Rundfunk Aetherna X

A Radio Opera / Installation by Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag

A partner event for CTM and transmediale 2019, RUNDFUNK AETHERNA X is Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag’s symphonic spatial re-composition of his namesake radio opera, which was commissioned for documenta14. The audience is invited to walk through a multi-dimensional listening space over seven days at Akademie der Künste.

In the 1930s, radio pioneer Rudolf Arnheim saw radio as the future medium of a disembodied sound art. For Sonntag, sound art is above all a spatial art that addresses the body. In this opera, Sonntag traces the artistic and political visions of the first new mass media Radio, beginning with the work of Arnheim, Benjamin, and Brecht, and later on Stockhausen, Cage, Heidegger, and Kittler. He argues that the technical prerequisites of radio have the same roots as new electronic and experimental music, and that these technologies were made technically and financially possible by broadcasting institutions in Europe.. Thus, the radio apparatus and studio became part of the compositions of the time.

This iteration of RUNDFUNK AETHERNA X is the first presentation of Sonntag’s sonradiaGrid, which consists of new acoustic omnidirectional radiators developed in his N-solab studio.

The piece features recording soloists: Sam Ashley (voice), Axel Dörner (trumpet), Lars Gühlcke (sonDdouble bass), Robin Hayward (tuba), Theo Nabicht (double bass clarinet), Oliver H.J. Sonntag (drums), Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag (transistor radio & audion feedback radio system), Tim Tetzner (tape recorder), Michael Vorfeld (drums and DIY string instruments), Biliana Voutchkova (violin, recording), Alexander Brennecke (installation / sonradiaGrid development & production: N-solab), Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag (concept, composition, libretto, postproduction & audion feedback radio system).

Event Schedule

Friday 01.02.2019 | 19:00

Opening and solo performances by Lars Gühlcke (sonDdouble bass), Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag (Audion feedback radio system & transistor radio), Michael Vorfeld (bowed cymbals & DIY string instruments)

Saturday 2.2.2019 | 18:00

Artist talk with Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, Wolfgang Hagen, and Hubertus von Amelunxen. Moderated by Detlev Schneider

Wednesday 6.2.2019 | 19:00

Radio opera installation with live instrumental soloists: Lars Gühlcke, sonDdouble bass; Theo Nabicht, double bass clarinet; Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, Audion feedback radio system & transistorradio & Michael Vorfeld, bowed cymbals & DIY string instruments


Opening & Performance: 1.2.2019 | 19:00

Runs: 1.–2.2.2019. | 11:00–22:00
3.–7.2. | 11:00–19:00

Venue: Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten

Free entrance