ducktape Vol 3

Here we go. Volume 3 where we enthuse about the goose, anser, together with WH Auden, Selma Lagerloef, Richard Wagner, Tenor Saw and many others and other others. Profuse thanks to Bernd Boesel, Anna-Klara Soucek and Sophie Macpherson.

Audio MP3

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Total running time: 52:45 min

Wodka am AmmerseeThe Duke of Earl

00:09 Ogden Nash, The Fanciful World Of, Music by Glenn Osser (Capitol Records, 1961)

00:30 Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, “Oh Happy Gabe”, in In the Jungle, Babe (Warner Bros. Records, 1969)

03:39 Greylag geese, flight calls, recorded by Dieter Wallschlaeger, Tierstimmenarchiv Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Bernd Boesel, Philosophie und Enthusiasmus: Studien zu einem umstrittenen Verhaeltnis (Passagen Verlag, 2008)

Nils Holgerson and the Wild Geese 04:59 Greylag geese, departing, recorded by Karl-Heinz Frommolt, Tierstimmenarchiv Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

5:39 Gene Chandler, “Rainbow ’65′”, in Live at the Regal (Charly Records, 1986)

Nils Holgerson and the Wild Geese

11:54 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Placido E Il Mar”, in Idomeneo, K 366 (1781), performed by The Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists directed by John Eliot Gardiner (Deutsche Grammophon, 1991)

13:39 Chinese geese, recorded by Günter Tembrock, Tierstimmenarchiv Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Nils Holgerson and the Wild Geese

13:55 Richard Wagner, “Hoechsten Heiles Wunder”, in Parsifal, WWV 111 (1882), performed by the Leipzig Radio Choir, Berlin Radio Choir and the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra directed by Herbert Kegel (Berlin Classics, 1975)

Tractored, sugar-beet country

19:09 Bar-headed geese, recorded in Assam by Hans Lütgens, Tierstimmenarchiv Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

19:59 “Nils no fushigi na tabi” by Katsumi Kahashi, Opening theme to The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Anime (Studio Pierrot, 1980)

Audenstrasse, Kirchstetten

21:40 Greylag goose, departing, recorded near Malmoe by Louis A. Hansen

21:55 Judy Henske, “High Flying Bird”, in High Flying Bird (Elektra, 1963)

25:25 Odetta, “The Fox”, in At the Gate of Horn (Tradition Records, 1957)

WH Auden's house, Auden museum29:10 Tenor Saw, “Ring The Alarm” (Techniques Records, 1985)

32:25 Pink-footed goose, recorded by Günter Tembrock, Tierstimmenarchiv, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
In the Auden Museum
33:10 Recordings in the WH Auden Museum, Kirchstetten, Lower Austria by Anna-Klara Soucek

35:25 WH Auden reads The More Loving One (1957)

36:43 Recordings in the WH Auden Museum, Kirchstetten, Lower Austria by Anna-Klara Soucek

39:24 Charles Mingus, “Ecclusiastics”, in Oh Yeah (Atlantic Records, 1962)

47:40 Taiga Bean Goose, recorded in Austria by Hans Luetgens, Tierstimmenarchiv, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Elizabeth Grosz, Space, Time and Perversion: Essays on the Politics of Bodies (1995, Routledge)

48:10 Mary Oliver reads “Wild Geese” (1986, in Dream Work) in 2001 at Lannan Foundation

50:15 Ann Peebles, “Fill this World with Love” (Hi, 1976)



ducktape Vol 2

The second ducktape drops just in time to make it monthly. This time you can listen to finny contemporaries and mistaking. Aside from a lot of fish, it features among others Henry David Thoreau, Isabel Waidner, Dr Mary Poland Fish, Don Giovanni, Bette Midler, Erving Goffman and The Beach Boys. Also, I have my voice back.


Audio MP3

To download click here.

Total running time: 53:57

00:00 Ogden Nash, The Fanciful World Of, Music by Glenn Osser (Capitol Records, 1961)

00:21 Drumbago All Stars, “Duck Soup”, in Jazz in Jamaica (Treasure Isle, 1960/1967), 2:34 min

03:41 Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861 (New York Review Books, 2009) with lake sounds by R. Humphries, 1:13 min

05:22 Franz Schubert, “Liebhaber in allen Gestalten”, D558 (1817), performed by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) and Gerald Moore (piano) in Schubert 24 Lieder (EMI, 2004), 1:08 min

07:15 Isabel Waidner, Frantisek Flounders (8fold, 2010), read by Sophie Macpherson, 0:42 min

07:57 Jacques Cousteau, “The Night Of The Squid”, in The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau (History Channel, 2011), 0:31 min

