Saturday, 6 September 2008

Sprechgesang

The words screamed out one by one after long silences, like sounds from a strangled bird squeezed tightly round it's fragile neck and desperate to regain the freedom of flight. Each series of sounds ascended a strange modal scale, agitato molto crescendo, rising to a breathy birdlike caw for the final note, tremolando. 

Like the work of a careless tape editor wanting to cut and run, coat flapping, to catch the next train home, the silences ruthlessly hacked off the final stresses of syllables refused a resolution. It was phrase book talk that made no sense to the locals. The words were slashed at and mutilated.

Everyone who walked past you stepped closer than they wanted, so as to avoid stepping into the uniting streams running from the top of the hill after the downpour, but they avoided your eyes, looked down or away. 

You sounded like Schoenberg. You were barefoot.