Monday, 29 August 2016

Rena Rama's New Album in 1986

More from this well known Swedish jazz combo whose records are relatively hard to dig up today.  Today's record has its feet wet well into the eighties, but as far as I can discern presents no or few compromises to the fuzak genre that was sweeping all the exciting and energetic fusion, intricate compositions and progressive, well-channeled European classical music away.  In fact I would go so far as to say my jaw dropped when I heard the track called Dess Gestalt on account of its clear and unmistakable, but quite impressively complicated homage to Ravel:

The word itself, though an ordinary one in German meaning 'shape', will be well familiar to every psychology student due to the unfortunate and almost asinine habit that particular discipline (it's hard to call it a science) has for repeating the erroneous 'theories' of the past as if they had anything to offer the modern world.  When we continue to see ridiculous headlines from 'experimental psychology' for example that when men see a woman crying their testosterone is lowered or my favourite, the oft-quoted study that found that women during ovulation prefer men who are more aggressive or virile, we can see that psychology has barely progressed from when Freud thought all boys wanted to kill their fathers and sleep with their mothers, except that pure fantasy in the 19th century has been replaced by dubious evolutionary surmises in the late 20th.  Any one of these studies has multiple problems in addition to the statistical analyses applied which barely show any effect and if there is, are often found to be non-reproducible, such as the biased sample (usually using young college students, in the aforementioned case, young coeds), the biased team working on the project (pre-assuming they will find the given result), the ridiculous experimental set up (men's T-shirts with unlaundered sweat are a proxy for what women want in a husband), the fact that subjects are not blank slates but intelligent students well aware they are participating in a study, but the worst thing about that example is that it completely overlooks the more impt. question, why are women the only females in the animal kingdom who are not aware of when they are ovulating to the point where they are forced to spend a hundred dollars a month to find out from chemical test kits which day it is if they want to maximize their chances to have children?   Unfortunately the answer to that question is not amenable to study, since it is almost certainly lost in the sands of evolutionary sedimental time and extinct species of hominids, and behaviour is not fossilizable. One can easily imagine an archaic species that was still aware of their ovulation day (like chimps) but with enough cognition to not want to get pregnant, thereby withholding and practicing efficient birth control.  Now imagine another species living next door that was ignorant of that day--  clearly, since they would be more fecund, they would overwhelm the former species by numbers alone.  Or consider, in a village of homo erectus, if everyone knew exactly on what day each female was fertile, how disruptive this would be socially-- a large number of men would roam about looking for women who would be in heat for a quick opportunity.

So when I hear the word Gestalt it does make me cringe-- like the words EST, or Behaviourism, or the names Skinner, Maslow and Piaget and all those other dunces of psych history including the father of them all, Freud...  but this song does bring it to a different level.



  2. Thank you very much Julian. I've been looking for these later Rena Rama LPs for some time. While I'm definitely interested in the collaborative record with Marilyn Mazur, I'm most interested in Live. Despite its timje of release, it's a live performance from 1975.

    All the best

  3. Excellent Julian, thank you kind Sir! Can't wait to hear this.

  4. new VA Ecologia upload