Arts/Literature

Twin Peaks: The Return and the Red Room: a collaborative reverse spoken word

David Lynch inspired a generation of genius TV. And a moment of unfettered silliness.

The Red Room

The Red Room

Yesterday blindsided me with a moment of sublime creative synchronicity. Twin Peaks fans … walk with me.

First my friend Anders Thyr, the talented Swedish artist, posted this to his Facebook feed:

Twin Peaks… Jäklar vad bra. Har kommit igenom halva andra avsnittet. Måste suga lite på karamellen. Och stanna till ibland bara för att mysa och rysa. Och ta en kopp kaffe. Åh, en riktigt god kopp kaffe 😀 Lynch is back with a vengeance, and I gladly follow! Mind, twist with me!

My Swedish is about as good as my Martian, so I clicked on the translate link to see what he was saying (generally – these translators will get you into the neighborhood, but it’s up to you to find the right house):

Twin Peaks… dang what good. Have gotten through half of the second section. Must suck a little delayed gratification. And stay to sometimes just to cuddle and creeps. And have a cup of coffee. Oh, a really good cup of coffee 😀 Lynch is back with a vengeance, and I gladly follow! Mind, twist with me!

The offness of the translation had me giggling, so of course I decided to play around a little. I grabbed the original and went to Google Language Tools, where I translated it into English (again). Then I translated that into Gaelic, then into German, then back to English. I added some line breaks and voila! A poem!

Twin Peaks, the Return: A Poem

Good things do. Obtained
by half of the second part.
Must suck a little delayed
satisfaction.
And hours wait and
creep creep.
And a cup of coffee. Oh, really
good cup of coffee: D Lynch is back
with all the power, and
I like to follow!
Ghost, I twist!

And shared it to Facebook. This is where it got interesting. My S&R colleague Frank Balsinger thought it would be awesome to hear this spoken backward, then played backward (like the scenes in the Red Room – check the 1:24 mark). In case you’re unfamiliar with the show, the actors performed the scenes backward (meaning they had to somehow learn to speak the dialogue backward), and the film was then played backward to generate the most legitimately dreamlike dream sequence I have ever seen).

From Frank’s mouth to Thyr’s ear – turns out Anders has the technology to do just that with the audio. So he performed the poem backward and … the rest is history.

The result is fucking awesome. Twin Peaks geeks, here you go.

A side note before I go: if you aren’t a Twin Peaks fan and somehow made it this far, give the show a watch. We now live in a golden age of television, with a whole host of shows vying for the title of Best Ever. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, Walking Dead – literally, I know people who make the GOAT claim about each. For my part, I’ve never seen anything to top Black Mirror.

And all these shows owe their souls to Twin Peaks. David Lynch kicked down a door, and while it took people 15-20 years to finally walk through it, the point is simple. That amazing cable show you love? It might not exist without Twin Peaks.

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