The work deals with the acoustic ecology of permanent overflights of aeroplanes from the perspective of everyday life. The recordings were made weekly, once a month, at any time of the year and condensed into one duration! The result discusses the expression and the intervention in a landscape that is shown through the superimposition.

The images of flight tracks were taken in a flight corridor near Frankfurt Airport, which cuts through the small town of Hanau Steinheim in Hesse. An image search for the town reveals a place of picturesque and tranquil charm, with beautiful historic architecture and plenty of greenery; castle towers sprouting from behind trees, spacious and pleasant town squares. And indeed, in the two half-hour pieces that comprise Flight Tracks, I can hear evidence of this idle serenity trying to exist amidst the noise of flights. Birdsong blossoms in the air, bounces off the idle ringing of church bells and collapses on a bed of insect chatter. Dogs bark. Children scream playfully. It feels like summer - the sounds of nature are open and radiant, communicating with each other across the courtyards, enjoying the warmth and sunlight.

And yet the scene is obscured by the dense roar of aeroplanes; the crackle of aircraft tearing up the sky; the Doppler glissando of an engine passing by in a prolonged, plaintive moan. Instead of the church bells penetrating into the open air and travelling through the alleys and squares of Hanau Steinheim, they are immediately absorbed by the cloud of noise. Birdsong is ruthlessly muffled by the gloom and prevented from having an open conversation. Normally, these sounds are the hallmarks of a city that breathes in repose; gentle exhalations of song and chatter, soothing inhalations of idle quiet. But when forced to inhabit such an all-encompassing drone, they begin to feel like probes and flares - a means of finding a way through the fog and confirming the presence of other life forms within, like lighthouse beams faintly announcing themselves in the midst of a storm. I don't know to what extent Flugspuren is an invention - whether Riek has actively transformed an occasional, transient hum into a dense and incessant acoustic pollution - but the scene he depicts is one that does its best to coexist with the noise, insisting on the mundane as if deaf to the din that crushes it.

The work was first broadcast on Deutschlandradio Kultur on 25 April 2016.