For some reason today, I was on Wikipedia, looking at the entry for Radio documentary. And I came across this rather lovely quote from Helmut Kopetzky:
Staring red-eyed at the mirror in front of me, having spent another day and half of the night with my computer, I ask myself fundamental questions: Why radio? Why documentary? Answer: No other medium can provide me with more freedom of creation and investigation. It meets my urgent interest in reality and the desire for a ‘musical’ expression. The material (der Werkstoff) is sound. And sound always surrounds us. And: I’m not so much interested in the description of stable situations, but in processes. Our medium is not space, but time; our stories are not glued to the ground, but have motion, life … That’s why!
Kopetzky desire for “musical expression” reminded me of something I heard earlier this week. As I walked to work on Monday, I listened to Radio Lab‘s Making Radio Lab podcast, which draws heavily on their excellent Musical Language episode. In it,
Jad geeks out on the nitty-gritty of digital sound editing, and Robert discusses the editorial questions raised in creating imaginative soundscapes. Film-editor Walter Murch weighs in on the components of storytelling.
If you’re a fan of the show, or at all interested in making radio, this is required listening.