All Chemix Radio ctd (1/3)

FNTC ‘Opera’ k7, 1987
Staaltape Documentatie Serie


01 Opera part I (29:18)
02 Opera part II (33:14)

Cora Emens: voice
Nicole Veldman: voice
Hessel Veldman: synthesizer (and cello?)
Willem De Ridder: electronics and voice
John Rose: violin
Ben Uijtjens: recording & mix
Recorded 1986

Above: Hessel Veldman, Cora Emens, Nicole Veldman
& Willem De Ridder, ca mid 1980s.

Arguably the most famous episode in the All Chemix Radio radioplays series (see previous month’s posts #1, 2 and 3 for info), ‘Opera’ was reissued shortly after it was created in 1986, in the dutch tape label Staaltape Documentatie series. It’s also the radioplay that launched the series, according to De Ridder’s description on this page. According to Cora Emens ‘FNTC and the Fanatic started after I was invited to do a live radio broadcast. I invited Willem de Ridder, my lover at that time and hometapers Hessel and Nicole Veldman to accompagny me. Willem was the one who aired my music on national Ducth radio. We became friends and lovers and parents’. ‘FANATIC’ was a fanzine as well, but this is when De Ridder started producing experimental radioplays with music, before christening it All Chemix Radio.

Here’s how New American Radio introduces the play:

Opera (1987) A long-form musical work, composed of such operatic elements as arias and choral presentations. But a FANATIC opera is not a traditional opera. Imagine a dense bassey, enveloping fabric of industrial sounds with patterns of whispering, non-narrative singing, utterances, jingling keys, seagulls’ cries, boat horns, and the passionate statements of Jon Rose’s home-made violin-like instruments. A fascinating meditation for radio!’

Actually, it looks like two 30mns episodes. The A side is a massive progressive accumulation of dark electronic and concrete sounds along whispering voices by FNTC members Cora Emens, Nicole and Hessel Veldman, Willem De Ridder. The tape is aptly named ‘Opera’ since this is indeed a work for voices. Very much like a Dante’s Inferno soundtrack, featuring trapped and suffering individuals trying to escape.

The B side has John Rose’s amazing violin playing conspicuously on the forefront of the mix. The first 15mns is a quiet building up soundscape made of wind-like electronic sounds and subdued violin. At 16:00, the violin playing start getting really weird along De Ridder’s falsetto voice improvising a kind of aria. Other voices join shortly after, singing obscure syllables only (the all release doesn’t have a single word in it). At 22:00, the violin is the prominent feature, maybe rerecorded on several tracks – ‘Opera’ is said to be recorded on a 24 track professional studio by sound engineer Ben Uijtjens. Reverb drenched mysterious female chanting complete this episode, one of the best in the series. No doubt the kind of achievement he got with ‘Opera’ made De Ridder want to offer it as a regular feature.

Downlaod this gem.

9 Responses to “All Chemix Radio ctd (1/3)”

  1. 1 dmtls December 19, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    This looks extremely interesting. Downloaded already. I am really looking forward to getting the chance to hear it in the following days. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 2 Cranio December 19, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for this, love this Hessel Veldman and Y Create related stuff.


  3. 3 continuo December 19, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Obviously, if any of you has additional All Chemix Radio material, I’d be glad you would share your files. Thanks for your kind comments, anyway.

  4. 4 p. somniferum December 22, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    As usual, wonderful posts. Keep up the great work!

  5. 5 Cora January 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm


    I am Cora Emens.
    FNTC and the Fanatic started after I was invited to do a live radio broadcast. I invited Willem de Ridder, my lover at that time and hometapers Hessel and Nicole Veldman to accompagny me.
    Willem was the one who aired my music on national Ducth radio. We became friends and lovers and parents. Please change this story according to the truth. There was no FNTC or Fanatics before I got this group together.


  6. 6 continuo January 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Cora,
    Thanks for visiting those pages. I changed the story of the birth of Fanatic according to your message because I trust you. Nevertheless, this is at odds with the way Hessel Veldmann tells the Fanatic story in his Exart Cassettes catalogue (where my information came from). It seems appropriate, though, that the All Chemix Radio series was launched by a woman and taken up by such an original mind as Willem De Ridder. The story is even more beautiful like that!
    All the best from,

  7. 7 Cora January 22, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Hi Continuo,

    Thank you for changing the story.
    This is what I remember:

    Hessel Veldman was a hometaper who also send his music to the Radiola Salon. That is how he and Willem met. Hessel made music for Willem to tell stories over for other radio broadcasts and performances. That was their collaboration. In 1982 I send my music to the Radiola Salon, that is how I met Willem and started listening to his radio programme. I liked Hessel’s music a lot and when I was asked to perform life for a radio broadcast in Amsterdam I asked Hessel and Nicole Veldman and Willem to join me. Willem was a storyteller when we met. We made a deal: Willem would teach me how to tell stories and make radioplays. I took him to friends of mine, hometapers as well to encourage him to sing his heart out. After that Willem got into “singing” and making music as well. I am not denying the important role Willem played in forming the Fanatic. The very name came from him, but the first get together of our group was because I invited them all. Our first release was called “Ei blot till list”. It worked out so well that we decided to make more music together and perform at churches and other venues. Willem named us the Fanatic which later became FNTC. That is my recollection. I have no recollection of Willem and Hessel working together under the name Fanatic, performing or otherwise. I do remember us talking about a name and Willem coming up with the name Fanatic which later changed into FNTC, also Willem’s idea. That must have been around 1985, the year our daughter Aïda was born, which we taped and made a radioplay off. Hessel and Nicole got a babygirl as well, Nicky and often they where with us , even on stage, when we performed. Other dates I can’t give you as I have done so much, it is hard to all remember.
    The All Chemix radio series was not launched by me, but it started with Willem getting into making music because of our mutual inspiration which led to the forming of FNTC and later the All Chemix radio series in which we [and sometimes Willem alone] collaborated with other musicians.

    I don’t remember much about the magazine. Willem was always making magazines. I vagely remember he worked on a magazine with William Levy which might have been called the Fanatic.

    Cora Emens

  8. 8 continuo January 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks, Cora, for taking the time to update us on your musical & radiophonic activities. I noticed you linked to Continuo on your website’s Music page: nice! Take care.

  9. 9 Y Create January 25, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Some wonderful reactions on things that happend such a long time ago. But still these vibes wave around. It’s really a long history. Cora you told your part. After our last FNTC concert in Paradiso, Amsterdam, we split up. Moving into perfomance art, storytelling, adventoures weekends in Spa, Belgium, and lots of music. Y Create still is creating music. On radio, on CD’s, and as a musical adviser for Dutch Music Libraries. Search the web for all kinds of Y Create stories and keep on blogging.

    Y Create,
    Goede Herder
    Velserduinweg 52c
    1971 ZE IJmuiden.

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