Tag Archives: Radio One 91 FM

Show 663: a radio séance for Vera Wyse Munro, by Celeste Oram (Radio One 91FM, NZ)


Vera Wyse Munro (1897-1966) was a pioneering New Zealand ham radio broadcaster, improviser, and sonic experimenter. Her primary media were amateur radio broadcasts, Morse poetry, and sono-topographical scores. Via her broadcasts, which were frequently received by amateur radio operators as far afield as the United States and Europe, Munro initiated some of the earliest telematic performances, in which she would perform prepared violin in structured improvisations with other musicians broadcasting from elsewhere in the world. Munro’s work was often necessarily clandestine, as a result of legislation curbing amateur radio activity in New Zealand. As a result of this, as well as the absence of extant documentation about her life and her ephemeral practice, Munro’s work is only now starting to be regarded amidst New Zealand’s cultural history.


this improvisational radio play is part-homage, part-seance, part-instructional score for the home listener. it joins an ongoing series of broadcast re-enactments relating to Vera Wyse Munro by artist and researcher Celeste Oram. here, the radio is a medium through which we channel the lost histories of Vera Wyse Munro’s pioneering radio experiments back into audibility, utilising the opportunity provided by the global reach of the international radia network as a way of calling on radio artists and enthusiasts around the globe to collectively keep vigil on the ionosphere. the hope is to summon the spirit of Vera Wyse Munro by attempting to receive her final radio broadcasts.


improvisation re-constructions by Keir GoGwilt & Alex Taylor
starling poems by Keir GoGwilt
written & produced by Celeste Oram



Show 619: Listening Through Walls by Lucreccia Quintanilla (Radio One 91 FM)

In 2014, through the Freedom of Information Act, a series of formerly unavailable files held by the Australia Security Organisation became available to the public. Melbourne-based artist Lucreccia Quintanilla became interested in working with certain of these files, in developing a commissioned work for If People Powered Radio: 40 years of 3CR, an exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of important Fitzroy-based community broadcaster 3CR radio station at Gertrude Contemporary gallery in Melbourne, Australia, which ran from 18 March–23 April, 2016.

Through presenting physical and material artefacts, “a combination of recordings, technological hardware, photographic and textual documents from the station’s vast historical archive,”alongside new works, performances and broadcasts by contemporary artists, the exhibition foregrounded “the station’s history of radical broadcasting and how it has thrived in its endeavour to foreground the often unheard voices of Aboriginal people, women, workers, ethnic and GLBTIQ communities, people with disabilities, environmentalists, artists and musicians”and “an opportunity to explore the politics of broadcasting and listening, and the different material and aesthetic supports that facilitate 3CR’s engagement with its diverse and progressive publics.”

The artist writes: “3CR is a grass roots community radio station which has had a very important and continues to play an important role in developing the left politics of Australia and gives a voice to many issues and communities that otherwise do not get airplay.” In developing the work, she found it particularly interesting that part of the archival material of the station included records of the ways in which it was put under surveillance by the very Government it was critiquing.

The initial work was presented as an installation within the gallery at Gertrude Contemporary, where it staged the dynamics of the secret, and spying. Focusing on a document detailing a meeting held in the Melbourne town hall in august 1977 organised by the Australian independence movement, attended by between 400 and 600 people, the sound of the recorded script being read was amplified through a set of very large speakers in a stack that were pointed towards a wall, but this sound could only be heard through the other side of the wall, by placing an ear to one of a set of glasses which had been permanently secured to the wall. This reworking for radio is a reading of the file as a script for two voices.

Lucreccia Quintanilla

is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and DJ. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Monash University. Her most recent exhibitions include Rhythmic Traces at Bus Projects,  If People Powered Radio celebrating the 40th anniversary of Community radio station 3CR at Gertrude Contemporary and Liquid Architecture’s Fem(X) series at Westspace. Quintanilla has received grants from Arts Victoria, the Australia Indonesia institute the National Gallery Women’s Encouragement Award and the Australian Postgraduate Award. Most recently she has been awarded the 2016 NAVA Sainsbury Sculpture grant. She has presented her work in Auckland, Chicago, New York, Berlin, Yogyakarta, Sydney and Melbourne where she is based. Quintanilla has worked as an arts worker at Arts Project Australia, has lectured at Auckland University of Technology and taught at Signal Arts as well as project managing the Multilingual international publication Mapping South. Her collaborative written work with artist/curator Leuli Eshrahi has most recently been published in peer-reviewed journal Writings From Below. She is currently a member of the selection committee at Westspace.


