Sketch For Matter

By Ed Baxter for Resonance 104.4 Fm London

The opening sequence of the Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger film A Matter Of Life And Death (1946) provides the inspiration and much of the raw material for this fugitive mediation on the romance of radio, heavily influenced by the delightful theories of Friedrich A. Kittler. The audio comprises a) a nine second cymbal crash removed from the final edit of an album by Kinnie The Explorer, recorded by Bob Drake and “PaulStretched” to 28 minutes by Dan Wilson; b) Foley aircraft sounds from the film soundtrack; and c) dialogue from the film soundtrack, featuring David Niven (Peter) and Kim Hunter (June). Assembled as an outline for a live work planned for the “Writtle Calling/2 Emma Toc” radio project, it pretends to be nothing more than a tentative exorcism of the overwhelming feelings this film sequence provokes in me – which are such that I can never watch it without bursting into tears. (It is surely designed to allow one to burst into tears in the dark). I have the DVD but have yet to get beyond this opening, which I must have watched a hundred times.