Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ghostly voices

I first heard of this album in connection with Brian Eno -  this 1971 LP was one of only a few recordings he took with him on a vacation to Thailand in the late '70s. It got Eno interested in the musical properties of speech, the "redundant information" it contained, especially when regionally accented or dialect - a non-signifying surplus that supplied character and rhythm. That led ultimately to My Life In the Bush of Ghosts.

Fancied having this for quite a long while before finally splashing out a few years ago (although it wasn't particularly pricey and nowadays seems to be cheaper). But then as you do, only just got around to listening to it.

Listening to the record now, there is a poignant overlay that would not have been present when Eno heard the record only seven or eight years after its release. It's a document of localized speech patterns, idioms and sometimes words that must have largely disappeared by this point. Almost all of the speakers - seemingly middle aged or elderly at the time of recording - will surely have passed away by now too.

Side One 
1 Birmingham
2 Black Country
3 Buckinghamshire
4 Cornwall
5 Cotswolds
6 Cumberland
7 Devonshire
8 Geordie (Durham)
9 Newcastle
10 Hampshire
11 Lancashire
12 Liverpool
13 Manchester
14 Leicestershire

Side Two
1 London (Cockney)
2 Norfolk
3 Somerset
4 Bristol
5 Suffolk
6 Sussex
7 Wiltshire
8 Worcestershire
9 Yorkshire
10 Isle Of Man
11 Ireland: (Ulster / Eire)
12 Scotland: (Edinburgh / Glasgow / Inverness)
13 Wales: (North / South)

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