Texts to be recorded on a cylinder phonograph by Aleks Kolkowski – one cut on top of the other (will add link when the recording is available).
The first (in three parts) is loosely based on the Wikipedia entry for Charles Cros, incorporating two verses of his nonsense poem ‘Le Hareng Saur’. The second uses words and phrases from Thomas Edison’s diary, put into the form of Cros’s poem.
Are you there?
I know it can work. We must capture the intensity of sound.
Voice now accedes to voices of the past, passé.
Vibrate; a diaphragm – engrave – diaphragm; listen.
I’ll tell you how it works.
Dia–dia–dia F-F-F. Just write it down. I must hurry, there are already too many connections. Here is the letter – my seal – they will record my name.
Dearest, can you see the pricks of light? Just there – there. Allow me.
It’s not your fault, my darling the equipment lags behind. Why, if we could only pay them a visit – how much brighter their cities, more breathtaking the view -
but we shall, or our children shall.
Yes. That’s what I said.
Il laisse aller le marteau – qui tombe, qui tombe, qui tombe,
Attache au clou la ficelle – longue, longue, longue,
Et, au bout, le hareng saur – sec, sec, sec.
Il redescend de l’echelle – haute, haute, haute,
L’emporte avec le marteau – lourd, lourd, lourd,
Et puis, il s’en va ailleurs, – loin, loin, loin.
Dip into oblivion: sleep, sleep, sleep,
Sunbeams embarrass my eyes: awake, awake awake,
Mental kaleidoscope: deep, deep, deep.
Smoking too much makes me nervous: curl, curl, curl,
Satan’s principal agent: hell, hell, hell,
Dandruff is excreta of the mind, mind, mind.
Perpetual coroners of London: grave, grave, grave,
Rose Hawthorne a big live lobster: bite, bite, bite,
Freckles are mudholes of beauty: skin, skin, skin.
Good day for an angels’ picnic: smell, smell, smell,
Soul of Plato ‘stride a butterfly, fly, fly,
Pollen freight via beeline: laugh, laugh, laugh.
Dinner: ruins of a chicken: rice, rice, rice,
10 acres of raspberries: red, red, red,
Church a heavenly fire escape: hear[t], hear[t], hear[t].
Played a little on the piano keys, keys, keys,
Don’t like Dickens don’t know why: works, works, works,
Speak of realism in painting: dung, dung, dung.
Sardines the principal attraction: ate, ate, ate,
Labyrinth of my stomach: attack, attack, attack,
Stroke of vivid memory: ring, ring, ring.