Show 313: Art’s Birthday Cabaret

Celebrate Art’s Birthday with CFRC on Monday, January 17.  Art’s Birthday is an annual event first proposed in 1963 by French Fluxus artist Robert Filiou, who suggested that one million years ago, on the 17th of January, Art was born when someone dropped a sponge into a bucket of water. Filiou proposed a public holiday to celebrate the presence of art in our lives.

On January 17, 2011, CFRC presents a day-long program of Art On Air. As part of this broadcast CFRC hosted the Art’s Birthday Radio Cabaret live and direct from The Artel, a local artist-run-living space. The following is an excerpt from that live broadcast. Three unique performances by local Kingston audio artists. The first is a performance by SouB?; Kingston’s only interventionist, improvisation, pop-culture riffing, avant-music group. Following that, Decomposing Pianos performs an evocative piece. And finally, Christine Dewancker and Emre Amasyali, offer a found-sound collaboration

Show 312: the miserable idea of measurement (refrain), by David Clegg


David Clegg is a contemporary artist based in New Plymouth, New Zealand. ‘the miserable idea of measurement (refrain)’ is a radiophonic reworking of audio from an installation of the same name, commissioned by Artspace, a contemporary art platform based in Auckland. Sourced from raw audio files gathered while walking the arcades, streets and parks of the gallery’s immediately surrounding urbanscape (as the artist writes, a tracing of spatial co-ordinates “from Meyers Park, St Kevin’s Arcade and the short walk on Karangahape Road and Pitt Street to Beresford Square”), Clegg’s aural psychogeographic sketchbook is left deliberately partial, wary of totalities, its ear open to the street.

In previous works such as The Imaginary Museum and Archivedestruct, Clegg has layered acousmatic soundscapes back into environments, with the layering nevertheless remaining inconclusive, full of gaps, aware of its own immediacy, the tension between creating meticulously categorised archives that are never set, but re-shuffled and modified over time, being an essential part of such works. Radio, with its indeterminate listenership and distributed networks, is an appropriate vehicle for the extension of these ideas, and this radiophonic edit, without relation to the images also present at the Artspace exhibition, structurally underlines the de-narrativising of sound as it is heard in the contemporary urbanscape – fragmented, twisted, free-floating from its signifiers, yet remaining locally teritorialised, a ‘refrain’, in the Deleuzian sense of the word.

A sound-library of fragments designed to be shuffled, ‘the miserable idea of measurement (refrain)’ presents an imaginative landscape which in formal as well as material terms is digital, non linear, while playing with the linearity of radio as a medium, and suggesting its existence as one fragment of a wider sound field of the contemporary city. While having some relation to early radiophonic Musique Concrete, such as ‘Wochenende’, Walter Ruttman’s c.1930 sound portrait of Berlin, Clegg’s work sketches a temporal/durational drive that suggests the formal fragmentation of the Modernist city and its utopian technologies and narratives – in this piece, the meaning is user-driven, and it is our task to stitch a narrative together. Clegg’s use of home made binaural microphones inserted in his ears to record the fragments suggests a phenomenological reflection on the recording process and creates an embodied feedback loop of listening, reminding us that walking in the city is the ‘static between stations’ of everyday life. Commercial music bleeds from radios, combining with the sonic crush and clatter of the cityscape, and we hear the drone of cicadas, juxtaposed with voices that are non-communicative, declaring to no-one, at once banal and frenetic. Nevertheless, the standardisation of sonic material as a measured quantity cuts everything listenable into precise blocks of time. The artist further underscores this constellation of audible segments as non-linear, and non-narrative by his use of the dead silence of digital media, inserting short, equally standardised silences between sound files. The dropping away of audio becomes a shock of absence : in effect, playing with the radiophonic no-go of ‘dead air’

As Clegg himself writes : “i wanted to juxtapose the porosity and interconnectedness of these neighbourhood spaces with the very dislocated and enclosed room above Artspace, and to question the possibility of establishing/re-establishing a connection between the two in an other than physical way, as some sort of voice or signal/ transmission, between here and there, so the recordings are mostly focused on the different types of voice or signal of a location (in the way that a bird call, or radio broadcast establishes its own territory), as well as those calls and signals that are also entering a location from the outside within the sampled passages of radio and the local ambient sounds, as a series of overlapping refrains and superimposed voices, calls and signals.

what if any new locations are being constructed / reconstructed by the listener, the headphone wearing passer-by? certainly any created location is a highly contingent one, producing itself moment-to-moment, impossible to be returned to (maybe in part if its being recorded?). i’ve become very interested in the territorially-based nature of transmitted sounds and signals, in terms of their reception, as they sometimes go in and out of phase, where interference or the loss of signal can be misunderstood as the right signal, and the extent to which the headphone wearer is in a sense continuously changing and constructing new territories of their own.”

with many thanks to the Creative New Zealand Media Arts fund for supporting this contribution to season #25

read more about ‘The Miserable Idea of Measurement’ on Artspace’s website, here :

Show 311: Different Looks At Experimentation by YHT

YHT : concepts of experimental sound design for cinematic
audio-experiences and Francois Sallé with Tatsumi Ryusui : free live
experimentation with instruments and electronics between Noise and

YHT is an artistic project in the field of electroacoustic sound
experimentation. Having worked together for 6 years now, the two
artists Claus Störmer and Johannes Krause from Halle/Saale can look
back on a large number of different projects. The spectrum of their
work encompasses free sound work and experimental short film scores as
well as radio plays. They regard their sound compositions as being on
the edge of film and its narrative and imaginary character.

This compositional and aesthetical point of view is reflected in their
piece “RE”, a combination of recorded live performances and produced
radio plays. With structure-borne sound converters which have been
attached to metal plates and with several field recordings, real and
computer-generated rooms have been brought together. As a consequence,
the listener perceives sounds which can either be recognized or not.
The intention is to establish a listening experience at the
intersection of realness and fiction.

The second part of the show will present the current project of two
artists living in Berlin. Francois Sallé (France) and Tatsumi Ryusui
(Japan) bring together their vision of experimentation – each in his
own way: Ryusui by playing guitar in his very own style, Sallé by
contributing field recordings and computer-generated sounds.Their
teamwork yields very intuitive performances with constantly different
progression and character. 88,4 mhz Berlin
Prod.: Henning Schärfke

Show 310: Idea of North

The Idea of North Revisited.

In 1967 Glen Gould, a famous Canadian pianist, produced a radio piece called “The Idea of North” for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  The original “Idea of North” consists of five overlapping interviews mixed with ambient noises and has since become iconic in its representation of the Canadian themes of isolation, withdrawal, and solitude.  I always felt that perhaps the most interesting thing about this peice is that Gould neglected to interview a single Inuit person about his or her “Idea of North.”  So I felt that it would be an interesting and rewarding experiment to re-mix this peice with different perspectives of the north.  The Idea of North Revisited splices and dices the original radio work along with field recordings of the north; beat-boxing; phone messages; news footage of Canadian military expansion in the north; throat singers Ida Oweetaluk, Margaret Miner, Lisa Kasudluak, Anisie Nowkawalk; hip-hop beats constructed by youth from the Inter-Tribal Youth Centre in Montreal through the CKUT beat workshop; elders speaking about climate change in the arctic from the film Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change by Zacharias Kanuk and Dr. Ian Mauro; DJ Mad Eskimo, spoken-word artist Mosha Folger; field recordings by Nimalan Yoganathan; and a collage of sounds from Jana Winderen’s installation Energy Field.  Thanks to everyone who participated and left all those great messages on my phone!

Artist Bio: Cathy Inouye co-hosts the radio-art show Easy Sonic Living on CKUT.  She has previously collaborated on the Radia show Snow Squabbles with Neil Griffith and Caroline Kunzle.  As Ovaries of Steel she has performed at the Megapolis Festival in Baltimore in 2010 and in the 2011 edition of Nuit Blanche in Montreal.  She also plays tuba with the radical street marching band the Chaotic Insurection Ensemble and has played with Nic Caloia’s Ratchet Orchestra.
Radio CKUT 90.3 FM