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Preparations

22. March 2018
Very well… we started to prepare the „domo“ around 6 the evening before. The place was swarming with young parents and their toddlers, some gardeners, idle youngsters… Eva brings a big green box that contains her herbarium. We swept the gravel off the floor, wiped the table, found some chairs (one in the trash close to the entrance) and stuck a handful of remaining posters to the walls of the neighborhood. We passed a blue-eyed dog in a duffle coat (Madrid dogs often wear coats as long as the temperatures are still below 15 degrees:) and went for a beer.

 

 

Radio Gardening in Madrid

23. March 2018. Meeting at 9:15 at the entrance of Esta es Una Plaza; Caroline of Radio Hortelana had already opened the gate. Setting-up: All went well – thanks to ingenious Jesús of Medialab who had already made some tests the day before. Just like with Datscha Radio 17, we use the „Butt“-app for streaming and transmit via Udo Noll’s aporee streaming server.
The Plaza’s cat makes its appearance.
10:20 Eva, Kata and Joaquín arrive. Plants, sensors and watering cans are arranged next to the high bed of homeless cacti.
Maite takes pictures for the In-Sonora docu. Carolina has brought coffee, her Kalimba and a guitar.
11:50 Alberto of Esta es Una Plaza turns up. We are all happy and exited.

1st – 3rd hour

12:00 Here we go! Hola! Datscha Radio a tope!
After the introductions Carolina plays her kalimba to the sounds of gushing rain: An anti-rain spell that we hope will protect us from worse. Because rain for Madrid people is the most welcome excuse to stay at home! Apart from that, our electricity is provided from a solar battery – we are indeed a very ecological radio station!

13:00 Our program flows smoothly! A roughly by the hour organized schedule serves for orientation, all artists are bilingual, so we manage quite well with the translations.

Below you’ll find (later!!!!) an updated version of the program plan – the audio files will be shared on mix cloud asap (but not before 3rd of April). For now, let us look at some of the radio events of the day. Have fun!

14:15 Rain has finally come. Kata and Joaquín perform an astonishing set with plant radio music, sensors transforming the moisture levels of different plant pots and the green’s voltage into a soundscape with harmonica.

The cat loves it so much, it goes to sit on the roof just above our heads. A talk about listening and the rain.

Power cut!

Unfortunately the solar energy runs out…For some minutes we still broadcast on batteries but then we decide to interrupt our program.

 

14:45 Datscha Radio is back again on the air waves! One of the gardeners provided a connection from his neighboring house to the studio! The rain has stopped, the cat gets back in.

4rd – 6th hour…

We continue with the theme of plant talks: Eva Kurly presents her herbarium and introduced the African all-edible Moringa tree. Carolina plays and sings a poem from Argentinia. Santiago, who was working outside comes in an explains what they are presently building. Alberto has prepared two interviews about plant names and balcony plants with his parents. A delightful conversation, each one made over the telephone, the crackling interference in their voices making us forget the digital age.

17:00 A storm of theatre people blows into our tent: They are scheduled for a show in a venue nearby but somehow found this garden. Despite being in a hurry they improvise a vocal piece for us:) Listening to an interview from India about the Botanic Sanctuary in Gurukula and the preservation of vegetal microclimates. Appearance of Rafa from the artist organization The Hug. He brings music of Lau Mau, a Finnish singer whose work is closely connected to nature themes.

17:50 We still have unplayed recordings, yet it’s time for a resume of the broadcast material. Maite comes back and reintroduces the work of In-Sonora and talks about the festival planned for the next day.
18:00 The official end is postponed by half an hour because of the program interruption. We listen to Miyuki Jokiranta’s vocal encounters with her houseplants and finally to two excerpts of the „Atomic Garden“ by Alberto.
18:30 A gathering around the microphones, Thank you, dear listeners! Datscha Radio a tope!!!

 

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Almost all of us: Carolina, Eva, Kata, Jesús, Joaquin and Alberto

Dear all and all listeners,

I am still surprised and very happy: Datscha Radio happend in Madrid, in a garden, in a tent, with sunshine, rain, a fabulous cat, with gardeners, musicians, surprise guests and even a power cut in electricity!

None of this would have been possible without the support and activities of

Alberto Garcia, Anna Katarina Martin, Carolina Carrubba, Elena Arroyo, Eva Pilartes, Jesús Jara, Joaquin Diaz, Maite Camacho…

… and the community of Esta Es Una Plaza: Alberto, Santiago, Luis, Tommi and all the gardeners.

Many thanks also to Udo Noll/aporee.org for providing the stream!

Tomorrow: Presentation of the work (as well as the work of some other artists residing here at Medialab at 6pm!

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mit: Eva Kurly

Yes, we are broadcasting: Plant radio, medicinal plants and are now listening to a concert for bees by Eva Kurly. The happiest of all: Alberto and the cat!

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we interrupt our programm for maybe 15 minutes because the solar collector cannot collect enough sun rays. We return as soon as the cable is connected to Luis’ house!

Datscha Radio a tope!

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(Übersetzung folgt) Another quick diary of these days in the wonderland of Datscha Radio preparations. You’ll find an introduction of the (steadily growing) team here.

12. March

9:00 Coffee & mails. Agreement to meet Señora Bellet of the Botanic Garden to talk about its history and activities.

10:45 Printing out flyers and posters for the „Adopta-una-Planta“ event.

