Radio Lento podcast

114 Crashing waves at Durdle Door

April 9, 2022

It's when you've been listening to it for a while, within the gravitational pull of this immense rock promontory, that it starts to make sense. The language of the crashing waves. And how each wave, as it arrives onto the shingle shore, has its own way.

Everything that a wave has to say about its long journey over the sea, has to be said upon the moment it lands on the shore. Within those few moments. Those few, tumultuous moments. A whole story in sound. All that it says though is tumbled out through noise. And all jumbled up too, if heard in land time.

To hear, properly, what each wave has to say, you have to attune your mind to sea time. Time, as it is in the liquid world. Time that surges and curls and folds and leaps and fizzes into bright white air. Listen forwards, and left and right, and into the near distance, and into the deep distance, and all at the same time. And it'll make sense. What each wave has to say, will be there. Will effortlessly unfurl in front of you. Each wave. Each arriving, with its own, unjumbled story.

We made this recording last Thursday on the shingle beach looking out onto the stack and arch of Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England. The name we use today for it dates back over a thousand years, when these crashing waves would have sounded exactly the same.

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