Category Archives: #51

Show 965: SURINAME by Barbara De Dominicis & Cristian Maddalena (Rádio Zero)

I spent my time investigating insects.
At the beginning, I started with silk worms in my home town of Frankfurt.
I realized that other caterpillars produced beautiful butterflies or moths, and that silkworms did the same. This led me to collect all the caterpillars I could find in order to see how they changed

Maria Sibylla Merian
foreword to Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium [1705]

A preparatory studio for SURINAME, a soundwork inspired by the groundbreaking work of Maria Sybilla Merian, a seventeenth-century illustrator and naturalist.
This audio portrayal represents the first phase of an ongoing sound project that explores the evolving, intensifying interior landscape of this passionate explorer, who was also one of the greatest botanical and insect painters that ever lived.

Her extraordinary work on caterpillars, moths and butterflies, her unconventional life and her contributions to art and science turned her talent into a mission. Considered one of the founders of modern entomology, Maria Sibylla combined her passion for drawing with her interest in insects; in her vision art and nature are inextricably bound. Although it was extremely difficult for a woman to gain a foothold in science at her time, she emerged from her chrysalis to establish herself as a woman and a scientist in a world yet to be discovered. She happened to be a pioneer in the field of natural science anticipating several of the discoveries later made by Linnaeus and Darwin. Her stepfather, the naturalist painter Jakob Marell, chose her as a pupil in his studio. Maria Sibylla then started collecting caterpillars, worms, leaves and flowers, which she drew with great precision. She was particularly fascinated by the transformation of caterpillars into moths and butterflies.

At the age of fifty-two (1699) Maria Sibylla and her daughter Dorothea ventured thousands of miles from the Netherlands (where she had moved after her divorce) to Suriname to observe and document the metamorphosis of insects. She spent two years illustrating new and unique plant and animal species and behaviors. Many of these illustrations are featured in Sibylla’s incredible self- published Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium (1705) She was one of the first to demolish the belief of the spontaneous generation of living organisms from inanimate matter and the first naturalist to recognise and document the wondrous transformation of caterpillars and illustrate the metamorphosis of the butterfly.

Her life, her perseverance, her vision, trace the imprints of a rarefied and inexorable inner world, offering a glimpse of the extraordinary vitality and variety of her perspectives, consistent with an ethical, poetic yet scientific gaze over plants and animals.

Inspired by this extraordinary woman, our work makes use of found sounds, imagination, voice and whispers, shamisen, cello, electroacoustic textures, noise, butterflies, frogs, archival research, letters; just like a sort of sonic score induced by an interior monologue, trying to trace Sybilla’s scientific attitude trapped in an artist’s soul. We tried to paint the critical moment of the brave, intrepid and long sea voyage to Suriname: the sea, the doubts, the solitude, the imagined dangers of the jungle, her being an independent but lonely woman in a male-dominated world ! To draw a woman’s private labyrinth made of doubts, fears, solitude, vulnerability, alienation, illness, identity.

Conceived, written and produced by

Barbara De Dominicis & Cristian Maddalena
Barbara plays voice, electronics, kalimba, synths, found sounds Cristian plays shamisen, keys, electronics, drums, found sounds with contributions by Andrea Serrapiglio (cello)
Words by Barbara De Dominicis and Cristian Maddalena,
Maria Sibylla Merian, Clarice Lispector [Água Viva], Virginia Woolf [Waves], Maya Deren.

We thank all the butterflies, crickets, birds, waves and frogs involved and, above all, Paulo Raposo for his supportive vision and trust.

Maria_Sibylla_Meridian (PDF)

Show 964 : “Enoughness” from Hannah Drayson (for Soundart Radio)

“Enoughness” is made up of conversations from “Mug Stories”, an interview project produced in collaboration with the residents of Braziers Park, an intentional community in South Oxfordshire, UK.  The interviews touch on a number of themes, around sharing,  object agency and affect. Starting a conversation about mugs, it turns out, can be a very effective way to talk about our interdependence and the ways in which it is mediated by objects. Through these stories, we learn how these everyday objects offer a locus of communal activity, and a metaphor for many other forms of intimacy and instability. Creating the program has allowed me to explore some of the intangible aspects of the mug as object and collection; personal pre-reflexive actions and perceptions, the affective dimensions associated with sharing and attachment; the agential qualities of objects within a shared domestic setting, and the questions of how relationships are understood, communicated and enacted through metaphor.

Dr Hannah Drayson is an artist-researcher and DJ. Her artist portfolio is here and you can read more about her research here.

Show 963 : “Between Me And You” from Katharina Smets (for Radio Campus Bruxelles)

Between Me And You

In this audio-essay, Katharina Smets illustrates her journey from an autobiographical narrator to an invisible director and back again. She is looking for an open and transformative dialogue between the ‘I’ of the maker and the ‘You’ of the interviewee, between the final work and the listener.

The essay is based on Katharina’s PhD research to the attitude of the audio documentary maker.

Links to more of her work:

A piece by Dr. Katharina Smets
Music: Inne Eysermans
Voices: Writer, John Biewen, Jonathan Goldstein, Kaitlin Prest,
Rikke Houd, Barbara Wazgird, Jerome Lemenu.
Illustration: Randall Casaer

Curation: Carine Demange for Radio Campus Bruxelles

Show 962: Loïc Guerineau | Carte blanche (Radio Grenouille-Euphonia)

Carte blanche to the young composer Loïc Guerineau.
Electroacoustic composer, sound creator, artivist and musician from Marseille. Compromited into sound ecology and raging against Airbnb.
Here are three of his pieces to find out !

Panier district soundscape 12′
A composition based on recordings from the Panier district in Marseille.
A microphone interpretation of this Mediterranean emblem.

Communications lost in repression 5’46
From different places and stories emerge coherent and quite stable narratives, which show and underline common repression schemes against collective mobilisations.
This piece is a mix of several phonographic works by Loïc Guerineau, Christopher de Laurenti and Hugo Lioret.

Acid Rain 10’
Sustained waterdrops in a broken cycle.

Find Loïc Guerineau on Soundcloud and Radio Grenouille / l’Art de l’écoute.