The latest edition of the Drouth magazine features an article written by Mark Vernon exploring the different ways the city of Glasgow has been portrayed through Radiophrenia’s broadcasts. Guest edited by Elodie Roy and Stewart Smith, this issue, subtitled “Resonance”, has a musical theme, with a particular focus on underground sounds from Glasgow and Scotland. Contributors include Frances Morgan, Jon Dale, Francis McKee, Claire Biddles, Laurence Estanove, Communal Leisure & Silja Strom. More details here.
There is also a launch event for the publication with live readings from contributors and performances by Mark Vernon and Cucina Povera. 8pm, Tuesday 31st of January, The Vic bar, Glasgow School of Art. More details here.
Featured below is a Soundcloud playlist created to accompany the article including many of the works mentioned.
The switching off of the transmitter last Sunday at midnight marked the end of Radiophrenia 2016.
We now want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support in making this festival happen.
We’d like to thank:
Creative Scotland for funding such an unusual project.
All the staff at CCA for their support particularly Ainslie Roddick, Kenny Christie, all the tech staff and the (beyond the call of) Duty Managers.
All the commissioned artists, the live performers, those who came into the studio to perform, the hundreds of artists and producers whose work we broadcast, all our continuity announcers and everyone who responded to the open call.
Finally a huge thank you to all our listeners in Glasgow and in 39 countries around the world, and all those who tweeted, facebooked and wrote about us.
We welcome your feedback and comments on what we got right, what we could do better and which programmes and events were highlights.
If you’re going to miss the kind of work we broadcast we recommend tuning in to Radio Revolten. It’s a month long radio festival in Halle, Germany which has invited more than 70 artists from 17 countries to Halle am Saale to present 30 days of contemporary radio art in the form of performances, installations, concerts and live radio broadcasts. Radiophrenia will be there to represent Scotland and present the highlights of our broadcasts along with many of the artists whose work we’ve featured, including, Felix Kubin, The Resonance Radio Orchestra, Xentos Fray Bentos, Anna Friz and many more. Broadcasts begin on 1st October. Find out more at radiorevolten.net
The Radiophrenia schedule is also a goldmine of information about all the artists whose work we broadcast. We recommend investigating further, and you will discover links to many hours of innovative and exciting audio.
Keep an eye on our facebook and twitter feeds for news and audio.
At 11pm tonight we are featuring an 8 hour long recording of a live environmental installation, ‘Pollinator Synthesizer’, originally presented at Moogfest 2016.
This is a document of one day in the life in a beehive in Durham, North Carolina. Sound artist Ranjit Bhatnagar used light, touch, and environmental sensors to document activity in the hive, and used the data to create a generative soundscape.
Made with support from Burt’s Bees, Bee Downtown, and Moogfest.
At 6.30pm this evening Aleks Kolkowski presents a new sound montage created especially for Radiophrenia: ‘The Bishop Sound Collection – Theatre & Radio Sound Effects on Lacquer Discs from the 1940s – No. 1: Scanning, Jamming, Studio Tests & Pigeons for Victory’
The British Library Sound Archive recently completed the transfer and digitisation of thousands of lacquer (acetate) discs originating from the Bishop Sound and Electrical Company – a maker and purveyor of recorded sound effects predominately for the theatre. Founded by Jack Bishop during the1930s the company operated successfully until the late1950s. BLSA Composer-in-Residence Aleks Kolkowski has sifted through a vast number of radio-related recordings from the Bishop Collection in order to compile this special montage composition for Radiophrenia. In it, we hear the sounds of World War Two and Cold War radio scanning and jamming; the surface noises from heavily worn acetate discs; sound engineer’s test recordings, chatter and snatches from a radio play.
Kolkowski’s BLSA residency is part of Sound And Music’s Embedded Composers Scheme.
This programme is repeated at 11.30am on Sunday, 11th September.
At 4pm today we have Paul Nataraj’s ‘You Sound Like a Broken Record’ – a practice led interrogation of the ontological resonances of vinyl record culture.
The vinyl record is complex piece of black plastic. It is a cultural hobo that holds a dialectical position as both symbol of cultural subversion and the product of a mass-market industry, remaining equally totemic in both paradigms. In being able to sustain such paradoxes, the object of the record itself has a mythic value that continually fascinates its users. As Eisenberg writes, ‘a shelf of records is a row of possible worlds’.
“My practice uses the vinyl record as a site to interrogate people’s personal relationship to this object, and the potentials of the materiality of the ‘thing’ itself. Volunteers donate records for this work and I record an oral history interview documenting their personal stories about the gifted disc, and their wider musical lives. These narratives are then hand etched onto the surface of each disc creating a palimpsest that indelibly connects the owner and object. As Bartmanski and Woodward write, the surface of the record which is ‘kind of taboo…poses a temptation.’ It acts as the mechanised embodiment of the siren song, drawing us into its hypnotic spiral and affording us a tactile pleasure. This practice carves out the enmeshments present in all our musical histories, opening them up for further scrutiny.