Show 593: “a patch of nettles: a selection of works for radio”, compiled by the Audio Foundation and Artbank for radio one 91FM

13950621_1785808168330032_1074615372_oradia season 37, show #593 (radio one 91FM. dunedin, new zealand), playing from august 9 to august 15, 2016.

a patch of nettles: a selection of works for radio
compiled by The Audio Foundation and Artbank

emerging from a collaborative project seeking the development of new short works of radio art within the far flung breadth of New Zealand’s artistic communities and networks, this program compiles some of the submissions to an open call for works (all under 7min) by Auckland based sound art organisation The Audio Foundation, in collaboration with the programme Artbank on independent radio station bFM, Auckland, and radia partner Radio One 91FM, in Dunedin.

the original call asked for submissions which, in a reflection of the aims of the radia network, “need not adhere to any specific theme, however preference will be given to works which attend to the various histories of radio, or engage it as a medium for artistic creation/presentation.” the works subsequently chosen for inclusion in this ‘radio art compilation’ display such aims via a generous diversity of approaches, genres, proclivities and obsessions, but all arguably share a singular focus, as well as a finely honed understanding of radio as a specific form, medium or set of conditions.

after individual works’ initial appearances as part of the programming of Artbank, the curated compilation of works which make up this programme for radia was first broadcast as a discrete, unannounced programme on the evening of Wednesday 3 August 2016, by Sam Longmore over the airwaves of the Audio Foundation radio station AFM, located at the Audio Foundation’s premises in the old Parisian tie factory in central Auckland. this programme was intercepted and recorded by Sally Ann McIntyre in a domestic room in Dunedin, and the recording was then ‘packaged’ as the radia show you are about to listen to. this relay down the length of New Zealand added an extra dimension to the work by causing it to pick up extra sounds related to its roaming, and extra sonic materiality, while traversing the geographical distance and the particular transmitting and receiving sites / rooms between participating NZ partners. maybe this extra information / degradation can be considered as a form of ‘transmission artefact’, via a transmitting / receiving / re-recording process enacted on the local level before the show heads to various parts of the world to become a programme for the multiple stations that comprise the radia network, with all their varied geographic locales, and associated sets of cultural contexts & conditions. which is another way of saying that both noise and signal are equally important in this listening experience: while we are quite far away from many of you, in New Zealand, the radio can paradoxically bring us together, while at the same time emphasising the untranslatability of distance.


00.00 – 03.36: A Patch of Nettles: ‘One Stoch 4 at 950m’
03.20 – 04.28: Bernard Clarke: ‘It’s Not True I Had Nothing On, I had the Radio On’
04.19 – 06.21: Brittany Covich: Samples from ‘Yes-ter-day’
06.15 – 11.16: Celeste Oram: ‘Vera Wyse Munro’
10.44 – 16.19: Daniel Beban: ‘Big Ben Tape Improvisation #1’
16.19 – 17.19: Lefa Wilson: ‘A Small Lineage’, ‘Devo List’, ‘Family’
17.19 – 22.22: Mark Williams: ‘1956’, ‘Taking Sips’, ‘Singers’, ‘Buck Clayton’,
‘A Trombone on Drums’, ‘Inferno’, ‘Sorry’, all from ‘Particles’
22.20 – 25.50: Paul Timings: ‘AMAF’
24.40 – 28.25: Susanne Kahlich: ‘Caesura’

artists and works:


One Stoch 4 at 950m 

This track was recorded live near Tantawangalo on the ranges of the NSW South Coast, in remote National Park area. The location features a historical hut, and is surrounded by a natural amphitheatre formation. (-36.719463, 149.463257). The track reflects  the immersion of sound occuring in this environment, from the immediate predawn, through the sunrise. The recording was made with a single stereo microphone and portable recording equipment. Natural sounds were balanced by distance and reverberation against sounds produced by an unattended stochastic drone machine running from battery power. No mix level adjustments were made during recording, nor changes to the controls of the drone device. The recording setup was left to run unattended. At regular time intervals, the equipment was moved along the course of a stream, then finally onto an ascending bush track. Each time, the recording balance was again established by open air positioning, and the drone machine was set to complement the immediate ambient sounds. The result is a dramatic interpretation of a naturalist ‘sound walk’. The final collection of tracks has been presented here with simple fade in/out layering of the discreet recordings; without additional multitracking or effects based manipulation.

a patch of nettles is an experimental sound project originating from Australia, in a small rural town on the New South Wales south coast. Actively experimenting since 2012, A Patch Of Nettles has developed techniques in adapting field recordings to acousmatic arrangement styles, constructed numerous unique electronic instruments, found collaborators around the world and participated in local installations, shows and workshops, along with regularly contributing to the SoundCloud Disquiet Junto group of artists. A representative portfolio of work can be found at : https://apatchofnettles.bandcamp.com/


