A sound artist, field recordist and researcher with a love for heritage sites, ruins and buildings at risk.
Out of Tune

Out of Tune

The light has changed. It is already darker as I write at 3pm. I played my piano, I couldn’t resist, but she is out of tune. She, like me, has been left to herself for too long, and can no longer sound sweet. Some notes click, others stick at the press of a finger. 100 years of attention, and here now, she sits. Her strings bending with the warmth and cold of the seasons as they pass, and now she is in disarray. Only last week I could play in at least one key without the suffering. As I reflect on myself, I know she must be fixed.

I have been working on an essay for the very first assignment at UCL, and my PhD. I am unsure I see the end this time. I fear the literature has not been created yet. Isn’t that the difficulty of a PhD? You are ultimately alone, and no one has answered your question before you. This is the whole purpose to your work. To stand alone. But perhaps we have played unaccompanied for too long.

I look forward to the silence, I listen for it everywhere. A pianist who likes silence, no wonder her instrument is so often left undisturbed. Sound should be asked for by the listeners, I could never impose it. It is a sense we are unable to hide or shield. It bleeds, and there is no dressing to prevent it. Headphones only quieten, and earplugs only filter. Even in anechoic chambers we hear ourselves. There is no such thing as absence, yet still I listen for it. If there is a constant presence, why do I seem alone.


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