Ach, des Knaben Augen

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Title: Ach, des Knaben Augen
Podfic Artist(s): pennyplainknits
Cover Artist: xenakis
Date(s): March 20, 2011
Length: 2:36:01 (with music); 2:23:34 (without music)
File: 143 MB (mp3); 77 MB (m4b)
Based On: Ach, des Knaben Augen
Author: toomuchplor
Fandom: Inception
External Links: on the Audiofic Archive

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Ach, des Knaben Augen is a podfic performed by pennyplainknits based on toomuchplor's Arthur/Eames story of the same name. The text is a conservatory AU story in which Arthur is a concert pianist and Eames is a baritone; the music clips selected for the podfic represent some of the pieces that the characters practice throughout the story.

Xenakis selected and edited in the music clips, as Penny notes in her podfic announcement post:

So, I mentioned to Xen that I was thinking of recording this, and she said "you should put the music in! I can help!" And so she did, and dudes, she made it like, 100% better. Scattered through the recording are snippets of the music Arthur and Eames play and sing. She even made up Arthur's recital programme![1]

The ways in which music is used in the podfic are highly unusual. Firstly, all the selections are from classical pieces, whereas a lot of podficcers would choose more recent popular songs. Second, the music is diegetic, representing the music that the characters are actually playing in the scene. Later, in a podcast for Pod Aware, Penny waxed enthusiastic about how much Xenakis improved the podfic with her audio editing and noted with excitement how in one scene the music perfectly lined up with the text in describing a key change. "You felt part of their world because the music that was so important to them was again part of the recording."[2]

A non-music version was also made available and is 13 minutes shorter.

Reviews and Reactions

  • "STUNNING use of music in podfic, total must-listen."[3]
  • "having the music made this already really well-written fic stand out so much more."[4]

In an essay on creativity in podfic, podcath commented on how the act of creating this podfic reflected the textual content of the story:

In fact, this performance beautifully illustrates how podfic creates both an interpretation and supplement to the story: where Arthur and Eames are singer and accompanist, creating art out of the music they see on the page, Penny and Xenakis collaborate to bring toomuchplor's story to life. In fact, the central piece of the story is Der Erlkönig which is in itself a transformative piece, set by Schubert to lyrics by Goethe (and, in a further transformation, Franz Liszt created an amazing solo piano version) in a way that Inception gives life to toomuchplor's transformative work.[5]


  1. ^ pennyplainknits. Podfic and Podmix : Ach, des Knaben Augen. posted March 20, 2011. (Accessed 23 June 2012)
  2. ^ pennyplainknits. Pod aware day one podcast on SoundCloud. Announced on livejournal 7 November 2011. Podcast! Why I podfic. Ach, des Knaben Augen comments start at 15:05.
  3. ^ Emiliana Darling. Sherlock BBC, Harry Potter, and other fandom AU Podfic Rec List:. Tumblr post.
  4. ^ homiless. AO3 comment, posted 23 August 2011. (Accessed 7 April 2013.)
  5. ^ podcath. Podfic as transformative works--Let me count the ways in month_of_meta. Posted 11 March 2012. (Accessed 7 April 2013.)