“Glanda” is a rough phonetic transcription of “Geländer” which means a railing installed to give security and orientation

Otto Wagner’s railings are to be found everywhere in Vienna and have served to give the Metropolis of 1900 an early case of a “corporate identity” long before the term was even coined. They are functional and part of a state-of-the-art technology as they are part of the original design of the city railway (“Stadtbahn”); yet they are also invoking imperial and archaic symbolisms, using motifs of laurel wreaths and sun wheels.

This type of railing, painted green for technical reasons Otto Wagner had no part in, have been copied over the decades and thus finally also run along the bank of the “Wienfluss” where no need for special security or orientation is apparent. 

Still, the echo of an urban management connecting periphery to centre resonates. 

The song is by now only a torso of three versions of the chorus, naming all three basic modes of a good railing or bannister: to connect, to protect, to separate.

And it does so by honouring “The Passengers” ways of seeing friends in everything, organic and inorganic, by uttering the desire to actually BE that railing. For to be of good use is a profound desire also for humans whose claim to a freedom unique in all of Nature has wrongly been coupled with a certain uselessness.


“Gstättn”, a dialect expression for “urban wasteland”, points at a site or non-site of the city that has left a deep mark in the Viennese soul. The deep connection of finding solace in a state of profound emotional suffering while also being home at the periphery has found a timeless poetic advocate in H.C. Artman, a child of Breitensee, a suburb in the district of Penzing (where also one of the primal hosts of The Passenger is living). 

To his amazing poetry in the Viennese dialect this poetic dialogue owes allegiance.

The “Gstättn” are speaking themselves, with a non-binary Viennese voice, describing their special ontology and their profound function for the solace of desperate souls; yet they are also hurt by the lack of human gratitude, as the “Gstättn”, usually zones of dormant building sites or disused industries taken over by unkept vegetation, is by definition a non-site of ignorance and neglect.

Yet another female voice of a certain fragile refinement one has used before, calling her “Ophelia”, is answering the rough dialect voice of the “Gstättn”, reminding them that this very state of ignorance and non-identity is after all the very (non-)essence of the “Gstättn”. 

“Song of the Staircase”

This recording is the document of a workshop given by Kira O-Reilly in the PSK building, a late masterwork by Otto Wagner now partly in use by various departments of the “Universität für Angewandte Kunst”. The staircase proved to be a space of extraordinary acoustic properties. Several people of various genders were walking up and down the stairs while weaving a multi-dimensional choir, some even making use of overtone singing.