TRANSCRIPT OF A DICTAPHONE RECORDING MADE BY DOBSON AT THE 1955 FESTIVAL OF ARGUMENTATIVE MUSIC IN ÜLM
[Uncanny and repetitive metallic banging noises, as if from the maw of Hell.] Ick… Ack… Ülm. According to the programme, this racket must be an ensemble called "Brouhaha" playing a piece called Tiny moths, ah! gossamer wings. I suppose that's meant to be ironic in some way. Either that or it's a mistranslation - after all, they're Hungarians. And so many of them! I counted forty, but then more appeared with hammers and other ironmongery. And they all bear a faint resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. Maybe "Brouhaha" is one big family. I will have to check. This piece has been going on for over an hour and they look as if they're just warming up. God help us.
Now that was more like it. I've just finished watching Fleur & Primrose, much more conducive to my tastes. Fleur played pocket cornet and Primrose played tack piano. Instrumentals, mostly, with a sort of valiant carelessness. I don't think any of the pieces lasted more than 45 seconds. The last number was strange. They were joined by someone called Dennis, who shouted things. I think he was reading from a list of water polo cup tie results. Matchless!
I really don't know what I'm doing here.
It's three hours since I last recorded. I've just come back on the bus from the Ülm Swimming Pool, Lido and Marina complex, where parts of the Festival are taking place. I went over there to hear the big event everyone has been talking about - the premiere of Binder's Concerto For Medicine Balls, Blood Oranges & Canoe. I assumed it was going to be an electronic piece, but no, it was all natural, unamplified sound, and somehow it had an astonishing Monteverdiesque resonance which is hard to explain. It was visually exciting too, as all the players were wearing hideous orange jump-suits. I'm sure I saw Primrose in the melée somewhere, without her tack piano sadly.
Next up is something called "Big Flugelhorn Mayhem In The Northern Territories Disputed By Goat Boy And His Whelk Farm Hard Hat Orchestra". I think I'll give it a miss.