It’s not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on 

The great Australian radio artist Colin Black is administrator on an excellent Radio Art page on Facebook. Alas, despite repeated pleas from Colin to keep the page about Radio, many continue to post links to my band, my song, my concert, these sunglasses –and so on. One day Colin put up an illustration of six radios in different colours and his repeated plea for the page to deal in Radio and nothing else. I was struck by the similartiy to Andy Warhol’s paintings and decied to make a piece that drew on Marilyn Monroe and briefly, Elvis Presley, or rather an Elvis imitator. So we have Monroe’s voice: “Why, I’d go anywhere in the world with you now…” -in different ambiences, the same spoken sentence eleven times but in six different radio treatments (AM, FM, MW, LW etc.,) a la Warhol multiple times in a grid of radio statics and tunings -just like our radio societies the world over; where personas are manufactured, commodified, make noise to pass the time and can be downloaded and consumed like products, repeatedly. For me Marilyn Monroe sums up radio today and especially in the light of digital technologies-an invitation to go anywhere anytime.

bernard clarke (b. 1967) is an award-winning radio broadcaster with RTÉ lyric fm, Ireland. His new music programme, Nova, has won five consecutive PPI Radio Awards (National Irish Radio Awards) and one New York Festival’s award; he’s also won prizes for documentaries on Patrick Kavanagh, Glenn Gould, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. Clarke has also been shortlisted for the Prix Italia (Cagliari, 2008), the Prix Europa (Berlin, 2011), the Prix Phonurgia Nova (Paris, 2012); and the Black &White International Audio Festival (Porto, 2013). In 2014 he won Best Audio at the Black &White International Audio Festival (Porto, 2014); and also the Grand Prix at the 26th International URTI Radio Grand Prix, (Turin). In 2015 he was tied-second at Prix Phonurgia Nova (Paris); was a headliner at the VI Norient Music Film Festival in Bern, Switzerland; made the Top 5 in the Grand Prix Radio Drama Awards (Bucharest); was shortlisted for the Prix Europa (Radio Drama); made the last 9 in the Prix Italia (Radio, New Formats) and won Best Audio at the Black &White International Audio Festival (Porto, 2015) for the second year in a row. This year he was a headliner at the CTM Festival in Radio Art, in Berlin; and was narrator with the Ergodos players at Café OTO, London. Though he has extensive radio experience, his work in radio art is still fairly new with his radio art pieces being broadcast in Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Spain, USA and Australia. He is a member of the EBU Ars Acustica Group and his interests include sound, sound, and sound. Link to work on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/bernard-clarke Link to work webpage : http://www.rte.ie/lyricfm/nova/



is a project that is focused on modes of translation between different formal languages. It focuses on an algorithmic transference between graphic design and musical languages, using the frequently covered Beatles song Yesterday as a common point of reference for ‘reading’ the work from the point of view of either discipline. In each track, the original song has been deconstructed, and recreated in a way that solely focuses on that specific music fundamental. The Form, showing the AABABA structure. The Dynamics, showing the loudness. The Texture, showing the introduction and interaction of instruments. The work submitted is a sample of original work from the project Yes-ter-day, 2015. 3/7 tracks submitted, each at 02:02min. Complete album 00:14:14min. Stream all tracks on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/brittneecovich/sets/yesterday2015bfagraduate

brittnee covich is a multidisciplinary designer based in Auckland, New Zealand. She recently graduated from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Graphic Design, where her yearlong graduate research project initiated her explorations into sound design. Her interest lies in the algorithmic transferences between sound and design. She now works at a multidisciplinary design studio in Auckland, whilst she also continues on collaborating in sound based design projects. www.brittneecovich.com


Vera Wyse Munro

The piece is a mini-radio-documentary about a little-known microhistory of sound in New Zealand: the life and creative practice of experimental amateur radio broadcaster Vera Wyse Munro (1897-1966). More information about Munro can be found at http://cargocollective.com/verawysemunro

celeste oram is a New Zealand composer presently based in San Diego, California, where I’m pursuing a PhD in music composition at the University of California San Diego. I completed by BMus(Hons) in composition at the University of Auckland in 2012. My own recent work investigates new media and new strategies with which to create musical scores for instrumental performers, namely video scores and audio scores. I’m also very involved at present with re-enacting the work of Vera Wyse Munro; in the pursuit of that, I’m building historically authentic radio circuits that can function as instruments in improvisatory, live electronics contexts. More info and recent work is at http://celesteoram.com


