Radio Japan

We are in the belly of a ship. It is called the Azart. It is a ship of fools, it has sailed all over the world. Where are we now? Who can say. Tonight it is full, this ship’s belly. People are packed like sardines, excited, expectant, waiting for the Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra. Suddenly the orchestra arrives, they have to push their way through the dense crowd to reach the tiny stage. they are wearing suits made of newspaper, and hats made of newspaper. They are wearing masks, mostly gasmasks, one is wearing a hockey mask. Gaelic Punkt is wearing a pre-war bavarian welding mask. He is also wearing a newspaper stovepipe hat that is so tall that he cannot stand up straight under the ships low ceiling. So he has to spend the entire duration of the concert sitting down. All at once the ships lights dim and bright arc lights throw a blinding beam of white light onto the orchestra. The music begins. Its a nigun from eastern Europe. Is it a dance band? No.

As the piece of music draws to a close, a trap door opens in the ceiling and Przemek Miler descends a metal ladder onto the stage. He is carrying a wooden suitcase. He opens it and it turns out to be a little pump harmonium. While he plays, the other musicians produce radios from their pockets. The air is filled with a cacophony of white noise, bleeps, fragments of music and broken news-reports, interference and undecipherable languages. The players change their instruments. Instead of accordion, bazouki, clarinet, we now have cello, Russian bells, tin whistles and a xylophone. A haunting Japanese melody then follows, all the while accompanied by the incessant hissing of the radios. As the tune fades, all you can hear are the scrambled voices of some Japanese astronauts coming through the ether from who knows where.The stage goes black.The show is finished.

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