Issue 35 / 2018

The All-Time Hit Parade: soundplays and radio varia chosen for the „Glissando“ readers by experts from 11 countries and 3 continents (vol. 2)

Alessandro Bosetti, Bernarde Clarke, Michal Rataj, Sabine Breitsameter
Sabine Breitsameter

Günter Eich
Träume (dir.: Fritz Schröder-Jahn)

A radical content is combined with a very conceptual way of directing the actors’ voices. Sparsely, but pointedly applied electronic sounds add gradually to the subcutaneous and slow emergence of the listeners’ disconcertment. Music by Siegfried Franz. A radio work more topical than ever.

Ronald Steckel
Eine Sprache ohne Unwahrheit und Behauptung

Vocal sounds almost reduced to nothingness, framed by varied pauses, create a language-like structure without any resemblance to an existing language. However, it is clear from the beginning, that this is meant to be a kind of articulated speech. Listener focus on nearly one hour of complete abstraction, at least half of it silence.

Peter Castine
Overnight Sensation

A 20 hour radiophonic sound installation on the German-Polish artist radio station Radio_Copernicus from Christmas Eve, 6 p.m., to 25 December, 2 p.m. CET. Slow with subtle changes this piece of radio art created by generative audio programming filled the listeners’ spaces by sounds sophisticatedly mixing with the noises on site, and constantly evolving. Broadcast on FM-stations in Berlin and Wroclaw, the piece was also streamed on the Internet.

R. Murray Schafer, Claude Schryer
A Winter Diary

Listen to the snowflakes of the harsh winters in Ontario, Canada, and lose yourself the infinite open spaces of the vast, cold land, as find refuge in the reassurance and comfort of interior spaces. A one-hour piece created by environmental sounds only.

Terry Allen
Torso Hell

An acoustic persiflage, using and mixing trivial story components and sound clichés of Vietnam war movies, revealing not only the absurdity of the story, but beyond that the megalomaniac kernel of most war movies.


Michał Rataj

Gerhard Rühm
Zensurierte Rede

Composed in Czechoslovakia, in the radio studio in Liberec (Reichenberg). This influential work by the Austrian classic combines in a great way the power of spoken word being understood across borders / language barriers with criticism on suppressive political systems of any kind.

Bill Fontana
Soundbridge Köln/San Francisco

Great power of radio medium as an instrument being able to connect. At the time of internet this does not seem relevant so much anymore, but diving back to 1980s the power of radio to mix sound realities across ocean sounds like a big step in learning about different human lives.

Alvin Curran
Un altro ferragosto

Very personal piece which influenced the way I’ve approached sound composition. Great mix of traditional compositional craft and new technique of soundscape with unique emotional input on top of that.

Hanna Hartman

Hanna Hartman’s work represents for me the modern classic in the way sound can be treated – no digital transformations, no spectral treatments. It’s a piece about pure listening to the world around and understanding beauty of its sonic nature.

Andreas Bick

Another big inspiration for my own work, Andreas reaches cinematic quality of sound in a pure acousmatic context. Chronostasis has been highlight for me in a series of his works dealing with loops and grooves of sounds based on shared origin. Here sounds of time machines build up even another symbolic layer on top of the phenomenal craft of sound art.


Bernarde Clarke

Illinca Stihi
Biblia neagră a lui William Blake

…And none more so than Romanian radio dramatist and director Illinca Stihi. Her Biblia neagră a lui William Blake (The Black Bible of William Blake) is a shocking listen. It weaves the ancient world of Blake (though here he is either an obnoxious DJ or LRAD weapon), with the modern urban experience of Bucharest. The piece is not primarily about Blake at all, but very much about the impossibility of reaching anything as pure as his Songs of Innocence. It has an elemental power, a sense of spiralling doom –essential listening.

In Darkness Let Me Dwell

Another hybrid. Merzouga (Janko Hanushevsky & Eva Pöpplein) weave devastating sound design and original music with field recordings and the narrative of a journal to tell the doomed tale of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Literature, radio drama, radio art and sound art are all in play here.