Big Ben Tape Improvisation #1 (5’30”)

recorded 2010, London by daniel beban

The Elizabeth Tower houses one of the most famous clocks in the world, whose biggest bell, Big Ben, has tolled through London’s streets from more than 150 years. For many decades the BBC World Service has played the chimes of Big Ben on their radio broadcasts at the top of every hour. To do this, a microphone was placed high up in the bell tower, and through a long copper wire it was connected to the World Service studios at Bush House, a few kilometers away. Every mixing desk at the World Service studios had one fader named “BEN”. You simply push the fader volume up at the right time and you would hear the sound of the bells in real time. For the rest of the hour you could hear the sound of London traffic far below. From 2002 – 2011 I worked for the BBC World Service as a Studio Manager. On long night shifts I would spend many hours listening to the bells and the street sounds through the Big Ben microphone. I developed a practice of setting up several reel-to-reel tape machines with long loops just before midnight, in time to record and manipulate the midnight chimes of Big Ben. Sometimes these tape improvisations would go on for a full hour, distorting the pitch of the bells through the tapes, and using EQs in combination with tape delay to make heavy psychedelic feedback. This piece is a short edit of one of those tape improvisations. I like the way the variable tape speed plays with the pitch of the bell, in a sense warping time and turning the solid clock tower into a fluid structure.


‘A Small Lineage’, ‘Devo List’, ‘Family’

These works were made in 2014. These relate to other video performances spoken works such as ‘Denny’s Eyes’ from the joint spatial intervention with Ayesha Green at OLGA early in 2016, in Kirikiriroa Hamilton.

Leafa Wilson (b. 1966, in Tokoroa – villages in Samoa: Vaimoso & Siumu) is an accomplished artist, curator and writer based in Waikato, New Zealand. Her commitment to art spans twenty-eight years where she has become a pioneer for curatorial practices. In 2004, Wilson was appointed the role of Curator of Contemporary Art at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, making her the first person of Pacific descent to hold an institutional role as an art curator. Wilson’s primary practice is performance-based art multimedia installation art. She was recently invited as one of the international group of performance artists to participate in the inaugural ‘Morning Hills Performance Art Residency’ in Haryana, India, February 2016. Other key works in her practice have been collaborative works with Faith Wilson, Olive Wilson and George Watson. 



“The year is 1956. I’m sorry”. Particles is a collection of re-worked jazz and voice recordings from the estate of deceased Wellington radio announcer Cavell Nicholl, who for many years in the 1970s presented a show on radio station 2YC entitled ‘Cavell Nichol’s Cavalcade of Jazz’. Nichol’s career as a radio broadcaster fueled his participation in the Worldwide Record Club, an international network of Jazz enthusiasts who exchanged recordings on 1/4″ reel to reel tape. Williams purchased a house lot of Nicholl’s tapes (plus a 1/4″ Akai reel to reel tape machine) at Nicholl’s estate auction in 1999 with the intention of using the tape for his own original recordings. Upon listening to the reels he discovered a series of recordings by jazz enthusiasts from Finland, New Zealand and elsewhere. Amongst Nicholl’s collection were not only Jazz standards by Thelonius Monk, Billie Holliday and others, but home-made performances of classic tunes by members of the group, tirades against technology and surreal musings on what makes a good jazz performer. Particles is a series of seven minute episodes for radio which rework the original material to reveal the strangeness at the heart of the the jazz standard lyric, and the loneliness of the home taper indulging their passion inbetween domestic frustrations. Lena Horne’s ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ is overlaid with the sound of a barking dog; Buck Clayton’s ‘Nobody’s Business’ is undercut by a half-speed recording from the other channel of the stereo field which, next to the cheering of the audience brings out the maudlin heart of the lyric. Interspersed between the music a Finnish announcers halting English is subtly reworked as a series of Haiku poems musing on ‘the Lion’, ‘singers’ and strange messages to another group member – ‘A lot of things have been said about you, Tony’.

Mark Williams is a musician based in Wellington and is a member of Cookie Brooklyn and the Crumbs, MarineVille, Bad Statistics. He also runs the soon-to-be-launched tape label Burning Log. He purchased Nicholl’s collection for $16 in 1999. Recorded in the pre-digital age and distributed amongst group members via post, Nichol’s collection is a labour of love that Williams found hard to tape over or throw away. Over the past 17 years Williams curiosity about the tapes and question of what to do with them has been balanced with the slog of carting the tapes from house to house, and his basic disinterest in Jazz standards. By revealing the essential strangeness of these recordings, Particles both pays tribute to Nicholl and his cohorts and simultaneously frees himself from the responsibility of Nicholl’s archive.


AMAF by Paul Timings

I am a New Zealand sound artist who performs experimental music, and makes field recordings and electroacoustic recordings. I enjoy using hand-held portable devices to engage with roaming or dynamic environments. More recently I’ve been developing compositions and installations via algorithmic soundscapes, using source material primarily derived from field recordings. When I was a kid I really enjoyed the using the radio. I liked how the soft noise between stations sounded on AM. I liked how you could use the dial to swing back and fourth through the spectrum to create this peculiar, pluralistic marriage of popular music over a range of decades, classical music, the horse races, advertisements for lawn mowing companies, etc, each second. I thought I’d submit a something that reminded me of this feeling of using the radio when I was a kid. I really enjoy using granular synthesis at the moment, and have found that using large grains on an input with multiple sources, with the grains occurring over a random duration, can have this effect similar to using the radio, where each discreet source blends around the next to generate a new, unexpected single source. Sources for the submitted piece include electric guitar, string duet, radio, Steve Reich recording, field recordings.


