: on Tuesday at nine the strawberries are ripe
Drama in five answering machines by Helmut Mittermaier

deutsche Version

Michael Ruesenberg in his radio programme Resonanzen (WDR) about the premiere of the installation(2 April 08)
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Interview with Helmut Mittermaier:

The only sound sources in your installation are five answering machines (AM). Why did you choose this medium?

In our flat share we had an analog AM for a long time. When I came home, my first view was dedicated to it: How many messages. There have been always messages I was waiting for. Success, cancellations and also critical or sad messages. The AM is the recording device which has the strongest connection to our daily live, to our secrets and desires. It was a challenge to work with these issues.

What is your piece about?

Two women and three men live in a fictious dictatorship. They communicate via analog wires, becaus they are old and itís the only way to talk secretly. You hear their messages in a chronological order and thatís the way the story is told.

What are they talking about?

In the plot the government massively controls the people. Most of the music is forbidden. The group named sonopartisan deals with illegal sounds and plans subversive happenings at public places, which have to to with sound. They talk about their plans, about the country and also about art and daily live. Everything must happen secretly and I tried to transport this tension via sounds.

What about music and sounds?

In this piece I was sampling the noises of these old answering machines. Beeps, toots, spooling, clicking noise and so forth. I created all the music and sounddesign exclusively with these sounds. Itís a very important element.

There are computer generated voices in the piece. Where did you find them?

They are from the found machines. I wanted to have some absurd sentences and therefore I began to transcribe the recordings. With the available words I wrote my computer generated voice lyrics and assembled them with the single recording snippets. A Lot of work, but I liked it.

Is it an installation, a radio play or a composition?

Itís all and for me that is the interesting thing. I donít want to separate the genres. I want to create a piece of art which is unique. You enter the room with five different places for the machines, a table, a chair, a small board and so on. You can move between these lighted places and hear the messages. Sometimes the five machines play together like a string quintet and you are in the center of them. What is important, too, is that you feel the intimacy of the persons, you enter their room, see their private things and even hear their messages. Thatís the big difference to a radio play.

Other projects of Helmut Mittermaier


Nora: Lucia Gailova
Jane: Juliane Werner
Ruben: Christian Arndt Sanchez
Luc: Julian Mehne
Paul: Jesse Garon

and Dreyer: Gerald Michel

Dramaturgy: Grit van Dyk

Director, Composer
Sound Designer: Helmut Mittermaier

Cuts of the stereo mix

Fotos of the Installation Berlin April 2009:

info at guruclub de

further Information