It is often said that music is a form of communication, yet what it actually communicates is unspecific. I suppose it communicates like a knock on a door. It's difficult to tell who is knocking, though intuition based on past experience might give us a good idea. It is impossible to tell from the knock why they're calling on us. The knock, however, does communicate feeling. It could be anything from the gentle tap of someone seeing if we're awake, to the irate rat-tat-tat of a neighbour come to tell us that our dog has messed on his drive. But it's impossible to transmit the feeling exactly. Was it the neighbour, or was it our mate, come to pick us up on the way to a gig, who is anxious because he's late and his car's blocking the road? Difficult to tell.
Having written a short piece based on Ghost Road Berlin, I found myself wondering what other people would produce, given the same task? Would there be common threads? There was only one way to find out...
I quickly found out that I'd make a bad scientist. Tony got in first, with an oblique, post-modern reponse to the meme. I'd not reflected on the title of the piece at all and it is, as Tony says, freighted with holocaust associations. (Like a fool, I'd not spotted them. When I saw "Berlin" I immediately thought of the fact that my daughter spent a few weeks there not long ago). If I were scientific, I'd have given out an untitled piece to listen to! As it seems to be turning out, I perhaps set something else in motion - something unexpected (by me) and at least as -if not more- interesting than what I intended to start. But we'll see...
Contributions (thank you all!) so far:
And so to my effort, which got me thinking of the idea in the first place:
The Ice Forest
We crash-landed in the ice forest at night. We came to rest at a crazy angle. We have had to adapt to the fact that none of the surfaces are level. Moving around is an effort. After a few hours we ache all over. Often we sit in the dark, as we can not afford to squander our resources. But at least it's not as cold as it is outside.
We have been out to explore, wearing the environmental suits. We have to wear them: it is so cold that your flesh begins to blacken the moment you expose it to the atmosphere. All around us, huge crystalline structures, arranged in avenues, rise from the ground and spread out over our heads like the branches of trees.
The night seems never-ending: this side of the planet seems never to turn towards its sun. Fortunately, there is always light enough outside to see by. The planet boasts so many moons that two or three of them are almost always in the sky. One gets to know which ones by the colour of the light.
Most of the time, however, we are confined to the inner compartments of the craft.
Mending the machine is beyond us. As we are the first humans to travel in time it is unlikely we will ever be rescued: the few who have any idea where we might be have neither the knowledge nor the means to follow us. Had anyone somehow managed to do so they would probably be here already.
The solar panels generate very little in the moonlight. The batteries won't last forever. When they run dry we will freeze. Gradually, I assume, we will become encrusted with the same crystalline structures we see all around us. No-one will ever know we were here.