Cabinets de curiosité Alistair MacDonald

Cover art: Shona Barr, Red Flowers (1992)
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


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Cabinets de curiosité

Alistair MacDonald

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Cabinets of Curiosity

Wunderkammern or ‘cabinets of curiosities,’ of the 16th and 17th centuries, were fabulous collections of objects brought together, ordered and displayed to inspire curiosity and wonder. They might include religious relics, stuffed birds and animals, shells, artefacts from distant and ancient cultures, mineral and plant specimens, paintings and drawings. In fact, almost anything.

As a small boy, the ‘cabinet of curiosity’ that intrigued me was the large, tabletop radio in our kitchen, with its ‘magic-eye’ tuning indicator and its exotic world of sounds veiled in hiss and crackle. Language, music and noise combined as I spun the dial. Assembled here are some of the sounds I have collected, ordered and displayed in subsequent years.

Alistair MacDonald, Glasgow [viii-18]

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