Friday, January 28, 2011

Glenn Gould and social media


Glenn Gould was ahead of his time in many ways. It is not widely known that he was an early adopter of social networks. The text of the following draft Personal Ad was found among his personal papers after his death in 1982:
Wanted.
Friendly, companionably reclusive, socally unacceptable, alcoholically abstemious, tirelessly talkative, zealously unzealous, spiritually intense, minimally turquoise, maximally ecstatic loon seeks moth or moths with similar equalities for purposes of telephonc seduction, Tristan-eque trip-taking ... tristan, tristan-eque trip-taking ... and permanent flame-fluttering. No photos required. Financial status immaterial. All ages and non-competitive vocations considered. Applicants should furnish cassettes or sample conversations, notarized certification of marital dis-inclination, references re low-decibel vocal consistency, itinerary and ... itinerary and sample receipts from previous, successfully completed out-of-town moth flights. All submissions treated confidentially. No paws need apply. The auditions for all promising candidates will be conducted to and on Anaton Penisend, Newfoundland.
So how social is your media? And in conclusion this path leads us from Gould to Tristan to Wagner and so back to Glenn Gould.

Source is screenplay of Thirty two short films about Glenn Gould by Fran├žois Girard and Don McKellar. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Also on Facebook and Twitter.

2 comments:

Keith said...

The 'short film' about this quotation where Gould is shown dictating the advert on the phone late at night was funny and sad as well.

I can recommend Kevin Bazzana's biography of Glenn Gould, 'Wondrous Strange', which paints a less strange picture of the pianist, and details a lot of the radio work and Gould's ideas about sound recording.

I think you would especially like his proposal to distribute recordings that allowed people to remix recordings to suit their own tastes...

Pliable said...

Keith, thanks for that. I have the Bazzana biography and among the other books on my shelf is Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius by Peter Ostwald who was a friend of Gould's as well as a psychiatrist. Ostwald's book is less objective and far less comprehensive but is valuable for its medical insights -
http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Gould-Ecstasy-Tragedy-Genius/dp/0393318478