A series of programs for Kunstradio devoted to Iberoamerican Radio Art
by José Iges
This first IberWave programme brings together works that make reference to painting, literature or poetry, as well as the translations from these fields to the realm of radio. Thus, we have grouped them under the title REFERENCES / TRANSLATIONS.
Furthermore, very different styles -both showing an author's individual working ethos and the prevalent trends within a country- will be confronted during the program, a feature which will be customary in this series.
The authors of the first two works are Mexican, and both their pieces relate to famous paintings. The two pieces have been the result of commissions from public institutions: the Fonoteca Nacional of Mexico and the LEAS laboratory. In the first piece, Manuel Rocha Iturbide draws inspiration from Frida Kahlo's painting "El Baño de Frida" ("Fridah's Bath"), with the particularity that the photograph of the artist's intimate space was taken by the composer's mother, the well-known photographer Graciela Iturbide.
The second work, by Oscar Rodrigo Alonso and Perla Olivia Rodriguez, reveals a weaker influence of electroacoustics in their translation of "The Scream", Edvard Munch's best-known picture. The piece chosen is part of a of four radio piece collection dedicated by the authors to the Norwegian painter.
The third work is a World Premiere. Its authors are the Brazilian Janete El Haouli and José Augusto Mannis. Their work is dedicated to the memory and poetry of Décio Pignatari, who passed away in December 2012. Pignatari was one of the founders of "concrete poetry". Together with his voice and poems are the musical works that were inspired by them, all of which has been woven with great affection and finese.
Sound poetry is the the domain in which the works by the Cuban artist Amarilys Quintero and Peruvian sound artist Luis Alvarado dwell. Both their works put a limited range of technical resources to great effect.
Finally, Argentinian radio artist and producer Hernán Risso Patrón translated into sound Julio Cortázar's short story "La noche boca arriba" ("The night face up") for the radio. The title of the work is "Heartbeats" ("Latidos") and it was produced by the Laboratory LEAR in Buenos Aires.
1. Manuel Rocha Iturbide, MX
El baño de Frida (Fridah's Bath)
After Frida Kahlo´s death in 1954, her husband Diego Rivera decided to close two bathrooms with objects and documents belonging to Frida. In 2004 the rooms were reopened. One of these spaces was photographed by Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, using some of Frida´s objects stored there, such as here crutches, a Stalin poster, a dissected turtle, an apron with blood, etc.
In this sound work I was trying to create a sort of Frida´s portrait, specifically in the context the that small space where she would hide (her private bathroom), and where there was only a bath tub and two small pieces of wooden furniture.
This is not the Frida that suffers, but the Frida still child that lets her self go, traveling (thanks to the effect of water) to the most profound subconscious space of her psyche. My composition is equally inspired in the surrealist painting “Lo que el agua me dejó” (“what the water left me”), realized in 1938, where Frida is inside the bath tub filled with water, where different beings like insects, the empire state building, a volcano, Frida´s parents, etc, grow from within. All these icons are related to the internalization of her intense and complex life.
Manuel Rocha Iturbide
Commissioned by Fonoteca Nacional de México.
2. Oscar Rodrigo Alonso / Perla Olivia Rodríguez, MX:
El friso de la vida. Luz y sombra de Edvard Munch Ansiedad (The frieze of life. Light and shade of Edvard Munch: Anxiety)
The work of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch represents the feelings of many people, men and women of different cultures every day experiencing the voluptuousness of the love, the overwhelming presence of death and the stifling anxiety of living. These radioarts recover, through the expressive force of the sound, the anxiety and anguish, two concepts painted by Munch in his works.
Produced by LEAS, México DF.
3. Janete El Haouli / José Augusto Mannis, BR:
Sound piece: in memoriam Decio Pignatari
premiere, 2013, 20'12"
work-sound-poem in honour Decio Pignatari, creator of concrete poetry in Brazil in 1950 together with the brothers Augusto and Haroldo de Campos.
By editing, montage and electroacoustic processing, the sounds of voices and musics based on his poems turn into an invitation to listen to the creative imagination of this great poet.
The work includes fragments of poems, songs and testimonies of Decio Pignatari, Augusto e Haroldo de Campos, Cid Campos, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Mendes, Madrigal Ars Viva and José Augusto Mannis.
4. Amarilys Quintero, CU:
Declamación muda (Silent Declamation)
There are words that just pronounced, just whispered they appease in us tumults; between the idea [...] omitted and the silence, there is an infinite sound.
5. Luis Alvarado (PER):
La voz de los espíritus (The voice of the spirits)
The Voice of the Spirits is part of the works of the author using voice and simple technological tools.
"I mean that unintelligible voice that one can perceive but you don't know where it comes, a signal, which can be seen as rather esoteric if you want;
then I like the idea of producing some things that could be saying something."
6. Hernán Risso/LEAR (AR):
"Heartbeat" ("Latidos") is inspired by the tale of Julio Cortazar "The Night face up" ("La noche boca arriba"), which raises a parallel between the present and the past, reality and fantasy, life and death.
Dark sounds, sounds with pungent smell, linked to remedies and hospital,to jungle and ritual, to fear. As a nexuses constant heartbeat, thin line between life and death, between reality and dream. Compass of waiting... waiting room... waiting for death... the sharp sound of death.
Produced by LEAR, Buenos Aires.