Monthly Archives: March 2020

RIP Ruth White (1925 – 2013)

The Litanies of Satan

This has happened seven years ago but even Wikipedia only noticed it in 2018.

Personally, I only noticed it today.

Ruth White (1925 – 2013) was an American composer noted for her work in early electronic music.

Of interest to me is her 1969 Baudelaire album, on which she reads 10 poems from The Flowers of Evil. This is really bizarre and reading her liner notes makes the experience only weirder. “The Litanies of Satan” is one of the poems that got him in to trouble.

RIP Gabi ‘D. A. F.’ Delgado-López (1958-2020)

“Der Mussolini” (1981)

This happened last week.

Gabi Delgado-López was a Spanish-born German musician, co-founder of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft.

He is known for singing compositions such as “Der Mussolini” (1981). This song, together with “Los Niños del Parque” (1981) by Liaisons Dangereuses and “Numbers” (1981) by Kraftwerk put Germany on the map in black America and the dance music world.

If you listen to the full Alles ist gut album where “Der Mussolini” comes from, you cannot help but wonder if D.A.F. listened to Suicide. The sighing voice on “Mein Herz Macht Bum” would give them away.

RIP Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020)

Krzysztof Penderecki was a Polish composer of 20th century classical music, a period characterized by the use of dissonance.

Outside of the classical music domain his music has been popular in horror films. The piece Polymorphia (1962) for example, is used in The Exorcist (1973) and in The Shining (1980).

And then there is his opera based on the book The Devils of Loudun (1952) by Aldous Huxley. The story of the Loudun possessions is highly remarkable and any occasion to bring it to your attention, shall be grasped.

RIP Nina Auerbach (1943 – 2017)

Nina Auerbach was an American scholar. She published in the fields of Victorian literature, theater, cultural history, and horror fiction and film.

Our Vampires, Ourselves (1995) by Nina Auerbach
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“Vampires and American presidents began to converge in my imagination, not because all presidents are equally vampiric, but because both are personification of their age […] Since I loved vampires before I hated Republicans, this book also reflects my idiosyncrasies.”

Our Vampires, Ourselves (1995) by Nina Auerbach, p. 3

I’ve only read scraps of Auerbach: her remarks on the Carroll photos of Evelyn Hatch and her funny remarks in Our Vampires, Ourselves (above).

Her work is in the tradition of Mario Praz, Bram Dijkstra and Camille Paglia.

RIP Stuart Gordon (1947 – 2020)

Incredibly Strange Film Show on Stuart Gordon (part one)

Stuart Gordon is a film director is best-known for his Re-Animator (1985), based on H. P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator” (1922).

Incredibly Strange Film Show on Stuart Gordon (part two)

The story starts with these lines ominous lines, in keeping with Lovecraft’s sinister oeuvre:

“Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror. This terror is not due altogether to the sinister manner of his recent disappearance, but was engendered by the whole nature of his life-work, and first gained its acute form more than seventeen years ago, when we were in the third year of our course at the Miskatonic University Medical School in Arkham. While he was with me, the wonder and diabolism of his experiments fascinated me utterly, and I was his closest companion. Now that he is gone and the spell is broken, the actual fear is greater. Memories and possibilities are ever more hideous than realities.”

H. P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator” (1922)

The television documentary series Incredibly Strange Film Show did a special on Gordon in 1989 where they interviewed him in the La Brea Tar Pits

RIP Manu Dibango (1933 – 2020)

“Soul Makossa” (1972) single

Another covid-19 victim.

Manu Dibango was a Cameroonian saxophonist best-known for his composition “Soul Makossa” (1972), a crucial proto-disco recording.

I also had Gone Clear (1980) and Electric Africa (1985) in my collection.

Soul Makossa (1972) album

Only today do I listen for the first time to the whole Soul Makossa (1972) album. I already was familiar with “New Bell” (which had been covered on the electro scene) but “Hibiscus” was new to me and totally exquisite.

Now that I listen to “Soul Makossa” today, I hear in the bassline resonances of acid house. Do you hear it too?

RIP Lucia Bosè (1931 – 2020)

Toute la mémoire du monde (1956)

Lucia Bosè was an Italian actress with a long and fruitful career.

She died of covid-19.

I choose to remember her with a documentary film she did not act in.

In Toute la mémoire du monde (1956), an identified photo of her is on the cover of a fictional book with the title Mars.

The cover of that book is unveiled at 9:42. The audience follows the book around the library as it makes its way to the shelves.