01 Globalgroove ‘Happy New Year’ (3:35)
02 Tara Rodgers ‘Unspeakable Items: for Bruce, Fred, and Victoria’ (6:18)
03 Alessandro Olla ‘Orfes’ (7:09)
04 Paolo Angeli ‘Anchor Song – The Hand That Bites’ (5:30)
05 Marco Dibeltulu ‘Microclima II’ (5:56)
06 Geoff Soule ‘Expelled II’ (6:59)
07 Michele Martini ‘Noise – Hiroschima 1945′ (9:38)
08 Stella Saladino ‘Equilibri cittadini’ (1:57)
09 Damir Niksic ‘If I wasn’t muslim’ (3:56)
10 Alessandro Olla ‘Janterstelk’ (3:52)
11 Martin Bedard ‘Topographie de la noirceur’ (Topography of darkness )’ (3:57)
12 Globalgroove ‘Dadasophe’ (2:49)
Total time: 60:00
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Based in Siena, Italia and broadcasting from Palazzio Del Papesse — hence the name, Radio Papesse is a net radio run by Ilaria Gadenz, Carola Haupt and Cristiano Magi (+ Marcello The Cat!). Their headquarters are located inside the museum of contemporary art, so part of their activites is issuing audio guides and documenting lectures on contemporary art held inside the building. On the other hand, Radio Papesse launched several calls for submission to soundworks like ‘Borders Sounds-Sounds from the borders’ and ‘GenderBender’, from which some of the tracks I selected come from, the other being culled from their archives. Obviously, I selected tracks I found surprising and exciting — and there are many on this fine podcast radio. There is undoubtly a Tellus flavor in this compilation, and indeed, Joseph Nechvatal submitted his ‘Viral Symphony’ for broadcast, so maybe Tellus founding member felt at home on Radio Papesse, which is evidence of it’s quality, I think. Additionaly, most tracks have vocals, be it speech or singing – either because Radio Papesse stresses the voice as their instrument of choice as a radio program, or either because I felt attracted to those tracks. Some even verge toward sound poetry, like Globalgroove, whose ‘Happy New Year’ is made of pop music samples (including audience applause) and found speech cut-ups. Tara Rodgers was featured in the ‘Gender Bender’ series and her track has readings from feminist and gay writers, some heavily processed through speech synthesis programs (‘I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess’). Alessandro Olla‘s lavish electroacoustic piece ‘Orfes’ is a luxurious electronic composition using exotic bird-like sounds that transport the listener in the Amazonian forest. It’s hard to believe cellist Paolo Angeli is playing solo and live on this gorgeous recording, as classical guitar and rainstick can be heard along. Marco Dibeltulu ‘Microclima II’ is build upon beautiful location recordings from Sardinia, including a male choir, bell chimes, folk musicians, insects and birds. The Geoff Soule track is a piano+drums+voice trio rehearsal leading to a piano+drums improvisation and finally to the solo purring of a cat, while the drummer is playing as if trying not to awaken the cat. Michele Martini’s track starts like a survey of the Hiroshima soundscape the day of the bombing, based on interviews and electronic sounds, before morphing into poetry reading along electronic music. Stella Saladino uses spoken words in italian with added sound effects and electronic. Damir Niksic ‘If I wasn’t muslim’ is the ironical lament of a muslim in the form of a very funny entertainer song, with lines like: ‘When you are a christian, you are always civilized, no matter what you do’. Alessandro Olla’s Janterstelk has bleak electronic sounds and female voice. Martin Bedard is an electroacoustic composer, using the typically rich sonorities from an electro-acoustic studio. Globalgroove’s Dadasophe is a funny rendition of avantgarde sound poetry a la Raoul Hausmann or Kurt Schwitters along a depressing disco beat sample.
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This post is dedicated to Ellen Zweig, who curated ‘Tellus #22 – False Phonemes‘ back in 1988, a compilation cassette making extensive use of computerized voices and speech synthesis. I’m reminded of this cassette while listening to Radio Papesse. Additionaly, Ellen kindly provided a picture the other day to adorn my Tellus post.