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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Oz Fritz on 'Ishtar Rising'

Rebekah Hood-Sava

Inspired by the recent online discussion group for Ishtar Rising at Jechidah, Oz Fritz continues the discussion with a new blog post, "Ishtar Rising (slight return)"  focusing on how women inspired work by Aleister Crowley and James Joyce and connecting that to how each of these two inspired Robert Anton Wilson. (Of course Joyce's Ulysses, arguably the most famous novel of the 20th century, was inspired by Joyce's personal goddesss, Nora Barnacle.) Oz then mentions some of his favorite female musicians and discusses some of the women he's worked with in his career as a music producer and sound engineer. 

In my mind, at least, Oz' post loops back to some recent posts on this blog. I recently floated the idea of linking the string quartet to the first four circuits that RAW writes about in Prometheus Rising, and picking up on that, Eric Wagner wrote, "The cello seems very erotic to me, so I would associate it with the fourth circuit." 

That made sense to me because I could think of plenty of examples of  women playing the cello, and Richard Powers might have had something similar in mind in his novel that is most directly about classical music, Orfeo. (Here is a description of the novel's composer protagonist  in an important incident: "Then, on the first day of senior year, from across a packed homeroom, Els spotted Clara Reston and recognized her as coming from a planet even more remote than his. He'd watched her with pained lust across the bowl of the high school orchestra the year before, primped up behind her cello in muslin skirts and thin-ribbed pullovers that the school should have banned, drawing her bow across her instrument with an all-denying smile.") When I asked Eric why the cello seemed erotic, he explained, "The cello has a womanly shape." So Eric also associates the cello with women. In the comments to Eric's post, Oz (referring to the fact that the cello has the lowest register in the string quartet) writes, "I agree on the erotic aspect of the bass and feel that contributes to the sexual component of C4 which I correspond with the entire quartet."

So, going back to Oz' post, he lists various female musicians he has worked with recently, including "A wonderful solo cello album, Emerge, by classical musician and music educator Rebekah Hood-Sava." I didn't know Oz was involved with contemporary classical, an obsession of mine.

Check out the album here.  "Emerge is an exploration of the private emotional world that exists in one’s own mind and spirit with the music representing the stepping out of this inner world and blossoming it into being, as if coming out of a cocoon to harvest the musical ideas and creativity ready to bloom," Hood-Sava explains. I've been listening to the album on Bandcamp and enjoying it. 


Oz Fritz said...

Great post Tom, the Richard Powers book sounds interesting. Thank-you for reading and mentioning my blog and for highlighting and listening to Rebekah's album. Nice tie-in with the string quartet discussion.

Eric Wagner said...

Great post. I also love Abdul Wadud's cello playing on Julius Hemphill's cd's. Very few jazz cd's feature cello. Wadud does a great job filling the role traditionally given to the bass.