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What is the scent of water like? Fresh? Or sweet? Is its (mostly) clear visual appearance tricking us into believing that there cannot be such a thing as a distinctive smell to it? Christie Spackman was our guest today at the Datscha and we spent a delightful afternoon with different probes of water, a cake and organic fertilizer… which certainly is also a kind of water.

Ms Thein and Ms Spackman looking forward to the tests

Christie Spackman is studying the taste of water, how sensory science shapes consumer perception, and the creation of tastelessness. She is a professor at the Arizona State University and came to Berlin this summer to do research at the ZZF (Leibniz Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam). Since she’s leaving by the end of July, we decided to prepone our talk

All comments were noted…

Did you know that – quite like wine tasting – water also developes a “head space” if covered for some time with a lid? Or have you ever thought about the sensual qualities of “safe” water.

Lifting the lid…
Different waters in different glasses, or?

Our undaunted self-test took us as far as sipping organic fertilizer, one of the strongest (evil) smelling liquids you can fabricate in a garden. Today’s sample was made from comfrey and horsetail… it stank like hell, but the taste? – I won’t tell you know. Wait until the 8th of August: We’ll broadcast “The Scent of Water” on Datscha Radio’s second iteration of Night Gardening with its focus on “Frequencies and Fragrances”

Only with your nose closed: Organic fertilizer surprise

Please have your glasses of water samples (tap water, mineral waters, healing waters) ready by then, and don’t forget to put a lid on the glass.


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Open Call “Night Gardening II”: Frequencies & Fragrances

Sound and scent, both travel the air. Medium and message in one, they inform the senses and invoke responses: signals, reactions, memories and anticipations. At night, our senses of smell and hearing intensify, and our communication with the world becomes less object-centred. With “Night Gardening II: Frequencies & Fragrances” Datscha Radio wants explore the transposition of smell into sound.

From sunset to sunrise, 8:46 pm on the 8th of August, until 5:39 am on the 9th of August, 2019, we will be broadcasting directly from a Berlin allotment garden.
What is this sound, soft as perfume, permeating the frequencies of our presence? Datscha Radio wants to find out – and calls for your radiophonic input.

Fragrances and Frequencies

How can we ‘translate’ olfactory perceptions into sound? How do we relate to the scents that tap into our imagination? Is there something like a ‘foul smelling’ sound? A sound, for example, that resembles the fragrance of the earth after summer rain?
Datscha Radio asks you to focus on the scents of the garden and their possible metamorphoses into sound and music:  freshly dug earth, a dead mouse, compost, a bunch of lilies, cut grass, insect repellent, apple cake… you name it.

Please send your files via wetransfer to info@datscharadio.de
Please provide two or three lines each about the piece and yourself including a website, if possible. Please put “Garden Scents” as a subject line.

Deadline

Please submit your audio piece by the 15th of July, 2019.

Schedule

Our Datscha Radio program will grow with the flow of the events that night. There is no fixed time schedule. You’ll find a list of all participating artists on our website in due time.

Datscha Radio can be heard on

  • – datscharadio.de
  • – narrowcast in the garden itself
  • – in collaboration with other radio stations and projects (if interested, please, let us know)

About

Datscha Radio’s 2019 series of “Night Gardening” explores the sensual and auditory spheres of the night. Our first episode dealt with the songs and themes connected to the nightingale, while our third and final iteration will deal with nocturnal ceremonies and audio walks. We broadcast online via datscharadio.de and via micro FM in the garden(s).

What can Datscha Radio offer?

Datscha Radio works on a voluntary basis. Therefore we can neither pay for any costs, nor disburse any production fees.

What we have to offer is:

  • – a platform and experimental site for acoustic bouquets
  • – the broadcast of your contributions, locally via FM and globally via stream
  • – lasting sustainability: the documentation of “Nightgardening I – III” will be archived on Mixcloud, for you to enjoy and share.

Copyrights

Datscha Radio is a non-commercial art and culture project. The copyright for submitted files remains with the artists. The legal model that we are considering is the Creative Commons License (see http://creativecommons.org/learn/licenses).

Contact:

info(at)datscharadio.de

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Fragrances and frequencies, sounds and scents, particles and perfumes: Datscha Radio will take one step further in its radio-sensory exploration of the nightly garden. How may scents translate into radio?

