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Restoration and Transformation

Sarah Goldingay examines the transformative process of restoration. She discovers that, by mending broken or damaged items, we can often also mend ourselves.

Academic Sarah Goldingay examines the process of restoration. She discovers that restoring a broken or damaged item can have a transformative and spiritual impact on us.

To make do and mend is becoming a thing of the past as we slip into a cycle of consuming and quickly discarding our possessions. But Sarah argues the act of giving a damaged piece of clothing or a broken knick-knack a new lease of life by mending it is hugely rewarding. An intriguing example is the work of highly skilled audio restorer Andrew Rose, who digitally removes layers of noise ruining old and battered classical music records, revealing the beautiful music that was previously smothered in a fog of hiss.

The process of restoration can go beyond just returning a damaged object to its original state. It can inspire imagination and ingenuity. A broken or damaged thing can be a catalyst for creativity. Sarah takes us to Paraguay where we meet an internationally acclaimed youth orchestra who play instruments made out of rubbish. We also hear excerpts from William Basinski’s stunning Disintegration Loops, a classic ambient album made from ruined recordings of old compositions that had begun to decay.

Sarah concludes that mending and restoring are both hugely therapeutic. By mending broken objects we can also often mend ourselves.

Presenter: Sarah Goldingay
Producer: Max O’Brien
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4

18 days left to listen

28 minutes

Music Played

  • Flanagan and Allen

    The Umbrella Man

  • Albert Sammons and William Murdoch

    Elgar’s Volin Sonata, Third Movement

  • William Basinski

    dlp 3

  • The Blue Sky Boys

    Amazing Grace

  • Robin Blaze and Ashley Stafford

    One thing have I desired of the Lord

  • John Tavener

    Song of the Angel

Readings

Title: My Make Do And Mend Year

Author: Jen Gale

Publisher: Self-Published

 

Title: Quilts

Author: Nikki Giovanni

Publisher: The Visual Verse Project


Title: The Dead Toad Scrolls

Author: Kilroy J Oldster

Publisher: Book Locker


Title: The Voices Live

Author: Andrew Motion

Publisher: Andrew Motion


Title: The Diaries of Samuel Pepys

Author: Samuel Pepys

Publisher: Penguin Classics


Title: Restoration

Author: Mary Cornish

Publisher: Oberlin College Press


Title: A Glass of Water

Author: May Sarton

Publisher: W.W. Norton

Broadcasts