Margherita Brillada is an Italian sound artist, researcher and electronic music composer based in the Netherlands. She studied electroacoustic composition at the Conservatory of Turin, and then she graduated at the Institute of Sonology of The Hague with a Master’s research project focusing on Radio Art as an expression of social relatedness. 

Moving in the sphere between sound and socio-political activism, her research​ is conceived to actively participate in social reality. Aiming at the development of a compositional approach intended as a tool for critical reflection on current issues the project is an attempt to create a specific “radio poetics” considering the paradigms and specificities of the radio medium. By increasing awareness of audiences and ​re-thinking radio as an exhibition space for experimental Sound Art​, the project focuses on the production of radio artworks and podcasts characterised by voices, field recordings and instrumental sonorities. Her work currently focuses on the production of a series of electroacoustic compositions, reflecting on the change of urban soundscape during the pandemic period. Her practice involves soundscape composition by exploring multichannel systems to create immersive listening experiences, engage with audiences and bring a voice to current social thematics.

In her work, she pays particular attention to the urban soundscape, acoustic ecology and the anthropogenic presence in public spaces, emphasising the role of the disembodied and acousmatic voice in the radiophonic context.

Approaching the concept of Radio from the perspective of composition and the practice of sound art, it was and remains necessary to see the radio not only as a medium but also as an art form.

Radio bridges time and space, brings together people and ideas by establishing collective auditory experiences allowing at the same time mass and individual listening—the absence of a single and precise singular location but rather many indeterminate locations. The intermediate space and time between the broadcaster and the listener allow space-time dislocation—a broken concept of the linearity of time.

All these paradigms have to be considered while composing music conceived for a radiophonic context both from the broadcaster and the listeners’ side. Fascinated by Radio Art, her research explores the rich history of radio as an artistic medium, the new networks promised by the exponential development of mass media, the relationship between the artists and the various approaches to it. The research attempts to understand how Radio/Sound art could bring a greater level of awareness to the audience and involve it in socio-political life. A firm trust in the communicative scope of music and the need to express through it the contradictions of our society led me to designate a space of musical critique to express an array of delicate social topics artistically. Exploring the socio-political agency of the medium– its direct contact with the audience, the possibility of live interaction – the research is driven by the vast forms of expressions that can be projected through it.

When trying to outline the evolution and ramifications of socio-political commitment, especially those connected with musical experimentation and new technologies relating to one’s ethical and aesthetic conception of sound, I argue that the engaged composer must respond to inherent contradictions in contemporary society. Looking at the ancient Greek πολιτικήπόλις and τέχνη, that is “art that pertains to the city”, every artistic fact can be de facto a ‘political’ one. By this notion, the sense of music exists in its being res publica; Thinking about the composer-audience relationship and to whom my compositions are addressed, the direction taken by her project aims to diffuse social messages through powerful channels of communication.

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