Trilogy for Night and Radio


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This week is the premiere of the first part of The Remote Series, produced by Skálar FM and commissioned by the Creative Audio Unit of ABC Radio National, Australia for their weekly radio art program Soundproof.
Listen on air, online or download the series prologue Trilogy for Night and Radio: Radiotelegraph/Night Fall/Relay, a three-part sound work by Anna Friz and Konrad Korabiewski.

Autumn in the far north is characterized by a dramatic loss of daylight. In Seyðisfjörður, a small village on the far eastern edge of Iceland just below the Arctic Circle, each day in October has eight minutes less daylight than the one before. The sun is slower each day to crest the mountains which ring the fjord, until mid-November when it no longer rises above the mountains, and the town experiences only indirect light until February.

Trilogy for Night and Radio is a radio art work in three parts that explores remoteness, the descent into darkness and the long Northern winter night. Trilogy is a collaborative exchange between two traveling sound artists – Anna Friz and Konrad Korabiewski – that meditates on feelings of place using the materiality of signals, overlapping remote geographical spaces. As part of the work, we recorded, performed, re-recorded, and composed with sounds and signals from Iceland and Slovenia, with a relay broadcast to Chicago.

Radiotelegraph, is a beacon in spoken morse code, designed by Anna for unlicensed radio simulcast in Seysdisfjördur, Iceland, and in Chicago, U.S.A on the Radius platform in October 2013. Incorporating performed morse code, electronics, and sampled radio signals, Radiotelegraph reflects Seyðisfjörður’s remote location in a deep fjord off the Atlantic Ocean, which was also the site of the first telegraph cable connection between Iceland and Europe in 1906.

Night Fall is an improvised live performance by Anna and Konrad for unlicensed low-watt transmission in Seyðisfjörður to accompany the shift from sundown into full night time darkness. Night Fall elaborates on the sonic palate created in part one, with a soundscape that contemplates the acoustic and electro-magnetic landscape of Seyðisfjörður in the disappearing light of dusk and the feeling of suspended or expanded time that strongly characterizes this village in east Iceland. The performance was recorded live from a small transistor radio receiver, and edited.

The final segment, Relay, is built from recordings made by Anna and Konrad around the winter solstice (December 21-22) in the empty post-industrial spaces in which they were working–Anna in a former tobacco factory in Ljubljana, Slovenia; Konrad in an empty herring factory in Seydisfjördur. They intertwined these traces and signals from distant spaces, using the architecture and landscape as a filter for their signals. Anna took elements from Radiotelegraph and replayed them into the iron bannisters and wooden walls of the tobacco factory using tactile transducers, or speakers which transmit vibrations into surfaces. These signals were re-recorded using contact microphones, and sent to Konrad, who mixed them together with field recordings from different houses and the empty herring factory.

Trilogy for Night and Radio is the prologue to the four part Remote Series, which will air on Soundproof in early 2015 and will feature artists Tumi Magnússon (Iceland), Fernando Godoy M (Chile), Jana Winderen (Norway) and Christina Kubisch (Germany).

Trilogy for Night and Radio was produced for the Creative Audio Unit with additional support from the Danish Arts Foundation, the Danish Composer’s Society, radioCONA, Kultural Center Tobačna 001, Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts, and Radius.

 



Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro, Redux


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Lately there’s been so much cross-continental traveling and work that I’m utterly behind on the updates here. So let’s begin with where I am now: back in one of my favourite places in the world, Valparaíso, Chile for the 2014 edition of the Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro. It’s my great pleasure to be invited for the second time (the first time was 2012, catch up on the fun in photos here and here)!

This year at Tsonami Festival I have a full plate of activities: a three-day workshop on expanded radio practice, a lecture with Konrad Korabiewski on our activities as the collective Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music, and a concert together. See full descriptions below. Tsonami Festival has also branched out to include two days of programming in nearby Santiago de Chile, where I will reprise my workshop as a two-day affair.

Konrad and I are staying in Chile for a while after the festival to gather audio visual material on urban infrastructure, post-industrial and industrial landscapes for a couple of projects in the works. We feel there is an interesting  I will also be working on a new commission for U.K.-based Radio Arts on the theme of Dreamlands–my concept involves dreams of flying.

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Workshop: Radio is not at container
2-4. December, 2014  10:00-14:00 Balmaceda Arte Joven Valparaíso;
and 9-10. December 2014 10:00-14:00  Centro Culural de Espana de Santiago
Pull the radio out of the studio, off the tower and out of its black box! Radio is much more than the broadcast of information and entertainment. Radio can be an instrument, a landscape, and a meeting between real and imaginary space. This workshop uses micro-radio transmission, small circuits and radio instruments to explore the huge potential for radio art. Participants will be introduced to and listen to some of the diverse art works made by artists working across the electro-magnetic spectrum, and take part in a series of field exercises and improvisations in order to expand their experience with all aspects of creative radio practice, from laying hands on radio circuits to listening to waves in the city, from making ‘instant’ radio theatre to artistic interventions into the spectrum and the city.  The workshop can include a public presentation or intervention.

