You know summer has really arrived in
when the cicadas start whirring and chirruping. Their distinctive sound pulses, and as more and more join in the chorus the effect is like waves of mechanical toys fidgeting in the grass. Provence
Although they don’t seem an especially pretty creature to me, the cicadas are immortalised everywhere in ceramic form, perhaps as the very symbol of sunny days. The first photo was taken at a brocante sale in St-Remy-de-Provence, and these examples are chunky yet rather well detailed. I’m not quite sure what you’d do with them – perhaps they are for the serious enthusiast and collector only.
Far more often, you see “Les Cigalles” in rough and colourful form as decoration on those “essentially Provençal” items without which no market would be complete in July and August: the perfume diffusers, as here, or gift-wrapped soaps, or jars of herbs.
I was wondering whether I could download the sound of these constant background companions that let you know you are in the south, but decided against it. It occurs to me, though, that with the advent of e-readers, it probably won’t be long until there is a soundtrack embedded in every e-book. And then images, too, no doubt, so that all the wonders of technology that we can use on our blogs will be brought to creating fabulously involving texts. It’s quite a thought, isn’t it?
Or are the words better left to speak for themselves on the page, allowing the reader to create the images? Just as they say about radio: the pictures are so much better than the television.
But I’m going to take a risk here, and post some more sound. In general, I’m much happier talking on the radio, as I did earlier this week on BBC Radio Kent, because I’m not having to deal with my self-consciousness in front of a camera. But here’s a tiny part of an afternoon of promo filming I did a couple of weeks ago, at home in
, so relatively relaxed (only relatively, mind…!). It’s a reading of the Prologue to The Lantern. England