WRECKING Shadowy Ships & Metaphoric Titanics
- wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 ~ Amsterdam
Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies: #1000: Ship Symphony Shadow
PTP in the ether: 88.3FM
Where purity & puerility are synonymous
streaming via internet:
8 Januari 2008 // 17.00-19.00
"I try not to reflect about WHAT I have done all these past years:
'JESUS: By what devil I have been ridden...??'"
o Cyrill Schlaepfer
"I had only one thing on my mind - to get away from the suction. The
band was still playing. I guess all of the band went down. They were
playing 'Autumn' [Episcopal hymn]. I swam with all my might. I
suppose I was 150 feet away when the Titanic, on her nose with her
after quarter sticking up in the air, began to settle down slowly.
The way the band kept playing was a noble thing."
o Harold Bride, Titanic survivor, from "Sinking of the Titanic" liner notes
Adieu Schiller > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Transition 1 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Schiller's Leitmotiv > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Moby Dick > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Afloat > Liquidsphere 
Abyssus > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Ambient flux > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
DS Uri > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
The Golden Boat > Keith Berry 
DS Uri 6 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Echoes > AC Hall 
Schiff Ahoi mit der Gallia > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Ds Uri Lexikon 1-5 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Auf Dampferfahrt > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Ds Uri Lexikon 6 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Horse Latitudes > Doors 
Kreuzen mit der Unterwalden > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Pier > John Oswald & M. Sabat 
DS Uri 7-21 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Steam Launch Victoria 33-7 > BBC Sound FX 
DS Uri 27-30 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Voice of the Boat > Johan van Kreij 
DS Schiller Lexikon 35-41 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
+ Pier en Oceaan > Kees Tazelaar 
Ds Gallia Lexikon 51-57 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Steamboat > Beachboys 
Ds Gallia Lexikon 68 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Hymn III > Gavin Bryars 
DS Unterwalden > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Kreutzrichter > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Hymn IV (Aughton) > Gavin Bryars 
Lost in Admiration > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Ruetli Hoerner > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Ds Uri Greiss > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Horse Latitudes > Doors 
Kreuzen mit der Unterwalden Horse Latitudes > Doors 
 "Die Waeldstatte" on CSR o Cyrill Schläpfer: Die Waldstätte (Lake
Luzern) [Truetone / www.csr-records.ch] The secret audio lives of
steamships and paddle steamers. Gargantuan project reminds me of the
audio equivalent of Herzog's Fitzcarraldo film [4 CDs / 3 DVDs]. This
came out as my favorite CD of 2007. An amazing effort.
 "Liquidsphere" on Shambala <www.multimania.com/shambala>. The
spiritual proximity of electronica and water is dangerously close -
 "The Golden Boat" on Trente Oiseaux <keithberry.uk@...> <
www.trenteoiseaux.com> KB is a sound manipulator out of London. He
produces slow meditative minimalist electronic pieces like tectonic
plates of sound shifting like a melting glacier.
 "Harbor Symphony" on I'm not sure. This is one of those
conceptual projects - this one taking place I think in Seattle
somewhere, where the description of the project, the intentions read
better than they sound. Includes composers such as John Oswald who
composed pieces for tug boats and ships in the harbor during I am
guessing an Independence Day celebration. I would say the performance
lacked a certain engaging finesse. A mess in other words - with a few
 "Strange Days" on Elektra vinyl 1967. Supposedly the first song
[poem] Morrison wrote - in high school. It describes in graphic,
dramatic detail what used to happen to sailing ships that entered the
30-35 degree latitude area known for calm waters and almost no wind.
Sailors would be forced to jettison horses overboard to lighten the
ship's load and save on food. It is said that some of the song's
horrific sounds were made by dropping a coke bottle into a garbage
can, clacking coconut shells and people screaming in the background.
 "BBC Sound Effects" BBC.
 "His Master's Noise: The Institute of Sonology" on BV Haast
<www.bvhaast.nl>. Highly recommended retro-glimpse at neglected
pioneers of progressive conceptual electronica. Ligeti, Xenakis,
Koenig, Tazelaar, Varese. Includes some water/boat-themed pieces.
 "Sinking of the Titanic" on Point Music. An amazing record of the
imagined orchestration that the musicians played as the ship went
down. What it sounded like. I listened to this on repeat for entire
days sometimes while writing this or that while living on the water
in a squatted building standing on stilts in the IJ, a body of water
on the northern edge of Amsterdam.
Interview with Cyrill <cyrill@...>:
CS: How are you? Did you have a decent start into 2008?
Hopefully yes. For my part I did it playing the accordion in a
cantina in Luzern... I guess ["Die Waeldstatte"] was just too much
of a cargo for any consumer. I try not to reflect about WHAT I have
done all these past years: "JESUS: By what devil I have been
WTM: And the reviews?
