In her radiophonic piece, Margarita Jimeno draws the listener into the fascinating world of chinese-style spitting and its great range of seldom heard sounds. Thanks to the artist’s wonderful acoustic narrative, this phenomenon, often thought of as unsavoury, is dipped into a thoroughly new light …
“I was walking down the street, and as I turned at the corner the pavement smelled different, and the sounds seemed to reach me faster. I was in New York’s Chinatown – unaware of the famous Spit Dynasty. The sound cacophony was of vowels ending with "aaaaaaaaa", intonated and held long after the person addressed had started their answer. All of a sudden a unique sound of spit made its first appearance; this was no ordinary street spit sound, I followed its echo as if in a spell. The forgotten Spit Dynasty spirit was in the air, it is often described as a guttural reverb which ends in a pompous spit, and echoes like a Dragon tale, long after it has disappeared. It is believed it does so to show the road to Spitiskan.
As I followed what I thought was the spit echo, I was disoriented by the sounds of "one dolaaa" and "ten dolaaa" continuously. The passers by moved their heads rhythmically in all directions as their eyes met the many items for sale. A creature in a bakery caught my eye and I decided to enter and enquire. It looked like an ancient egg, and indeed the label read 1000-year old egg – later I found out it is cooked in fresh horse dung. I pulled out "one dolaaa", and came out with my 1000-year old egg. The dark grey pavement had a couple of shiny wet spots; I decided to follow these marks.
Soon I was amongst Chinese men playing, smoking, and yelling. At another corner some men walked their birds, and laughed. A tremendous guttural spit sound with a long echo was heard; I followed in that direction, I arrived at the spot where the palm readers have their stands. A short silvered toothed man offered to tell me my future for "ten dolaaa". I sat and pulled out the bill, but the Spit dynasty spirits congregation was happening right then and there and I only listened to the shower of sounds from the Spit dynasty. These rare, guttural sounds reached their refine reverb momentum at gambling time, and the echoes could be heard long after the park was empty. I sat mesmerized with my 1000-year-old egg, listening to the final Spit dynasty reverb echoes. Next time I hope to follow the echoes to Spitiskan.”