Performance with Konrad Korabiewski: Magnetic Meridian
Thursday 4. December 2014, 19:30  Teatro PCdV
Imaginary lines connect magnetic south and north poles. Friz and Korabiewski begin to describe one such line, crooked and meandering, from a point on the far east coast of Iceland moving south and west. The material of one place listens to another, and the particular presence of one space affects another. Magnetic Meridian is an improvised concert reflecting upon the conditions of geographic and communicative remoteness, and the fragility of unstable human signals. Using field recordings, small electronics, radiophonic and acoustic instruments, and electro-magnetic tape, the two artists evoke an audible landscape, actual and imagined; a northern landscape experienced and transformed, through drone, signal, and dictaphone.

Lecture with Konrad Korabiewski: The Feeling of North
Thursday 4. December, 2014  17:00 hrs  Biblioteca PCdV
Friz and Korabiewski are currently curators and practicing members of Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music based in Iceland and Berlin. The organization is both an artist collective and a mobile curatorial platform, focused on creating site-specific sonic-based interactions with landscapes, both geographical or built. Skálar is particularly interested to generate and support artistic practices which highlight unstable systems, open spaces to new interpretations and use, and which engage in perceptual feedback and affect between site and subject. The artists will discuss Skálar’s activities in remote landscapes in Iceland, as well as examples of their own work, such as the audio-visual collaboration NS-12 and the radio art intervention Radiotelegraph.

 



New post on Sounding Out!


I have a new essay posted on the Sounding Out! blog:
I’m writing about transmission ecology, radio art, some of my work, and projects by a couple of my favourite radio people Jeff Kolar and Kristen Roos. Expertly edited by another sharp radio mind, Neil Verma.


Drone Wedding


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Drone Wedding is up for the next 3 months, a new work by Public Studio, commissioned for the Ryerson University Image Centre Media Wall in Toronto, Canada. Public Studio is an artist collective founded by film director Elle Flanders and architect Tamira Sawatzky, and includes other collaborators as the projects require. I have been the composer/sound designer for 3 multi-channel film installation works with Public Studio so far: Road Movie (2011), What Isn’t There (2014), and now Drone Wedding.

Drone Wedding is a multi-channel video installation which reflects on pervasive contemporary surveillance society against the frame of drone reconnaissance and targeted strikes. Cameras collect a tremendous amount of data in all aspects of daily public and private life; Drone Wedding considers the more ominous element in this flow of images– who’s watching, who is being watched, and how comfortable or knowledgeable is Canadian society with this growing surveillance infrastructure and how it is being used, who is being targeted, at home and abroad?

I crafted the sound from a number of radiophonic sources–encrypted radio communications (including numbers stations), military ground-air talk, ambient radiation from electronic devices via induction coils and VLF antennas, video documents made public by various watchdog organizations, misfiring AM radio transmitters, etc. It’s in the air all around us–devices and people, recording everything.

Watch the composite version of the video here

Short review by the Globe and Mail here



TONSPUR Open Air


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I’ve been here in Vienna the past weeks, in residence at quartier21 and working on some new multi-channel performance pieces for TONSPUR für einen öffentlichen raum, which I performed outdoors last weekend (16-17. August, 2014) in a special TONSPUR live_open_air event in the courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier, as part of the MuseumsQuartier Summer of Sounds.

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That’s the thing about doing outdoor shows… It starts of a bit chilly or windy, with intermittent sun, but you really abandon control in favour of improvisation with the present elements and the whims of weather… I was interviewed in advance by the Summer of Sounds blog, and I guess I shouldn’t have been so quick to talk about the inherant instability of the outdoor situation, as we were quite thoroughly rained upon on saturday.

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But Sunday was gloriously sunny, and a wonderfully chilled-out listening vibe pervaded the museum courtyard.

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The programming was a mix of composed pieces chosen by Darren Copeland of NAISA Toronto, hence the theme for the event A Gathering of Canadian Sounds. In addition, I played some composed multi-channel pieces of my own, including Collecting Clocks and Losing Time, and performed a new piece called Breakwater live. We ended with a little piece for the pool we’d been stationed around, that I put together with the help of a volunteer ‘wineglass choir’, to play with the pool in the courtyard through the pitchy resonance of wineglasses.

There’s a little video taste of the wineglass piece, called Half Full, Half Empty, posted HERE.

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Many thanks to all who came out to play, including all the TONSPUR folk, Elisabeth and Roland, Jeanette and Jonathan and friends, Moritz and friends, Magda, our MQ assistants, and the sounds stars on the hydrophone, Norbert and Andrea! Thanks also to Sabine Groschup for the photos!

