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okno public02  

shift coordinate points: a composition for Radio’s 75 years anniversary

esther venrooy     print
friday november 17, 2006
okno, brussels
A performance by Esther Venrooy, using live electronics and shortwave broadcasts.

Noise. Seven short electronic pulsions. Out of nothing, a femal voice: “ ...einz, zwo,
fünf...einz, zwo, fünf...drei, vier, fünf...". The continuous numberstream gets only interrupted by a metallic melody, reminding us of a music box. After 45 minutes the intermission ends as abruptly as it started and dissolves again into noise.

Whoever owned a shortwave radio in or after the coldwar era, is surely familiar with these so-called “number stations" or "spy stations". Who are these voices, what are these streams of of numbers, phonemes and words? And to whom are these cryptic messages addressed? The answer is that we don’t know yet, as the messages are coded in such way that deciphering is impossible for anybody but the receiver. Radio amateurs and fanatics who have been following the phenomenon for years, think that these stations are set up by secret agencies, using the medium to provide their operatives abroad with tasks and coordinates.

In 1997 the original British label Irdial-Discs edited a selection of registrations of these numbers stations on the album The Conet Project. It’s a sort of ‘Best of’ of 30 years of spy radio and contains fragments of American, German, Swedish and Russian stations. The Dutch-Belgian composer Esther Venrooy got the permission of Irdial to work with this material and created for the 75th anniversary of radio a personal interpretation of the secret history of the medium. By soundmanipulation and collage Esther Venrooy deduced out of the coded source material a sort of abstract soundpoetry and managed in a way to extract meaning out of the unintelligible stream of words.
(thanks to Irdial-Discs)




Esther Venrooy (The Netherlands, 1974) studied classical saxophone at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem, followed by a composer in residence programme at the European Dance Development Center... more


esther venrooy  more   print


the hungarian embassy | conet project  more   print



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