22 December 2017, 0:05, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Sound art

"Palimpsest - A Sound Biography"

Sound composition by Götz Naleppa.

Length: 48:58

Author production © Götz Naleppa.


"What else than a natural and mighty palimpsest is the human brain? ...Everlasting layers of ideas, images, feelings, have fallen upon your brain softly as light. Each succession has seemed to bury all that went before. And yet in reality not one has been extinguished."

This quote from the English essayist Thomas De Quincey (from "Suspiria de Profundis", 1845) was the inspiration for my sound composition "Palimpsest -A Sound Biography". What happens to us every day: Sounds awaken images, images awaken sounds or situations from years long past, as fresh as if they were NOW - I apply this process to my personal sound archive from about 40 years ago. Under the layer of banal noises from my current living environment, sound events from years long past emerge - voices of people who are no longer alive today or whose voices have been changed by time; sounds of nature or music from places in many countries that were important to me or quotes from a long working life with "sound" in all its varieties. These personal sound memories are mixed with small sound gifts from friends and colleagues. The abrupt and randomly appearing sounds and voices begin to interact musically in a wondrous way, across time and space, creating a new fleeting and kaleidoscopic present.

Since our memory picks out events from the palimpsest of our memory seemingly at random, I have left the selection to a random generator in the tradition of John Cage - who also has the humour to quote him: "I do not work with intention, I work with non-intention."

(Götz Naleppa)

First transmission!

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