Recorded on 5th April 2011 in London.
Daniela reads an excerpt from her forthcoming book En abime. Listening, Reading, Writing.
“Ghosts on via Appia this morning. 20° C, rain and damp. Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, ‘the archives of the primitive Church’. Ninety acres of land, four levels of subterranean galleries twelve miles long, half a million tombs. Cemetery of Saint Callixtus, Crypt of Lucina, Cemetery of St. Soter, Cemetery of St. Mark, Marcellianus and Damasus, Cemetery of Balbina. And when the sun falls down the pine trees I still walk on these stones and there is a humming coming from below the catacombs and these slabs of history. It whispers death along this evening, it breathes in, it breathes out, in, and out, following me chasing me out of this still city of tombs. This still dead city of tombs is chasing me, I walk. Up to this very moment walking, listening, recalling.”
Daniela Cascella is a writer and curator based in London. Her research is focused on sound and on the ways it seeps into other forms, most of all writing. She is currently writing her third book, En abîme. Recent projects include You Have Said It, a performed text commissioned by Chiara Guidi of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, and A Landscape, a conversation with Steve Roden across books, songs and sounds.She was for ten years a contributing editor of the Italian music magazine Blow Up. She has published articles and reviews in frieze.com, Organised Sound, Contemporary, MusicWorks, and essays in books such as Mika Vainio. Time Examined (raster-noton) and John Duncan (Errant Bodies Press).
This is the third of three wax cylinders recorded in my studio. On this cylinder, Daniela superimposed the same text as a second layer, using the wax cylinder in a similar way to an ancient palimpsest. The resulting echoes resulting from this process, together with the dense sound patina beautifully enhance her prose. On one cylinder, we recorded as many as three layers, but chose this one for the archive as it is more intelligible.