Flyer für diesen Samstag, 17. März

12:45 Leaving the building I run into kta and Joaquien who are on their way to one of the labs to set up a plant&soil sensory system.

13:00 A cat guards the security entrance of the garden. I gain admittance… a consistent minor problem: The guard needs my social security number to fill in the admittance form. The usual solution: present my visa card. By now the guards know me quite well, while the sequence of my multiple visits and mailings has made me think of the Botanic Garden offices as a kafkaesque „castle“.

On entering the offices i notice that the amanita has changed place.

 

Señora Maria Pellet receives me in her office. She’s very friendly and even speaks German. But we agree to do the interview in English. Afterward we go to the Bonsai section and take a pic.

13:15 Catching up with kta and Joaquim. A soft frequency hum permeates the air, there are plants, an arduino, micro sensors measuring the moisture in the pots, a dead deco cabbage plant, a very healthy looking aloe and a pot of the „bad mother plant“. We agree that „Grünlilie“ (German common name) is a nice word for it. Interview.

16:30 Editing the interview (too big to upload here, you’ll find it soon in the archive)

17:30 Meeting Jesús in the offices to discuss how to program an info video onto the wall of the Medialab. He’s just taking his exams… parallel to all the work with Medialab and Datscha Radio!

18:00 Datscha Radio artist’s meeting at the cantina. Romi Casile has finally arrived from Argentina. Although she has to leave already on the 16th, she likes to participate. Apart from working with sound objects, her grandmother knows how to sing songs about flowers and gardens. This is interesting!

18:45 The beer is a bit too expensive for a longer stay so we move upstairs to my „living room“. Maite, coordinator of IN-SONORA comes. Alberto and kta work on the translation of the jingle text into Spanish while I do a quick talk with Romi in my room.

19:15 We have a lot of fun speaking the jingle text. The artists and Maite talk me into recording it in Spanish. They say it sounds charming (but maybe it is just funny?)

We have an exchange about listening practices, art and society, the role of artists, money issues in artist lives and again about the importance of listening.
The most inspiring evening closes with a sip of duty free whiskey.

21:15
Rough editing of the recordings. Playing with some acoustic sketches :)

23:30 Relaxing with another rose plant website…

13. March

10:00 (!) Meeting up with Alberto as a translator to visit the „House of Honey“ in the Atocha street. Interview. Pedro warms up to our questions and in the end we get shown even the store rooms, the honey „mixing machine“ (of course it is not mixed but pure), and finally, as the talk turns to plants, the flowers and trees, Pedro himself rescues from offshoots or leaves falling „from the sky“ —

More of this in the next blog entry…

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7.3.2018 Today’s excursion to the periphery of Madrid brought on a flood of images and sounds. The aim was to visit Parque Capriche while obstinately ignoring the note „closed today“ on my phone.
Leaving the metro at Capriche (instead of the advised station of Cnajallmos) I directed my steps to the close-by grove of cypresses, gravel paths leading past unkempt lawns when I eyes caught sight of a typical enclosure with a vertraut sign reading: Huerto Allameda de Osuna.
A friedly looking couple stood conversing in front of a compact rusty shed, plots aligned the paths, buckets and wheelbarrows in a corner: Clearly this was another of Madrids happy urban gardens. (A detailed entry follows.)

After leaving the huerto I continued in vague direction of the Parque Capriche sign. Julia and Floren also had asserted that this garden wouldn’t open its doors before Saturday.

The area was already park-like: strewn with cypresses, trees with an abundance of cream-coloured berries (Medlar? Mulberry?), dog walkers, blue sky, sun. To my right a wall covered in graffitis. To my left beige brick apparent houses loomed next to more beige brick apparent houses. Council houses? Condos (Hardly)?

I followed the winding display of murals in the shadow of the wall. Used paper towels, plastic bottles, packagings, decorated the lawn: urban nature par excellence. On my phone, the blue spot indicating my position kept on hovering in the pathless green, creating the surreal feeling of somehow having been shrunk to half my size with distances doubled… Maybe this was because I felt the need to visit an aseo.

More images of the wonder wall on Facebook.

The closed gate of the Parque Capriche did not offer more to see than an impressive stretch of gravel leading up to an entrance building flanked by – no surprise – platanes. The murals had ended at a motorway crossing. There was an aqueduct in sight with trains running on it. On the other side of the street a spotless white wall opened up into a patio, and a friendly restaurant sign declared this to be the „Camping Osuna“.

Una tortilla, una cerveza, un cafe, muy bien!

Parque Juan Carlos: Thank you for not being neoclassical!!! Thank you for offering a place in space under a sky that sheds its blue-and-golden light onto industrial beauties, utilitarian architectures, the most aesthetically designed Staudamm I have ever seen, Mexican monuments, olive and juniper groves, futuristic playgrounds, grand alleys with – surprise! – not absolutely symmetrically arranged shrubs/trees. Thank you for emptiness!

(Detailed entry follows.)

Best of all: The Grey Maze! Undoubtedly the home of countless happy rabbits (I saw only two -huge!- ones, but it was afternoon not evening). Parrots cut through the air, screeching, but still in a civilized manner compared to their relatives in Australia. Tiny birds twitter on twigs. Youngsters practice Kajak polo, a sport I never heard of before.
A twig of the maze hedges – unknown plant to me – wandered into my bag for further identifucation.

 

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