[spectre] New podcast: RADIOACTIVITY #4. Elektronmusikstudion (EMS)

Radio Web MACBA rwm2008 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 19 13:34:55 CEST 2017

bring backs highlights in the history of twentieth-century radio, in a kind
of homage to the medium and the opportunities for interaction, creation,
imagination and dissidence it opened up since its birth.

In RADIOACTIVITY #4. Elektronmusikstudion (EMS)
<http://rwm.macba.cat/en/specials/ems-mats-lindstrom/capsula>Mats Lindström
takes us on journey to recover the history of EMS and how it forged
prescient tensions in the artistic avant-gardes, touching on the radical
sound poetry of the text-sound movement, experimental radio drama and the
futuristic adventure of computer music.

Link: http://rwm.macba.cat/en/specials/ems-mats-lindstrom/capsula
Text+playlist: http://rwm.macba.cat/uploads/20170918/EMS_eng.pdf

RADIOACTIVITY #4. Elektronmusikstudion (EMS)

Formerly an engineer in the electronics industry, *Mats Lindström* is a
composer and musician whose intermedia work has been presented in concerts,
theatre and dance productions as well as in the form of radio-art and sound
installations. Mats has also been involved with the artistic community of
the Fylkingen Society since the 1980s and is currently the director of the
Elektronmusikstudion (EMS), the center for Swedish electroacoustic music
and sound art in Stockholm.

Founded in 1964, the EMS has since become one of the most important studios
for research and radical art and music in Europe. Karl Birger Blomdahl,
composer and the first music director of the Swedish Radio, had an
electronic music studio built in 1965 as a central hub for the EMS. 'The
Sound Workshop' opened its doors to composers on the site of an old radio
theater studio and was directed by Knut Wigen, a radical Norwegian composer
and electronic music pioneer. He envisioned an EMS that was not to be just
an electroacoustic studio, but should also operate as a research
institution of international reach. His understanding of the role the EMS
should play eventually led to the investment in an advanced computer music
studio in 1970.

It could be argued that the somewhat divergent visions behind each of these
studios and workstations came to embody some of the conflicting approaches
within the EMS. The futuristic research-based approach fostered by Wigen
was far from consensual, as some composers believed the EMS should allow
for empirical, hands-on experimentation. And yet, it was also this very
pluralism that provided scope for the EMS to both contribute decisively to
the advancement of electronic music and to play a pivotal role in the
emergence of the 'text-sound' movement in the sixties.

An intermedia genre combining electro-acoustic elements and sound poetry,
text-sound drew from earlier efforts in poésie concrete, as well as from
other movements with an interest in the use of human speech free from
conventional values such as Fluxus and Lettrism. In 1953, after attending
the first Swedish Radio and Fylkingen Society electronic music concert with
Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer, Swedish artist Öyvind Fahlström wrote a
manifesto for concrete poetry. More than a decade later, the Swedish Radio
broadcasted his pioneer radio piece “Fåglar I Sverige (Birds in Sweden)”.
Ilmar Laaban, Lars-Gunnar Bodin, Åke Hodell and Bengt Emil Johnson would
soon follow in his footsteps and become references within the text-sound

Throughout the decades, the complexity and scope of production values
around EMS made it a hub for artists such as Rune Lindblad, Ákos Rózmann,
Henri Chopin, Sonja Åkesson and Sten Hanson. It also laid the groundwork
for the more permeable and diverse environment that can be found today at
EMS: an open studio for sound art, live electronics, media, conservatories
and art school programs housing around 300 producers and composers each

*01:08* Elektronmusikstudion, Stockholm
*02:26* The Fylkingen Society
*05:02* Karl-Birger Blomdahl and the ‘The Monday Group’
*06:16* Power struggles
*10:06* Knut Wiggen’s radical computer music
*13:31* Waiting for the future in post-war Sweden
*18:13* Changes in approach: the Lars-Gunnar Bodin era
*21:10* Exclusions at EMS
*25:24* Backdoors to Fylkingen, EMS and the Swedish Radio
*30:17* Radio drama and the origins of Text-sound
*33:22* Öyvind Fahlström’s Manifesto for concrete poetry
*36:04* Translated by Ilmar Laaban
*37:45* The language department and the early days of Text-sound
*43:16* ‘Semicolon; Seance’
*46:51* The Text-sound festival
*48:02* The Workshop Studio and the Computer Music Studio
*56:23* Defining Text-sound
*01:00:37* A Fluxus attitude
*01:04:31* Technicians and studio assistance
*01:09:13* Tech trends and production values at EMS

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