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Saturday, January 07, 2017

No Flippies in church

From MennoKnight:

 "No flippies.  Scripture interprets Scripture, sure, but the main focus of the way I study the Bible is to draw meaning from the text at hand.  That means no flipping to other chapters, unless you’re told otherwise.  Most Christians love to toss out the “Scripture interprets Scripture” line, but in practice it becomes an excuse for what I call “concordance exegesis”: using a concordance to interpret the text rather than the nouns and verbs in their various ascending circles of context (sentence, paragraph, pericope, logical argument, book, testament, theology, history, geography).  One should never use one verse to “interpret” another just because they share a common term in an English translation.  Dragging the meaning of terms from one passage, in an entirely different context, into another, is a guaranteed way to misunderstand whatever text is  currently in front of your eyes.  It’s a horrible interpretive habit that has become sanctified simply because it’s common."
link  1 Corinthians 11:2-16 – An interactive Bible Study

PS.speaking of flippies:

pastor plants a church by flipping a double bird (at Jesus' leading)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Zappa and Xenochrony: Stangetime synchronizations-- ξένοχρόνi

From Wikipedia:

Xenochrony is a studio-based musical technique developed at an unknown date, but possibly as early as the early 1960s, by Frank Zappa, who used it on several albums. Xenochrony is executed by extracting a guitar solo or other musical part from its original context and placing it into a completely different song, in order to create an unexpected but pleasing effect. He said that this was the only way to achieve some rhythms.

..The word derives from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), strange or alien, and χρόνος (chronos), time.

 Temporality, Intentionality, and Authenticity in Frank Zappa’s Xenochronous Works
by Andre Mount;

To the uninformed listener, there is no strong evidence to suggest that Zappa’s “Friendly Little Finger,” from the 1976 album Zoot Allures,[4] is anything other than a recorded document of an ensemble performance.

The piece begins with a brief introduction featuring a repeated riff performed on guitar, marimba, and synthesizer. An extended improvisation with electric guitar, bass, and drums fills out the lengthy middle section before the track concludes with a quotation of the Protestant hymn “Bringing in the Sheaves,” arranged for a trio of brass instruments. Despite its apparent normalcy, however, “Friendly Little Finger” combines materials from four distinct sources spanning three years of Zappa’s career.
The primary recording—a guitar solo with a droning bass accompaniment—was recorded in the dressing room of the Hofstra University Playhouse as a warm-up before a performance on October 26, 1975. Several months later, Zappa added an unrelated drum track originally intended for use on a different song (“The Ocean is the Ultimate Solution”[5]) and a second bass part recorded at half speed. These three recordings, all appearing in the middle solo section, comprise the xenochronous core of the piece. To this, Zappa superimposed two additional recordings. The introduction comes from the same session as the added bass part, and the coda was recorded several years earlier, during a session for the song “Wonderful Wino.”
As Example 1 makes clear, the result of Zappa’s editing is a moderately dense network of temporally disjunct recordings. How is it that such seemingly disparate recordings happened to come together in this way? What inspired Zappa to take such an approach to manipulating recorded sound? Of course, examples of overdubbing in American popular music can be found at least as far back as the 1940s—recall Sidney Bechet’s One Man Band recordings in which each instrument was performed separately by Bechet himself. But while such tricks had become old hat by the mid 1970s, xenochrony stands out for it also has obvious ties to the twentieth-century art-music avant-garde.
Despite his continuing reputation as a popular musician, Zappa was remarkably well read in the theoretical discourse surrounding avant-garde art music, particularly with regards to musique concrète and tape music. He expressed an ongoing interest in John Cage’s chance operations, for example, trying them out for himself by physically cutting recorded tapes and rearranging the pieces at random for the 1968 album Lumpy Gravy.[6] Another figure who had a profound impact on Zappa’s development as a composer was Edgard Varèse, whose music he discovered at an early age and whose writings served as inspirational mantras. Given this fascination with the avant-garde, xenochrony may be best understood as a conscious attempt by Zappa to model himself on these influential figures. His own approach to music and composition would therefore require an analogous theoretical foundation.
Xenochrony is closely tied to Zappa’s conception of temporality. Zappa often described time as a simultaneity, with all events occurring at once instead of chronologically. Toward the end of his life, in an oft-quoted conversation with cartoonist Matt Groening, Zappa explained that the idea was rooted in physics:
I think of time as a spherical constant, which means that everything is happening all the time. […] They [human beings] take a linear approach to it, slice it in segments, and then hop from segment to segment to segment until they die, and to me that is a pretty inefficient way of preparing a mechanical ground base for physics. That’s one of the reasons why I think physics doesn’t work. When you have contradictory things in physics, one of the reasons they became contradictory is because the formulas are tied to a concept of time that isn’t the proper model.[7]
 continued here

