I am eternally grateful to Pauline Oliveros. I’ll never forget the Deep Listening workshop we did with her in 2005. I’ve turned to those techniques from the workshop and her book many times since as a player and listener. One of the exercises involved the group singing in a circle with our right hands on our hearts and our left on the next person’s back directly behind their heart. Eventually I found myself standing beside Pauline and I’ve never felt anything like the literal, physical warmth glowing from her heart into my hand.
I just sent this to firstname.lastname@example.org:
I am writing to object in the strongest possible terms to Katie Hopkins’ upcoming appearance on the Late Late Show. RTÉ extracts a licence fee which provides both a financial buffer against having to race to the bottom and a civic obligation not to do so.
Hopkins incites hatred, against some of the most vulnerable people in society and those whose societies have been torn apart. I do not need to enumerate her many disgusting statements (referring to refugees as “cockroaches” etc.) because they are the very reason she has come to the attention of RTÉ and the Late Late Show researchers. Having Hopkins as a guest is utterly cynical. Everyone involved knows that she will provide no insight on any important issue. If I am wrong in my assertion please explain and I will publish the response on my blog.
I object, not because I am personally offended, but because she is not a serious journalist. She is paid to express offensive opinions and therefore has no incentive to even believe what she writes. As an opinion columnist she doesn’t seem to be obliged to do research to back up her statements. She stirs the basest of emotions: fear, anger and resentment and we are currently seeing where this leads in the USA.
The only thing setting her apart from faceless Twitter trolls is her platform on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The Sun incited hatred against Irish people when we were the terrorists du jour so I hope RTÉ can find other justifications for her inclusion.
I challenge Late Late producers and researchers to show the Irish people evidence of research or journalistic diligence in any of her writing. I am not seeking to hamper free speech but ask that the she be held to the same standards as other public figures discussing some of the most serious issues of our time. Her claims that refugees are ‘cockroaches’ and that “Gypsies are ferrel humans” are, by their nature, unprovable and therefore outside the realm of constructive discussion in the realm of hate speech.
There has been much talk of ‘balance’ on RTÉ in recent years. Please tell us the name of the guest who will be providing balance to Ms Hopkins tomorrow night. I could suggest an ISIS supporter who thinks all non-Muslims to be vermin – this opinion is just as valid as Hopkins’ appraisal of those fleeing ISIS. RTÉ could invite someone who has done research into the complex topic of the refugee crisis (an Amnesty International member perhaps) but your colleagues may not wish to bore their audience.
I think your audience deserve better. RTÉ owe the public an explanation and illumination as to what this guest can contribute. What merit in her writing did Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (UN high commissioner for human rights) miss when condemning her denigration of refugees?
The people of Ireland are also entitled to know how much Hopkins is being paid for her appearance.
Much of the source material for this album began last year with a trawl through folders of unreleased music much of which ended up on Soundcloud. Of course most of the tracks were not deemed worthy of release. However I read long ago that world’s best brandies are made from undrinkable wines so I started putting tracks through the wonderful, free Paul Stretch software which, having come late to, was obsessed with for a while. So it seemed fitting to dig into my vault of previously unseen images for the artwork; front cover and an image for each of the nine tracks. Many of the dud tracks were poorly recorded on mini disc, 4 track and good ol’ Microsoft Sound Recorder so it seemed apt to use images from an obsolete digital tape camcorder from the turn of the millennium. Paul Stretch didn’t instantly change the unworthy tracks to gold, there was a lot of layering, editing, re-sampling and overdubbing. Similarly most of the images are collages. I remember having a lot of fun with the (digital, not optical) zoom, fast forwarding and taking stills between frames all of which revealed the large chunky pixels one doesn’t find in the HD cameras many of us carry in our pockets these days. I thought of this set of images because I could hear a sea theme emerging in the album. All these pictures were taken on one sunny winter morning on Blackrock beach. These days I tend towards closeups but there’s a lot of landscape in these images including the iconic Poolbeg chimneys.
The largest image is the cover and there’s a variation on it corresponding to each of the album‘s 5 tracks. I created the image by rapidly opening and shutting my scanner lid and varying the frequency.