Interferences: Liminalities of Failures | Decolonial Dialogues

Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives and the University of Amsterdam-Decolonial Dialogues present

Interferences: Liminalities of Failures tune in to the colonial histories of radio and the decolonial possibilities of listening.

Elizabeth Enriquez (University of the Philippines) will open the program with the keynote lecture Appropriation and Resistance in Philippine Colonial Radio, followed by a panel discussion with the research partners and fellows of the Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives (DeCoSEAS) research project, Elizabeth Enriquez, Cristina Juan, Ignatius Aditya Adhiyatmaka, Luc Marraffa.

The evening will conclude with the live staging of the 2020 Deutschlandfunk Hörspiel, Interferences, performed by meLê yamomo and Thijs van den Geest. They will be accompanied by the gamelan ensemble under the direction of Krishna Sutedja.

Vincent Kuitenbrouwer will moderate the event.

Drinks will be provided towards the end of the program.

Public Lecture: Appropriation and resistance in Philippine colonial radio
Elizabeth Enriquez

Discussion Panel: Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives
Elizabeth Enriquez, Cristina Juan, Ignatius Aditya Adhiyatmaka, Luc Marraffa
Moderated by Vincent Kuitenbrouwer

Interferences: Live

This is a piece about failure.

The Philips company broadcast the first radio program in the Dutch East Indies in 1927. A little later, the French established their radio stations in Indochina, and the British launched the BBC’s Empire Service. It didn’t take long for the local population to follow suit. Sultan Mangkunegaran VII of Solo in Java funded the Solo Radio Company, which aired in the Javanese language and broadcast traditional music from Java from 1933. Since wireless signals do not stop at any border, the various Southeast Asian colonies soon heard their neighbors’ popular music and anti-colonial voices.

Interferences: Live listens to the sound of radio history and colonialism through the lens of socio-sonic interference. By sampling recordings of historical radio broadcasts from Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Asia, artist and researcher meLê yamomo (winner of the 2022 Open Ear Award) examines how the past century of radio listening trained our ears to specific ways of hearing, aesthetically and affectively. Removing “interferences” was the goal of numerous scientific and social initiatives—attaining an unimpeded transmission meant removing technological, cultural, and psychological disruptions—but have these really been removed? Is this the colonization of the ears? Comprised of audio interviews, historical recordings, electronic music and live gamelan and jazz music, Interferences: Live sonifies the repetitive loop of colonialism’s failures.

The performance will be in English. It is based on the Hörstück “Interferenzen,” commissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur as part of Schwerpunkt: 100 Jahre Radio.

Concept, artistic and musical direction: MeLê Yamomo
Additional sound design and engineering: Thijs van den Geest
Featuring interviews with: Elizabeth “Betsy” Enriquez, Teilhard Paradela, Vincent Kuitenbrouwer, and Harry van Biessum

Dramaturgy: Marcus Gammel und Teilhard Paradela
Production: Deutschlandfunk Kultur / Elektronisches Studio der Akademie der Künste Berlin 2020
Performance: meLê yamomo, Thijs van den Geest

Gamelan musicians: Krishna Sutedja (director)