08:48 Finny contemporaries: common jack, barred grunter, mongolar drummer, weakfish, rock hind, squirrelfish, cowfish, 1:53 min

12:20 Lincoln Chase, “Fish species”, in Lincoln Chase ‘n You (Paramount Records, 1973), 8:04 min

21:03 and 21:44 Isabel Waidner, Frantisek Flounders (8fold, 2010), read by Sophie Macpherson, 0:15 min

23:56 Vinicius de Moraes, Maria Creuza and Toquinho, “Canto de Ossanha”, in Cores do Brasil: Bossa Nova (MCI, 2006), 2:56 min

28:11 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Deh! Vieni Alla Finestra”, performed by Ingvar Wixell, in Don Giovanni [1787] , cond. Sir Colin Davis, Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra (Philips, 1992) 1:53 min

32:54 Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin in Big Business, dir. Jim Abrahams (Touchstone Pictures, 1988) 1:20 min

35:42 Isabel Waidner, Frantisek Flounders (8fold, 2010), read by Sophie Macpherson, 0:44 min

37:22 Sergei Prokofiev, Toccata in D minor [1912], in Grand Piano: The Composer Plays (Nimbus, 1997) 4:16 min

43:01 Gustav Mahler, “St Anthony of Padua’s sermon to the fish”, performed by Thomas Quasthoff, in Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn [1892-98], cond. Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon, 1999), 4:02 min

47:27 Isabel Waidner, Frantisek Flounders (8fold, 2010), read by Sophie Macpherson, 0:33 min

49:13 Jacques Cousteau, “The Tragedy Of The Red Salmon”, in The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau (History Channel, 2011), 0:38 min

50:27 The Beach Boys, “Sail On”, in Holland (Reprise, 1973) 3:14 min

There are ants in my reading group

I co-organise (with Joe Deville) the CSISP reading group, the CSISP Salon as we call it. We don’t recline on chaise longues but we do try to be nonchalant about it and offer, aside from the conventional academic texts, other kinds of “objects” like films or exhibitions. This year, we’re exploring troubles with and of scale. In July 2009, the Said Business School ran a workshop on scaleography so we decided to read our way through some of the texts produced for this. For the first salon, we chose the collective summary manifesto “Provocations on scale” (Woolgar et al 2009) which rehearses some of the key issues while throwing out a number of pertinent pointers to attach discussions to. The “other” object was an excerpt (the first 3 chapters) of Jean Ricardou’s 1968 novel Place Names. I came across this book when paying a timely visit or perhaps conducting a virtual pilgrimage to the Dalkey Archive Press website. It was Flann O’Brien’s 100th birthday on 5 October and that called for some sort of homage so I decided to get a new shiny edition of At Swim-Two-Birds, possibly the greatest book ever written. (The Dalkey Archive Press is named after a book by O’Brien and has republished his entire works.) Somehow I clicked my way to Place Names and lingered because the cover of the book featured ants. Lots of them. They appear inside the book too, in various forms and with varying degrees of agency. So naturally they were invited to come to the Salon. You can read my introduction below. For a more comprehensive take, visit the CSISP blog.

Provocations on ants and scale
In their conclusion Woolgar and others suggest to look at the “natural sciences” to escape the conventions of scale and learn about how to do scale somewhat differently. In this Salon, literature, or more specifically, Jean Ricardou’s Place Names (1968[2007]), shows us some interesting even inventive but certainly different routes into the lands of scale.

Jean Ricardou, born 1932, is an author of both fiction and theory. He is one of the key figures in the nouveau roman, a literary genre or rather movement that emerged in the

Place Names

This is what happens to my objects when I get excited about someone and forget to fasten the flask 2011, Book, wooden cloth pegs, coat hanger, window, night.

1950s in France. The new novel rejects – in some cases spectacularly ejects – such things as linear chronology, discernible plot and coherent characters. Readers learn very little about inner motives or the psychology of protagonists and so the nouveau roman collapses the panorama of the novel. There is no evident order, no rational space-time context or other intelligible frame of relations. It is thoroughly disorienting, for readers and characters alike, hence it is particularly apt that this book should offer itself as a guide book.

