Radio Memory
Brandon LaBelle
120 pages with CD
ISBN: 978-0-9772594-6-5

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Radio Memory Playlist by Jeremy Welsh

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Vital Weekly #635 review: Perhaps I once stated that I have no radio. It's not entirely: next to my bed I have radio, to wake me up in the morning with the 8 o'clock news (days at Vital HQ start early), and then I shut it down and get up. I don't know what else is on the radio anymore. I don't mind either as through the door much music arrives. As a young man, with no money, enough time on my hand (being a student), I used to listen to radio in the evening. Several good programs in The Netherlands ('Spleen', 'Radionome' anyone) gave me my first steps in strange music. I did tape stuff from radio back then, and in some cases it too me years to find a record that I known for so long ('Nyrabagia' anyone?). I wonder if anyone who downloaded a MP3 these days has that same feeling - but I am getting old, I know. All of this rambling about radio is all hardly of interest I guess, but it could have been part of the installations that were conceived by Brandon LaBelle. A couple of years he invited a whole bunch of people to write him about their first memories on radio. That can be a song, or a situation in which radio played some role. It's an interesting read, as they are collected here in the book, which brings back other memories of the same songs here or which made me curious to hear some of the ones I don't know. Part of the book is devoted to the installations that resulted from these memories, and is thus an art catalogue. And of course there is a CD, in which LaBelle works with four memories and builds a script around them, have them spoken by some people and adds music to them. The result are four radio plays about memories, dreams or nightmares about radio, locations and people. A very strong and coherent work, even when you won't be playing this on a daily basis. (FdW)