Tisnaden is a text and sound piece that takes Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence as its starting point. The film centers on miscommunication on multiple levels and deals with the difficulty of creating meaning or perhaps finding or determining meaning. In the mind of Bergman, God is silent as his previous film established, because there is no God in reality.

Tisnaden in a sense is a performance: rather than merely stating ideas about God, alienation and miscommunication it puts them into action. Whilst watching the movie I recorded myself repeating the dialogues phonetically, inevitably creating another sound/language out of Bergman’s already fictitious one. This sound/language when repeated as faithfully as possible offered me little freedom of invention, yet it became deformed and exposed to many formal rules originating a shifting dialogue that has the confused and illogic appearance of life. The inclusion of human sounds—murmurs, sighs, snivels, loud chewing, shouts, even hard swallowing, create fluctuating and unrecognizable noises suggesting a regression to a state of arbitrary vocalization. With the loss of expressive language (a support) we are left to make do with the mystery that is reality. What remains to us in the end is only our own voice.

In Kierkegaard’s terms repetition means getting our cognitive and moral bearing not through prompted remembering, but quite unexpectedly as a gift from the unknown, as a revelation from the future. Caught between hopes and doubts Tisnaden carefully balances questions and paradoxes such as: If metaphysical questions are hopeless why do we keep asking them?
Is God a clue to the travel and travails of truth rather than the truth of assertion?

Commisioned by LYDHØRT III: 20.11-14.12 for Writing Sound 2