Sound-based art on Radio NZ Concert

I’ve got a monthly slot on Radio NZ Concert’s “Upbeat” show, produced by Jeremy Brick and hosted by Eva Radich. The first one was broadcast on July 28 and has been archived here. It’s an introduction to soundscape and features Francisco Lopez’s La Selva (though I didn’t mention Lopez’s distate for the concept of soundscape…), David Dunn’s Chaos and the Emergent Mind of the Pond (the sublime rhythmics of aquatic insects), and what might well be the first soundscape composition – or the first work of musique concrète for that matter – Walther Ruttman’s Wochenende, “a film without images” dating from 1930, which is an aural counterpart to his silent film symphonies. The topic for the next show is yet to be decided. Perhaps a look at the work of instrumental composers who have incorporated the soundscape into their work in various ways? Berio’s Voci and Naturale come to mind (if we can accept folk songs as a kind of soundscape), as does Stockhausen’s Orchester-Finalisten (Robin Maconie maintains the instrumentalists play the parts of insects in this piece) and, something more recent, Fennesz’s Black Sea which weaves in and out of field recordings. And of course something by Messiaen featuring birds, though the only technology involved in such works was pencil, paper, and Messiaen’s formidable powers of listening.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Sound-based art on Radio NZ Concert

  1. In 1908 when Messiaen was born New Zealand’s own Johannes Andersen was active transcribing the soundscape of our native species published in papers for the Wellington Philosophical Society under the title “New Zealand Bird-song” and now available online.

  2. Thanks Robin – interesting stuff! Collected under the Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961 and searchable here http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/advancedsearch.html. A search also reveals that Andersen wrote the RS obituary for W.H. Guthrie-Smith, author of Tutira (1921) – still in print and now hailed as a classic environmentalist text.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s