
Bottom left: A moth-headed Cheryl kneels before Moran.
Chat text: MISTRX: WE ARE THE LEPIDOPTERS.
Bottom right: Close-up of a transfixed Moran.
Chat text: MISTRX: WE HAVE RETURNED.
Top Half has two square panels.
Top left: Deep night. From the Bridge of the Jack B. Quick the Officer looks through Binoculars. A radio is saying: DOWNTOWN YOGYAKARTA IS IN THE HANDS OF PROTESTORS …
Top right: On the bow a sailor pulls up anchor. In the sky the cloud formations seem to glimmer with the stars. Officer is saying: MORAN. IT’S ON. GET OUT OF THERE …
Bottom half one large picture
The Jack B. Quick**peels out a wake as it leaves the area. In the high night sky the huge hive-like cloud formations twinkle in the sky.
Officer’s words continue: WE’LL WAIT AN HOUR. THEN WE’LL HAVE TO LEAVE.
Top third as two panels.
Top Left: Panel showing the exquisite sexual life of the Male Moth.
Chat text: MISTRX: RELAX, MICHAEL MORAN. ENJOY THE MIND OF THE MOTHS.
Top Right: The TV shows an entomology professor among a New Guinea Tribe. Scrolling text saying: THEIR PUPAE HAVE YET TO BE DISCOVERED …
Bottom two-thirds shows the entire Unik Motel from outside. Insects have thickened all around it so it looks like an ancient moth-made temple. Moths have gathered all around. Its lights are all gleaming. Music tinkles out the door. Room 11A is brightly illuminated.
Chat text unwinds: WITH YOU WE SHALL SOW OUR QUEEN!
NEXT UP: MANDIBLE 2!
“LARVAE OF THE ATOM BOMB!”