“Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.”
John Cage. 1937.
Taken from his book “Silence".
In my everyday life, I’m very alert to the sounds that surround me. Wherever I am, there’s always a part of me listening to whatever is sounding in the background. For better and for worse. In every trip that I take, this attention becomes greater.
Generally, big cities share a common sound: noise. That mixture of cars, horns, construction sites, people and racket is found in pretty much all of them.
Even so, some cities have their unique and characteristic sounds, which generally unfold when you start to pay attention.
In that trip to Berlin I commented in the text that accompanies “TUBULAR”, one of the sounds that captivated me was the subway.
The noise in and of the subway is generally annoying in every part of the world.
It’s not that in Berlin the subway “sounds” better than anywhere else. Maybe it is a bit less strident.
But it’s likely that in Berlin I may have been listening. I might have paid attention to it, instead of trying to ignore it. And maybe that’s why it fascinated me.
So I set myself to recording it, in different subways, different sections and with different recording configurations. Every time I took a subway, I looked for the best location to make a recording.
And I was surprised when I heard the announcement of the stations through the P.A.’s in a beautiful German voice. Each announcement had a unique melody. The pure melody of the language. A melody within the words, to which I could pay attention to due to my inability to understand a word it was being said.
I recorded several takes, knowing that I would use those recordings at some point.
And thus I ended up building a piece around these recordings. This is another track that took me quite a while to conclude; a track that had many versions, many mixes and remixes (in the pure sense of the word) until reaching this final one.
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