Wavelength – Audio-films (for radio).

1. “Weekend” by Walter Ruttmann was a pioneering sound work commissioned in 1928 by Berlin Radio Hour. In a collage of words, music fragments and sounds, on 13th June 1930 the avant-garde film-maker Walter Ruttmann presented a radically innovative radio piece: an aural impression of a Berlin weekend urban landscape. In Ruttmann’s own words “Weekend is a study in sound-montage. In Weekend sound was an end itself.” Before making Weekend, Ruttmann had produced the experimental documentary Berlin-Symphony of a Great City as well as a number of short, experimental abstract animated films. Ruttmann sought possibilities for producing an audio-film for radio. “Everything audible in the world becomes material,” he wrote in a manifesto in 1929, anticipating Schaeffer, Varese and Cage. For Weekend sounds were recorded on optical sound film using the so-called Tri-Ergon process. The broadcast was never repeated and the original was lost until rediscovered in New York in 1978. In 2000 a CD was issued called Weekend Remix including ‘to rococo rot’ Berlin 98 version and that is the track played. 2. This track is an excerpt of Journey number 1 by the little known artist Jack Ellitt, born in England, but brought up in Sydney Australia. The vinyl record it comes from was pressed in 1954 but it is believed that the original dates from the 1930s when Ellitt was working with Len Lye on an unfinished film that evoked space travel. Apparently Ellitt’s music came before the film concept and acted as inspiration for the project. Released in 2007 on the CD Artefacts of Australian Experimental Music 1930-1973. 3. “L’Anticoncept” by the Lettrist poet Gil J. Wolman, being five excerpts from the film which was shown for the first time on 11 February 1952 at the ‘Avant-Garde 52’ cinema club. It consisted of blank illumination projected onto a weather balloon, accompanied by a staccato spoken soundtrack. The film was banned by the French censors on 2 April 1952. When the Lettrists visited the Cannes Film Festival the following month, they were forced to restrict the audience to journalists only. The text of the soundtrack was published in the sole issue of the Lettrist journal Ion in 1952. Ion also included the text of Guy Debord’s film Howls for Sade, which was dedicated to Wolman and featured his voice in its own soundtrack. 4. “Theme for an Imaginary Western” a song written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown originally appearing on Bruce’s Songs for a Tailor album in 1969. The song is sometimes referred to as “Theme from an Imaginary Western.” and has been performed by many artists, including Jack Bruce, Mountain, Leslie West, Colosseum, Greenslade and DC3. Mountain bassist and vocalist Felix Pappalardi had helped produce Bruce’s album and brought the song to guitarist/vocalist Leslie West’s attention for their album Climbing! and Mountain performed the song at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. This is the version by Mountain.