Åke Hodell

Åke Hodell (1919 - 2000) was a Swedish fighter pilot, poet, author, text-sound composer, and artist. Hodell used his compositions to voice political dissent; his work, though congruent with electroacoustic and avant-garde movements, is most closely associated with the ethics and aesthetics of the Fluxus movement. Hodell was trained as a fighter pilot, but after a crash in 1941 spent several years in the hospital, which catalyzed an antimilitarist ethos and shaped his artistic direction. In his first text, Flyende Pilot (1953) and subsequent books, Hodell explored what he termed “elektronismer”, or “text-sound composition,” which collages field recordings and the narrative human voice in a similar way to radio drama or musique concrète. Many of his text-sound compositions, produced in collaboration with the Swedish Broadcasting commission, had strong political content. Mr. Smith in Rhodesia from 1969 protested the racist government led by Prime Minister Ian Smith, and Where Is Eldridge Cleaver? questioned the disappearance of the Black Panther and leading ideologist of the black freedom movement believed to have been assassinated under Reagan. Mr. Smith in Rhodesia was for a long time banned from radio broadcast in Sweden after vigorous protest from the British tabloids. - Excerpted from cafeoto.co.uk.