In the colloquial sense, concrete music is the art of composing ’with the sounds of the world around us’. Pioneers of the experimental school called for focusing on the sounds themselves, forgetting about the external world from which they are abstracted (Pierre Schaeffer), as well as forgetting also about ‘us’, that is, about the personality and individual experience of being intimate with the sounds of other entities (John Cage).
From this perspective, the late Eugeniusz Rudnik, deceased in 2016, appears to be the Polish pioneer of electro-acoustic music with a rather peculiar taste when it comes to audio material. Nevertheless, those who had the opportunity to hear works such as Lesson II and Guillotine DG know very well that their audio content cannot be separated from the tragic experiences of the author, his entire generation and nation. The sounds of mass violence, atrocious education and totalitarian madness seem to have lodged in the mind of Eugeniusz Rudnik and did not let go despite his attempts at an artistic catalysis, undertaken for more than half a century. In this sense, his work sets the era not only in the Polish and world history of audio art – it is also a poignant, painful document of the totalitarian century.
Almost identical sounds come back in the works of Arsenije Jovanovic. The Serbian master of radio art became famous for thrilling sound images of the Yugoslav War. La Parata is a vision straight from the darkest depths of history – likewise Guillotine DG – yet at a much more general and ludic level, which only makes it more shocking. The voices of Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler and Tito seem to be resounding today with renewed strength. Will our part of the world once again become the scene of a terrifying spectacle?