Unidentified Sounds: Radio reporting from Copenhagen 1931-49

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

This article investigates how urban spaces and its noises are approached by radio reporters in the first decades of public radio production in Denmark. Focussing on the period before reel tape was incorporated in production by late 1940es, I ask how urban space and urban sounds are heard, contextualised and conceptualised in an era of transmission. Observing that urban sounds until late 1930es are rarely heard in Danish radio compared to German and English broadcasting, I argue that an urban and auditory aesthetics incorporating noise, heterogeneity and unpredictability did not really develop in Danish radio until early post-war years. Yet I trace early attempts at managing noisy urban conditions and demonstrate how reporters experimented with available technological repositories and developed techniques in order to make sense in and through urban environments. Inspired by Michel Serres idea of the parasite I analyse such techniques as ways of distinguishing between noise and meaningful sounds, and ultimately show how such ventures constituted auditory responses to modernity and let organised sound enter the public sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalJournal of Radio & Audio Media
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - urban studies, sound studies, radio studies, radio aesthetics, radio history

ID: 130213204