Caesura by Susanne Kahlich

the first movement from the project The Beautiful Now, an opera electronica for electronic music and acoustic vocals in response to the Works for Radio open call for expressions of interest. It is 5:35:28, music composed by Jack McNeill, text composed by Susie Kahlich.  Recorded by Jennifer Hutt in Paris with Eric Lucrezia, Mhairi Wilson, Igor Bedrinov and Amina Zoubir, mastered in Berlin.  The movement is the first movement of the opera, titled CAESURA, The Beautiful Now is an Opera Electronica that follows the journey of life through 7 movements. Based on texts written for a 4-part spoken word chorus, live performance incorporating vocals and ambient sounds, and interactive video creates auditory effects that are captured, manipulated and fed back through digital software, computers and electronica elements to create an immersive musical experience in real time that affects performers and audience members alike. Through each of these three elements — words, art, music — all of life, the cycle of life, is represented on stage to bring us into the moment: You Are Here. Now. And it’s beautiful. The Beautiful Now is being designed for large venue performance spaces to premiere in Autumn 2016.

Show 543: If 666 should turn out to be 999 (A Line Hypnosis), by Campbell Walker, for radio one 91FM


radia season 35, show #543 (radio one 91FM. dunedin, new zealand), playing from august 24 to august 30, 2015.

If 666 should turn out to be 999 (A Line Hypnosis)

by Campbell Walker

“In late-modern times, we experience a growing pollution of air, water, and food… But there is another kind of pollution which concerns the psychic breathing of individual and collective organisms. Semiotic flows which are spread in the infosphere by the media system are polluting the psychosphere and provoking disharmony in the breathing of singularities: fear, anxiety, panic, and depression are the pathological symptoms of this kind of pollution.” – Franco “Bifo” Berardi, ‘The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance’.

“In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.” – David Graeber, ‘On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs’.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” – 19th century educational proverb, often attributed to William Edward Hickson.

“You don’t dig repetition? You don’t love repetition?” – Mark E. Smith, ‘Repetition’.

I. Earworm

Played again and again on an inscrutable loop inside one’s head, the earworm serves two roles. It is both the residue left by the passing tidal flow of a corrosive popular culture that has, in currency terms, long since departed, as well as an important indicator of the way in which meaning, in both narrative and communication terms, can be eroded and lost through misapplication. Til we drive away the pernicious echoes of the unwelcome earworm, we are subject to this effect. My project here is an attempt to break down and dissolve an earworm by isolating its constituent parts from its whole. Fingers can no longer tap to a pithily banal beat, the pointless nostalgia painted by MOR 80s as Reaganite false history, can neither infect nor madden in the same way. Bled dry of all supposed nostalgia into a seemingly pointless repetition, a new set of possibilities and questions can form, freed from an imposed single meaning and allowed to generate nearly infinite new ones. Was there ever anything to the original material besides capitalist ill will, and the desire to destroy multiple rich possibilities of history and replace them with a single line or two? The end result, perhaps, attempts to suggest we can only re-infuse these over-familiar words with new possible meanings once we have scraped away, word by word, the troublesome, undeserved cultural baggage it arrived with.

II. Time and space

As 1984 looked back to 1969 and replaced tumultuous political and social change with co-opted nostalgia for a fantasy moment that never occurred outside of popular fiction, so too we can now look back at 1984, not insignificantly the banner moment in New Zealand for the political ideology we call neoliberalism, that continues to dominate our lives now. Neoliberalism’s idea of the past, like that of the colonial powers of a century ago, is that our reading of history must be endlessly flexible to serve the interests of power. Contemporary digital culture in an overclocked society supports this aim, by endlessly abbreviating all parts of our discourse into smaller and smaller bite-sized chunks where meaning collapses away, and where communities are held together by the thinnest skeins of shared non-experiences, carefully targeted around maximum impact for minimum meaning.

Of course our lives are not just fast now. Under neoliberalism, work is a dominant paradox, designed to take as much of our time as possible. As members of societies we are expected to be productive, to “pay our own way,” and to base our lives around work above all else. Increasingly we are judged according to a set of criteria that are not only somewhat abstract and contradictory, but always somewhat out of reach – there is no tangible reason given for this state of affairs beyond the platitudinous and judgmental. But at the same time as we are expected to contribute to society through working, there is a significant lack of meaningful work to be done within this matrix of possibilities. The proletariat work structure had at least a not-insignificant material element: the work done was physically manifest and often its value was apparent to the worker. Since the proletariat has melted away to be replaced by the precariat, and, as Dave Graeber puts it, the “bullshit job” replaces the possibility of life not dominated by a need to work manually, the rhythms and manifestations of how work is imposed upon us have changed.

