blown backwards into the future”

by Marold Langer-Philippsen

“Man’s disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, wherein he was placed” – this is how John Milton summarised in brief the subject of his masterpiece, “Paradise Lost”, in the greatly revised second edition of 1674. The twelve instalments of the radio art series PARADISELOST I–XII on ORF Kunstradio in 2012/13 set out in search of the lost paradises of our time. Like the blind author of the original, though on a different sensory level, the participating musicians, composers and artists attempt to reveal the spaces, ideas, dreams, visions, and desires that represent paradise(s) or the losses thereof.
Each broadcast focuses on one of the twelve books of Milton’s epic poem. The titles of the individual programmes refer to places and spaces Milton deals with in his text. Each programme is accompanied by a photograph that is used as the starting point for the particular score. The broadcasts of the radio opera are produced as a series but are also complete in themselves. A short introductory passage outlines what has happened so far.
In collaboration with Petra Fornayová, Hearn Gadbois, Rupert Huber, Udo Israel, Mira Keratová/Stano Filko, Michal Kindernay, Agnes Kutas/Tomas Žižka (Mamapapa Banda), Udo Noll, Dimitra Pemousi/Manolis Manousakis, Marek Piaček (with students of Žilina University), and Sarah Washington/Knut Auferman the medium of radio and its various technologies are used to create acoustic portraits that follow the Kunstradio credo: ON AIR ON LINE ON SITE. Real places, spaces, situations and the radio studio provide the acoustic basis for PARADISELOST I–XII, for radio art journeys to the visions, memories, archives and sound worlds of the people involved, but also of passers-by that were interviewed – radio art that gives you food for thought and listening.
As Udo Noll, one of the participating radio artists, describes in another context, “… this project doesn’t want to subtitle your reality. Its intention is to intensify and enrich the experience and perception of the world around you …”
Or as it was put in the early days of broadcasting in the mid-1920s, “Turn away from writing, which is for the eye, and turn towards speaking, which touches the ear.”

(Marold Langer-Philippsen, 2012)