Winter at 65.25° North


Friz_window_wet

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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If not winter…. then birthday!


hotr2photo by Julie Shapiro

Who’s Art? Oh, THAT art.

Art’s Birthday” is an annual event first proposed in 1963 by French artist Robert Filliou. One million and fifty years ago today, someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. And so, art was born. Filliou proposed a public holiday to celebrate the presence of art in our lives. In recent years, the idea has been taken up by a loose network of artists and friends around the world. Each year the Eternal Network evolves to include new partners – working with the ideas of exchange and telecommunications-art.

This year it’s the 1,000,050th birthday of art, and I’m getting back into party mode here in Chicago.

First off, running a stream together with absolute value of noise of our newly recomposed generative piece Somewhere a voice is calling. We have rethought the piece as a composition and stream, now made with new material, though the concept remains the same: an exploration of the first broadcasts of the human voice into the transmission ecology over radio by Reginald Fessenden and others beginning in 1906.

Stream runs January 16-18, 2013, and you can listen in here.

Meanwhile, live and fueled by too much sugar, I’ll be hanging out today at the Experimental Sound Studio, which hosts the radio collaboration NRRF Radio in the Audible Gallery from 2pm to 8pm, January 17 (GMT -6).  5925 N. Ravenswood, Chicago.

Transmitting to the neighbourhood and the world via FM and stream LISTEN LIVE HERE.

We’ll be listening and exchanging with any and all birthday streams circulating internationally, and do our best to infiltrate available bands with tenacious earworms and parasitic refrains, powered of course by lurid birthday cake. Glue Banta, Jonny Farrow, Anna Friz, Stephen Germana, Jeff Kolar, Peter Speer, and guests bring the noise.

Drop in, tune in, eat cake. Happy Art’s Birthday! The End is just pretend!



Extremity Cassette at the AGYU


image by Bette Burgoyne

Peter Coutemanche (Absolute Value of Noise) and I made a little generative piece for Art’s Birthday back in 2009. We’ve redone the mix to play during Art’s Birthday 2011 and beyond as part of the Art Gallery of York University‘s ongoing “Audio Out” exhibition: which basically means infiltrating the hallway near the gallery with sounds to soothe (or aurally poke) the passing student.

Here’s the project description:

Extremity Cassette is a generative audio piece that imagines samples on a near-endless stretch of audio tape. Wound through a complex, multi-head cassette machine, the samples overlap with themselves, repeat, vanish and reappear. The magnetic nature of the machine itself picks up noises from the ether and mixes them with free reed and heterodyne sounds.

Inspired by the short story The White Death by Stanislaw Lem, where a planet made entirely of inorganic material is the crystalline host to fabulous machines, Extremity Cassette imagines a prehistoric mechanism that loops and churns out a never ending, ever changing musical score. Until one day the organic world is introduced … then rust interferes with the workings of the cassette … the sounds become progressively more erratic, and eventually stop.

Originally composed for Art’s Birthday, 17 January 2009, Extremity Cassette will play at the AGYU for Art’s Birthday 2011 from 5 January – 20 March 2011.

Peter Courtemanche (Absolute Value of Noise): VLF Antenna and Receiver
Anna Friz: Theremin, Harmonica, Kazoo, Melodica