This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Friz_Revenant_holes-1024x768.jpeg

Revenant is a solo radio art composition premiering on ORF Kunstradio on July 30, 2023 at 22:05 CDST (GMT +2). Listen live or stream from the project page. Rebroadcast on WGXC Upper Hudson Valley, September 8, 2023. Winner of the Karl Sczuka Prize for radiophonic art in 2024.

Here’s what it’s all about:


A new radio art work in two parts, exploring mortality, rot, and regeneration, using electronic and radiophonic instruments, and sounds recorded from below and above ground.

Field recordings, electronics, live performance, editing and mastering by Anna Friz. Recorded in the RP4 studios of the ORF Funkhaus in Vienna and on various locations in Santa Cruz, California. Thanks to Martin Leitner for additional recording engineering, Elisabeth Zimmermann for the commission, and Indexical, Santa Cruz, an artist-run space for experimental sound and media art.

A portion of this piece is based on an earlier live remote performance for Indexical, Santa Cruz, in October 2020, a year in which my community weathered pandemic quarantines and emergency evacuation from during the CZU Lightning Complex wildfire in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, California. Subsequent years saw drought, flood, regrowth, more devastation from storms, and still more growth here on the ground. Behind my home a meadow is transformed into a gopher barrens each summer, pock-marked and dry like a moonscape as manifested by rodents. I reflected on the recurrent mythical stories of mortal descent into the underworld in search of a lost loved one, of what goes on underground on an everyday basis, and how I would need to transform physically in order to tunnel down and join the potentially vast world of creatures and organisms that live in the dark of the earth.

Revenant is structured in two parts: the first reflecting on a difficult season of quarantine, illness, and loss; the second proposing physical/material transformation in order to journey to the underworld.

1: Outside

In the increasing heat and haze of summer, the days are long and hot and the nights insomniac. After brief, fitful sleep, the sun is a tarnished penny in the morning when it rises behind an orange haze of smoke and ash from wildfire. Stuck indoors when the air is hot and thick, other creatures find their way inside to take refuge with me: coming in along the plumbing, up the drains, in the vents and down the chimney, through the cracks under the door or the walls. Unexpected insects, worms and a lizard that dry on the floor, various arachnids running up the walls, a small bird, a bat. It seems I must change my approach to cohabitation: when the creatures move into my nest, I trade places and take to the airwaves or escape down into their burrows.

2: Revenir The difference between the living and the dead can be hard to discern. That which is dry and buried may not lie still but move, resurface, rehydrate, transform. Could I be a the visitor to this actual underworld? Time underground enables metamorphoses of body and senses.

Funding for Revenant provided by a Rydell Fellowship (Santa Cruz) (2022-2023).