the surgery of touch
Tone Casualties 1997
Composed performed and Produced by Paul Schütze
Not only had Q gained entry to the private chambers of his brothers, each a stark stone cube with one high window, he had managed by means of stories conveyed in a soft whisper to coax tears from their sleeping eyes. These tears were, at the time, enough to satisfy Qâs needs. Q would drink from their eyes as they slept and return in silence to his own cell. As the corridors connecting the sleeping cells were deserted after sunset Q would make numerous trips throughout the compound without being seen.
During the two years in which Q satisfied himself in this way an oppressive and bitter melancholy settled over the brotherhood. In the absence of a clear cause for this spiritual discomfort the brothers began to seek blame in one another. Their community, already hermetic, turned further inward and neglected the surrounding villages and the compound grounds. The jungle and it's inhabitants crept ever closer.
In the evenings the air became hot and the cell walls streamed with moisture. The sounds of long discouraged rituals blew across the steaming leaves and into the dreams of the brothers. The jungle had begun to phosphoresce and at night cast a diseased luminescence into the cells. Several times Q found himself lying in a clearing some distance from the compound with no memory of how he had come there. He was never asked to explain these absences. Little by little Q began to alter the stories he told while his troubled brothers slept. For a time they continued to weep as before then slowly this gave way to tearless agitation and a faint sheen of perspiration on the brow and lips. Then profound and copious night sweats which Q consumed as he had the silent tears.
What had begun as a gentle hunger now left Q breathless and impatient. One night Q realized that he was no longer whispering, that his voice was ringing off the stone walls. He clapped his hand over his mouth in shock. Brother H remained motionless. Q watched him warily. H was slick with sweat and his neck and shoulders seemed alight with a rose glow despite the pallid light from the high window. Q bent closer. H's brow, jaw and neck, his eyelids and his lips were glistening with tiny beads of blood. Q froze. H was breathing roughly, Q did not breathe. Slowly Q began to lick. Below the window the leaves brushed and scratched one another and glowed and hummed.
The jungle sighed slowly and hugged the compound tighter.
The jungle called to Q.
Mastering: Denis at Porky's.
Cover Concept: Paul Schütze.
Graphic Design: Anne-Louise Falson
Special thanks to Francois Tetaz.