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Featured Transmission(s):
  • Aired on May 24th 22:00 CEST 2024
  • frozen voices
  • Genre: Radio Art
  • Duration: 15 min
  • Silenced voices echo through the cloisters of a monastery, as does the crackling of flames that gradually make their way through. I imagine that I am giving a voice to those who have lost it within these walls. The Inquisition has left its mark all over Europe. With frozen voices, I make silenced voices resound once again. The voice allows us to establish contact with the world, it wants to resonate and to be heard. The chant on which my piece frozen voices in based is a medieval hymn to the Virgin of Sorrows (Virgo Doloribus), which can be found in an early musical notation consisting of animal figures in the cloister of the Girona Cathedral (1): the words of the latin chant are carved in stone, the pitches corresponding to the calls of the animals they symbolize. According to an ancient Hindu system, each step of the musical scale is assigned an extensive meaning (2).
    In the Catholic Church, Gregorian chant was traditionally reserved for men. But contrary to church tradition, I had the chorale sung by a woman,
    by the singer Mikae Natsuyama (3). The electronic manipulation of the voice leads the listener into the midst of the chant, which, by merging with the chirping of crickets and the buzzing of bees, becomes the bearer of an original mystical sound. While voice and word seem to freeze in their origins, the song of the insects becomes a carrier of fire and warmth. I originally composed frozen voices for 'Canten les Pedres', a cyclical audio-visual installation (4), which was created in 2001 in collaboration with Barbara Held and others for the cloister of the cathedral in Girona, but which was ultimately not allowed to be shown in the monastery, but was instead presented in a municipal gallery. In 2012 I had the opportunity to
    take up the piece and to show it at a former monastery in Austria.
    Voice/soprano: Mikae Natsuyama

Anne Wellmer

Anne Wellmer is a composer performer of electronic music and a media artist. Her work includes interactive compositions, installations, audio walks, music theater, improvisation and live music for dance and theater. As a curator, she brought her composition teacher Alvin Lucier to The Hague in 2010 for a major retrospective of his work. With an exhibition and a three-day festival she presented the work of Dutch composer and theater maker Dick Raaijmakers ni 2007 for the first time to a Berlin
audience. In 2016, she co-founded the New Emergences Foundation in The Hague. She has been a member of the Society for Nontrivial Pursuits in Berlin since 2017.


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