« The rapid succession of daily sonic snippets relentlessly mirrors the passing of time, eavesdropping on a very personal soundscape that due to the decasecond shifts and cuts manages to remain sort of abstract. But the attentive (re-)listener may over time discern the many lines of (unfinished) drama and euphoria, of hopes and fears, as they continue to unfold. It is in this sense that these decasecond pieces truly become diaries. They are also simply things made out of sound, the “intangible and uncanny ghost that always travels half a mile ahead of its own shape” (William Faulkner, Light in August (1932)). »

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"Between now and then, nine years from here ..."

may 26, 2018.


Between Paris and Tokyo

The main formal difference between Seventy Seconds, the first ten-seconds-a-day ( * ) sound diary, compiled from 'on-my-spot' field recordings made during all 365 days of prime ( ** ) year 2011, and 2M0M1XXVII, the second such diary that I did last year, in 2017, is that in 2011 the daily time-frame for recording that I allowed myself to use was strictly limited to one hour, continuously spiralling the 24 hours scale that is wrapped around our days, the fundamental units of our solar time.

Last year's limitlessness and the corresponding freedom to daily choose where and when to record, actually did have a considerable impact on the final result.

In hindsight, I think less choice would have been better, as far as 'the-making-of' is concerned. It's in the nature of this kind of work that one best tries to avoid the need of having to decide when to record and what to keep. (There are a great many '10 seconds' in a day).

On the occasion of the wrapping up of this second of prime years summarised in a kaleidoscopic string of three hundred and sixty-five ten second sonic cuts of words spoken, snippets of music played or heard, and of all the other sounds and noises as they then resounded day in day out around me, both years are now havable as digital albums that can be streamed and/or downloaded from the SoundBlog's Bandcamp page.

Each of the digital downloads comes with a bonus track, that summarises it all in 365 'coloured beats' that together last for precisely one minute. Each of the beats consists in some 164 milliseconds of sound. They were snatched from every single one of the year's days' ten seconds of sounds.

Hand-cut and pasted, and with precisely five seconds assigned to every month - hence the exact average duration of each beat depending on whether the month counts 31, 30 or 28 days - the 365 beats-per-minute make both tracks into sort of peculiar examples of, say, speedcore.


In the prime year 2017, the big one of the 130th pair of sexy primes, after near to 25 years, I moved from one Parisian suburb to the next. For me this would have been, perforce, the year's main event - in the course of the recordings you will hear me packing, searching, moving, selling and buying a house, followed by snippets left from all of the noises that accompanied the works and unpacking in the new place - were it not that at its very end, on the second day after Xmas, while eating a piece of cake and sipping from a cup of tea, my old mother passed away, in the small low white patio terraced house where I spent my hi-school days and first heard the musics that got to play such a central role in the life that followed. It may just have been at about the time that at a distance of some 400 kilometers my daughter and I watched 'The Last Jedi', the eight Star Wars episode. That day's 10 seconds I recorded at the movies.


Many of the 2017 sounds and snippets of musics were recorded in the Parisian subway, in which for a quite substantial part of the year on most weekdays I spent hardly ever less than one hour and a half, sometimes up to three, going about my diverse teaching jobs. It is thus that also you will here and there hear the sound from inside and around the classes that I tau.ght.

10 secs 2017 pdf cover

The year also saw me fly twice to Taiwan, and once from there to Tokyo, Japan, and back again. But apart from these, it is almost always soundings in Paris or in one of its suburbs that you hear, with in particular the Netherlands this time around being only sparsely represented.

2017 - places

2017's travelling made it far more of an eastbound year than prime year 2011, the little one in the sexy prime pair, where the audio recordings were geographically less limited to Île de France. But on the other hand, they were mainly european and exclusively to the west, including my weeklong extra-European stay that year, at the wonderful Banff centre in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

2017 - places2011 - places

From Banf to Berlin

2011 - places

In the first ten-seconds-of-sound-a-day year, 2011, the sounds could be heard grouped in weekly editions of seventy seconds on Hard//hoofd, a Dutch online platform for literature and other culture and society related writings, where they came together with a short diary-like text and a photo by Pieter van Wynsberge. The 52 texts - in Dutch - come as a pdf E-book together with the digital download of the Seventy Seconds album at Bandcamp's.

10 secs 2011 pdf cover

Some of Pieter's pics are included in the E-book. Maybe at some later stage I'll add all of them. But I actually lost contact with Pieter. I don't think I heard of him since this Hard//hoofd collaboration of ours ended, on the final day of prime year 2011.

Chances are you'll find a twin prime pair of audio diaries thirteen years from now here on this site. After that, there might be one more such diary, recorded over 2039. I estimate the probability though that by then I'll still be able to daily sound record the way us mortals do as pretty much nil.

But if, in that unlikely case, I promise it'll be the last, haha.


notes __ ::
(*) Ten seconds of sound heard per day, that's about 0.0115741% of my time; about 0.0115741% of all that I heard - if one includes the hearing done while sleeping. [ ^ ]
(**) Between 1956 and 2056 the following are prime years: 1973, 1979, 1987, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2017, 2027, 2029, 2039, 2053. It of course is numerologically of the utmost importance, that except for 2011, the first ten-seconds-a-day sound diary year, in each of these years my age turns prime. [ ^ ]


# .478.

Read about decasecond audiodiaries & projects on the SoundBlog:
(2018, may 26) - "Between now and then, nine years from here ..."
(2016, dec 31 ~ 2017, april 12) - 1024, 2016, 2M0M1X1VII7, 2027, 2029 ...
(2012, february 27) - ... and some (almost final) words
(2011, july 23) - Halfway
(2011, january 10) - Seventy Seconds :: ('promise/things/big diamond rings')
(2004, april 12) - more!!y2k: a final report

Download Har$'s decasecond prime year audiodiaries:
(2017) - 2M0M1XVII
(2011) - Seventy Seconds

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