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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Academic Rigour (Mortis)

Earlier today I talked to an artist called Matt Stokes. Matt wanted some contacts I had regarding Black Metal. Nobody was more surprised than I was to discover that not only was I able to provide him with the details he wanted but that I was able to talk about the subject with a degree of confidence. Prior to my work for publisher Martin Ellis last year, what I knew about this topic would not have occupied the back of a very small, upturned crucifix.

Matt is curating a series of recitals in Dundee that will see some of Black Metal’s leading music transposed to organ. Apparently Dundee is the home of the largest working organ in the country. There. Another subject I’ve suddenly become knowledgeable about. More details about this project when I get them.

The recent call for contributions to the DGM / Crimson archive has been producing some helpful results. This last twenty fours, it seems that every time I check my mail there’s an offer of reviews and other items of interest.

Elsewhere, although not entirely unrelated, I find I am able to exercise an old prejudice. I’m always suspicious of anyone who feels the need to introduce their professional qualifications into a discussion as a means of imply that their argument carries greater significance. When I hear the phrase “As a college professor / Doctor of Philosophy/ Batchelor of Arts/ (insert your fave)” I nearly always want to reach for my metaphorical revolver. You know you’re about to be ushered into the arena of the pompous and pedantic.

Today I was not disappointed.

The same poster takes me to task for my lax use of quotations, suggesting that by citing the source of quotes but not the name of the author's amounts to plagiarism (see diary entry for April 22nd)! However, he finds time to applaud the stringent stance of Robert Fripp in educating artists through his stance against record labels and bootleggers. He ends a post by urging me to err on the side of such stringency in future when it comes to using quotations. Well, that’s me told and by a college professor, no less.

Of course a quick rummage through this chap’s website reveals that he trades in CDR’s of live shows including, wouldn’t you know it, King Crimson. Ah, don’t you just love the even and consistently stringent application of academic rigour like that?

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