Friends of the Phonograph
April 22, 2022 Ezra Klein Interviews
Emily St. John Mandel - The
New York Times Ezra Klein Show
By Doug Boilesen, 2022
Art as Time Batteries, Recorded Sound
During a 2022 interview with Emily St.
John Mandel, Ezra and Emily each shared how hearing a recorded song
can act as a time travel machine.
Capturing ephemeral sound as recorded
music introduced the wonder of the phonograph being able to play a
song again and again, anytime and anywhere.
The power of recorded music to transport
the listener to a previous time and place is another of its wonders
and music heard years later which
reawakens experiences from the past is the heart of The
Our Song Phenomenon.
By sharing their appreciation and understanding
of the power of recorded music Ezra Klein and Emily St. John Mandel
are added here as Honorary Friends of the Phonograph.
EZRA KLEIN: I love that passage so much,
and it always moves me so much. But just on that point of time machines,
I read a piece recently about art as time batteries. And this idea,
which I think — it really works for me for music — that certain kinds
of art hold time in them, and that when you come to them again, you
get to spend a little of that battery energy. There’s music I hear
that will just — it holds some other experience in it. And every time
I play it, I get to have a little bit of the experience again. And
I found it to be a really powerful idea.
EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL: Absolutely. Yeah.
There’s this one R.E.M. song that every time I play it, I’m transported
back to being 18 years old, walking to the grocery store in winter
in this one neighborhood I lived in for a few months in Toronto. And
that was the song I would always listen to.