Antique Sound

We gave a beautiful poem to a talented sculptor. You won't believe what happened.

Find out what Todd Boss thinks about "Antique Sound"

Evan Sculpture

by producer Todd Boss, Executive and Artistic Director of Motionpoems

When I spotted sculptor Evan Holm’s astonishing “submerged turntables” project on This Is Colossal last year, in which delicately weighted records are actually played as they spin in ink-infused water, I immediately invited Holm to turn Pulitzer winning 83-year-old poet W.S. Merwin’s “Antique Sound” into a motionpoem. I loved the confluence of Merwin’s lifelong environmentalism and Holm’s statement about “submerged turntables” on his website:

“There will be a time when all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe. The pool, black and depthless, represents loss, mystery and the collective subconscious of the human race. By placing these records underneath the dark surface of the pool, I am enacting a small moment of remorse towards this loss. In the end however, this is an optimistic sculpture, for just after that moment of submergence, tone, melody and song is pulled back out of the pool, past the veil of the subconscious, out from under the crush of time, and back into a living and breathing realm.”

What an amazing backdrop against which to set Merwin’s poem about making music in a boyhood landscape “all long gone since to improvement.”

Copper Canyon’s Joseph Bednarik agreed, and arranged for a Maui radio professional to record Merwin himself at Merwin’s home in Hawaii. Finished in Minneapolis by Egg Creative, it’s our richest collaboration yet: poetry, music, sculpture, and film coming together in a gentle, sincere, sorrowful, and yet celebratory meditation.