Water, rivers and the sea are themes that repeatedly come up in the sonic work of artist Anna Raimondo, and the following pieces present a variety of approaches to this theme – in addition to this they touch upon Anna’s own biography. Born in Naples, she has lived in Marseille, London and currently Brussels. Even in those cities, that do not have access to the sea, Raimondo has tried to trace aquatic remnants, like in Brussels with the piece “L’Eau en Senne”. Together with Younes Baba-Ali she founded the radio art platform Saout Radio.
1) „A mermaid is on air“
A mermaid is a mystery
A mystery, which crosses different universes and registers
Half bird or half fish?
Femmes fatales or a simple and innocent beautiful girl?
Prophet or destroyer?
Between the world of the dead and the living, anyway, she is a woman.
Becoming woman, waves, becoming mermaid, A Mermaid Is On Air is a sonic trip trough these universes, where the voice, the subjectivity and the process of the perception of listening are central to explore them. Looking for a feminine communication, beyond logos, the work explores what being a woman could mean and imply.
And as a mysterious universe of the waves, the mermaid also embodies here the potential of electromagnetic waves in her possibility to cross the air, the water and the earth.
Playing on different levels, the work deconstructs the myth of the mermaid, mixing different legends and stereotypes about its figure. The mermaid becomes here an ironic and poetic way to approach what does “being woman” means beyond instructions to follow and stereotypes to fill. At the same time, this figure also activates the imaginary related to the sea as a horizon of possibility where to find the other and the self in continuous transformation.
Commissioned by María Andueza for Radio Reina Sofía (ES) and coproduced by Ö1 Kunstradio (AT) and Radio Revolten (DE).
Radio Museo Reina Sofia
This 5 minute piece is based on a video work with the same titel from 2014. Drop after drop, a glass is filled until it overflows, while the artist repeats the word ’‘Mediterraneo’’. During the action, her voice sinks in the water, thus becoming less and less audible, and the word itself becomes unintelligible.
3) „L’Eau en Senne“
Anna Raimondo rebuilds in Brussels an aquatic landscape through an acoustic parade that recalls the itinerary of the river Senne covered up during the second half of the 19th century.
The research of the artist is focused on the need to act in this gap which separates the public space and its inhabitants from the denied presence of the river and its relative sound horizon.
The sound parade led by the artist in collaboration with foley artist Celine Bernard and a group of participants to a workshop on the construction of aquatic sound objects, has staged and recalled the sounds of the river that used to be there, through the use of self- made instruments and recycled materials.
Floating in the urban space, “L’Eau en Senne” suggests the dimension of a submerged elsewhere, preceding the urbanistic transformation, and means to recall an ephemeral and erratic geography. Likewise, two cities and two times co-exists and overlap each other, in a mental space where the levels of reality and memory blend together. This overlapping of different times, prompted by the sound orchestra, activates both ears and eyes, transforming the meaning of the landscape standing in front of us.
(Excerpt of the critic text “L’Eau en Senne?” written by the curator Marco Trulli.)
Sound mix: Jeanne Débarsy
Sound effects: Céline Bernard
Sound effects recordings: Stjin Norga
Recordings : Flavien Gillié
4) „La vie en bleu“
In her piece „La vie en bleu“ Anna Raimondo builds a bridge between two cities she is well familiar with, or, to be more precise, she connects them via water.
“In between Marseille and Naples, and navigating through the Mediterranean. One is the city in which I was born; the other is the one that has adopted me.
‘La vie en bleu’ is an intimate immersion into two realities where the main element is still the sea. The sea that cleanses, that purifies, that represents a form of catharsis because you can immerse yourself and forget what’s left outside. In both cities, the sea filtrates reality, and this is also what water does in this radio piece. The intimate perspective becomes an aquatic trip.
Field recordings and hydrophonic recordings in a soundscape composition in which blue is the dominant color. Blue as the sea, blue as the colors of both Naples and Marseille’s football teams…”
Mix: Anna Raimondo, Tony Regnauld
5) “In between”
“In Between” questions and re-imagines the relationship between private and public, looking for intermediate acoustic spaces.
What happens when the surfaces of liminal spaces such as doors and windows become invisible, converting into sound?
Once recorded Sporobole art center’s doors and windows (fissures, hinges, surfaces) with different microphones and techniques to capture a combination of both recognizable and abstracts sounds, those sounds have been composed alongside the use of silence, working on the idea of the limen as the limit of the difference between private and public and silence as acoustic space in which the concepts of private and public inhabit simultaneously.
A project by Anna Raimondo realized in residency program at Sporobole art center for “Vitrine Sonore”, curated by Philippe-Autier Gauthier, Agoust 2013, Shorebrooke (CA).
Recordings: Younes Baba-Ali and Anna Raimondo