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Ars Acoustica Group

Ars Acustica Group


In 2007 the Ars Acustica group is joining the international Art's Birthday Parties for the third time. Most of their contributions take 100 years of radio as a point of reference and will be broadcast within the framework of this year's EBU Ars Acustica Special Evening. Radio's 100th anniversary goes back to the first wireless transmission of sound and voice by Reginald Aubrey Fessenden on Christmas Eve 1906. This transmission was the starting point from which
"Fessenden went on to develop the theory and practice of continuous wave transmission that we use today for AM and FM radio broadcasts." (Peter Courtemanche).

For this international event, the Ars Acustica Group has designed a way to organize the contents which are contributed as sound "presents". Via ISDN-lines or the Internet the contributions are collected at two main points, in Vienna (ORF) and Stockholm (SR), where they are sent to the two EBU satellite channels Ravel (R) and Verdi (V). Both satellite channels (R and V) offer “ready-to-broadcast” materials along with signature-tunes and broadcast-identifications.

Satellite Schedules
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Schedule Channel VERDI

Live Stream

19:05 – 19:15 Live from Stockholm (SR)
19:15 – 19:45 Live from Madrid (RNE) 
19:45 – 20:15 Live from Florence (RAI) 

20:15 – 20:45 Live from Dortmund (WDR)

Art's Birthday Party – Live from Dortmund (WDR)

Composer: Sometimes Pumpstation

Richard Ortmann, soundscapes
Karl-Heinz Blomann, saxophone
Krisztián Kelner, guitar, live electronics
Almut Kühne, voice
Marcela Ruiz Quintero, dance

UPGRADE, the first meeting of artists from the three cultural capitals of 2010, is bringing together dancers and musicians from Hungary, Turkey and Germany. The Emscher and its transformation into a clean river are the focus of artistic attention. The sound and dance project will come to its climax and conclusion on 17 January 2007 with three premieres at three different venues along the Emscher.

The Emscher runs through the former coal and steel production region of the Ruhr from Dortmund to Dinslaken, where it flows into the Rhine. The Ruhr area, with around 5 million inhabitants, is one of Europe’s largest post-industrial conurbations.

Like arteries, the Emscher system extends over 341 km through residential areas and industrial estates, and characterizes the urban landscape in many locations. Even if it is firmly anchored in the perception of the residents, the Emscher’s banks and its tributaries are places to avoid at the centre of this urban scene. Laid in concrete sewer inverts, straightened and constrained by dykes, they flow through the region as a relict of industrialization and mining, as Europe’s last open waste water channels.

A new signal is now being issued with the conversion of the Emscher system and the vision of the new Emscher valley. In a construction project lasting over twenty years, the Emscher and its tributary streams are being converted back into almost natural rivers. Drainage pipes have to be driven into the ground so that the region’s waste water will in future be able to flow underground to the treatment plants. The sewer inverts are being removed, and the river and streams widened at some locations and restored to a natural condition. At a number of tributaries, this is already reality. The former places to avoid are becoming high quality areas for leisure and relaxation in the middle of urban structures. The body responsible for these measures is the Emschergenossenschaft in Essen.

Whereas 100 years ago the intentional transformation of the original river landscape into one of the world’s largest waste water systems was taking place, today’s planning is proceeding in the opposite direction. The planned recovery of the river landscape is of enormous economic, social, architectural and aesthetic importance to the Ruhr region as a whole.

The aim of UPGRADE is to focus on and artistically reflect this socio-cultural side of the Emscher conversion.

In the “Sometimes Pumpstation” performance, the unusual venue of the Evinger Bach Pump Station in Dortmund, erected in 1953, becomes an ally and one of the cast. With a maximum delivery of 12,000 litres per second, Dortmund’s Evinger Bach ranks among the Emschergenossenschaft’s largest pumping stations. In the station’s cellar, where a tangle of huge pipes and steel structures normally fulfils its function in secret, sound artists, musicians and a dancer will interact on 17 January and outline their interpretations of the Emscher valley’s past and future. Through international networking with the European Broadcasting Union’s “Art’s Birthday” radio event, “Sometimes Pumpstation” will at the same time make a contribution to the “renaturing” or rediscovery of the ether as an artistic medium. The EBU’s Ars Acustica working group regularly celebrates the (fictitious) birthday of art with an ambitious four-hour satellite broadcast. Performances from different continents flow together there, as a contrasting programme to the shallow trickles of “straightened” format radio.

This year, the Ars Acustica network is also remembering the path-breaking experiments of radio pioneer Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, who was the first person to succeed in broadcasting a human voice a hundred years ago. From the Dortmund pump station, the control centre for the circulation of huge masses of water in the Emscher region, the voice of Almut Kühne, the saxophone of Karl-Heinz Blomann, the guitar playing of Krisztián Kelner and the soundscape montages of Richard Ortmann will then be fed into the international universe of sound.
20:45 – 21:15 Live from Helsinki (YLE) 
21:15 – 21:45 Live from Brussels (RTBF) 
21:45 – 22.15 Live from Paris (Radio France) 
22:15 – 22:30 Live from Moscow (Radio Russia)
22:30 – 22:55 Live from Stockholm (SR) 

Schedule Channel RAVEL

Live Stream

19:05 – 19:30 Live from Hainburg, Austria (IMA)
19:30 – 20:00 Live from Zagreb (Croatian Radio)
20:00 – 20:30 Live from Prague (Czech Radio)
20:30 – 21:00 Live from Bratislava (Slovak Radio) 
21:00 – 21:30 Live from Belgrade (RTS Radio Belgrade) 
21:30 – 21:40 Live from St. Barbara (August Black) 
21:40 – 22:00 Live from Antwerp (Radio-No-Radio) 
22:00 – 22:20 Live from Netherlands (VPRO)
22:20 – 22:40 Live from Vienna (ORF) 
22:40 – 23:00 Live from Vancouver (Western Front)