----------------------------------------------- Interview:

Bob Marshall: In your work with "xenochrony", are you satirizing editing, the way you put things together, besides the technical innovation of doing it? 

Frank Zappa: "Xenochrony" means strange synchronizations. Am I satirizing editing? I don't know whether the technical process of editing is enough of a commonly understood phenomenon that you could satirize it. You can't made a joke about something that people don't know exists. So, I would say that's not part of it. 

Bob Marshall: How would you relate "xenochrony" to the time/rate thing we discussed earlier? 

Frank Zappa: Well, a classic "xenochrony" piece would be "Rubber Shirt", which is a song on the SHEIK YERBOUTI album. It takes a drum set part that was added to a song at one tempo. The drummer was instructed to play along with this one particular thing in a certain time signature, eleven-four, and that drum set part was extracted like a little piece of DNA from that master tape and put over here into this little cubicle. And then the bass part, which was designed to play along with another song at another speed, another rate in another time signature, four-four, that was removed from that master tape and put over here, and then the two were sandwiched together. And so the musical result is the result of two musicians, who were never in the same room at the same time, playing at two different rates in two different moods for two different purposes, when blended together, yielding a third result which is musical and synchronizes in a strange way. That's xenochrony. And I've done that on a number of tracks. 

Bob Marshall: What is the idea behind that? Or is it just an interesting sound? 

Frank Zappa: What is the idea behind it? Suppose you were a composer and you had the idea that you wanted to have a drum set playing expressively and intuitively, eleven-four, at a certain tempo while an electric bass player is doing exactly the same thing in another tempo in another time signature, and you want them to do this live on stage and get a good performance. You won't get it. You can't. You can ask for it, but it won't happen. There's only one way to hear that, and that's to do what I did. I put two pieces of tape together. 

Gerald Fialka: Do you realize it by chance though? Or do you say "I'm going to try this"? 

Frank Zappa: That's what I do every day. I'm going to try this, and the stuff that works you keep and the stuff that doesn't you throw it away. I thought that one worked. That's why it's on the record  Link


"The Hell-Raiser":New Yorker Documentary on Rob Bell (13 min)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

kenosis in transitional/liminal space

 Martha Reineke in René Girard and Creative Mimesis:

Winnicott's work proves useful at this juncture.  As his work is interpreted by Ulanov, religion is  an environment "provided by a God who holds us in being."  This environment is healing to humans because each human's infancy and childhood inevitably has included gaps which have led them to falter in their reconnoitering of transitional space.  Ulanov finds Julian of Norwich's words descriptive of God's work: God "knits" humans into divine being, "oneing" them into God's being.  Likened to a mother, God stays with humans through all their ruthless attacks, surviving these attacks
"out of her own resilience" and, remaining empathetic, "mothering us into one whole persons living through her shared experience with us."

..Winicott's vision, Ulanov claims, has profound theological implications. She understands that “good enough parents” can facilitate in humans the development of a capacity for a capacity for symbol-making that supports creative explorations of being within transitional space ...In conversion,
new relationship is forged by a God who "eternally, graciously, enduringly offers relationship."  Ulanov describes in precise ways  how the Christian community of faith supports transitional space.

