Radia Show 390 | Sketch for Matter


This week Radia show is brought to us by the people at Resonance.fm and produced by Ed Baxter

The opening sequence of the Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger film A Matter Of Life And Death (1946) provides the inspiration and much of the raw material for this fugitive mediation on the romance of radio, heavily influenced by the delightful theories of Friedrich A. Kittler. The audio comprises a) a nine second cymbal crash removed from the final edit of an album by Kinnie The Explorer, recorded by Bob Drake and PaulStretched to 28 minutes by Dan Wilson; b) Foley aircraft sounds from the film soundtrack; and c) dialogue from the film soundtrack, featuring David Niven (Peter) and Kim Hunter (June). Assembled as an outline for a live work planned for the Writtle Calling/2 Emma Toc radio project, it pretends to be nothing more than a tentative exorcism of the overwhelming feelings this film sequence provokes in me - which are such that I can never watch it without bursting into tears. (It is surely designed to allow one to burst into tears in the dark).

"The piece quite accidentally functions as an antidote to its allusive usage in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, of which exercise in spectacular infantilism I was not aware until I started googling to check my references. Ceremony director Danny Boyle and I both featured in a 2009 newspaper article, the layout of which was such as to allow our faces to be pressed precisely together when its pages were closed – in a print media kiss as absurd as the radio romance of Peter and June is sublime."  [Ed Baxter]

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