Where work used to be physically exhausting and based around repetitive economy of action, as dictated through the application of Fordism and Taylorism, contemporary precariat work is more about exhaustion in terms of social interaction, and especially meaningless and unnecessary administrative interaction. Proletariat labour is about exploitation, but precariat labour is beginning to become more simply punishment and control, with the options of success becoming more focused around an almost feudal fealty towards a boss, for instance in a company like Amazon, where workers are expected to give over the entirety of their existence to the company, at the expense of family or life outside of work. As a result the nature of exhaustion is less related to physical exhaustion of the worker and his or her resources, as the exhaustion of any life outside of work.

Similarly the assembly line of endless repetition is replaced by an endlessly repetitive verbal and digital discourse that seeks to close in and restrict the very nature of language. This is done through the increasingly crowded pace of contemporary life, especially with regards to the digital, which has lead to drastically diminished concentration spans, and from that a dramatically reduced duration and complexity of discourse with which we interact.

Duration is obviously key to this: we believe we can no longer spare time for complex concepts, or for knowledge that may be non-utilitarian in nature. Why spend years unpicking the complexities of the late 60s, both in details and perspectives, when a dumb 3-minute song can tell you what you need to know, and why have a memory, when you can look anything else up on a need-to-know basis? But the new worlds have a series of new demands for interaction to replace any space that may have been freed up by the new attention spans, new and aggressively pitched demands for us to attend to volume in volume, and so our lives are now filled up with endless carefully directed noise disguised as messages. So for the contemporary precariat worker, we are now much more likely to be talked to death than to be worked to death, and exhaustion comes as mental overload.

Just as important to the project is scale. As we live in a society increasingly defined as global, and increasingly represented as statistical blocks, and as we increasingly form virtual communities that are only connected through the digital, we are allowing structures to become as big as they possibly can. This is convenient for elites, who can now generalise about statistical flows, but less useful for everyone else who can now be understood as a block or a number, because the large scale of these systems forces an abstract understanding, rather than a human-scaled one.

III. Language

As with much of its power structure, neoliberalism’s attitude to language is hypocritical, employing different positions between the top down and the bottom up. Knowledge deemed to be private – like the corrupted operation of financial and political systems – is guarded closely through coded language. This language is designed to teeter of the verge of incomprehensibility, but unfortunately the coded becomes corroded as language skills among the elites are not valued as highly as more sociopathic and anti-intellectual tendencies.

Similarly, access to interpretative knowledge is becoming more restricted. Education systems that social democracy worked to make accessible to more people – obviously an unfinished project – through the post-WW2 period are being broken down and linked into obligation structures (like student loans), with the aim of restricting them to the elites. But since these elites are oriented around power and greed rather than knowledge, there will be nobody prepared to commit to these options of learning, so instead the worldwide education systems are being trashed into increasing privatisation and admin-overload.

As a result of these elements, language itself is increasingly contested ground. However, this war is not completely lost yet. Resistance to the language of power is one of the things anyone can do. Simple techniques are still effective. Writing in long sentences, using words that are open to many complex meanings is a better way to show disdain for the imposition of neoliberal power than any “clicktivist” link. Rendering your ideas impermanent and non-definitive, telling them to people in real life and allowing the ideas to shift in response to your community holds back the tide of information autocracy for a few more seconds.

In this case, I am attempting to break down a kind of dominant historical text from one form – words – to another form, that of sound. The sound of the body is the basis of language, something we can tend to forget in our contemporary, so-called “disembodied”, “virtual” worlds. But the sound of discourse or attempted discourse can convey quite different meanings parallel to language, and those messages can even be contrary to the language used. Sound can also obliterate meaning altogether, so in this case, I am hoping to use the sound of repetition – analogous to the use of endlessly repeated political rhetoric by neoliberal power – to break down, over time, the deceitful and false history put forward by conservative popular culture.