To meet God within this space, one must undergo kenōsis, emptying oneself in ways that mirror Christ's emptying himself in order to enter into human life. -René Girard and Creative Mimesis
pp. 45-6, link

Thursday, December 22, 2016

update on Sonya...and the "I'm a mess but I'm in love" guy

Those poor doctors and others who predicted Sonya Wainscott
would be dead by now.. Sorry, they don't know my wife the warrior-princess . It looks to be a lot of years until that day .

That doesn't mean it's been easy on me , and she would be the first to tell you that I need prayer and love big time . I'm a mess but I'm in love ! Why do I need prayer? Well, let me answer with one of my favorite The 77s/ Michael Roe lyrics: "I know your strength is in my weakness/But my weakness is gettin' a little strong" (song below).

Thanks to everyone for praying . Here below is a new update on St. Sonya Wainscott and Sonya Wainscott's Healing from Cancer: prayer and fundraiser:

Thursday, December 01, 2016

perichoretic and polycentric church structure

 Ask ten random churchfolk:

 "What are the practical implications of the Trinity for church structure?"

After the first few responders offer blank stares, maybe one will catch something profound (like these folks), and as the Q man (Quentin P. Kinnison) does below in a highly-recommended book.

From a section  headed Trinitarian Implications for Church Structures: 

...From Trinitarian themes, an ecclesiology forms which expresses serious concern regarding the specialization of ministry.  Any specialized ministry in the church occurs within the ministry of all members--the universal priesthood of all believers.

...Viewing the relations of the Trinity as  complementary  perichoretic  subjects, Volf concludes that ecclesial structures must be viewed as complementary and egalitarian. Therefore, he forcefully states:

If one starts from the Trinitarian model  I have suggested, then the structure of ecclesial unity cannot be conceived by way of the one, be it the pope, the patriarch or the bishop. Every ecclesial unity held together by a mon-archy, by a "one-[man!]-rule,  is monistic and thus  also un-trinitarian.
In such a church, the Charismata are recognized as universally distributed and are practiced by all in a "polycentric community" where members are participative, fulfilling their calling to serve God and the community in God's mission.
-Quentin P. Kinnison, Transforming Pastoral Leadership: Reimagaining Congregational Leadership for Changing Contexts, pp. 83-84 

For more on what polycentrism might mean, see pp. 96-99 of the book.
Yes, buy it now!
 I am intrigued by how best to draw/chart out  polycentric.
 Here are some starting points from Google Images.
Or maybe  this could be attempted through set theory. See:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lord's Supper sans supper: a skeleton outside of real life, kissing grandma under a half-built bridge

Charles Kraft:

The Lord's Supper [is] probably the most potentially meaningful of the codes regularly employed within Christianity, at least when it is practiced as a full meal.

When, however, the Lord's Supper is practiced (as in most of Western Christianity) as  a skeleton ritual with precious little resemblance  to a participatory meal  (or to any other part of real life), the communication value is radically altered.  The excessive ritualization of such a code destroys its value by pushing the experience to an extreme diametrically  opposite that of the example above...enacting the drama is such a way that it was [incorrectly] interpreted as real life.

In the case of the excessive ritualization of the Lord's Supper, the communication value is lost (or at least radically changed) when it bears no resemblance to anything else in the participants' experience.  This means that our attempts to interpret the event via analogy with other life experiences are frustrated.  But since we are taught that God commands us to do it, we tend to interpret the strange, unique thing as sacred and magical.  That is, we interpret this meaningless ritual as we interpret any meaningless ritual (e.g. kissing grandma)--as required by the one in charge (in this case God) and entered into to please him rather than as a participatory experience..

...Since eating together already exists as a meaningful code within the society, all that needs to be done is to practice the Lord's Supper as a real meal (as the early church did).  This would allow the sacramental significance of the activity to develop naturally from the associations between it and real life, on the one hand, and between it and the  historical experience of Jesus with the disciples, on the other.

These [dead codes} (like poor Bible translations) are like bridges halfway across a river that require the receptors to build their own half from the opposite bank if they are to be able to make use of the part of the bridge that has been built.
-Charles H. Kraft, Communication Theory for Christian Witness,  pp 115-116