A guide book is of course a scalar device that allows acting at a distance and makes problems doable: a vast region, too big to take in, becomes neatly ordered for us to peruse. In our case however perusal quickly turns into fluster as this guide book offers little if anything in matters of direction and location. And the meagre bones it does throw quickly disintegrate without leaving even a spot of dust for triangulation. Rather than mapping a region and its sites and sights, Place Names unfolds strange worlds – in pictures, recollections, parks and antique shops – which it is only too happy to collapse at a moments’ notice. The valley’s chequerboard landscape introduced in the beginning pages, is reminiscent of another equally confounding chequerboard – the one encountered by Lewis Carroll’s Alice. Like her, we oftentimes feel as if we’re peering through a looking-glass, we’re not really granted the proper, proportional, proportioned vista. This is not necessarily detrimental to our travels: discrete things such as ants, white flags, mirrors, the crusades, red cars and slightly crazy park wardens enter into fanciful associations and demand of the reader too to entertain curious entanglements.

By denying us a congruous panorama, Place Names and the nouveau roman in general, constitute a provocation. So here we arrive at one possible intersection for Ricardou, Woolgar and others: They can all be considered as provocations. They provoke by confounding our expectation and experiences of scale. Scale requires a vantage point from where to put things in perspective and establish an order, a vantage point that Place Names denies us. Similarly, Woolgar and others provoke on multiple fronts, demanding, among other things, an end to imprudent use of adjectives of scale and an investigation, preferable ethnographic, of scale as an effect of scalar practices. Also, their provocation piece is written, as so many provocations (from Luther to Wittgenstein) were, as a number of theses. Scale is often associated with comfort: objects, relations and ratios of relations are scaled in such a way as to fit our bodies, please our senses and spare our minds. In both texts, scaling or the practices of doing scale perturb some convenient positions.

The second junction I’d like to suggest for the texts relates to their respective or mutual topography: The novel precipitates between two seemingly opposite poles, projecting a “garden of opposition”: On one hand, the belief that things emerge from words, that discourse is generative of reality, that the name precedes the object. On the other hand, the contrary: It is words that name things, and language is but a translation of a prior real reality. Ricardou’s book itself is a product of this very struggle, continuously changing from guide book to novel and back. Woolgar and others too begin by presenting an opposition. Here, this “fundamental split” is between those social scientists that study the macro and those who observe the micro. More fundamentally, this is perhaps the tragedy of scale, locked into a matrix that by default distributes value, worth and relevance unevenly.

Between the two camps, there is not much common ground but there are ants. Lots of them. We encounter them throughout the book. They’re usually in peril: encircled by raging, furious waters, encased in cellophane glued to a plane tree, or subjected to microscopic flamethrowers, they struggle and they perish. Yet they steadily re-appear, sometimes as non-ants as in the figure of the woman in the red car named Atta, a name which also describes leaf-cutter ants. Or the protagonist Olivier Lasius, Lasius referring to a

Ants on the 1972 documenta 5 catalogue

genus of boreal formicine ants. The ants then represent not so much an intractable opposition of scales but point to the fictitious nature of the split between micro and macro. This is not to say that this split has no material consequence. But it suggests some relevant questions, not least of which concern the possibility of ethical practice in incommensurable and incongruous entanglements with words, ants, wars and reading groups.

Same ducktape, different audio player

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Ducktapes Vol 1

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Also for the restless ones, you can download it.

ducktapes debut

The debut tape explores “entranced waiting” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) in song, film and story. You can hear, among other things, a lament by Ulysses’ Penelope, some shady figures lurking at a train station, street life in Lagos, Nigeria and a very hoarse me.

Audio MP3


To listen or download click here.

Total running time 53:24



00.00 Ogden Nash, The Fanciful World Of, Music by Glenn Osser (Capitol Records, 1961)

00:21 Gene Harris and The Three Sounds, “Sittin Duck”, in Live at the IT Club (Blue Note, 1970) 7:34 min

12:34 Claudio Monteverdi, “Lamento di Penelope” performed by Gloria Banditelli, in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria [1639/40], cond. Alan Curtis, Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca (Nuovo Era, 1995) 10:50 min

25:53 Eddie Hinton, “Every Natural Thing”, in Dear Y’all: The Songwriting Sessions (Zane, 1976), 2:12 min

29:23 Opening sequence from Once Upon A Time in the West, dir. Sergio Leone (Rafran-San Marco, 1968)

33:11 Sonny Boy Williamson II, “A Mighty Long Time”, in King Biscuit Time (Arhoolie, 1993) 2:54 min

36:47 Bregtje van der Haak, Lagos Wide & Close: An interactive journey into an exploding city, (Submarine Media, 2002)

36:47 Jane Guyer, Marginal gains: Monetary transactions in Atlantic Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2004)

41:00 Esther Phillips, “Til my back ain’t got no bone”, in From a whisper to a scream (Kudu/CTI, 1972) 6:13

49:18 Bill Withers, “Kissing My Love”, in Still Bill (Sussex Records, 1972) 3:50 min