It’s still not easy, but more fun. Turning a novel into an audiobook was really challening, especially for a total novice like me. I still feel like a novice, though the challenge has changed. It’s poems now. And instead of going the long distance, I have to extend extra special care to details now. It doesn’t feel like refining recordings; rather I envision myself as a carpenter occupied with hardwood intarsia. I never manage to capture a poem in one go. Simply not possible for me. So I have to bring the pieces of the puzzle together, polishing intarsia till they acquiesce to be united in a single piece of work. Timing is of such essence, I feel I’m shaving off microseconds from pauses. I’m tuning the volume of my breaths to a T, I’m EQing and adjusting the pieces of the puzzle to the best of my knowledge and my abilities. I’m fighting with sibilance & noise, and probably some acoustic phenomena I don’t even know the name of.

Of course I’m not satisfied. What sounds just right in the evening displays strange inconsistencies in the morning, and what stands the test of a week might sound odd a month later. Probably I’m making laughable beginner’s mistakes pros would shake their head at. Slowly, I’m learning.

Der Brief des Nachtportiers (mp3, German)

The poem’s text in English

Shu, Steve and David Wade said thanks.

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Marcus Hammerschmitt

Writer, journalist and photographer. Eighteen books so far, on paper and on screen. My biography is boring, my life is not.

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