"The fire had burned to coals and he lay looking up at the stars in their places and the hot belt of matter that ran the chord of the dark vault overhead and he put his hands on the ground at either side of him and pressed them against the earth and in that coldly burning canopy of black he slowly turned dead center to the world, all of it taut and trembling and moving enormous and alive under his hands" - Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses).
All of these recordings were found in the same dusty cardboard box. Having received these and many others as a gift from a friend, I culled through them right away. Initially I was to include a variety of other findings, but for some reason, these all stick together in my mind. See if you agree:
This end of the world story famously caused listeners throughout the US to fear for their lives, resulting in panic and even attempted suicide. An example of "seeing the fire" through listening. I chose to excerpt nothing from the actual story, but only Welle' introduction. Should we listen this way; should we see the train in the Lumiere Brothers film coming out of the screen toward us; should we see and hear it so?
2) "Whispering Pages" - a sound document of the making of Alexander Sokurov's film (Eskom\North Foundation, 1993?)
To me, a continuation of Welles' "solar drift wood." A distant bell, and boats sounding; should they be imagined in sight, or only heard? The title itself, "Whispering Pages" suggests a rustling sound, a faint letting out.
3) Michio Kushi - excerpt from 'The Rule of Heaven' and 'Life's Natural Order' from"Spirals of Everlasting Change" (Inyo International, 1975).
Kushi is largely recognized for bringing the macrobiotic food movement to the US. Here, he speaks of the 'order' of life. The fairy tale-like opening-sounds lend it a visual quality. Here, there is a contrast between the spoken word, and the music; but it seems right. His voice, as if you could reach out and touch it.
4) an excerpt from 'The Twelve Months' as read by Christine Price on "Russian Folk and Fariy Tales" (CMS, 1970's?).
Just listen to the story. The way she voices "weeping bitterly," "sank into the snow;" "came to a fire," and the sound of the word "twelve'" repeated. If you turn up your volume on this one very high, you will hear a sweeping sound, like a brush: debris in the the vinyl tracks, a most suitable accompaniment to this wandering in the snow. These "twelve men on twelve stones;" hearing and seeing the fire. Unlike how we most often see them--separate--the twelve months are seen here all at once.