Fragrances and frequencies both travel the air. They are medium and message in one, they reach out to our senses and they invoke reactions, signals, encounters. They permeate the presence as much as they are a fleeting experience. In this night by the end of July, Datscha Radio will investigate the ephemeral and perceptive nature of scents but also their function as communication agents between the worlds of the human and non-human.

At this point in time we are just starting to prepare:

  • the date is set but not yet fully confirmed
  • – an Open Call might come up to invite artists to share their scent-based composition with us
  • – or come to the Datscha garden to perform live
  • stay tuned to learn more!

Broadcasting time: From sunset to sunrise.

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There was still some light in the evening sky when we began broadcasting. Earlier, while setting up, the sun shone onto the veranda’s railing, where a little stove had been placed, and bottles of wine, and cheese, and ladybugs and beetles made out of chocolate. Leonie Roessler had arrived, all the way from Den Haag, carrying her sampler and other gear with her. We chatted… and then, at precisely 20:32, with the sun setting and dusk sneaking out of the darker corners of the garden onto the lawns, the moment came to go on air.

Leonie Roessler setting up

Our opening piece was a 16th century madrigal by the composer Thomas Weelkes, sung by the Berlin choir “Singlust” and adequately titled “The Nightingale”. Written for soprano, alto and baritone, the three strands of melody hovered and danced in the evening air, carrying the tune, along with the scent of the blooming lilacs, over the garden fences and beyond, into the neighbouring allotment gardens of the garden colony “Britzer Wiesen”. Because each of Datscha Radio’s “Night gardening” iterations are set to take place in different Berlin gardens, and Kate Donovan’s ‘Datscha’ location in the South of Berlin was already known for its abundant nightingale population (and as a site for outdoor broadcasting).

…with the sun still shining.

From that moment on, nine hours of joyous radio making evolved. During and in between the performances we sipped champagne (in celebration of the recently won prize for the project) and hot tea, and shared what we knew about this famous bird, starting with an introduction by Kate about one of the first outdoor radio broadcasts, from a garden in Surrey, England, in 1924, in which cellist Beatrice Harrison played a duet with a nightingale.

Leonie’s contribution was a soundscape exclusively composed for this evening. “Copper and Song” was based on her visit to Isfahan in Iran, where she visited the bazar of the copper smiths and found that almost all of them had a cage with a nightingale to accompany their hammering. In our talk afterwards, we wondered why, as it might not be nice at all for the birds to live with so much noise, and we mused about the accidental content found in field recordings destined to serve an originally very different purpose.

Artists and Guests

Meanwhile, curious garden neighbours visited us, Kasia Justka and Peggy Sylopp surfaced as surprise guests, Rosanna Lovell arrived at the garden with her clarinet, and Walter Schulze appeared with two very impressive looking boxes that revealed their mesmerising, blinking contents shortly after.

JD Zazie and Matt Pogo

JD Zazie and Matt Pogo materialised out of the dark and began to set up their gear. Their piece, “Domestic Nightingale”, was based on samples of nightingale songs played and recorded in their home, that became modified, remixed, accelerated and decelerated. Patterns appeared and disappeared like vortexes in a fast flowing brook: A superb performance!

In it a nightingale is hiding.

Secret-en-plein-aire by Walter Schulze and Niki Matita proved to be a two-part performance. Schulze’s synthesizers kept wildly blinking while processing a set of Berlin nightingale field recordings. As explained by Niki Matita, he used the signal of the envelope curves to modulate the tones… and the machine warbled and twittered and sang, assisted by Niki’s comments and experimental button pressing. For her text “Die Nachtigall vs. der Nachtigall”, she had prepared her own vocal nest, including a soprano nightingale interpretation from the 1930s.

tLukatoyboy’s 7″ bird vinyl collection

Lukatoyboy came on the spontaneous invitation of Ms Matita, and brought a portable turntable and two walkie-talkies with him. As a true surprise guest he was not in the least surprised about the night’s theme and pulled at least a dozen 7″ bird sound and song singles out of his bag. His performance was very versatile: The records were scratched and played while a little dictaphone served as a loop machine. Such adventurous sequences were created – with bird songs and the interspersed voices of naturalists and birdwatchers. After that, Niki Matita took on the role of expedition leader on walkie talkie, directing Lukatoyboy (other walkie talkie) and JD Zazie (mic on a long cable) out into the garden and beyond to following the sounds of the nightingales, and chasing the sounds of the nightly garden colony.

