Silent events

"Radio Time Machine", "Holographic Parolibere Tables" and "Silent Disco" are events that offer the public wireless headphones for three different immersive audio experiences. "Radio Time Machine" was designed to travel through time by listening to radio programs in different genres of the RSI of the '40s, '50s and '60s. "Holographic parolibere tables" allowed to listen to the sound of two of the famous paroliberous tables by the futurist artist Fortunato Depero. Silent Disco was a synchronized dancing in an outdoor disco, organized by laRotonda and sponsored by Swisscom that was able to draw attention to the use of wireless headphones and their ability to synchronize people “music-free”.

In the RSI Archives (local public service broadcasting company), we identified different genres (news, theatre, sport), most illustrative for different decades of radio broadcasting (1940s, 1950s, and 1960s). While researching we aimed at finding unique and attractive programs that could be engaging to listen. The track had to be engaging, interesting to listen from any moment, and not overwhelmingly long (about 3 minutes maximum). As the technical capacity of the wireless headphones allowed to upload only three tracks, we selected three decades for the event.
For the “Radio Time Machine” it has been proposed to listen to the following three radio tracks:
  • Track 1 – 1940, fragments of a palimpsest with time signal, a news bulletin with news about the Second World War and some songs of the Radiant Orchestra.
  • Track 2 – 1959, Dialectal Theatre: Comedy La Tenca dal Carlin.
    • Track 3 – 1964, Radio chronicle of the match of Switzerland-Italy football, ended 3-1 for Italy.
For the “Holographic parolibere tables” it has been proposed to listen to the sound of two works by the artist Fortunato Depero, Subway (1929) and Coney Island (1929), both presented through a holographic recording that allows the creation of “three-dimensional” audio.
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The contents of the “Silent Disco” basically refer to the musical playlists used by DJs in different sessions.
Near the Darsena of the Parco Ciani in Lugano, an information panel consisting of two panels presenting the activities “Radio time machine” and “Holographic parolibere tables” has been mounted. Inside the Darsena it was possible to register and receive wireless headsets or wired headsets for your smartphone.
Otherwise, all the sessions of the “Silent Disco” activity took place at LaRotonda in Locarno.
The following technical tools were required for the “Radio Time Machine” and “Holographic parolibere Tables” activities:
    • – 3 ipads (with chargers)
    • – 3 transmitters (with chargers and cables)
    • – 15 wireless headsets
    • – 4 multimini USB cables for charging wireless headphones
    • – 3 corded headsets for smartphones
    • – 1 iphone adapter
    • – 2 multi-socket slippers

For “Silent Disco” activities, approx. 150 wireless headsets and their respective chargers are available.
The activities of “Radio Time Machine” and “Holophonic Periodic Tables” were carried out over two days, from 9.00 to 18.00. Passers-by could request headphones at the desk and move freely in the park to listen to the audio content proposed. At the end of the listening session, they had to hand over the headphones to the reception staff. One person was responsible for promoting the activities in the park. The activities were also enjoyed by the participants of the walk.
The “Silent Disco” sessions were included in the evening musical animation held in LaRotonda during the two weeks of the Locarno Festival. From midnight (at 2.00 a.m. on weekends) the DJ sets turn off the amplifiers and turn on the headphones distributed among those who want to continue to live the night listening to music.