The Wire


Listen: Bruiloftslied (Wedding Song) radio drama

November 2012

Stream a sound-led radio drama based on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, by Melanie Clifford, Alisdair McGregor and Howard Jacques. McGregor and Jacques are featured in an article by Zakia Uddin in The Wire 346.

Alisdair McGregor and Howard Jacques are sound designers who specialise in radio drama. They also have a programme on London's Resonance FM called Bermuda Triangle Test Transmission Broadcasts. One of their productions, The Air Gap (made with Boz Temple-Morris of Holy Mountain) was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October. A new programme, The Long Count (again with Holy Mountain) will also go out on R4 on 21 December.

The above recording is of Bruiloftslied (Wedding Song), a 2008 radio drama commissioned by Lucas Simonis at Rotterdam's Worm arts organisation for the Dutch national radio channel, R6.

McGregor and Jacques describe this project: "We had a skeletal script of minimal text that was written by Boz Temple-Morris of Holy Mountain and then performed in the streets of Rotterdam by Stephie Buttrich, and in Brixton by Sam Collings.

"We immersed ourselves in the whole idea of Orpheus being transported up from the underworld and into modern day Rotterdam, driving through the night without a map from London to Worm. Worm is an amazing facility. A huge old building comprising a cafe/bar, recording studio with wall-to-wall analogue synths, gig venue, mini-cinema, record shop and the home of Worm radio. There were also some unused floors with large steel structures and tanks of water which kept Melanie busy recording while we calmed ourselves with a beer or two.

"Out on the streets we found a place named The Magician's Tunnel, a shortish tunnel linking a well to do part of the city to a scruffier part, one we were told would be best to avoid. Here we positioned ourselves, improvising music, recording text and field sounds and generally giving rise to some curiosity from the passing people. Among the different atmospheres the city threw up, we stumbled across a wedding that was spilling on to the pavement which helped assure us we were on the right track. We ended the 3 day session setting up a live jam session in the studio and came up with some musical themes. Mammoth editing ensued back in Brixton after four live Resonance broadcasts, improvising with the recordings we had made.

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