Rosanna Lovell

As temperatures dropped close to 12 degrees (but felt even less) we all kept pulling on layer after layer of warm clothes: Tights, jumpers, vests, hats and hoodies. Radio adrenaline kept us going. Rosanna Lovell was the last artist to perform, and she brought along with her an exquisitely researched selection of Oliver Messiaen’s compositions which were derived from bird song. The theme of Rosanna’s presentation was “Bird Song and Notation”, which was followed by a clarinet interpretation of a nightingale score that I had conceived for a Datscha Radio 14 event (the instrument had to get warmed up by being tucked under her jacket before playing…).
After having listened to so many diverse, field recording based and electronically processed/transformed, nightingale song iterations, we found it remarkable how the ‘essence’ of the bird’s melodic trills, pauses and whistles remained all through those different interpretations.

Leonie and JD Zazie

Midnight now long past, we turned to talks and compositions that Kate and I had managed to assemble: The interview with the artist David Rothenberg was framed by two of his works in which he played along to Berlin Nightingales in different parks, and followed by a composition by Felicity Morgan who is scheduled to join him in one of his upcoming presentations from May 8 to May 16 (May 16 with Felicity at the Zabriskie Bookstore in Berlin). Udo Noll had contributed an ‘eclectic mix’ of nightingale field recordings drawn from his aporee.org archives, that formed part of an extensive listening session to still other field recordings – one of them recorded in despair for want of sleep by a Charlottenburg resident artist.

Herr Schulze and Lukatoyboy

The wee hours of the morning had come, a light rain had settled in and outside in a flowerpot rested a microphone under an umbrella to pick up the surrounding sounds of the Britzer Wiesen garden night. When we turned up the volume, near and distant bird calls mingled with the sound of even more distant traffic and mysterious mumbling noises accompanied by the resonant bouncing of rain drops on the umbrella. The garden had gone quiet, the artists had left, our press lady Helen had withdrawn to a bed inside. It was time for telling stories… and reading poems… and another take from the nightingale choir and more musings on the bird’s music. Whoever was still awake then had a chance to listen to Keats’ “Ode to a nightingale” (bilingual), the terrible story of Philomela by Ovid, the “Rose and the Nightingale” by Oscar Wilde, to name just a few.

Umbrella at 4:30 with microphone

Around 4:30 the garden started to wake up again: the song of the nightingales mixed with the good morning croaks of a flock of crows and the cooing of wood pigeons and the clouds’ grey became lighter. At 5 am we noticed our voices and minds had become really slow… a good idea to take refuge in one of Niki Matita’s nightingale song collections, of which she had prepared several. Jazzy tunes, bird tangos and classical interpretations portioned to present another range of lusciana songs in popular (and not so popular) music.

At 5:27 we noticed we’d almost made it! There was just enough time for a quick preview on Datscha Radio’s second iteration of “Night Gardening” – about the “Perfumes of the Night” and another take of Thomas Weelkes amazing piece sung by the Singlust choir… Snap, crackle and gone was the “Night of the Nightingales”!

Just then, a nightingale landed on a bush next to the veranda and started to warble with all of its voice strength… and we continued to listen…

Kate Donovan happily enjoying her coffee

Just then, a nightingale landed on a bush next to the veranda and started to warble with all of its voice strength… and we listened on…

(a gallery with more pics will follow, bear with me)

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Dear All, for today we have finished gardening … and relax a bit. Nine nightly hours filled with nightingale songs and singings, light rain, chatter, food and drink and a truly overwhelming line-up of artists! It was great – and yes, the broadcast will soon be available online and also a picture gallery. Datscha Radio wants to thank you all:

Andrea Eckhardt and the choir Singlust, Leonie Roessler, Rosanna Lovell, Martin Schulze, JD Zazie and Mat Pogo, David Rothenberg, Felicity Mangan, Katt Hernandez, Udo Noll and Lukatoyboy.

P.S. The bird in the picture is a real Britzer-Meadow Nightingale and bade our goodbyes as we carried our luggage back into the streets of the city

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Datscha Radio has been honoured with a prize for artistic project spaces and initiatives. The State Secretary for Culture, Dr. Torsten Wöhlert, has awarded a total of 20 initiatives, which were nominated by an independent
jury. An endowment of 37,000 euros will be awarded to each project. The award ceremony will be held on the 13th of September, 2019, as part of the Berlin Art Week.

