Sunday, 2. December 2012, 23:03 - 23:59, Ö1


Kunstradio Classics 2 – Aus dem Archiv 2012 - Teil 16:
„Má Vlast / Mein Vaterland / My Fatherland“ by Volkmar Klien
selected by Jon Rose


Volkmar Klien calls his piece „My Fatherland“ a (patriotic) Symphonic Poem in the form of a Radiophonic Roadmovie. Hitchhiking through Austria Volkmar Klien asks people to drive him to those places that, according to them, sound best. The piece was selected by Jon Rose with the following comment:

“I enjoyed this piece very much. To be sure it is quite rough in recording quality and the editing is, how shall we say, fairly ‘free’, but there is a lot to admire. First of all it doesn't sound like he has been sitting for hours in front of his lap top mixing a vast catalogue of sounds and the day away. This guy is action man! The smell of exhaust pipes is coming out of my computer as I listen. I'm choking. He must be choking too, out there chasing down a story, more a journalist than a höerspiel maker – and that's alright. It's a narrative that makes itself, anything could happen and he could meet anyone – and does. It's a live event, well I feel alive listening to it. Most of the time he comes across people who seem confused by what he wants to know, what is Heimat? What do you mean? We are standing in it aren't we? It should be harmless travelogue fun, but somehow it isn't, there is an undertone that doesn't sound right. Right people in wrong place? But this is the Vaterland, it has to be the right people in the right place, right? Get me into this place, or get me out of this hell? This is certainly not a piece that could be used in the Austrian Government's next tourism campaign, the sound of the autobahn is omnipresent, a wash of white noise, we have to shout to be heard. We don't get to anything remotely cute (like a water fall) until 30 minutes into the piece. German is not my first language so I miss a lot of the dialogue, lost in translation, but I like that, I listen instead to that distinctive lilt of the Austrian accent, to the gestures, to the nonchalant time of day discussion, to the stop words that don't mean anything, to the silences, to the misunderstandings, and the endless directions to God knows where. Music of location. The Vaterland starts off in a deluge of machine noise, and continues as if we are in gas guzzling Texas - but with a few mountains thrown in. Somewhere towards the end, my computer hangs, and I think, well should I hear it all again to catch the ending, or should I let it go, like that, like radio, a once only audio experience, with all radio's arbitrary starts and stops. It's off, it's on, switched to another station. Maybe I'm mishearing the whole thing anyway. I'm writing this in the same spirit and I've suddenly stopped…”