Music and the altering of Time

Back in 1920 Basil de Selincourt wrote “Music is one of the forms of duration; it suspends ordinary time, and offers itself as an ideal substitue and equivalent.” Without a doubt, music offers a getaway to many of us. Only a quick look at the numerous metro passengers that nod their heads in the tempo of their tunes  is a clear example of it.  Headphone music not only isolates us from our aural surroundings-the one we might not want to hear-but it also transforms the space around us. This way the metro line we take every single day may become a resonant, Jame Blake-ish tube on a rainy Monday morning; or a disco warm-up hall on a Friday evening, accompanied by T.Rex’s greatest hits. Music alters time and space when we condition ourselved to be embedded in it.

As for the video posted below, I doubt the protagonists of this clip ever come to define it that way, however, music does seem to have the capacity of altering linear rhythms and soundtracking the great motion picture of the Everyday. It’s an ode to the now. It’s a getaway from the now. It’s a trip to yesterday, or a glance at tomorrow.

Sean Metelerkamp accidentally ended up making three different pieces of Urban Symphonies: one in New York, one in London and one in Cape Town. The photographer had been travelling back and forth to the three cities for various art projects. Every now and then he’d film whatever draw his attention on the streets, with a clear interest in the livelihoods of the homeless. The shots found their destiny in the shape of this audiovisual compilation of the Everydayness of those that most often remain invisible and unheard.

Assembling recordings done on the streets, Metelerkamp recreates his vision (or properly said, his perceptionof what Cape Town sounds like, if a representative sound of the city is what we were to look for. Street ‘noise’, out-of tune melodies, forgotten lyrics, repetitive talk looping through the clip -Eternal Street melodies is a somewhat diabolical mix of street folklore without any garnishment, in its very own juice.




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