Campbell Walker

Campbell Walker is an underground filmmaker, performer and writer who, as one of a group of c. 1990s experimental artists exploring the nascent possibilities of early hand-held digital video (what became known as the Aro Valley Digital Cinema movement, after the locality of the city of Wellington in which the artists in question all lived), is known for his low budget features exploring intimacy and communication (and the lack of it) in New Zealand culture. With research interests in cinematic duration, improvisation and collaborative structures, and the relationship of film, performance and politics, Walker’s academic interest in post-May 68 French film has seen him recently write on Jacques Rivette’s Out 1, and Jean Eustache’s La Maman et la Putain, while continuing to work within localised grass-roots arts communities in the more southern city of Dunedin (where it is still possible to live the artist-precariat life), combining experimental film work with cultural criticism, event organisation, performance and conceptual poetry. Jacob Edmond recently described Walker’s artist book / sound poetry project The Crime LINKS in the Smoke, a text and performance work constructed from the discarded remnants of detective novels found after a fire in a bookstore, as “an undead work that plays on the print book as both fetishised object and repeatable copy.” This new work for radia similarly explores repetition as a tool, in this case one usable in clarifying neo-liberal langauge as a form of “zombie” aesthetics.

Show 518: Hours after Hours by Samuel Longmore for radio one 91FM


radia season 34, show #518 (radio one 91FM. dunedin, new zealand), playing from march 2 to march 8, 2015.

Hours after Hours

by Samuel Longmore

This composition was recorded at night in six different rooms and liminal spaces within a certain building in central Auckland, New Zealand. The history, location and daily life of the building itself may or may not be relevant to the piece, but this set of conditions is as follows. This building houses the Audio Foundation, Auckland’s most recognisable locational node of sound culture and experimental music. It was, formerly, a tie factory for a local manufacturer which, in an Antipodean bid for faux-continental sophistication, called itself Parisian ties. Now no neckties, and indeed hardly any clothing, are made in New Zealand. But the building is still busy working, nurturing a resolutely self-aware locality in regards to the sonification of place, with rooms containing a sound library, a gallery space, a small performance venue, studios and workshop spaces, an office and small shop housing hens-teeth rare local runs of multi-format limited edition pressings, as well as its own low power FM radio station, AFM.

These rooms were entered by the artist at night, with a microphone and a recording device. The gain was set to high and the microphone was left “to do its work”, without guidance, the artist immediately leaving the scene, not monitoring the sound. In subsequent takes, the sounds of these room-ambiences, these (near) ‘silences’, were played back into the rooms, and re-recorded, creating an accumulative and self-referential circuit in which the resonant frequency of each room began to emerge. In editing the piece together from the resulting audio six separate rooms are sequenced together. Listening back to these, their subtle shifts, it is as though witnessing a mysterious formal experiment, the alignment of each room emphasizing the difference within the gesture’s repetition, the magnification of the room-tone and the resulting ‘presence of absence’ undulating like waves. Signaled by no intermediary save the change in resonant frequency, the shifts subtly become a sounding-out of the dimensions of walls, staircases and other architecture, an aural mapping, a blind yet acutely aware material and physical cartography of the space which Sam describes as “an overall picture” of the space.

This work joins a compositional tradition of sound works exploring the resonant frequency of discrete spaces through repetition. Alvin Lucier’s I am Sitting in a Room, through Jacob Kierkegaard’s 4 Rooms. The absence of any kind of originating signal, as well as Longmore’s explicit removal of his own body from the scene of recording, extends these practices toward an accumulating analysis of something that sounds close to silence, within the after-hours existence of rooms dedicated, in their everyday life, to sound. If Longmore’s minimalism relies on an analysis of the formal aspects of recording, it is also deeply interested in the chaotic aesthetics of noise, the conflict between the non-intentionality of improvisation and the expectations of findings in compositional practice. Such a dialectic allows the emergence of traces, an uncovering of things normally inaudible. Perhaps that’s why, in the absence of any signal to be obliterated, we might not be so surprised when these ‘field recordings of the act of recording’ themselves start to speak – to sing like choirs – at certain points. Or uncover, as Sam writes, “the tension between the resonance of each space and the non-existence of silence – the former always tending toward dominance with the latter inevitably cropping up a a disruption.”

Samuel Longmore

Grounded in the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Samuel Longmore’s practice and research occurs in the spaces where his interrelated concerns for the experience of aural perception, the phenomenology of architectural space, field recording as compositional action and the para-ontologies of sound:silence / signal:noise, overlap. The work of Merleau-Ponty affirms a position regarding the importance of subjective, corporeal perceptual experience which is central to his practical investigations, fueling an ongoing interest in the ephemeral and spatiotemporally specific ontology of sound. Sam has a BVA in Sculpture from the Dunedin School of Art. He now resides in Auckland and is working towards an MFA at the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Art.

Sam would like to thank Jeff Henderson and Chris Cudby at The Audio Foundation for their support in the making of this piece.

Show 493: I was using six watts when you Received me, by Maddie Leach and Jem Noble, for radio one 91 FM

radia season 33, show #493 (radio one 91FM. dunedin, new zealand), playing from september 8 to september 14, 2014.

I was using six watts when you Received me

by Maddie Leach and Jem Noble

a project commissioned by the SCAPE 7 Public Art Biennial Christchurch (27 September – 9 November 2013)

this edit for radia reframes a small portion of audio material from the original project.

