[NetBehaviour] the voices, voices

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Dec 10 22:42:55 CET 2018

the voices, voices


http://www.alansondheim.org/thevoices.mp3 sarangi (earphones if possible)
http://www.alansondheim.org/voices.mp3 sarangi

the 90-year-old sarangi is a beast - difficult to play,
dense, awkward, some strings permanently out of tune,
but the very gruffness absorbs me, as if there were an
orchestra of survivors. i am a survivor. some of us are
left and around us, the meat of memory, recollections
of recollections. a draft runs through the instrument -
there is no support rod in the interior of the body -
it's held together by tension and the thickness of an
unknown dense wood. its body becomes my own. i use a
small bow that both of us, the sarangi and what is left
of me, agree on. the bow bows, bows. the sarangi replies
as if there were a causeway of people passing from an
unknown distance, moving towards an unknown destination,
as if there were such, a destination which would welcome
one, which would welcome anyone. and what you hear in
these two pieces are their voices, and the suffusion of
their voices within us. wood and skin and metal, bone
and tissue, nerve and clotted space - we occupy these
things together in an incredibly thin wedge of the real.
what you will hear, if you listen, and you will listen,
is just that, the real, faltering through almost a
century, returning, as if the real were a movement or a
caravan, along a causeway or chorus, our flesh among
the trace or trail of survival, among bodies and wood,
flesh and metal, among bone and tissue and nerve,
clotted space, ululations, keening, the wept, among so
many, our moving, the wept, nowhere to go but on


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