Impression In darkness let me dwell live from merzougamusic on Vimeo.

Andreas Ammer & F.M. Einheit
Radio Inferno

F.M. Einheit (Einsturzende Neubauten) joins with Andreas Ammer to re-create a live radio-show version of Dante’s Inferno. The great German Hörspiel tradition taken to its zenith.

Svetlana Maras

Part radio art, part electro-acoustic voyage-a lexicon of sound by Serbian composer and sound artist Svetlana Maras. Језик explores in-depth and from many angles the radio transmission of the voice and breath.

Alessandro Bosetti
The Notebooks

Quite simply the greatest radio artist in the world today working with the archival notebooks of Czech composer Leoš Janáček. Speech melody originates with Janáček, who recorded speech contours in musical notation –from simple phrases like Good Day or Good Evening to his dying daughter’s final utterances, Janáček hoped to preserve her presence, to take solace in the notion that, in some way, she still lived with him. Bosetti’s craft, humour, and vision are on an incredible level.


Alessandro Bosetti

Sebastién Roux

A sonic translation of a novella La Légende de Saint-Julien l’Hospitalier by Gustave Flaubert which carefull re interpret all refereces to sound to be found in the text. Those who deeply enjoy the detailed and exquisiteness of Flaubert prose will not recognise it anymore as it’s all gone, melted away as a wax cast during the rigorous conceptual process enacted by Roux. All sounds are crafted by Roux himself with the collaboration of Zeena Parkins on Harp and of a foley artist Sophie Bissantz. What’s left behind is as detailed and exquisite.

Hanna Hartmann
Att fälla grova träd är förknippat med risker

This piece baffles me as it’s so narrative ad abstract at once. Tells a story out of time, as if you were able to look at it from all sides at once, something I look for while listening to radio and sound pieces hoping that they transport me outside of an obvious and inexorable linearity of time into something way more multidimensional, connected with memory and dreams. The falling of trees is associated with risks. Won Karl-Sczuka-Preis in 2005.

Sherre Delys
Energy Grids

This sound journal recounts a time spent in Walter de Maria land art piece Lightning Field in the desert of new mexico by Sherre Delys and her partner, the musician Chris Abrahams. I love the piece as it short circuits inside and outside, vast and intimate and cross fades effortlessly between solitary meditation, landscape observation and autobiographic tale. One of my favorite specificities of radio is that of making far and close collapse into each other and in this sense this piee is as radiophonic as it gets.

Giorgio Pressburger
Giochi di Fanciulli

This piece is not very well known but it has been a major influence on me. Giorgio Pressburger, which was a writer and not a professional radio maker, as it often was the case in Italian public radio in the 70’s and 80’s gathered and group of kids in the radio studio and reconstructed the narration of the life of a man and a woman out of their plays and impromptu nursery rhymes. The more i listen to these voices out of contexts the more they become “out of this world”, autonomous from the original subjects that uttered them in the first place. (All grown ups, somewhere now…). Won Prix Italia in 1970.


Sabine Breitsameter – profesor of media art in Hochschule Darmstadt. Since the 80s active as radio artist, festival curator, organiser of symposiums and workshops.

Michał Rataj – composer and sound artist living in Prague. Since 2000 tied to the Czech Radio, as a curator and producer of artforms for radio, comissioned from the artist from the whole world.

Bernard Clarke – artist and radio producer, artysta i producent radiowy connected with the Irish station RTÉ lyric fm. Laureate i.a. of the second place at Prix Phonurgia Nova in 2015.

Alessandro Bosetti – composer, performer and sound artist, concerned primarily with musical aspects of spoken language. Composed for commisions from i. a. GRM in Paris, WDR Studio-akustische-Kunst in Cologne, or Deutschland Radio Kultur in Berlin. Won Prize Phonurgia Nova (2012) and Palma Ars Acustica (2015).

edited by: Michał Mendyk
translations: Antoni Michnik