The Other Night, Underwater
“The relationship between humans and language is undergoing a transformation, the impact of which we do not yet comprehend. There is no direct way to stop this process. It is taking place, moreover, in complete silence.” —Martin Heidegger, 1964
Oceans, lakes, rivers, and ponds. On different scales they are repositories — resonating collectors of soliloquies, of dreams and memories, of desires to begin or to end a journey in the sea within. Bodies of water form a luminous boundary between the human and the non-human, between different scales of time, and of being.
The Other Night, Underwater uses text collaged from original and borrowed sources along with underwater recordings and electroacoustic transformations. The 45-minute radio art piece takes the listener on a series of dives (Tauchgang) through monologues of a teenager’s swim across Lake Ontario, a murdered revolutionary floating in the Berlin Landwehrkanal, and a sinking BC Ferries ship on the Pacific coast.
The following text is one we wrote as a point of inspiration and departure for the piece:
Not “the other night”
but the night for all “others”
that is who lurks beneath those waters.
The night of iced lips calling out to inner ears
The night of sirens begging for blind immersion
The night of never again returning
and finally learning
the language of the other.
The night beneath those waters is never silent
its rhythms and scales are known more by our bones then our ears
but under those deep waters
is a world not unlike the dreams
half of ourselves ever uncover
that world is the other
the other night
the one we never pass
the one underwater
- May 2, 2008, Concert, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Germany
- December 13, 2008, Concert premiere: Akousma (5): Programme double, Studio Hydro-Québec — Monument-National, Montréal (Québec)