Jolanda Rodio former concert singer
and founder of the Kulturmühle in Lützelflüh BE

Somebody must do something.

In her "Inner Sanctum", as she calls her bedroom, where the "Holy Saints" hang on the walls - religious depiction's and icons - there stands on a small table, covered with a white cloth, a computer, a 20th century altar. How on earth does a woman of 73 come to have such a machine and work on it for an hour every day? "In order to work against this machine, I must get to know it. Otherwise it would be like a Eunuch talking about fertilisation", she answers waspishly.

Jolanda Rodio is a person who has worked intensively with new things all her life. She was born in Zürich in 1914 and having grown up there, she came to Denmark in 1938 after her marriage. ("I never really lived before the war"). After the 2nd WW and her divorce she started to study singing and piano at the Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. In the 50s and 60s she made a name for herself as an opera singer and interpreter of numerous new musical works, and undertook extensive tours throughout Europe. In 1959 she received the coveted "Tagea-Brandt-Prize". In 1963 she founded her own Chamber Music Ensemble "Prisma" ("so that I could be completely independent from everything possible and impossible in what I wanted to perform"). She moved from Denmark in 1988 and returned to Switzerland, where in 1972 she bought the old mill in Lützelflüh in Emmental, which was in a questionable condition. She had it renovated and turned it in the mean time into the well-known Kulturmühle.

"In the year 2000 man will work 4 hours a day.
What will he do with the other 20 hours?
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By working with the computer, Jolanda Rodio wants to find out "how it can trap me". Everyone speaks of their fear of computers - she sets herself apart: "The computer is an animal (mine is called Jakob). It must serve me, not the other way round".
The computer buff, the person who works with computers, needs a playful relationship with his work - he should be able to accept work problems as a challenge to his imagination. There are however dangers here Computer game language has a potential which can be better used elsewhere The computer is not only a threat at work, but also in it's individual effect on life as a whole:

"I believe we should simply stop this industrialisation".

"In the year 2000 man will only work 4 hours a day. What will he do with other 20 hours?". Jolanda Rodio is talking about a positive structuring of free time. "It is important, that people's imagination is not harnessed; it should grow like a plant. I believe we should simply stop this industrialisation".

She lives as she preaches. In her flat there is no central heating or bath or hot water. A voice in the wilderness? There must be such people, she replies decisively. Jolanda Rodio is by no means a resigned individual, who has crept into a hypocritical world of bio-bread country air and hand woven clothes. She has precise views of what man is and should be. As a means of obtaining this necessary positive structuring of freedom, or more exactly way of life, she offers her Child Drama. This is no oven-ready recipe - she has an abhorrence of this - but an offer, by which everyone can see if he can get further.

"The more computers there are,
the more people will be drawn towards themselves and this animal"

It is extraordinary what Jolanda Rodio has achieved and suffered in her life. It is these extraordinary people who have the desire to be known as a "crazy person". That creates no problems for her. "I don't care if people laugh at me and say "oh, your tiny contribution is like a drop in the ocean". That is highly possible. But somebody must do something!" Once more a dig at the new, powerful adversary: "The more computers there are, the more people will be drawn towards themselves and this animal.

Man thereby becomes a social being.

Not by chance does Jolanda Rodio attach importance to her aim through her Child Drama, that people should get together, make relationships with each other and look around themselves, without having to turn anything down.

This is no job for the own "self", quite the opposite:
"One learns to be there and use his presence. What other people think
about you is only one viewpoint. I have my own role."

She has always been impossible, says Jolanda Rodio. She remembers her schooldays and her "beloved repression instrument" a teacher who used to hit his pupils across the back of their hand.

I always used to think:
"Pick up your own ruler" or
"I don't care - it only hits my hand, not my soul!"

The passion that this woman has had, from the beginning of her musical career, for new music, has a deep meaning. In an essay about twelve-tone music, Jolanda Rodio wrote many years ago, the singer must know that dodecaphonic music is not only the relationship of single units to a whole, or vice-versa, but "that everything is concentrated on the value of that one sound and that this must come freely from itself".

What Jolanda Rodio is saying here about remarkable characteristics of the music of our century, also has parallels with her views of people: "Every tone (person) has a particular intrinsic value and should only exist purely for itself, free from anticipation (prejudices), leading notes (e.g. demagogues), and from dominant-subdominant-tonic-systems (from any political or religious subordination)".