#160. Independent sound art, radiophonic projects and other audio non-visual misunderstandings and findings. Klangendum/Worm commissioned Anne Wellmer to create a radio piece in their electronic studio, which became ‘arp Songs for Radio. End phase Beginning ‘.
We also asked Anne to comment on the ideas behind this radio-phonic composition, which was mainly created using a ARP 2500 synthesizer (see below) and to choose a number of pieces from her rich – but hard to get – repertoire. The result is a beautiful eclectic collection in which the typical red thread of Wellmer herself can be heard.
mittersiller 2 (2011)
coney island (2007).
arp Songs for Radio. End phase Beginning (2016).
commissioned by Klangendum/Worm radio and made in the Klangendum studio.
mittersiller 3 (2011).
tales of stillness (2001).
commissioned for tales of stillness by choreographer Desiree Delauney
composition for the kratersuite by uiuiui koo
voices: nina hitz, cora schmeiser, anne wellmer
mittersiller 1 (2011).
jingles by The Dr. Produced by Worm/Klangendum/Concertzender
die mittersiller (2011)
variations on an austrian jodler
Hul-jo-di je-i-di dri-di je-i-di
dra-di je-i-di hold-di je-dl-di-ri
dri-di je-i-di dra-di je-i-di
der mittersiller is a jodler – a song without words – that i found in a little song book in the dining room of a farm house on my first night in mittersill in the austrian alps. according to the songbook – entitled fein sein, beieinander
bleiben (engl: be nice and stay together), published by otto mu?ller verlag, salzburg in 1947 – the jodler was set in three voices by cesar bresgen. i recorded the participants of the composer’s forum mittersill in 2011, one at a time, playing, singing, speaking the same jodelsong and combined the different voices afterwards to three miniatures.
maria gstaettner (bassoon), julia purgina (viola), sylvie lacroix (flute).
leo zogmayer (speaking voice), katja cruz (voice), konrad rennert (voice), maria gstaettner (bassoon).
voices: katja cruz, konrad rennert, kurt hoerbst, lisi schnitzhofer, mu-xuan lin; maria gstaettner (bassoon), julia purgina (viola), sylvie lacroix (flute).
Coney Island (2007).
It was all over the news early that summer in New York City: Astroland in Coney Island, one of the oldest amusement parks in the US of A, was going to be closed and torn down in September, and entirely rebuilt as an indoors amusement park. I had already planned to spend one day of my one-month stay in New York City in Coney Island to make sound recordings.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon I met my friend Rehana at the entrance to The Cyclone. When she arrived I had already been making sound recordings for an hour all around the creaking roller coaster. Built in the 1920s The Cyclone is one of the oldest and roughest roller coasters still around. I’d been watching how people were doing it: at the beginning of each ride as the trains slowly crawl up the first ramp, the passengers waved down to their family and friends… then they’d throw up their arms and scream in excitement. I watched the passengers carefully, wondering whether I should overcome my fear of roller coasters. After all, I thought the Cyclone was going to be torn down and this was my one chance in a lifetime to have something to boast about in the future towards my grandchildren: “…and then I took a ride on the infamously dangerous Cyclone”… I was tall enough – taller than 56 inches – and so I went for it. On the way up I waved down to my friend. As I approached the top of the hill I threw my hands up in the air. But I never screamed: The instant the first “big drop” started I knew that I had made a mistake to take the ride. For endlessly lasting 2 minutes all I could think was ‘Keep breathing’, ‘I shall survive’ and ‘I shall not throw up’. The physical sensation of being thrown around and about mercilessly was agonizing. Silly me: It is very unlikely that I will ever have grand-children and later it also turned out that the Cyclone is a national landmark, and that it will never be torn down.
But it was an unforgettable afternoon in Coney Island. Nowhere else in ‘the city’ do you see people of all ages and races walking slowly, holding hands, smiling, like you do on the boardwalk that connects the pier of Coney Island to Brighton Beach. Coney Island is one of seven sound stories on fwd:inf•rec
arp Songs for Radio. End phase Beginning (2016).
The ARP 2500 is a legendary machine. As a modular synthesizer it can be extended with modules and keyboards to fill an entire room. The ARP 2600 on the other hand is the size of a large suitcase and with a bit of determination and a car it is actually possible to tour with it.
And this is what my dear friend Matthew Ostrowski had been doing before he moved to the Netherlands in 1993. In fact he had been touring with two ARP 2600 synthesizers and brought one of them with him when he came to study Sonology in The Hague. But when he moved back to the US six years later he left his synthesizer with me – on loan – he had turned to digital tools and after all his other ARP 2600 was waiting for him in NYC.
When I got the opportunity this summer to work at Worm’s Klangendum studio in Rotterdam I knew immediately that I wanted to make a series of pieces using only the ARP 2500 but I had no idea what to expect. It turned out that much of the synthesizer’s layout is pretty straightforward. I set myself the goal to tackle something new each time I returned to the studio, so each day I moved on to a module that I hadn’t used before. Studying the manual turned out to be extremely useful. But the Balanced Modulator 1005 ModAmp remained a mystery to me. The only text used in the piece is the chapter on module 1005 from the manual of the ARP 2500.
arp Songs for Radio. End phase Beginning was commissioned by EWorm/Klangendum radio and made in the Worm/Klangendum studio with the modular synthesizer ARP 2500 and additional recordings with the ARP 2600, edited in Protools and AbletonLive.