36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 218: Lofty musings today—Hermann Hesse


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 218 — Lofty musings today—Hermann Hesse
07- March-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)


Electronic music is getting very difficult on getting some of these fine points that I want.

Heard an excellent alto sax “serious” recital by a friend—girl student from the U.S. Extremely professional.

An interesting concept happened to me just recently. I have always tried to be more aware of things around me. By seeing interesting designs in patterns, structures, and phenomenon. Besides simply enjoying visual phenomenon, I have felt that they have given me an inner awareness of life, and I hope to use this concept in some of my serious work.

In fact, a big part of this concept in the film that I am hoping to produce is that creating (a mood), surrealistic and visually exciting images—using the body. Sort of ironic awareness.

Well anyway, while reading Hermann Hesses’
Demian (check) (in chapter 5), this same type of feeling has been professed by Sinclair as his stronger feelings of self-awareness through the observations of such phenomenon. (Not exactly the same idea but close.) Humorously, as Sinclair had his observations and thoughts confirmed while reading a book on Leonardo Da Vinci, I have had my similar “observations” confirmed in the passage by Hermann Hesse.

It somehow “strikes” me almost as “playing” the part of Sinclair in this one conclusion. Interesting.


Reflecting on Hesse. Today’s very heady. Suddenly I’m a philosopher? This journal post did remind me that there was a period when I was reading a lot of Hermann Hesse’s works in college. It is impossible for me to remember what I was thinking without reading Hesse’s Demian again.

The human body as art. In today’s post, I mention that I would like to make an avant-garde film that would show surrealistic, “visually exciting images using the body.” For example, surrealistic images and landscapes using close ups of the human body. The viewer would not know that it was a human body they were looking at, until the very end when the camera would pan back out. This abstraction of the human body has been common in art and nude photography for years. In addition, micro-images of the human body from electron microscopes and scopes, both inside and outside the body, show us abstract worlds and creatures existing on and inside our own bodies, and of which we are not visually aware. Dust mites, they’re big and ugly.

Patterns and influences. Avant-garde, art, film, contemporary music, multimedia, and visual and live theatre events are strong influences during this time period. Composer Dieter Kaufmann’s use of live, larger-than-life-size puppets in his mini-opera, Pupofon, is one good example. Later in the year, I get to see a week-long multimedia “happening” by John Cage in Berlin. As a photography hobbyist, I tend to seek visual patterns. In my musique concrète manipulations with Fantasy on Broken Glass, I am learning how new sounds and patterns grow out of a simple beginning. Perhaps, all of these experiences are giving me new thoughts on being creative.

I was influenced by everything happening to me.


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