I then use these records as the basis for musical compositions, playing back the vandalised records and sampling their fragmentary mediations of the original sound. These compositions question commercial sampling practices, especially in hip-hop production and wider dance music forms. They also have resonances with ideas of indeterminacy in composition and uses of the graphic score. The narratives shared by my respondents are the lead influence on the form of the compositions; in a complex play of objective and subjective space, record, owner and artist share in a temporally dislocated ‘ecoute a trois’, exhumed from the grooves of the record.
I have collected and ‘vandalised’ 14 records over the course of this project, ranging from Glasgow’s post punk band Badgewearer to Brotherhood of Man. The uniques palimpsestual records and the sound pieces produced are an instantiation of some of the inherent tensions with our relationships to sound, music, memory and time.”
At 4pm today musician, composer and Hörspiel producer Felix Kubin meets sound mechanic Neil Feather. Feather has been creating radical and unusual musical instruments since 1970 and is increasingly known as one of the most original musical thinkers of his day. His instruments each embody uniquely clever acoustic and engineering principles, and are visually arresting. The music he plays on the instruments is equally original, embodying new principles and resulting in a nearly alien idiom of music.
At 2pm today we have Ian Findlay-Walsh in the Radiophrenia studio with a live version of his piece ‘Ri Ri’. A performance/ live edit between field recordings and found recordings that document Rihanna’s July 2016 concert at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Consisting of audio captured on the night of the Rihanna show, including ripped audio from youtube videos uploaded by Rihanna audience members after the fact, Ri Ri layers and redacts a range of recordings which trace the auditory perspectives of multiple listeners in relation to the same music event.
The piece functions as the real-time broadcast of a (past) gig within a (present) gig, and as a way of exploring sound recordings as territorialising ambiences – fields in and through which sound might re-member listeners.
Beginning tonight at midnight we have a special hourly chime created by Sarah Tripp and Nichola Scrutton.
‘24 Stops’ is a sequence of hourly chimes, one for each hour of the day. The chimes combine percussion and spoken word to reflect the character of a given hour and mark the passing of the day. ‘24 Stops’ was written and performed by Sarah Tripp and composed for radio by Nichola Scrutton. Percussion was performed by Nichola Scrutton, Fritz Welch and Mark Vernon and recorded by Iain Donnelly. ‘24 Stops’ was developed on the inaugural Radio Writing residency at Camden Arts Centre with the support of University College London Hospital Arts.
Commissioned by Camden Arts Centre (London) and University College London Hospital Arts
Its invidious for us to pick out Radiophrenia highlights because everything we broadcast is unique and deserving of attention. The time constraints involved in running a radio station force us to pick only a few selections to feature on our blog.
At 7pm tonight and repeated on Sunday at 2pm we’re delighted to present ‘Twilight of the Rock Gods’ by Luke Fowler and Richard McMaster. Luke is an artist and filmmaker and musician. His work explores the limits and conventions of biographical and documentary filmmaking, his filmic montages create portraits of intriguing, counter cultural figures, including Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing and English composer Cornelius Cardew. Richard will be familiar from his many projects in the Glasgow music scene such as Golden Teacher and General Ludd.
The piece focuses on the London Rock Music scene of the late1970/early 80’s and is accompanied by biographical reflections from a young East-Ender who has worked in the industry all his life and now finds himself unemployed . The source material originates from two different reel to reel collections, which had been sold or discarded. The first is a collection of demo tapes dating from 1974-78 produced by a London major label presumably to tout new releases to radio DJ’s. The music contained within the tapes highlights the spectrum of rock music being produced during the period; ranging from soft to prog rock, eventually giving way to disco and more electronic influences. This material is radically re-shaped by means of editing, looping and then feeding the loops through vintage hardware effects boxes. Fowler and McMaster wanted to use effects that were common in the studios at that time but were often used very conservatively by producers. In their methodology the effects are manipulated and ‘played’ as instruments in their own right.
The second archive of tapes were from a research Lab found within a major London University. Drawing mostly from one interview tape- the narrative that unfolds are biographical reflections of a young East-End professional, who started out as a music writer and then in various other roles from A&R to management liaison. Over the course of the interview he demystifies the often glamourised image the music industry. His comments frame and create associative meanings with the accompanying treated rock tapes.
At one point in the interview our narrator draws our attention to his stammer -alluding to the raison d’être for the interview. In fact the tape was selected from a larger collection of interviews with people who suffer from speech defects. During the course of the collage we also hear fragments of other research material cut in; including a woman reading elocution exercises and early speech synthesis experiments.