O-Ton Ü-Tek (Radioplay)

By Helgard Haug / Daniel Wetzel

O-Ton Ü-Tek / The Sound of making Radio was developed in close co-operation with the technical staff of DeutschlandRadio Berlin. It was also espesially conceived for "Werkstatt" a specific program-space.

The radio-play arose out of four phases:

Phase of recording, assembly, transmission-game, end-essembly.

We accompanied a mobile team of engineers of DeutschlandRadio Berlin for several weeks. We listened and taped the sounds, talks and comments of their working process. Out of an enormous amount of material we chose mainly one trip to Torgau (known as the 'town of meeting' - 1945 Russian and American troops met here first) one trip to Lippstadt and the preparations for a broadcasting from Pariser Platz in the centre of Berlin. In addition we had the chance to talk to an engineer who was a pioneer of live broadcasting technology after WW2.

Following the phase of recording we arranged the taped material in a second step. We mixed the recordings with archive material to a special form of a secret agent story. The found-material built the base of a radio-play as an acoustic experiment.

We built separate blocks, which can roughly be subdivided into three groups: announcement, word-parts/text and music. In the first montage those were alternating within the usual principle of making radio.

Those elements built the base-material for the transmission-game. Three engineers were doing the transmission of the prepared elements out of the mobile studio van Ü-30 to the broadcasting-studio, there one engineer was checking the received signals. We recorded everything the staff was saying in order to make the transmission. (this is printed in italics).

Finally - in the end-essembly - we arranged the transmitted elements parallel to the recorded transmission-game. You can hear the transmitted elements in coherence to the event of transmitting (the sound of switching, counting, connecting, checking, cutting, co-ordinating, rehearsing....in-between the mobile studio and the radio-studio).

A presenter - the voice that officially speaks the jingles of DeutschlandRadio Berlin - leads through the radio-play. She announces the different parts of the play and asks questions about the NOW and the HERE and THERE. (this is printed in fat letters)

The audience listens to the engineers making radio and is left with the question if this NOW is LIVE or not.


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