Walter Ruttmann Weekend Remix


Featuring remixes by: DJ Spooky, To rococo Rot, Mick Harris, John Oswald, Klaus Buhlert, Ernst Horn. Plus the original Ruttmann track from 1930 (previously issued as a 3" by Metamkine). "'Weekend' by Walter Ruttmann (1887-1941) is a pioneering work from the early days of radio. In an 11 minute 10 second collage of words, music fragments and sounds, the film-maker and media artist Walter Ruttmann presented on 13 June 1930 an avant-garde and radically innovative radio piece: an acoustic picture of a Berlin weekend urban landscape. After his experience with his films, Walter Ruttmann deliberately sought possibilities for producing an audio-film for radio. 'Everything audible in the world becomes material', he wrote in a manifesto in 1929. Tones and sounds should exist in their own right. For 'Weekend' they were recorded as arbitrary and intentional elements on the soundtrack of an optical sound film using the so-called tri ergon technique. For the first time an artistic radio production was created whose material could be assembled and designed according to rhythmic, musical principles. The technique used also meant that a repeat broadcast would have been possible. But this never happened. The original of 'Weekend' was long considered lost. A copy was only rediscovered in New York in 1978. 68 years after the creation of the original, Barbara Schäfer and Herbert Kapfer invited international artists to make six Walter Ruttmann Weekend Remix versions for Bayerischer Rundfunk. The radio play classic, which had opened up new aesthetic perspectives for the genre at a very early stage, underwent the digital endurance test and was confronted with the means and possibilities of the digital age and the remix technique. The remixes of Klaus Buhlert and Ernst Horn took Ruttmann's compositional principles of 'Weekend' and circumscribed them with their own compositions. With the new digital technology new methods of composition were also applied. Pathos and rhythm were given a contemporary drive, the ironic moments of the disrespectfully edited original were amplified further with a subsequent treatment by the composers Horn and Buhlert, new audio spaces were opened up. In 1998 Berlin, To Rococo Rot sought acoustic equivalents to the elements Ruttmann had recorded in 1930. Their version is ?- in film terms ? a remake, in musical terms a cover version, and at the same time a homage to Ruttmann and the City of Berlin. In their 'Weekend' remixes, the British musician Mick Harris and DJ Spooky from New York staged a return to the fatalistic mood of the original. The remix compositions focussed on machine noises and the acoustic signals of disturbed communication. Apart from the added bass and rhythm tracks, Harris and DJ Spooky used only the original as material, processed with digital machines. The basis for the remix by the Canadian John Oswald was the loud noise on the copy of the 1930 original. Oswald's remix conducted a digital material battle with the original, one which duplicated in Ruttmann's discontinuous rhythm the copying noises which had developed over time."