'In the final fade-out, what the body is, what we hear in Barthes’s “grain of the voice,” is the not-body, the decomposition of the body. We were never “composed” except in some Platonic dream of hi-fi recording, or in the fantasy of digital remastering. Was there ever a mastering to begin with? What are we masking in the tape, except some backwards melody bringing us back to the source of all life-death? The radiophonic system-tape and razor, mike and mixer, transmitter and receiver-must always have an Emergency Broadcast System. This repressed double of the broadcast system, only returning with a vengeance in the threat of total destruction by catastrophic weather or the nuclear bomb, is contained in a test, only a test, a recorded tone of fixed duration. The composition of this tone is unsettling, and its repetition a denial of the constant reality of radiation and weathering which takes the body away, quanta by quanta, even as one hears the false subjunctive of “if this were an actual emergency.” In a way, to “picture” this quantum reality of the body, one receives an image that resembles the image of consciousness, but also an image of war. Free of the body and emergency, both consciousness and words in freedom-which remain when the body and its voice are gone-give the taste of constant death. The voice, however, though constantly “signing-off” (the broadcast version of the swan song) and longing to merge with its metaphysical allies, articulates living presence on dead air. “Just one great squawk and then ... peace” [...].'

Joe Milutis, 'Radiophonic Ontologies and the Avantgarde' from Experimental Sound and Radio, edited by Allen S. Weiss, publisher: The MIT Press

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