21 May 2015

FMRL reviewed on Sounding Out!

Another great review of F.M.R.L. was published this week on Sounding Out! 
You can read it here:

14 May 2015

F.M.R.L. reviewed by C.D. Rose on 3:AM Magazine

A wonderful review of F.M.R.L., written by C.D. Rose (remember The Biographical Dictionary Of Literary Failure?) is now published on 3:AM Magazine:


8 May 2015

reFMRL / curating, conversing, drifting

reFMRL is a series of events for which I’ve asked artists, writers, performers, musicians to remix, rewrite, re-read my book: to use the book as raw material. I’m doing this to challenge the frustrating conventional format of the book launch (where two or three people praise a book that nobody else in the room has read), to work with the book as material presence instead, and to enhance the polyphonies that inhabit and shape F.M.R.L.

2 June: Bergen, Østre. With Jeremy Welsh, Conrad Kemp+Maia Urstad, Signe Lidén.

6 June: London, Hardy Tree Gallery, Mahu. 
With Christian Patracchini, Eleanor Vonne Brown, Georgia Rodger, Helena Hunter, Jess Chandler, Mark Peter Wright.

Christian Patracchini’s practice explores a code of gestures that investigate their potential and modes of existence in relation to their own privation.


Eleanor Vonne Brown runs X Marks the Bökship, a bookshop and project space for independent publishers.

Georgia Rodger’s works often stage the act of making as a performance, exploring this as a mediation between body and tools.

Helena Hunter is an artist based in London UK, her work spans live performance and moving image.

Jess Chandler is the co-founder of Test Centre, an independent record label and publishing house with an interest in the spoken and written word. She also works in TV and radio documentaries, and performs regularly as a cellist. 

Mark Peter Wright is an artist-researcher working across sound, film, sculptural assemblage and performance.

25 June: Resonance104.4FM. With Salomé Voegelin and guest voices.

20 July: London, Café Oto. Info to follow shortly.

Following last year’s Writing Sound 2 in Bergen and the sense of drift that motivated it and moved it, reFMRL lets the book drift into unpredictable sounds, activities and voices. Curating as a generative activity, rather than a controlled one with predictable results. Curating (like my approach to writing in F.M.R.L.) as channelling, unstable arrangement, transmission and interference.

A few years ago I stopped curating because its contingent demands and constraints had become more and more distant from my initial motives: eventually curating prevented me from writing and asked for a level of control beyond my inclinations and ideas. Then I knew I had to stop.
When I started curating in the late 1990s, it was because of and for writing and because of and for conversations, held in most part as interviews for a music magazine I contributed to. These conversations would end up in a text, they would generate writing and in parallel, they would generate invites for some of my interlocutors to present their work within a series of projects. It was not about displaying: it was another instalment in the conversations, brought into a public context. Today I also start to see curating as a series of performed conversations.
I treasure those encounters and I long for those conversations—the time spent before, during and after, the commitment, the exhilaration and complicity as well as the misunderstandings, dead ends, again, the drifts, to generate and let grow, wait and see what takes form, edit, think, write. I’m looking for them again in this year’s new projects, reFMRL and two more, one bringing reading and translating to a sound art gallery, the other bringing sound, voices and listening to a literature centre. They appear as the inner lining of writing: the counter-space of writing, the space of my intermittent silences where I’m less concerned with plans and control than with listening to the words, voices and sounds of others, from which more words will emerge and contribute again to more conversations and to other writing.

24 April 2015

F.M.R.L., a title, a frame

F.M.R.L. Footnotes, Mirages, Refrains and Leftovers of Writing Sound* is published today.

The title is ‘F.M.R.L.': not ‘Ephemeral’. I chose this title because of its ambiguity and because it calls to be sounded. I chose it to draw the attention toward language as material; to stay away from any literal understanding of sound as ephemeral, as if unworthy of attention; and to prompt other departures from and into words and letters. To claim invention, intermissions and diversions—responding to a recurring invite that often comes to me from sounds—for example, any time somebody hesitates to pronounce the title of my previous book (or my surname, even). Smiling at the thought of people stumbling upon these letters. How to make all this part of a connective tissue of listening into writing? Language beyond me. That’s why Scratches by Michel Leiris is so present in this book, as he is so receptive to the sounds within phonemes and letters and peels off a whole new layer of meaning by thinking beyond meaning as external referent, but meaning made and remade through resounding deviations and displacements, through listening and through a world of sounds ‘filled with strangeness’. A book that might not appear** as a book about sound, but is very much a sounding book. A way to build a language and most of all, a way of working through arrangements. To become frame.

* While writing the title, I accidentally spelled ‘Writing Wound’. How to ignore this?
** ‘appear’.

16 April 2015

inner hidden workings of psyche

Out of sheer curiosity I went to look for my Italian edition of Hillman’s book, and I was glad to meet my older self being drawn to the same section in the book, back in 2006, the actual first time I read it before my following two encounters in English last year and this week:

Scan 2 Scan 1

16 April 2015

to deliteralize sensation (James Hillman)

Second time round reading The Dream and the Underworld, underlining again parts I’d forgotten I’d underlined, yet are even more relevant for how I work today.



30 March 2015

Esprit d’F.M.R.L.

The following words appear at some point in my new book F.M.R.L. They hold the book’s drive, they have prompted most of my new texts over the last few months and they are the closest I can get to saying how I’ve been trying to write.


Let these words: curl, wither. Let them be heard in their thinning. Let me syphon them boney, let me drain them until a skeletal presence is left, no tomes, no weight, only necessary filament-words to creep up and haunt the secret thickness of thoughts.
I no longer write much and sometimes I no longer write. Because I could not be clear I got here. For the well-determined minds I descended and drowned in the waters of wordy. For the well-determined thoughts I drowned in the narrow well of linear. Determined by their thoughts I drowned and descended. The well-determined mind, the consequential. The, well, determined wordy mind that overwhelms. Well determined wordy linear writing, when my words began to find their withering ways I would stare at the knots on the page and think of you. What great conviction, what clarity. I was repelled into silence. And what did I do when aphasic temptation came?
What I did: I received it, as it silently moved subterraneous and eroded these words.


22 March 2015

feathered armours

plumage, feathers . . . murmuration, convocation





20 March 2015



18 February 2015

Records Ruin the Landscape / review

I have reviewed David Grubbs’ book Records Ruin the Landscape for Music & Literature. Writing a review after devoting the last few years to my new book has been a rewarding process and one that has generated further writing already. It reminded me of how neither of my English books, En abîme and F.M.R.L.**, would have existed without my years in Italy working as a journalist: listening to records, reading books, reviewing them. There is a rigour that comes from writing reviews–an activity in close proximity with reading and listening–that thickens thought and demands attention.

(Then there’s a refusal of / removal from writing reviews, that occurs necessarily in waves — but this is the topic of another blog post)

** I need to write something about titles…



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