Listening to Michael Schlitz’s “Sound of Moon A and B”


Sound of Moon B
Michael Schlitz is a Tasmanian print-maker whose work explores themes of isolation. Schlitz is often identified through his poignant depiction of crouched lone figures in dark forested areas. Sound of Moon A and B continue to examine this subject, this time within the openness of space. These prints portray a landscape physically removed from civilisation, a place to escape into an unearthly sense of calm. Yet the composition Sound of Moon B imagines the near side of the moon as a place still subject to earth’s noisy activities. Here sonic interference from satellites and radio communication reflect upon the moon’s surface.


Sound of Moon A
With its back to earth the dark side of the moon is the ultimate place to socially withdraw. In Sound of Moon A the solitude sought by Schlitz’ figures is finally realised. The dark side of the moon is removed from earthbound concerns, allowing room to retreat into its quiet depths.

These two compositions use recordings of Russian satellites and spacecraft originally taken by Sven Grahn.

2 thoughts on “Listening to Michael Schlitz’s “Sound of Moon A and B”

  1. Ed Prosser (On the Nature of Things)

    Really love these two pieces, particularly ‘Sound of Moon B’, and the themes they delve into.

    For me, it’s interesting to consider the contrast between sound and solitude in the context of the Apollo Command Module Pilots – who orbited the moon alone as their crew mates explored the lunar surface.

    They were often asked whether they were bothered by the complete isolation experienced whilst passing across the dark side of the moon. Many often replied that they actually enjoyed these moments, with the drop off in radio contact leaving them alone with their thoughts – it was their ‘quiet time’.

    Reply
    1. soundslikenoise Post author

      Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. Schlitz portrays the distinction between loneliness and being alone quite well in his images of figures, so it was an interesting progression for him to depict the moon as he has done. In relation to your comment, I can imagine the relief of being alone in orbit after being cramped in a small spacecraft, the quiet must have been quite therapeutic.

      Reply

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