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August in Vienna


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I am currently housed in the MuseumsQuartier cultural complex here in Vienna, as part of the international artist residency program of quartier21, on invitation of TONSPUR. Initially built in the 18th century as the imperial stables for the Hapsburg Emperor, now the MQ is a hub for art and open-air summer enjoyment, with art crammed into every nook, cranny, and courtyard.

TONSPUR is the brainchild of Georg Weckwerth and Peter Szely, and features a permanent installation in a passage of the MQ, as well as mobile open-air 8-channel concert and installation events. For the MQ’s Summer of Sounds, I’ll be performing in the series TONSPUR_live_open_air_2014, featuring Canadian multi-channel works, guest curated by Darren Copeland of Toronto’s New Adventures in Sound Art.

Read about it HERE, in a little interview I did on the Summer of Sounds blog (German speakers only).

In preparation, I’m busy in the production studios of ORF Kunstradio (Austrian national public radio in Vienna) working on the new piece to be unveiled in live performances next weekend, 16-17. August here in the main courtyard of the MQ. It’s all still in development, so long days in the studio…. But I’m not being too much of a vampire about it, I still let a little light into my secret sonic lair…

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Performing this week in Gdansk


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Thursday 3. July 2014, I’m performing together with Krzysztof ‘Arszyn’ Topolski

Kolonia Artystów | ul. Miszewskiego 18, Gdańsk Wrzeszcz  21:00

We’ll be crafting a little site-specific set up for the space and peforming in/with it. Wires strung and radios hung.

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Midsummer on the Baltic Sea


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On 13. June 2014 I arrived in Gdansk, Poland, for a three-week residency at Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art during their Soundplay Festival and at the nearby Hel Marine Station. While here I’m researching underwater sound and marine mammal communication amidst the ambient (human) noise pollution in the Baltic Sea, with the intention of making some new sound works under the name Submergence, which I will research and develop here and present later in the summer.

But no trip to Gdansk could be complete without some photos of the impressive architecture, both mercantile and industrial…. and I’m developing a little side project about Gdansk’s post-industrial infrastructre. If it’s too rainy to go out on the sea, to the the shipyards, to the rooftops!

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New work with Public Studio


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In March 2013 I working in Israel/Palestine with Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky of Toronto-based Public Studio on their newest film installation, What Isn’t There. The piece comes from nearly 20 years of photographing and filming on the sites of former Palestinian villages in Israel, an exploration of the politicized landscape in all its beauty, banality, and absurdity. The installation had its premiere in Toronto on May 22, 2013 in a one-night outdoor presentation, and consists of four channel video, accompanied by stereo sound (which visitors listen to on wireless headphones). It’s a powerful piece, which truly immerses visitors due to the design and scale of the screens, the intimate sound, and very formal yet generous presentation of the subject. I’m super pleased to be part of the team, composing and designing the sound.

Public Studio never rests, so we’re busy at our terminals working on a commission for Ryerson University, another audio/visual work called Drone Wedding. Wedding industrial complex meets military industrial complex, war meets the everyday under a familiar sky…. I wish I could say such an idea were a farce, but too often drone strikes abroad have targeted innocent civilian gatherings like weddings and parties. Drone Wedding will be up and running for the fall semester, from September 17-December 19, 2014 on the Ryerson University New Media Wall, in downtown Toronto, Canada.

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Radiotelegraph continues to travel


Friz_morse_mountainBack in October 2013, while on residency at Skaftfell Center for Visual Art in Seydisfjördur, Iceland, I crafted a 16:00 minute radio beacon to broadcast on my private transmitter every evening at sundown for a week. Radiotelegraph featured my first formal attempts at performing vocal morse code, laid over a bed of signals and oscillations. It was simulcast on the mighty Radius in Chicago, U.S. as episode 44 in their esteemed catalogue of transmission experiments.

In the last month, Radiotelegraph has made its way around the world in various ways:

-featured on Radius’ Sketchpad series on WGXC New York and the Wavefarm’s Transmission Arts archive, May 23, 2014

-featured in the latest curated playlist of Radius’ PATCH series on WFMU New Jersey and the Free Music Archive (FMA), posted June 1, 2014. This series includes three Radius episodes that reflect on the concept of distance.

-featured as part of radio trickster Gregory Whitehead‘s edition of Radio Yak, heard on the brand new Soundproof program, Radio National of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, aired May 25, 2014.

And finally… tomorrow I’m on my way to give a paper at the Radio As Art conference at the Weserburg Museum Studienzentrum in Bremen, Germany, taking place from 5-8. June 2014. I’ll be talking about “The Wireless Experience of Distance”. The whole conference will be streamed by Mobile Radio here, including some really nice curated overnight programming from the Radia network and ORF Kunstradio.