Czech Radio 3 - Vltava, EBU Ars Acustica and Theatre 29 present

Art's birthday 2009 | SAFE'n'SOUND

January 16 | 2009 | 8:00 PM - 0:00 AM | ETHER

In a rapidly changing and increasingly unforeseeable world, safety has become a major concern on many levels of public and private life. Governments, institutions and individuals are deploying extreme efforts in order to protect themselves from any kind of threat - presumed or real, manmade or natural. At the same time, the growing social, economic and spiritual insecurity has fostered a widespread quest for "save havens" that can reanchor the individual and provide it with a sense of belonging and homeliness. Such havens - natural or cultural - tend to be protected and preserved with the utmost verve.

Sound plays a major role for the perception and communication of both, safety and insecurity: A mother's voice can reassure or warn her child; acoustic signals such as bells, horns or sirens, can convey alarm and/or protection; familiar acoustic environments can deliver tranquility and relief, while their disappearance can be pro-foundly unsettling. The double meaning of the word sound as acoustic phenomenon and as synonym for good health points to the role of the aural sense and the voice as crucial devices of human self-perception. 

Throughout it's history, art has regularly made use of sound in order to both enroot and disturb human nature (one of the most famous cases in point is a major work of 20th century radio art: Orson Welles' War of the Worlds produced a mass panic by suggesting a fictive invasion from mars). At the same time, art itself is in constant need of "safe havens" in order to unfold its potentials, and it needs to con-stantly rethink its own protection mechanisms in order to escape from the infamous ivory tower. Within Art's Birthday 2009, the EBU Ars Acustica Group will be listening to the sounds of safety, and it will explore the artistic power of making the familiar sound ominous and the odd reassuring. 


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..:: January 16, 2009 ::..


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