CS: I had some quite enthusiastic reviews in the press for being a
"maniac" and having created a monster product. I really cannot
complain about decent articles, but that "thing" has not yet proved
to be something people want to buy. But we have to face reality:
nobody spends money anymore to buy "soundcarriers", this was custom
from the previous century.... At the moment all the articles in
German are listed under:
WTM: And the visuals for this 4-CD, 3-DVD boxset plus photos and liner notes!!?
CS: As you know, adding pictures to the soundtrack was my desperate
attempt to make the "thing" a little bit more accessible to an
audience. So I was surprised and very pleased at being invited to
present "The Waldstätte" last January as an "experimental music
film" that opened the Swiss Filmfestival in Solothurn ... The
feedbackfrom the festival: the festival audience LEFT the theatre
[before the end of the film], BUT in a review in the flagship NZZs,
the senior film critic applauded it as "the outstanding artistic
contribution to the festival..." As you know, this is balsam for the
soul, but does not pay the rent.
WTM: People, general cinema-goers, etc. are always grumbling about
the critics hating everything. But actually, it is often a critic who
is MORE open to a new [non-Hollywood] film than general audiences who
have taken on the identity of consumers, consumers of viewing product
and thus view films as is expected of them as consumers.
CS: As part of a music film evening, last week, I showed it as a
single screening in 3 cinemas in Bern, Zurich and Luzern. The Zurich
and Lucerne shows were sold out. So I haven't lost all my confidence
in the future yet... I, indeed, underestimated the pure heaviness
of the film [DVDs] and how much it demands of its listener/viewer. I
get feedback from viewers such as: "overwhelming, deep-sea
meditation, Swiss Darkness Video, pure shamanismus, psychedelic
water ballet, unnecessary, too long, knocking out, left speechless
WTM: Well, this is a massive project, a labor of love - 4 cds and 3
dvds devoted to the steamboats and paddleboats that cross Lake
Luzern filled with commuters and tourists, hikers, skiers and nature
lovers. What possessed you to do this project of documenting the
boats, the sounds they make?
CS: At the beginning, it was simply the horns, the ship-pipes, which
I love to hear; especially from far away, embedded in the natural
echoes of the mountains, the sounds travelling on the plane and
smooth surface of the water. These are among the familiar sounds [of
my environment] for me like my mother tongue, church bells,
cowbells, insects, birds, etc.... It's horrible to even think of not
being able to hear these sounds anymore or being concealed by the
generic noise of our pornographic civilization. That's why I
recorded those sounds without the commuters and tourists, hikers,
skiiers and nature lovers, because they mask or even eliminate its
WTM: I know your family has a summer house there along beautiful Lake
Luzern. Does the project, the recording of the steamboats, have
something to do with your memories as a child? Did the sounds enter
your consciousness over the years?
CS: Sure, it is one of those important geographical places where
these sounds have been burned into my brain forever.
WTM: It took you a long time to realize this project. 9 years? What
was the process for you? How did it get started? With field
CS: 11 years! I started in 1996. It was never planned as some
gigantic Moby Dick project. The initial idea was quite simple; a
field recording, along the shore, when the last regular daily cruise
ends on 31 October, the last hour before the ships go to sleep for
the winter in the docks... Sometimes the captains do an unofficial
horn-jam session (a little farewell concerto with steamboat
whistles). But in 1996 it was raining, and there were loud cars and
traffic noises; the recorded material was disappointing. The
following years, I got more interested and decided to board when they
went out for technical test cruises without passengers. That was when
I got in deep and surgical with my microphones and I discovered the
industrial beauty of the sound of old machines... machines that are
still working after 100 years, having sailed for up to 2 million
WTM: After you had gather a number of field recordings of the sounds
of the boats, what did you think about it? Did you notice the
different sounds that each boat makes? That they have their own
CS: Indeed, every ship has its characteristic acoustic fingerprint,
its own character. My personal discovery of doing this work was:
material with a history has a soul, or its being charged with
something called " .... ", (this dos not include plastic though).
That was the point I decided to make, by composing a musical piece,
since I thought it was worth presenting to someone.
WTM: I notice that one CD is comprised of what I would call
symphonies and so do you, in fact. They sound like compositions. How
much did you manipulate the actual sound, the sampling/repetition of
sound or enhancement or alter them with effects?
CS: For the symphony, I used exclusively sounds from the ships
(whistles, horns, metal, machines...) and water and natural ambience
(birds, winds, thunder, rain, etc.). I only pitched the sounds
lower, trying to harmonize or find the harmony in correlation with
what was going on before or after. Besides that, I did a lot of
cutting and editing, (18,000 cuts in the symphony) and I reversed
some of the sound. But there is absolutely no addition of electronic
synthesizer sound, or effects like reverb, filtering or any of those
sound-producer gadgets or enhancers.
