for multi-channel electronic media
lost between (2011)
Listening to a narration of Rainer Maria Rilke's "Lösch mir die Augen aus" ("Extinguish Thou My Eyes"), read in both German and Hebrew, I noticed my thoughts drifting to other places. The sound of the German narration of this specific poem somehow brought with it unwanted and disturbing associations, perhaps familiar to many Israelis, undeterred by my love for German language and culture; meanwhile, the Hebrew narration now felt like a confrontational response.
At first I was disturbed by my inability to listen to such striking poetry "as is," without such loud echoes. But then questions emerged out of the dynamic dialogue I felt present between the two readings. How does the "music" of speaking a text relate to its content? And how can two different languages coexist within one text, loaded with all our various associations? What type of relationships might be generated between two narrations, languages, and historical perspectives - circling around one field of literal "meaning"?
The sound material for this piece is made solely of the original recorded narrations mentioned Above.
These are used with the kind permission of Carmel Publishing House, Tel Aviv.
The German poem is read by Ada Brodesky, and the Hebrew translation is read by Tzvi Salton.
Extinguish Thou My Eyes / Rainer Maria Rilke (1899)
Extinguish Thou my eyes: I still can see Thee,
deprive my ears of sound: I still can hear Thee,
and without feet I still can come to Thee,
and without voice I still can call to Thee.
Sever my arms from me, I still will hold Thee
with all my heart as with a single hand,
arrest my heart, my brain will keep on beating,
and should Thy fire at last my brain consume,
the flowing of my blood will carry Thee.
(Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming)