X-RAY AUDIO is a project by The Bureau of Lost Culture’s Stephen Coates and Paul Heartfield. It tells the story of the underground community of bootleggers and music lovers who defied the censor in cold war era Soviet Union to make their own records of forbidden Western Jazz, Rock ’n’ Roll and banned Russian music. It is now an online archive, a book, an award-winning documentary and an internationally touring exhibition with live events.
For Radiophrenia there will be a live presentation about the X-ray record phenomena followed by a demonstration and three specially commissioned short performances by Glasgow artists that will be lathe cut directly on to X-rays for instant playback. From 7pm tonight – live at the Centre for Contemporary Arts – this event is free but ticketed.
Quinie – The wind and rain
Based on an amalgamation of ballads from the Singing Bone tradition, this version of the song brings together influence from ‘the Twa Sisters’ and other related versions, including “Binnorie”, “The Cruel Sister”, “The Wind and Rain”. S inging bone ballads feature a talismanic instrument, made from the bones of a drowned woman and invested with metaphysical power. The theme of this ballad is common in many northern European languages. There are 125 different variants known in Swedish alone.
Quinie, aka Josie Vallely is based in Glasgow. She sings primarily in Scots, in a style primarily inspired by the traditions of Scottish Traveller singer Lizzie Higgins (1929-1993). Collaging together source material, Vallely amalgamates modal melodies, children’s rhyme, Scots poetry and snippets of more traditional tunes to create a bleak and extended blur of narratives routed in an imagined Scotland.
Rebecca will perform a spoken word piece that takes some of the physical aspects of the X-Ray records as a starting point; as with many tangible reproductions of sound, they are quite noisy. The idea of background noise – whether audible or not – and its capacity to be comforting, distracting, scene-making and so on, is the focus of this new piece. Two versions of the text will be set into conversation through a live layering, allowing the constraints of the technology to dictate the form.
Rebecca Wilcox is an artist living in Glasgow. She works with writing, audio and video and sometimes with their manifestations as performance and installation.
Music on ribs : Музыка на рёбрах. Jazz on bones : Джаз на костях. Bootleggers, music lovers.Scratchy hissing recordings.Heartbreak Hotel like Elvis underwater.Obsession and courage.Recording and distribution of forbidden music.Lovingly imprinted, pressed, cut one by one.Ghostly images of bones.Melodies, voices on fragile film.Jazz.Rock & Roll.Russian émigré music.Prison songs. “Gypsy” folk tunes. The intersection of technology, culture and ingenuity.Fuck everything, let’s dance!
Christina Dunwoodie is an international opera singer specialising in Italian repertoire. She has always been interested in innovation of performance and production. In the 90’s she founded the award winning company Opera on a Shoestring for which she was Artistic Director and Diva. The company’s success was based on the fabulous singers and musicians and collaboration with artists, dancers and choreographers. She began directing opera, exploring how visuals and multi media could contemporise productions in the UK and now with a group of European Artists. In collaboration with Tony Morris she has produced and performed new songs/duets with digital music as Toi-so.
Tony Morris lives in Glasgow and for the last 66 years and 8 months has lived his life backwards. Three years ago, on a firm foundation of zero talent and zero musical experience, he embarked upon a completely preposterous performing career; something he pursues with gusto and masses of self-doubt. In collaboration with Christina Dunwoodie he has produced and performed new songs/duets with digital music as Toi-so; Tony is at his happiest providing the miserabilist component to the combo.