Fragments of Voices Intersecting in The Night

Posted: January 22, 2018 in Music, Uncategorized


The indoor photos were taken at the grand piano, and in the library, where Sibelius often listened to broadcasts and recordings of his works in the evenings.


Ingram Marshall
“Sibelius in His Radio Corner” (1974-1980)

Sibelius in His Radio Corner was inspired by a photograph of the Finnish composer during his “forty years of silence,” sitting in an armchair and listening to his own work being performed on the radio. “In his old age Sibelius enjoyed pulling in distant broadcasts of his music off the short-wave. I imagined that with all the static and signal drift, some of these listening experiences might have been proleptically like a modern-day electronically processed kurzwellen piece.” New Albion Records

  1. Jiahui (Karen) Chen says:

    I listened to the piece; it’s really intriguing and also belongs to a genre I have not encountered before. The unintelligible voices are used as if they’re instruments, expressing background sounds as well as melodies. The piece also has noticeably different portions, like movements in a traditional symphony. Even though this music is created in a different medium from traditional pieces, I could still find parallels; this kind of relates back to Eliot’s writings about tradition’s influence on new, “unique” art.

    The “Sibelius in His Radio Corner” link doesn’t seem to be working. The excerpt about him possibly listening to electronically warped versions of his own compositions is interesting though. He probably would’ve enjoyed experimental sounds, as his own music was rather innovative.

    • Thanks for taking an interest in this music. I recognize that it will be new to most student. It speaks well of your that you’re willing to try it out I will refresh the Sibelius file so that you can have a listen. I can’t say whether Sibelius would have appreciated the accidental and random mixture of his own music with other broadcasts, or if he would have considered it mere interference. But the inclusion of interference allows Sibelius to figure for Eliot’s representative listener, sitting in the dark at the nexus of multiple waves and fields.

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