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WASSILY KANDINSKY: THREE SOUNDS (DREI KLÄNGE), 1926

A TALISMAN IN THE FORM of a postcard I stuck onto a sheet of paper in 1984 in New York placed by my IBM Selectric and soon covered with appointments, telephone numbers, and a reminder to deposit money. And here it still is, the paper curled, the names passed away, the money spent, but Kandinsky's image fresher than ever, mindful of works accomplished and a history we now share. Not an object of art-historical study but a revelation when unthought things were piling up awaiting their turn at the writer's table, waiting because the words were going one way but the music another. Over and over I would play the tapes I had collected during my visits to the Putumayo region of the Colombian Amazon. In my tiny room with an inch of view of the Hudson River I sat numbed by the far-awayness brought close by the chanting such that the very heavens were shaking inside me as I reached for the fire of

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