The Radio Art Hour: Harri Huhtamäki, Kristin Lucas
90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and wgxc.org/listen everywhere
wavefarm.org/listen and 1620-AM at Wave Farm
Produced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellows and Artistic Director Tom Roe.
Welcome to "The Radio Art Hour," a show where art is not just on the radio, but is the radio. "The Radio Art Hour" draws from the Wave Farm Broadcast Radio Art Archive, an online resource that aims to identify, coalesce, and celebrate historical and contemporary international radio artworks made by artists around the world, created specifically for terrestrial AM/FM broadcast, whether it be via commercial, public, community, or independent transmission. Come on a journey with us as radio artists explore broadcast radio space through poetic resuscitations and playful celebrations/subversions of the complex relationship between senders and receivers in this hour of radio about radio as an art form. "The Radio Art Hour" features introductions from Philip Grant and Tom Roe, and from Wave Farm Radio Art Fellows Karen Werner and Jess Speer. The Conet Project's recordings of numbers radio stations serve as interstitial sounds. Go to wavefarm.org for more information about "The Radio Art Hour" and Wave Farm's Radio Art Archive.
Two works this hour: First, "Calewalayana—Changes in the Ecology of the Mind," created in 1986 by Finnish radio maker Harri Huhtamäki, along with four collaborators (two musicians, a sound engineer, and a journalist.) Harri Huhtamäki founded the famous Radio Atelier at YLE, the national broadcasting network in Finland. The text in the piece comes from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. The title of the piece, Calewalayana is a made-up word. It refers to the Kalevala poem while also evoking other famous epics, for instance the Sanskrit epic Ramayana. The soundscape of Calewalayana was recorded in various remote and urban parts of Finland and is combined with sounds of drums, wood, traditional herding instruments and a saxophone improvised on the streets of Helsinki. What emerges is a hybrid radio piece blurring drama, documentary, and music. Huhtamäki says Calewalayana is about Finnish identity and changes in the Finnish ecology of mind spanning pagan, Christian, and capitalist eras. New American Radio adapted this piece for American radio listeners in 1986 including the original Finnish with English translation. This adapted bilingual version of Calewalayana—Changes in the Ecology includes collaborating artists Pekka Ruorhoranta, Teppo Hautohao, Pekka Lappi, and Seppo Pakunainen. The English narration is performed by Regine Beyer. - Introduced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2019/2020, Karen Werner. Then, we hear the Kristin Lucas radio play, "Carrying Green: The Dispatcher." “The Dispatcher: Carrying Green” is a political satire and comedy set in the near future by Kristin Lucas. New York City is nicknamed The Big Orange after decades of relentless government-issued orange alert status. The play chronicles the day-to-day engagements of a radio dispatcher for hire (private contractor of the airwaves). Among dispatch clientele are a neighborhood vigilante patrol of canine-identified humans formed out of a therapeutic support group. They call themselves the Sniff Squad. Commissioned by 6th Werkleitz Biennale taking place September 1 – 5, 2004 in Halle (Salle), Germany for this year’s festival theme Common Property. Written and directed by Kristin Lucas. Sound recording by Tom Roe at free103point9 studio in Brooklyn, New York. Animals of the Bible of San Antonio and Zom Zoms of Austin provided the music. Cast includes Theodore Bouloukos, Edward Campbell, Lori Fine, Erzen Krupka, Kelly McNeill, Jens Rasmussen, Wendy Levy, and Celestina Wolcolo. Kristin Lucas received her BFA from Cooper Union in New York in 1994. She has been screening and exhibiting work in the US and abroad since 1996. Her sci-fi distopias and conspiracy theories balance seriousness with humor, and have resulted in video, internet, sculpture, performance, text, and installation works. Lucas’s works are represented by Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and Postmasters Gallery in New York. Lucas taught performance and video art at University of Texas in Austin in Spring ’04. She currently resides in the Bay Area where she is pursuing a Masters degree at Stanford University.