Monday, June 02, 2008

Exotica - Colin McPhee

From the 1999 book 'Exotica. Fabricated soundscapes in a real world' by David Toop:

"[Composer and ethnomusicologist] Colin McPhee was not a surrealist, but his self-willed displacement in Bali projected him into the Interzone, the imaginative construct, a place that encouraged 'extraordinary realities drawn from the domains of the exotic, the erotic, and the unconscious'. Though McPhee was too discrete to make a connection public, the 'sensuous charm' that he heard in Balinese music seems connected to his enjoyment of other sensual pleasures: cooking, drinking, sexual freedom. In his essay, 'Eros and Orientalism in Britten's Operas', musicologist Philip Brett quotes a letter from McPhee in which he wrote; 'Many times there was a decision to be made between some important opportunity and a sexual (homosexual) relationship that was purely sensual. I never hesitated to choose the latter. This I did deliberately and would do again and again, for it seemed the only thing that was real. The Balinese period was merely an extension of this."

The YouTube video below contain some silent movies Colin Mcphee shot in Bali in the 1930's.


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