Be transported into a different reality. With these floating, untethered words and music that I’ve curated or stumbled upon accidentally. They are evocative and inspire deep escapism and magical voyages into the history of the world. Enjoy! There will be more Historic Jukebox to come!
1. Play Video.
2. Read Text.
Ponder mortality and the fleeting, wondrous and terrifying nature of time with Time by Pink Floyd and an excerpt from the Haldor Laxness’ novel The Fish Can Sing entitled The Clock at Brekkukot. I stumbled on this via author Caspar Henderson’s Twitter and blog which is full to the brim with glorious and wondrous treasures.
Time by Pink Floyd
This song is by 70’s prog-rock legends Pink Floyd – who need no introduction. The idea from the song’s lyrics sprung from Roger Waters’ realisation that life was not about preparing yourself for what happens next, but about grabbing control of your own destiny.
I can sense the enormity and scope of their work. It’s truly awe-inspiring (and I don’t use that term frivolously).
Dark Side of the Moon is probably one of the best albums ever made. It originally sold 34 million copies and entered the charts in 1973 and didn’t leave until October 1988.
Each of the chiming and bells cascade into one another. This was cleverly done by Pink Floyd’s engineer Alan Parsons who recorded clocks separately in an antique shop and later blended them together. Parsons wanted to use the clocks to demonstrate a new quadraphonic sound system, but they ended up using it to open the song instead.
The clock at Brekkukot by Haldor Laxness
This excerpt from the novel The Fish Can Sing, has a certain metronomic rhythm and pace that darts off from the present into the future and generates ample wonder and magic. Haldor Laxness is a legendary Icelandic author of the last century. He wrote many other classic novels. Check out Independent People, if you like the sound of this.
…if there were anything happening in the room you never heard the clock at all, no more than if it did not exist; but when all was quiet and the visitors had gone and the table had been cleared up and the door shut, then it would start up again, as steady as ever; and if you listened hard enough you could sometimes make out a singing note in its workings, or something very like an echo.
How did it ever come about, I wonder, that I got the notion that in this clock there lived a strange creature, which was Eternity? Somehow it just occurred to me one day the that the word it said when it ticked, a four syllable word with the emphasis on alternate syllables, was et-ERN-it-Y, et-ERN-it-Y. Did I know the word, then?
It was odd that I should discover eternity in this way, long before I knew what eternity was, and even before I had learned the proposition that all men are mortal – yes, while I was actually living in eternity myself. It was as if a fish were suddenly to discover the water it swam in. I mentioned this once to my grandfather one day when we happened to be alone in the living-room.
“Do you understand the clock, grandfather?” I asked.
“Here in Brekkukot we know this clock only very slightly,” he replied.
“We only know that it tells the days and the hours right down to second. But your grandmother’s great-uncle, who owned this clock for sixty-five years, told me that the previous owner had said that it once told the phases of the moon – before some watchmaker got at it. Old folk farther back in your grandmother’s family used to maintain that this clock could foretell marriages and deaths; but I don’t take that too seriously, my boy.”
– from The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness (1957)
And just to dazzle, but not blind you, here is some psychadelic art inspired by Pink Floyd
Have a nice trip…