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Why should we divide the time when it flows from day to day and night to night?
We will broadcast the “Night of the Nightingales” by meandering around the following tentative schedule:

  • – 20.32 16th Century Choir: “The Nightingale” composed by Thomas Weelkes from the collection “Phantasticke Spirits for Three Voices”
  • – Evenings’s Introduction
  • – Matt Hatters Garden: radiophonic poems on nightingales
  • – Rundgang im Garten |Introduction of location | Niki Matita’s Luscinia-Mix I
  • – ca. 21 Uhr: Leonie Roessler: Copper and Song – Elektronische Echtzeitmusik – komponiert mit Feldaufnahmen aus Isfahan, aufgenommen während des Limited Access Festival 6 im Februar 2016. With a talk about Persian nightingales. DE
  • Secret-plein-aire (Niki Matita & Walter Schulze): live impro w/ synths
  • – ca. 22:00 JD Zazie, Mat Pogo: Live
  • – “Birdsong and Notation”. Playing Nightingale Scores with Rosanna Lovell
  • – 00.00 Midnightingales: A choir rehearsal
  • – Katt Hernandez: “Amid the Alien Corn”
  • – Niki Matita’s Luscinia-Mix II
  • – ca. 1:00  raw audio: “Night Inhale”. Twittering Presences…
  • – ca. 1:30  David Rothenberg talks about nightingales in Berlin and his book “Nightingale Cities” and CD. EN
  • – Felicity Mangan: “stereo’frog’ic”
  • – Nightingales Comparisons: Charlottenburg Rosenthal, Prenzlauer Berg and and “Eclectic Mix” by Udo Noll: Imaginative shop talks
  • – ca. 3.00 Kate Donovan, Gabi Schaffner, Nico Petidan: Slow Storytelling: Ode to a Nightingale and more. DE,EN
  • – 05.00 Coffee Time? “The Nightingale”, phone version.
  • – 05.33 The sun rises (end)

The night is, far more than the day, a sphere of transmission. Fragrances and odours are perceived more strongly, the ear is sharpened, the superiority of the visual recedes.

Since its inception, Datscha Radio has paid special attention to the night. We have broadcast pieces by selected composers and sound artists and, in the “Surprises de Minuit”, conducted interviews, which would never have materialized in the hustle and bustle of the day.

In the three-part event series NACHTGÄRTNERN [NIGHT GARDENING], Datscha Radio intends to fill the living space of the night in a synaesthetic and radiophonic way.
The locations will be three different gardens in Berlin, where we will make radio. We will broadcast live, from exactly sunset to sunrise. (Depending upon transmission date, the transmitting time will vary by around one to two hours.)

I The Night of the Nightingales (April 30th)
Datscha Radio explores the essence of the night on the first evening with a focus on the nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos). The Date is expected to be April 30th, 20.32 – 5:33, May 1st, 2019.

More information in due course.

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Preview: Saturday, 23rd of February
In episode #4, Datscha Radio Taipei will focus on aspects of environment and species and the arts. A modest, two-part introduction will accompany the show. As a definitve highlight I am honored to welcome the Erhu instrumentalist HUANG Chen-Chi in the studio. Since she can only stay until 4:20 pm, I advise you to listen from the beginning as she has prepared a very special program for Datscha Radio.

HUANG Chen-Chi is currently the Principle second Erhu of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra

Within the frame of her music you will also be able to listen to an excerpt from my conversation with Margaret Shiu from the Bamboo Curtain Studio, “The Plum Tree Tea Talk”. What is the role of the arts in communicating new perspectives on the environment? How can we include all members of the community? What actions are currently taken by the city council to foster a new kind of awareness?

Another special treat will be a presentation of the work of Japanese composer Tomoko Momiyama. Most of her pieces deal with communication between species and un-animate surroundings.

I am also very happy and proud to be able to include the radio art piece “The Culture of Disappearance” by the American artist Jacki Apple in this upcoming broadcast. This composition was conceived of in 1991 and was then still recorded on tape.

