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Klank&Komma: Hear now

Onder leiding van Leonieke Baerwaldt onderzochten cultuurjournalisten, schrijvers en essayisten de relatie tussen klank en tijd. Bij Het Concreet in Tilburg temden de schrijvers tapeloops en bij Willem Twee Studio’s in Den Bosch mochten ze zelf aan de knopjes draaien, laat Baerwaldt in haar inleiding van de essays weten. Elisabeth Salverda geeft in haar bijdrage haar poëtische stem aan een radiogolf.
Klank&Komma #2

I bounce to earth in a split second. Ping-pong. A voice coming out of nowhere.

As I bounce to earth, I feel a flurry of thoughts. There was a time when voices could not travel far, could not cross oceans. Languages using echo evolved over mountain ranges. Now I am a soundwave who can transit by satellite. Any available channel will do. Beethoven in morse code has been reshaped by the moon. Luna sonata. But there was a time sounds could not sail far. What use is that if no one left speaks your language? What if no one is listening?

I bounce to earth in a split second to tell you that I’ve synthesized the wind.
I’ve synthesized the wind!

How many of us just bounced toward each other? An unfathomable distance collapsed in an instant. Emerging from compression intact, to share a few moments of our day? Child, it hasn’t always been this way. Measuring the approach of thunder, I already travel faster than I can hear. But before I could jump, before I could reach you, squeeze through this portal, into your ear, I was lifted by the wind. I was carried in the mind; I was amplified by hollows; I was cradled by song.

The second I bounce to earth more ideas occur to me. I’m sound on sound, an electric current, a shape-shifting funnel, a pressurized capsule, an analogue instrument, a mechanical monument. A collection of synapses, an attraction of opposites. Voice has voyaged, further than the sun. Coming from nowhere, says a voice, to whom do I belong? Whose eyes, whose ears, whose lips, whose tongue? By which stars have I moved, by which songs have I loved?

Reset to zero. You reel me in. A locked groove, a loop, an orbit. Over and over and over again until it’s done, I’ll take you back. I’ll take you forward.

You tell me there’s crickets where you are. Can I hear the crickets?

Still abuzz from the flash of landing, my thoughts are jumbled. Whizzing toward you, I coincide in time zones, I’m night, I’m day. There was a time when I could not be multiplied, could not cross oceans
v o i c e e c h o m o o n j u m p
could not be magnetized,

I hear the train. The expanse of the valley in the dark. I hear your smile. I’m by your side. But the crickets refuse to coil into flight. The bandpass is too narrow – their pulse too slow, so. Unfolding in parallel I fade them all in. The train takes me east, to my left, to the dawn. I go on.

As I rumble along, following my shadow, I trust you blindly. I am sound I cannot see. Yet with the first curve of light my shadow and I, we know. Across the horizon my shadow may roam. One day we’ll be parted, we’ll split at the seam, my silhouette from me. Into the future, my shadow might whirl. From a shelf, from suspension, from fossilized depths. An imprint, of a life – a sound-shape, a refrain – spliced with another. An ethereal trace. I bounce toward you as fast as I can.

Just moments ago I fell from nowhere. Now I’m an oscillator, I assemble the air.

Elisabeth Salverda
Elisabeth Salverda is een componist, pianotechnicus en vertaler. Binnen haar praktijk besteedt ze tijd aan het nadenken over hoe geluid zich van het ene moment naar het volgende verplaatst, hoe het stemmen een proces is. Voor Klank&Komma#2 bekwaamt ze zich in haar schrijven over (en in) geluid.

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