The Icelandic Space Program


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From our travels around the northeast corner of planet Iceland…

….back in East Iceland, doing some photography/sound recording/materials gathering together with Konrad Korabiewski during the foggy days and the all-night twilight. Moonscapes: check. Half expecting other planets to rise over the mountains. Contrary to the calendar, summer seems to be giving Iceland a miss, so it’s all wet wool all the time around here. We’re heading up to the Langanes Peninsula for a work period later this month, once the mechanics have finished sprucing up Konrad’s mighty Volvo Laplander.

While in Montréal last month, Emmanuel Madan and I finished the stereo mix of The Joy Channel version 3, our radio art play exploring the future of radio where the airwaves are used to transmit emotions. We mastered at Oboro, with the good ears of Stéphane Claude to weigh in, and the work will be released as part of a new transmission art series on the strange and wonderful west coast label IO. sound later this year.

Currently working on an episode for Radio MACBA Interruptions on the ‘little people’ who live inside the radio (not to be confused with Icelandic faeries, but perhaps they are relatives…), and a composition for 10″ vinyl release through Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music entitled The Eternal Cuckoo.

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Endless Love: All Transistor Model


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Endless Love: All Transistor Model
is a 12-hour durational performance/sound installation conceived by Karine Denault, Anna Friz, and Dana Gingras. We had a red-lit love-soaked premiere of the work overnight on June 20-21, 2015 from 20:30-8:30, at Stable, Montréal, during the 24-hour art event Endless Love. Two dancers, 30 transistor radios, 3 frequencies, 4 auxiliary audio channels and a giant disco ball, for that immersive full-body love effect.

The performers (Karine Denault and Dana Gingras) move through an installation of mid-century AM/FM transistor radio receivers set upon the floor, with four open cone speakers attached to radiators on the surrounding walls. They tune, re-tune, and de-tune across the nighttime landscape and the radio dial, searching for songs of love. They slow dance together, and with others in the audience; they sleep in the radio city troubled by fitful dreams and nightmares; they seek resuscitation and connection through minimal gestures and concrete interaction with the radios and each other. Time lurches unevenly through the night. The heart in crisis requires action, even if union is temporary, fragile, or only glimpsed but never realized.

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The radio landscape is responsive to the bodies of performers and visitors alike: several micro-watt FM transmitters narrowcast a drunken, time-stretched version of a love ballad, as well as static, textures, heterodyne hums and signals, creating a physical soundscape that is constantly acted on and disrupted by the slipping frequencies and electrical interference between devices and the dancers’ moving bodies. Bodies serve as antennas, and receivers become transmitters.

Sound artist and designer Anna Friz further engages the radiophonic field, by changing the scenography of radios and lights periodically from one sculptural ‘set’ to another, as well as modulating and manipulating the incoming and outgoing signals, with a focus on feedback and making the circumstances of transmission audible. In this way the radios act as the sound system, as the moveable scenography, and as collaborating performers, as the devices themselves produce unexpected sounds.

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Home Radiation


Live set by Anna Friz, Jeff Kolar and Eric Leonardson, from the Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago IL May 15, 2015.



Home Radiation in Chicago


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Jeff Kolar, Eric Leonardson and I are playing Friday May 15, 2015 in Chicago, at the Defibrillator Gallery
1463 West Chicago Ave,  Chicago IL 60642  19:00

Two of my favourite people to play with and collaborate with! Here’s what we’re up to:

Home Radiation
Performing with radiophonic instruments, unique homemade electronics, micro-watt transmitters, and re-purposed objects, Anna Friz, Jeff Kolar and Eric Leonardson create intimate atmospheres traversing acoustic and electrode-magnetic space. Together their work can be characterized as a mindful collaboration with vibrational surfaces and unstable circuits; and with subtle treatments of potentially noisy, often lo-fi materials from which highly detailed landscapes emerge. Though all three artists have worked with one another in various constellations in Chicago and internationally, this concert is their premiere outing as a trio.

