Monday, January 09, 2006

Radio Warehouse (a proposal for fundresearchers)

All the world is my guest on my little radio. Yesterday a man onItalian radio came to tell me a short story - I hardly listen toItalian radio, it makes me sad, but this time I resisted for half anhour.He told me that owners of warehouses in Austria had noticed a downfallin the spirits of their employees: over the last weeks they had heard a few jingle bells too many. The problem was not playing music in warehouses, but to have recognizable music, that would nestle itself warmly in the ears, and accompany the workers on their way home, stay along the evening and sing them to sleep.

Well, well, I thought, wouldn't it be nice to play a warehouse? I mean, not a show or a performance or a sound-installation, no, the warehouse itself had to become the originator of sound, and most of all these sounds had to liberate the ears of those who worked there.I immediately had the image of De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam before my eyes, a nice open structure, where you float from one department in another, golden floodlights everywhere, sound wandering around freely.

I started wandering as well. How much preparation time would I need -what sounds would I choose - would I be able to go on for thirteen hours, like everyone else who worked there? I imagined that a month of preparation would do - walking around town to make Walkman recordings and gather difficult but not too difficult sounds, get voices from real radio, maybe TV, people talking, do some research via satellite,but also incorporate 30 seconds of songs our mums would like to sing along with, a draaiorgel to give a sense of homecoming.

Yes! All those silent sounds would occupy the warehouse one morning.People wouldn't take notice. But after a while someone would hear something different, stop shopping and start listening - some compulsory borderline shopper might come up to me and buy a cassette. And if the shopper stopped shopping, the people who worked there might as well stop selling: everyone would leave the building without paying. The alarm was just another part of the symphony.And outside it would rain rose petals; people would look at the warehouse - smiling - and ask themselves what is going on? because up there it was written in neon : PEACE ON EARS.

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