Listening Experience #19 - Capitulation Risk

by Matt Burnett

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There is an expression in German, which roughly translated says "If you do not struggle for what you want, you can not regret what you have lost." With so much changing in the world right now, changing in ways that affect all of us, I've been thinking lately about the idea of "capitulation", of giving up before a goal is reached. My guess is that we are all being tested by circumstances, and we will all learn how far we are willing to go in order to get where we want to be. All of us are at risk of capitulation, of giving up before we should. Our ability to manage this risk, this temptation to give up, will determine where we go.

Recently I have had a new earworm, the song "Is That All There Is", written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and famously sung by Peggy Lee. One takeaway from this song is that all of the big, seemingly insurmountable, obstacles that life presents to us inevitably end up seeming a lot less awful after they have passed. Things that make us want to give up turn out to be just another day in the life. If that's the case, we should just keep going on and live our lives happily. 

I took the recording of Peggy Lee's performance and ran it through my usual process of carving up sound material; this is a great way to deal with an earworm. Much of what resulted from this carving ended up in segments two and three of this episode. Hence the title "Capitulation Risk". I tried to release the hopefulness that lives within this song.

There is no Segment 01, because the original Segment 01 was an edit of a public-domain reading of Chapter 4, "Sounds", from "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. Here is a link to the reading:


released November 19, 2018


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Matt Burnett Berlin, Germany

audio experiments.
listening experiences.
structured sonic content. quadraphonia.

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