In addition to Eric’s Springboard instrument, Jeff’s panoply of open circuit micro-transmitters, and my little table full of feedback oddities, I’ll be bringing along an old friend to make some noise:

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Telefunken Twins Redux


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Telefunken Twins by Anna Friz and Konrad Korabiewski

April 12th, 2015, 23:03 CET (GMT +2)
Kunstradio LIVE on air and on line — podcast of the program continues to be available here at lower resolution

on air: Ö1 Kunstradio in Austria, http://oe1.orf.at
on line: http://kunstradio.at/2015A/12_04_15.html

Telefunken Twins is a suite of pieces departing from a duet between two vintage Telefunken Bajazzo radio/cassette decks. Using radio as instrument and as system exciter, the pieces also utilize micro-FM transmission, low fidelity electronic instruments, analogue tape, dictaphones, walkie talkies, spectral monitoring, and intricate feedback systems to craft and expressive and intimate world from the sensuality of signal and noise. By working with small circuits of transmission live in the radio studio of Ö1 Kunstradio, Telefunken Twins seeks to transform radio away from its everyday role as an apparatus of entertainment or information diffusion, instead proposing radio as instrument, as landscape, and as a poetic space of reverie.
Telefunken Twins is commissioned by Kunstradio and supported by Danish Arts Foundation.

Tuesday April 14, Anna Friz and Konrad Korabiewski at brutto, Vienna.

BRUTTO meets Ö1 Kunstradio
Featuring live sets by Anna Friz & Konrad Korabiewski + Broken Heart Collector
on site: Brut Künstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria.  Entrance 3.-/5.- Euro
http://www.brut-wien.at/programm/detail/1186/de/

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Aftergrain


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Wednesday April 8, 2015: performing a new work with Maja Osojnik at Kino Šiška in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as part of a short residency with CONA Institute for Contemporary Arts Processing as part of their ZVO.ČI.TI so.und.ing Duo series.

We were initially planning to each perform a solo, then a new duo, but we so love playing together that we combined our concepts into a single full set with accompanying slideshow/video by yours truly. So the piece moves from whiteout to blackout, with field recordings, electronics, and instruments, to explore the landscape of built infrastructure (“under lines”) and eventually plunge into the dark for some “Cinema for the Ears”.

Sunday April 12 11pm brings me to Vienna, Austria and ORF Kunstradio, to do a live in-studio radio art piece with Konrad Korabiewski based on our performance Telefunken Twins for the Austrian national radio, followed by a live show with projection on Tuesday April 14 at Brutto Vienna, sharing the bill with Maja Osojnik‘s excellent band broken.heart.collector.

And what exactly is the aftergrain? If the afterglow is the light or luminance left in the sky after sundown, the aftergrain is the sonic and visual grit that remains after most other frequencies are subtracted. For these two live performances with Maja and Konrad, I’ve developed accompanying slideshow/videos based on my photography in Iceland, Chile, and Slovenia, where many of the images eventually decompose from blown-out white to black with just some distorted visual morsels left behind. Aftergrain in sound and signal.

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Winter at 65.25° North


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Winter returns, which was a bit of a shock when I encountered it in the Toronto airport, traveling from midsummer in Chile to land in -22 celcius in Toronto. Now a month later, my tan is pretty much gone, and wearing long johns every day just seems normal again. The winter gusts blew me further north, even, to a work/retreat period back in Iceland, in Seydisfjördur, on the far east coast. Here I’m back at Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music HQ, to develop some exciting new work which involves field recording, pinhole cameras, turning a small empty house into a sound sculpture and/or radio station, and (tangentially) knitting a lot. Many thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for sending me here and funding the research and preliminary production!

It may be dark and cold, but radio continues. ZimaFM/radioCONA Ljubljana broadcast my five-hour Uncoordinated Universal Time (2014) piece, an exercise in suspending time by manipulating the zero hour of the atomic clock, designed for overnight listening; Radiophrenia will be broadcasting the piece as well in April 2015 from the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. Mobile Radio did a retrospective of their Mobile Radio Bienniale Sao Paulo programming as part of the 12 Days of Radio Art on London’s Resonance FM, which included some back episodes of my M.O.L.E.C.A.S.T. BSP series.

framework radio episode 496 incorporated a number of tracks from Somewhere a Voice is Calling — a piece about early radio and the first transAtlantic broadcast of the human voice by Reginald Fessenden in 1906, by myself, Absolute Value of Noise, and Glenn Gear. Listen to the whole show and also catch some other choice bits of phonography and experimental music, mixed by host Patrick McGinley.
You can also listen to (and buy your very own copy!) of Somewhere a Voice is Calling online here.

Coming up you can catch me and Konrad Korabiewski performing Telefunken Twins live in the ORF Kunstradio studios on April 12, 2015, featuring, among many other sounds and instruments, two particularly stylish Telefunken Bajazzo transistor radio/cassette machines.

Finally, I’ve just completed a new commissioned work for Radio Arts on the topic Dreamlands. My piece is called Two Sleepsa work about dreams of air and water, rising and falling. It premieres on Resonance FM in London on April 15, 2015, 9pm GMT. It will stream from the Radio Arts website after that.

Happy winter from the slopes of the morse mountain!

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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.