An intersection that has had many “lives” – the home of Grauman’s Chinese (not a take-out place). Some of the greatest films were premiered there. IFAR, The Institute of Alien Research (a thriving net-label fixated upon the duration of 4’33” no less) has just released IFAR Musique Concrète Goes to the Movies. I have a track on it – Hollywood and Highland – and composing it earlier this month reminded me of so many details from my days walking up and down the boulevard.
When I was at the intersection – back in the early 70’s – it was a kind of “place” – I am sure it was different for every decade and for everyone standing there. Now, well, I do go there…it has been covered over in shabby glitz and irrelevant hype and is no longer a place for locals, really. It is so different today in terms of architecture and geography – built-up with ever mounting stories of buildings and strip malls. Reminds me of Joni, Big Yellow Taxi and all – but I don’t think I would ever have called H&H “paradise” – though I do regret the ch-ch-ch-changes.
One used to be able to look up Highland from Sunset and catch a great view of the curve at Franklin. Not as engaging a vista today.
This 4″33″ musique concrète work is kind of a tribute to the parents of some of my friends who had hardscrabble careers as projectionists – back when projectionists were important – when film was actually shown from the booth rather than the 1’s and 0’s of today. Keeping the film going was indeed an art. The sounds are largely those of projectors – but, some other things are in the texture as well – including coyotes (don’t ask), Macbeth, a very out-of-tune plucked upright, canaries and wolf-whistles, some famous voices, and audible “shout-outs” to both MGM and Twentieth Century Fox. The Diagonikals wrote: “to our ears this sounds like a chillingly protracted x-ray of Hollywood taken by an industrial machine.” The affect is one of ennui, I think.
The album is a free download from Bandcamp where it also streams.