Sunday, 28 September 2008

Riding back in the sunshine and falling back in love with the city. We will have been here during a coincidence, this much has been said and noted. We are party to a time and a place, we are here as much as nowhere, in spite of nowhere. As we rode back this morning in blazing autumn sunshine, past the crumbling tenements and yellow trams, tiredness set in and we became slowly happy.

Last night we went out to Kreuzberg, beyond the river, quite some ride past the white lake and beyond. Visited friends, a dim lit café, benches outside with carved pumpkins, cold setting in as hands clasped round beakers of red wine. Then back to a friends house, some light food and cigarettes, more red wine, music and an old film about a ruptured James Dean, a disillusioned youth built upon icons of celebrity. And where did it take him?

Now I listen back to field recordings of yesterday’s bicycle ride. We took bottles out to the supermarkets to retrieve the deposit, posting the various forms of glass into the automated machines which spin the bottles, blue lights searching for the barcode and then receipts are printed out with which you can go and buy bread or whatever you wish.

The recording is all the nicer for failing batteries, the tape slows, stops and speeds up at will. The cheap microphone of the tape player picks up some incredible sounds, the deep resonances of car tyres on the cobbled streets, tiny little cheeps from birds in nearby trees, the echoes of children and cutlery from the café opposite. Then into the supermarket, where the fridges hold various pitches like human voices.

In a while, I shall cycle back down to a squat in the south, now a park full of old wagons, a venue for entertainment and play back these sounds, plus those created today on a synthesiser, beats from static, old drone recordings and schlager.

Work is appearing on the horizon, the novel crawls along and after today I shall have a break from the music practice. I must continue reading. Everywhere holds suspicion for me since reading about the Stasi. I have been watching the bins outside our house for a week, make notes on the coming and goings late at night of vans and lorries which seem to jettison and collect the contents of the bins. Strangers in dark glasses circle the car park under cover of dusk and then disappear.