Monday, August 25, 2008

when voices are like bats...

radio repair detail 1930s RPPC

"as i lay down i turned on the radio set standing on the wine crate beside the bed. the names of cities and radio stations with which i used to link the most exotic ideas of my childhood appeared on its round illuminated dial - monte ceneri, rome, ljubljana, stockholm, beromunster, hilversum, prague, and others besides. i turned the volume down very low and listened to a language i did not understand drifting in the air from a great distance: a female voice, which was sometimes lost in the ether, but then emerged again and mingled with the performance of two careful hands moving in some place unknown to me, over the keyboard of a bosendorfer or pleyel and playing certain musical passages, i think from the well tempered clavier, which accompanied me far into the realms of slumber. when i woke in the morning only a faint crackle and hiss was coming from the narrow brass mesh over the loudspeaker. soon afterwards, when i mentioned the mysterious radio at breakfast, austerlitz told me he had always imagined that the voices moving through the air after the onset of darkness, only a few of which we could catch, had a life of their own, like bats, and shunned the light of day..."

w.g. sebald, austerlitz, 2001
image: detail from one of my favorite RPPCs that i own, i just wonder what tones he's listening to...

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Blogger pharaoh maybelline said...

thank you for this beautiful post + pic!


11:28 AM  
Blogger ArtSparker said...

See the Marisa Monte song Enquanto Isso - a friend of mine said we are all passing through each other.

8:56 AM  

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