Sensenta times 200

di 30 jun 2020

Sunday, July 5th marks the 200th episode of our never ending programme Sensenta. Each episode starts where the previous one halted, yielding a continous programma that has been running for more than two years now. Have a listen, just tune in on Sunday night from 18 hrs.

To mark the jubilee, program maker Harrold Roeland compiled his list of favorite episodes. And all of them can be listened to via our website!

1. Aflevering 49: Delia Derbyshire
2. Aflevering 127: In Memoriam
3. Aflevering 193: Florian
4. Aflevering 100: XL
5. Aflevering 135 Fallen Woods
6. Aflevering 30 Een mis voor kerst
7. Aflevering 82 Sterren kijken 4: You are here
8. Aflevering 86 Francois en het C akkoord
9. Aflevering 131 Magnetar
10. Aflevering 187 Recharting The Senses
11. Aflevering 24 Mukti
12. Aflevering 176 Pindus Soundscapes
13. Aflevering 129 The Unanswered Question Expanded / De Opgerekte Vraag
14. Aflevering 1: Spiegel im Spiegel
15. Aflevering 178 Morgenspaziergang / The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party
16. Aflevering 46 Mukaiji
17. Aflevering 48: Spring in the artificial gardens
18. Aflevering 36/37: Dodenmetten voor Ockeghem
19. Aflevering 150: Regendans
20. Aflevering 182 Hoshi No Uta

1. Episode 49: Delia Derbyshire


“Number 1, both in terms of the amount of work and the final result. In the sixties, Delia Derbyshire worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Here she developed into a pioneer of electronic music with an extensive ouevre and a massive influence. This collage of her work for Sensenta was made to celebrate her 80th birthday. For such an important artist this had to be just right and I spent two whole days producing it.”

2. Episode 127: In Memoriam


“My father died in the early spring of 2018. This event dominated the rest of my year. On December 30, in the final programme of that year, I produced an In Memoriam ‘for everyone who has passed away in 2018’. Listeners could consider it to be for someone they had lost during the year, but for me it was of course for him. The programme was broadcast live from the studio and I was nervous. There was always the chance that a CD would get stuck in the player! Luckily there were no such problems. It was emotional and cathartic for me. I was saying farewell to him live on the radio.”

3. Episode 193: Florian


“This was another programme that required a lot of work. During the week before it was broadcast it had been announced that another pionier of electronic music, Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk, was no longer with us. Initially, I though I would end the programme with a Kraftwerk record. Then I was inspired to do something very different: a long, almost static electronic piece completely built up from Kraftwerk samples. I spent 20 hours working on it and finished it only an hour and a half before the broadcast. Such things can happen when you have a ‘good idea’. Luckily the end result was very well received, and I still get reactions from listeners.”

4. Episode 100: XL

Part I and Part II

“There were 2 hours available for the 100th episode of Sensenta. Ambient, Hindustani classical music, Early Music, slowed-down Jazz… the whole spectrum of sounds from the previous programmes was included. Impulsive, but beautiful. The was also the first time that Sensenta was broadcast live from the studio. That felt so good that I have continued to do that since then.”

5. Episode 135: Fallen Woods


“I promise that this is the last one in the list that was inspired by a death! Keith Flint of The Prodigy died tragically in the week before this programme was broadcast and I therefore included some music for him. I did not mention it in the playlist so that it would be a surprise for the listeners. It worked! Many listeners did not see it coming and it made a major impact.”

6. Episode 60: A mass for Christmas


“There is something fascinating about the transition between monophonic and polyphonic music. For this Christmas programme I took my inspiration from Early Music, the earlier the better. It is a Mass, so a Kyrie, Gloria, Agnus Dei… all the standard parts of the Mass that have inspired composers over the centuries. Selecting sober works and keeping the number of voices as small as possible worked very well… until the end. The Mass finishes with the explosion that is the six voices in Thomas Tallis’ Videte Miraculum.”

7. Episode 82: Look to the stars, part 4


“The music in the programmes in January 2018 was intended to be listened to while watching the stars. Music for the long, dark nights. This programme was the last one in the series and ends with a famous fragment from astronomer Carl Sagan about our place in the universe.”

8. Episode 86: Francois and the C major chord


“There is a moment in the opera Saint Francois D’Assise by Olivier Messiaen in which an angel plays the violin so beautifully that the main character Francois faints. Suitable music for this moment is a challenge for any composer. After much thought, Messiaen chose for an extended C major chord to accompany an unearthly solo on the Ondes Martenot. This programme is one long celebration of that chord.”

