This recording from tropos, 1993, features Tom Curlew, a professional actor whose ability to speak was affected by his relatively recent aphasia. He read lines from "Burnt Norton," the first of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, as well as passages from ABC: The Alphabetization of the Popular Mind by Ivan Illich and Barry Sanders. His efforts to speak the words from the page modified the texts. Words spoken clearly in sequence with words absented or impossible to pronounce fall in and out of form or meaning. What one hears is the labor of coming to speech. Originally installed in 19 speakers that were placed on window ledges around the exterior perimeter of tropos, the sound moved from speaker to speaker, ever out of reach and legibility to the visitor moving around the room.
Photo credit: Thibault Jeanson