Gilded Cage

Original Publication:


I produced this series for the Canal Inaudible of the RRS with the excuse and permission of the exhibition curated by María Dolores Jiménez Blanco, Campo Cerrado, an exhibition that took place in the Museo Reina Sofía and touched upon art in the Spanish context between 1939-1953. This podcast series explores the 1940s. More specifically the voice of women, the radiated, exiled voice, normalized and manipulated electroacoustical. It is also about listening, about the construction of the body of the listener through artistic experimentation, sound design and industrial technology.

In this series there is a continuous mixture and overlapping of rallies, songs and cinema sound bites, woven together by a structuring essay in four brief chapters. The first is devoted to the voice and issues of gender, particularly to the voice of women. Then an episode devoted to Radio Pirenáica (with its interference) and Radio Nacional, as instances of radio as “the avant-garde in the fight for minds (and) consciences.” The third, about the normalization of the voice by means of the record industry, and the quest for a heteronormalization of the voice’s reverberation, or of triviality. And, finally, an episode devoted to sound design, which features a review of some of the relevant composers, sound inventors and designers of the age.

The voice integrates the historical, aesthetical and political peculiarities with which the different personalities of the Spanish postwar context approached sound, figures such as Alberto Laffón, Jorge Inurrieta, Val del Omar, La Pasionaria, Fernando Fernández de Córdoba, Luis Rovira, Miguel Molina, Antonio Machín or, as hinted by the title of the series Cárcel de Oro [Gilded Cage], Concha Piquer. All of them, among many others, are relevant instances in this foray into what speaking and listening might have meant in those troubled years.