Collecting Clocks and Losing Time (Audio)

May 31, 2020
Created by Anna Friz (2013). Introduced by Karen Werner.
Anna Friz’s piece Collecting Clocks and Losing Time is a suite of five pieces about radio and timekeeping. Anna Friz’s poetic words set the tone: “Once upon a time there was a house in the countryside which housed a hundred clocks. Once upon a time the clocks in every home ran on their own time, and all the trains and hotels and shops counted their own time. One day time was made universal, divided into zones, and propagated around the globe. One day microwaves were fired at a cesium-12 isotope, and the rate of electron loss dictated the most standard time of all. Still there were digital devices that did not understand which time zone they lived in. Still the clocks slowed, dragging the seconds and minutes and hours behind them. Still everyone was late. My father collected cuckoo clocks, which I inherited when he died. He left five clocks behind. Once upon a time there were 26. I have come to learn that there are much larger clock collections than this. I have also learned that coordinated universal time is a legend told among the cuckoos in the clock forest on a rainy night.”