"Palimpsest - A Sound Biography"
Author: Götz Naleppa
Genre: Sound Art / Klangkunst
Production: Götz Naleppa 2017
Original broadcast: 22.12.2017, Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Composition: Götz Naleppa
Sound and technology: 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 quotation by 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 to life, 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 sounds from my present living environment, sound events from long ago emerge - voices of people who are no longer alive or whose voices time has changed; sounds of nature or music from places in many countries that were important to me or quotations from a long working life with ?sound? in all varieties. These own sound memories mix with small sound gifts from friends and colleagues. The abrupt and random sounds and voices begin to interact musically in wondrous ways, across times and spaces, creating a new ephemeral and kaleidoscopic present.
Since our memory picks events out of the palimpsest of our memory seemingly at random, I have left the selection to a random generator in the tradition of John Cage - who has the humour to quote him as well: 'I do not work with intention, I work with non-intention'.