** Und du… was composed in 1963, commissioned by the Austrian Broadcasting Co. It was supposed to be played “radiophonically,” i.e. on tape and with loudspeakers only, to reach and involve a group of listeners corresponding to the medium’s effective radius. My own involvement with the nuclear situation – the dangerousness of which against the background of Hiroshima was clear, but not nearly to the extent it is today among the broad public – prompted me to take the equally fundamental anxiety I was experiencing of art’s direct relation to current problems just as seriously as the urgency of using all means available to me to heighten awareness of that situation.
The music, the orchestras, chamber-music scoring, electronics, speaking voices, singing voices and the technical options of mixing, filtering, collage and ring modulation – all these essentially originated in the sonic universe I had created in 1959/60, free of traditional melodic and rhythmic formulations. In addition, vocal elements and a palette of linguistic options – some even resembling jazz – are also present in Und du… to enhance its message. The words ultimately drown, suffocate in the music. It is a fact that, finally, no form of “artistic design” can be commensurate with the dimensions of the problem, its danger and horror – accordingly, a critical text (written and spoken by Günther Anders) ends up replacing it. For me, this is the most precise thing said up to now – and the most precise thing expressible – about the nuclear situation. - Friedrich Cerha, 2011
“It will come to a war . . . it is only a question of time; and what we must fear most are uncontrolled people – even more than uncontrolled atomics . . . I recommend that everyone who has a radiation-protected bunker should not forget to equip it with a gun . . . I recommend shooting anyone who tries to gain entry into such a bunker by force.” - The Oak Ridger, 8 November 1961