Saturday, March 8, 2014

"The form of the object" : Carl Pandolfi scores Wittgenstein

A form of an object (in Carl Pandolfi's kitchen)

Poetry Scores is at the very beginning of a very long process of scoring Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophical prose poem Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921).

Soon enough we'll create an index page where the entire score can be followed in sequence, but for now we'll post finished mixes as they arrive, in or out of order.

Next up: "The form of the object" by Carl Pandolfi, which sets to music Proposition 2.013 through Proposition 2.0141 of the Tractatus.


free mp3

"The form of the object"
(Wittgenstein, Ogden, Ramsey, Pandolfi)
Carl Pandolfi

Produced and recorded by Carl Pandolfi in St. Louis.

Carl Pandolfi plays piano, keyboards, electric guitar, electric bass, drums, harmonica and sings all vocals.
Executive producer: Chris King for Poetry Scores

Music (c) 2014 Carl Pandolfi


We are scoring the first English translation of the Tractatus that C. K. Ogden commissioned and published and took credit for, but F. P. Ramsey actually performed, with benefit of Wittgenstein's corrections, delivered personally, mouth to ear, as Wittgenstein liked to do poetry (philosophy). Their translation is in the public domain and posted on Project Gutenberg, but here is the part Carl scored in "Form of the object."


from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
by Ludwig Wittgenstein
translated from German
by C. K. Ogden and F. P. Ramsey

2.013        Every thing is, as it were, in a space of possible atomic facts. I can think of this space as empty, but not of the thing without the space.

2.0131      A special object must lie in infinite space. (A point in space is an argument place.)

                 A speck in a visual field need not be red, but it must have a colour ; it has, so to speak, a colour space round it. A tone must have a pitch, the object of the sense of touch a hardness, etc.

2.014        Objects contain the possibility of all states of affairs.

2.0141      The possibility of its occurrence in atomic facts is the form of the object.


This has some amazing stuff in it. "I can think of this space as empty, but not of the thing without the space." -- that's one of those noggin knucklers that pretty cleanly divides people who take an interest in philosophical problems from those who do not.

I love the idea of a "colour space round" objects. And I love Ogden and Ramsey's British spelling of "color" and "around". I'm reminded of my first close British friend calling me when he lived in St. Louis. "Shall I come round?"

And what could be more fun than to sing, "(A point in space is an argument place.)"? That's how my print edition of the Ogden/Ramsey translation reads. The Project Gutenberg transcription of that translation that I gave to Carl reads, "(A point in space is a place for an argument.)" That's what Carl sings. That's some stunning language, either way you spot the rhyme.


Carl Pandolfi
This is the third and final song in what I think of as Carl Pandolfi's "Atomic Facts Suite," though we'll hear more from him in songs he is writing with Mike Burgett, one of his bandmates in The Lettuce Heads, one of St. Louis' greatest-ever rock bands. He also played in another band that fits that description, The Painkillers. Carl has a terrific solo record, What Kind of Life, and is on SoundCloud. He also teaches music at The College School


The Ogden/Ramsey translation of the Tractatus is in the public domain. The music is (c) 2014 by Carl Pandolfi. Free sharing of this mp3 is welcome and encouraged, but please consult Poetry Scores for production-quality audio and composer permission before making any commercial use. Thanks!


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