The broadcast will approach its end with an extensive interview with the Philippine composer Christine Muyco.  We talk about invasive species and further environmental perspectives in the Philippines, framed by selected compositions by her. Last but not least, and having already heard quite a bit about frogs, I am delighted to close this show with a selection of Yannick Dauby’s “Songs of the Frogs in Taiwan”. Yannick is presently traveling, but, with a bit of good fortune, he’ll be also present at Datscha Radio’s last show.

Live Concert: Huang, Chen-Chi
Programm:

  1. Dance of the Amis Tribe (阿美族舞曲)-using elements of folksong music
  2. Singing of Birds Resounds in the Valley (空山鳥語)-Using glissando, which is the crucial skill that makes Erhu sounds special, to make imitation of language or sound effects.
  3. Horse Racing (賽馬)-If you have never played or heard this piece, never say you have learned Erhu.


Interview and Talks (Pre-recorded): Christine Muyco, Margaret Shiu, et al
Radio Art Special: “Culture of Disappearance” by Jacki Apple
Selected Compositions: Christine Muyco, Tomoko Momiyama

About the Artists

Huang Chen-Chi:Currently the Principle second Erhu of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Huang is an experienced, highly talented young Erhu player who has appeared as soloist with the Orchestra for many times. Her performance is exquisite, shows creativity and freshness and the tone sounds warm and solid.

Her other notable solo appearances include The Sound of Memory (日常尋聲) at the Taipei ZhongShan Hall (2017), Set off at Dawn(天一亮就出發) at the National Concert Hall in Taipei (2013) and Music and Sound(樂兮 鳴兮) at the National Taiwan Normal University (2009).

Huang graduated from the Graduate Institute of Ethnomusicology, National Taiwan Normal University, focusing on performing art and preservation of traditional music of Taiwan. Apart from performing with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, she is also a lecture in Erhu at the Chinese Culture University and Nanhua University.

The Erhu is a traditional Asian two-stringed instrument that came to China more than one thousand years ago. The Erhu is also a very versatile instrument, being used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements.

Maria Christine Muyco is Associate Professor 5 of the Composition and Theory Department, College of Music, University of the Philippines. Composed for voice, European instruments like cello  and piano, but also for electronic music, percussion, musical saw. Has been taking part in Festivals and conferences all over the Globe.

Tomoko Momiyama works internationally as a music composer, dramaturg, and producer of multi-disciplinary art events, installations, and performances. She graduated from Stanford University in the U.S. with B.A. in Music and Human Biology and further studied composition at the Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands in The Hague under the Japanese Government Overseas Study Programme for Artists. Tomoko’s works, many of which are community-based and site-specific, have been performed throughout Japan, as well as in different parts of Asia, Europe, North and Central Americas, and Africa.

Margaret Shiu is the founder and artistic director of the Bamboo Curtain Studio. The aim of this artist residency (and garden) lies in facilitating international artist contacts, provide a space for experimental and environment-orientated installations and to foster an ecologic understanding that leads us to a sustainable way of living and creating art. She’ll be our live guest on the 10 of March, but for now, you have to content with a recording.

Jacki Apple is an American artist, writer, composer, producer and educator based in New York City. She has worked in various disciplines such as performance art and installation art. As well as art making, Apple is also a prolific writer, penning over 200 reviews and critical essays on topics such as performance art, media arts, installation art and dance. The Culture of Disappearance series (1991) deals with biological as well as cultural extinction.

The Culture of Disappearance (1991)
A radio “opera” about extinction, and the conditions of loss and denial endemic to industrial and post-industrial society. It is a dirge for the exterminated species of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a grieving. It raises questions about the terms of human survival in a social order that defines us as “separate,” and reveals how those values are manifested in our socio-economic and political relations — i.e., conquest vs. cohabitation, consumption without regeneration. We eradicate cultural memory just as we eliminate species. The sung “mass” of names of the dead from insects to languages is sometimes obliterated by the relentless pounding of machinery. Embedded in the litany are anecdotes of annihilation.

Source: http://www.somewhere.org/

Yannick Dauby explores the soundscapes of Taiwan through field recording, audio documentaries and community projects. Composing electroacoustic music (aka “musique concrète”) and performing improvised music with found objects, analogue devices and digital processing. Creating soundtracks and sound environments for contemporary dance, public art and films. Involved in activities about ecology and local traditional cultures.

http://www.kalerne.net/yannickdauby/field-recordings/

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