9. Episode 131: Magnetar


“This list includes all the notable highlights from the series, the programmes that spin off in unexpected directions, but the ‘classic’ Sensenta programmes are mainly concerned with ambient and electronica. That is the backbone of the series. This programme is a good example of how that works. The title track, by Markus Guentner, brings everything together. An hour that flies by, or more correctly, glides by.”

10. Episode 187: Recharting the Senses


“There is too little music that effectively explores the borders between field recordings and regular music. The Canadian composer Raymond Murray Schafer is a hero in this genre, and this programme is based around his work. It reveals the depths of the sounds in the world around us and in electronic and acoustic soundscapes.”

11. Episode 24: Mukti


“It should perhaps not be allowed, with all the fantastic music that exists in the world, but I do have a favourite album, and it has been my favourite for many years. The album is Remember Shakti by … Remember Shakti. The record, from 1997, is a live recording made during the comeback tour by this Indian/English group and features as special guest the Indian flute player Hariprasad Chaurasia. He has been a music hero for me since then and I have many hours of his music. The programme features a single piece, and more than half of it consists of percussion solos. But it is an exceptional piece! The interplay between the musicians, the drone, the phrasing, the echo in the hall…perfect.”

12. Episode 176: Pindus Soundscapes


“There are days in the middle of the winter when you think: ‘I need the spring.’ The radio can help on such days: this programme was intended to offer listeners some relief from the darkness. It is a mix of nature recordings made by Veljo Runnel, set between ambient work by Brother Saturn. Pure peace and serenity.”

13. Episode 129: The Unanswered Question Expanded


“This is the programme that I was most unsure about! The work The Unanswered Question, by Charles Ives, contains and endlessly repeating pattern that is played by the string section. That pattern just goes on and on, stoically, while so much is happening elsewhere in the music. I expanded that idea to last for an hour. I was sure that that was necessary. But would the listeners agree? Perhaps it was too extreme. I should have known, the listeners understood what I was trying to do. There were enthousiastic reactions. This programme taught me that the public will understand and value your ideas if you are sincere and do your best to realise them.”

14. Episode 1: Spiegel im spiegel


“You never forget your first time. Programme 1 progressed from peaceful acoustic piano music to more electronic work. Brian Eno’s ‘Real’ and ‘The Real’ are still some of my favourites. The programme was very raw, but I was so happy to have the chance to produce it. This programme formed the starting point for a long, long story that luckily is still being told today.”

15. Episode 178 Morgenspaziergang / The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party


“A programme in two parts, two stories. I really enjoyed mixing the three drum solos that form the end of the programme live in the studio. Not a rhythm with a pulse, but an exhilarating cloud of percussion. Sometimes a programme is memorable because of the kick that you get when you are making it.”

16. Episode 64: Mukaiji


“There is something remarkable and noteworthy about traditional Japanese music. This programme mixes new and old music, but doesn’t just stay in Japan. One of the drones leads into a work for synthesiser by Klaus Schulze. Sometimes in the heat of the moment you need to break out of the mold.”

17. Episode 48: Spring in the Artificial Gardens


“A very electronic programme, but one that comes from an acoustic source. Adaptations of music from the ECM label and of field recordings from the palace of Versailles… the fine music of Murcof, Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer pushes the programme forward.”

18. Episode 37/38: Dodenmetten voor Ockeghem

Episode 37 and Episode 38.

“OK, just one more programme inspired by death. This one took place 520 years ago. Johannes Ockeghem is one of my favourite composers. I couldn’t let the 520th anniversary of his death pass by unnoticed. These are two programmes that form a single story and so they have been included together in this list. His Motets for Easter are mixed with some of the earliest polyphonic requiem masses, which were also composed by Ockeghem. The lament that his admirer (and possible student) Josquin des Prez composed for the funeral of his old master closes the second hour. A tribute to one of the great names from the past.”

19. Episode 150: Rain dance


“Sometimes you want to listen to sounds that you have not heard for a long time. Birds in the winter, a long downpour during a dry summer. It was warm and dry when I made this programme and so it was time for a rain dance. One of my own recordings of a thunder storm combined with lots of deep and dark soundscapes. This theme was not pursued in the next episode because it started to rain, of course purely because of the influence of Sensenta and the Concertzender.”

20. Episode 182: Hoshi No Uta


“The best way to follow a dark programme is to emerge into the light of a tonal piece of music. The slow and languid sounds at the start of this programme are followed by a peaceful and somewhat sad work by Shinya Fukumori Trio. That was the perfect choice to end that programme and is also the perfect way to end this list. Wonderful!”