Saturday, June 30, 2007

His Master's Voice

From time to time a thought occurs to me which makes me think, "wow, that's amazing!" but then leaves me not quite able to work out what exactly is amazing about it.

This has happened again!

I was listening to the first three chapters of PAME!, which I have recorded with the intention of putting the whole thing online as a listen-to-able tale, and I started thinking about how people always get a surprise when they hear their own voices. Over the years I have got used to hearing my own voice played back to me but I still remember thinking - just like everyone else does - "that can't my voice, it's horrible!!" the first time I heard it.

Anyway, this led me on to consider recording in general and that's when this amazing-but-don't-quite-know-why thought occurred to me. Edison was the first person to record sound in... erm... 1877 (thanks, Google) on his newly invented Phonograph. Before that there had not been any way for any one to hear their own voices!

We've been able to see ourselves - at least reflections of ourselves - since the beginning of humanity; in pools of still water, in polished metals and silvered glass - but to hear our own voices - that has only been possible since 1877. Three million years minus the last 130 not able to record any sounds, music, voices...

"Wow!" I thought, "Amazing!"

And then I thought, "but what exactly is it that's amazing?"

Anyway, for bloggy purposes I will hide behind an adapted form of the avant garde poet or artist's defence, "it can mean whatever you want it to mean!"

So, "the amazement is whatever you wish to be amazed by!"

That should do it.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I have problems with it; three main problems ...

The first is going to it,

the second is staying in it ,

and the third - which, incidently, I am dealing with now - is emerging from it.

Of the three, the worst is the first.

This image of "the going to sleep process" occurred to me last night. Somewhere near the bed there is a continuously moving cable, like in a mine underground, and this cable travels off towards Sleepy Oblivion and all you have to do when you lie down is hang your consciousness onto it and - whoosh - off you go into dreamy slumber.

I can be as tired as you want: droopy-eyed tired; nodding-off-and-waking-with-a-start tired; weary-achy-limbs-of-lead tired, but the moment I get into bed I wake up and I thrash about in vain looking for that cable to hook my consciousness onto.

The only way is to read - read a book until I start to dream a sentence or two at which point I normally drop the book because I am dropping off. Then, if I am lucky and my timing is dead on, I can lie down without emerging too far from this incipient nod-offiness and hook my consciousness onto the cable... and ... zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

That's if I'm lucky; if not it takes another 15/20 minutes of further reading till I can try again.

Last night it was the third attempt I think ... but then having read what I had read and then having proceeded to integrate what I had read into a dream...and then let the dream take some nasty, nasty turns and make some nasty, nasty developments ... I woke myself up!

Finally, it took till about 5 to get all drowsy again and that was an hour or so before the alarm WOKE ME ... and left me with problem 3 ... emerging.

Now, 2 coffees later, I only feel bleary-eyed and brain-dead - so it seemed the perfect time to blog!