「夜の中を歩みとおすときに助けになるものは橋でもなく翼でもなくて、友の足音だ」 W. ベンヤミン
This text is a compilation from conversations that followed reading various (English, French, and Japanese) translations of Theodor Adorno's essay “Die Form der Schallplatte.” It should be underlined that none of us are are specialists of Adorno, nor are we philosophers of music or even historians of the twentieth century. This project was an experiment and the choice to read Adorno was made to foster exchange between our different disciplines and cultures through an unfamiliar text available in our respective native or second languages. Indeed, we come from three different points of view: Tokitsu is a specialist of media studies and pedagogy, Murray and Osako are musicologists, specialists of French and Belgian music. Tokitsu and Osako are Japanese, Murray is American. And while English is our only common language, conversations often passed into Japanese or French. For all three of us therefore, Adorno's essay posed certain number of problems― written as it was in German in the particular historical context of 1934, then transmitted through the lens of translation. Although we chose the text for its subject matter―media history, potential common ground between our respective fields―its origin in a foreign and historically distant culture placed us at a similar distance from the essay's argument and invited us to collaborate to find meaning in our conversations regarding its content.
For it is not in the play of the gramophone as a surrogate for music but rather in the phonograph record as a thing that its potential significance―and also its aesthetic Christopher Brent Murray