WTM: What are the symphonies on CD1 [Symphonies] for you?
CS: I don't know yet. If or when I find a resonance, and find an
audience that would like to hear it or even hear it twice; it is only
then that I would begin to call it "music".
WTM: the 2nd CD seems to be a document of one trip, all of the sonic
/ audio details and visual details. How does that differ from CD1 in
composition? Is it more integral and less composed?
CS: Exactly, CD2 is composed only of natural sounds, no acoustic
morphing applied here. Still, I consider it a "composition" since you
will not find such pure and unadultered sound in nature. By which I
mean: there is always acoustic pollution like planes, cars,
tourists, cash-machines, farts, crunching french-fries, microwave
ovens, cellular phones....
WTM: I appreciate that as a listener but I also like the intrusions.
There are some on your other ambient [meadow/cowbell] series.
Gunshots, thunder, a plane overhead Meanwhile, CD3 is comprised of
acoustic portraits of 5 or 6 different steamboats and here we get to
hear your interest in their characters and personalities as
distinguished from one another.Tthey each create their own atmosphere
and have their own audio fingerprints.
CS: Exactly, no audio frauds here, all authentic, not a single
frequency from another ship mixed together.
WTM: CD4 you call the "lexicon" and reminds me of the [especially
the BBC] sound effects records. Here we have the individual traits
and aspects of each of the boats presented. Like a personality
chart. Why did you feel this was necessary?
CS: Yes, here my thought was: This specific CD is going to be my
financial safety-vest... I had the abstruse idea, that all the steam
boat freaks, the ship model builders, the museums will buy a CD with
a listed sound/samples archive of their favorite ships.... This is an
error on my part: I can not sell this CD neither.
WTM: I understand that as an artist or maker of documentaries you
would like to capture all of this on a personal level. But on a
historical / environmental level, is it because these sounds are
disappearing, because these boats are being replaced? What do you
hope to accomplish with this box set? [how many did you make by the
CS: This is exactly the question which burns painfully in my
consciousness and unconscious thoughts: Why? goddamned WHY? I have no
answer here. This leaves me somehow disillusioned and depressed.
Again, I refer to the quote already cited: "By what devil have I been
ridden..." I will read Melville's Moby Dick again to find out.... At
any rate; I WILL NOT consult a shrink. Generally speaking, I became
a musician because of the girls.
OTHER PATAPOE SHOWS:
o Jonges v/d Vlakte [Boys from the Plains]: "De cottonpickin' Jongens
van de cottonpickin' Vlakte" play a piquant, illuminating, and
playfully irritating mix of faulty music, of near-misses, of obscure
failures, of world music that is not from this world 19.00-20.30
[Dutch time, subtract 1 hr for UK, subtract 6 hrs for US East Coast]
Mondays @ PTP
o Dr. Doo Wop in a seance with reflection WAS on Radio Patapoe on
Sundays 17.00-18.00 Amsterdam time
o C2000: Whatever Whenever or aka yo momma, electropulp metal, we
hate hippies, hardcore jumpstylemetal, hiphopmetal,
punk-industrialmetal and meta-metal Mondays 20.30-22.30
o Psycehdelicatessen: obscure underground progressivica Sunday 20-24.
o De Oktoskoop: Kinderen /kid /children /rugrats and other
visionaries. Sat. 11.30-13.30
o No8ody: unformated*core, vr/ijly/stile*maz*up*zumbi*drones Saturdays 14-16.
o Radio Worm: Rotterdam-based radio collective presents inventive
programming to baffle all preconceptions. Midnight Sundays and in
o H=Bass: Klas-zeike Herrie [classic-sickness noise] Sunday 14-17
o Gelul met Krul: Bullshitting on the radio with intriguing guests
o Stront [Shit]: noise, lo-fi experimenting Wednesday 18-22
o HET PROGRAMMA: industrial lounge for collapsing people. Tuesdays 21:00
o Radio Cognito: Mind & Existence Problems Thurs 18-20
* Wreck This Mess-Paris @ Radio Libertaire, Paris 89.4 hosted by
Laurent Diouf 1/2 PanouPanou on Tuesdays 12:30-14:30 check
* Black Sifichi / Audiometric radio check <http://www.blacksifichi.com>
Send all sound material for airplay and review to:
Wreck This MeSS
Dina Appeldoornstraat 11-3
1076 AX Amsterdam
o 2500± READERS-EYEBALL "LISTENERS" per WEEK
CHECK THE ALL NEW WTM/bart WEBSITE
with profiles, yodeling, john cage, allen ginsberg, beer mysticism,
reviews, playlists, fiction, links
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]