From a small Nissan Civilian bus in the wide open fields of Christchurch’s Hagley Park, at scheduled but irregular times, ham radio operators from the Christchurch Amateur Radio Club attempted to contact the International Space Station as it orbited above the city. I was using six watts when you Received me had the radio call sign ZL3ISS, its own QSL card, and transmitted on 107.1 FM for local ground-based audiences. Leach and Noble worked with material held by the National Sound Archive Ngā Taonga Kōrero to assemble 34 audio tracks sourced from historical recordings made in buildings and public spaces now lost or transformed in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes.  Each track is framed with their own distinctive interval signal composed from recordings of the Christchurch Cathedral bells.

I was using six watts when you Received me operated as a searching attempt to recall a sense of place and to connect to an ‘elsewhere’ beyond the current geographic and social conditions of the post-quake city. The ISS contact sessions and local broadcasts were overlaid to produce intriguing new sonic artefacts that were subsequently acquistioned to the Sound Archives collection. The project traversed aspects of the everyday and the extraordinary to include recordings of dog walkers, street kids, local police, port workers and community events to the opening ceremony of the 1974 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s visit in 1953 and a live recording of the February 22 earthquake in 2011.

“Listening to two different generations of radio voices, punctuated by the bells and the blips of the transmission, I start to draw a diagram that connects the widely disparate geographical elements of the work: the National Sound Archive on Cashel Street,[i] the temporary encampment in Hagley Park, and the uncharted vacuum of outer space. At the centre of the diagram, and of the sculpture project, sits the van and transmitter: a purposeful, itinerant monument, inhabited by amateur radio operators. Surrounding it in a circle is the public park, bisected by lines of visitors to the van, and overlaid with the archival radio broadcast — a series of dotted lines — and arcing upwards is the line of radio waves which reach the ISS and the astronauts and continue beyond, off the page and perhaps forever. Enveloping the whole is the Twitter feed associated with the project’[ii]; I draw a kind of cloud, thick with zigzags. It makes a clean equation on paper, completely dematerialised and spanning a vast stretch of space, and sits cleanly with Leach and Noble’s stated desire not to add more stuff to a cluttered and broken post-quake city.

Largely immaterial, the work is held together by a sculptural logic which relies on displacement: the tenuous possibility of making a real connection to somewhere else — somewhere as distant as the past, or outer space —and the currency of sound as a vehicle for collective recall, and anticipation. It is both preposterously expectant and resolutely conceptual. Maybe, maybe there will be an affirmative reply to one of the call signs issued. A small community of believers arrive intermittently at the van in time for scheduled passes, but it’s not a response they come for. Rather it’s to listen to the still-present voices of a Christchurch that was, and to be part of a transaction with the farthest reach of inhabited space. They come to listen to the radio. They come to remember what it’s like to get lost.”

Abby Cunnane – catalogue essay for SCAPE 7 Public Art Biennial Christchurch, 2013.

[i] Based in Christchurch, the National Sound Archive is a not-for-profit organisation owned by Radio New Zealand. It holds over 70,000 audio records, and is publically accessible for research. See http://www.soundarchives.co.nz.

[ii] Throughout the project fragments of the archival recordings were released as cryptic, often hilarious or caustic tweets. On 21 September the tweet came from a Jack Perkins Spectrum documentary on Hagley Park, featuring Gail and Debbie the Labrador: ‘I said “you haven’t seen a big yellow Labrador looking a little lost have you?” He just made an #indecent suggestion and exposed himself.’

Jem Noble

Jem Noble (UK, 1974) lives and works in Vancouver (unceded Coast Salish First Nations territory). He has produced solo projects in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and collaborated with a wide range of artists, film-makers and cultural producers. His practice traverses still and moving image, sound, object-making, text and performance. Noble holds a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from University of Wales Swansea and maintains a particular interest in posthumanism. His work explores connections between materiality and subjectivity across physical, experiential and political domains. Within this, themes of framing, fictionality, indeterminacy and co-production have informed much of his recent making.

Noble has given lecture-performances at dOCUMENTA (13), Contemporary Art Gallery and Access Gallery, Vancouver, and The Engine Room, Wellington (2013). He has developed projects for: SCAPE 7 Christchurch Biennial in collaboration with Maddie Leach (2013); Manifesta 7 in collaboration with Piratbyrån (2008); FUSE Magazine Online Projects (2012); Paul O’Neill’s Our Day Will Come, Tasmania (2011) and Edmonton (2014); VIVO Media Arts, Vancouver (2009) and Spike Island, Bristol (2008). His work has been shown in group exhibitions including Soundworks, ICA London (2012); Gracelands at EVA International (2012); and FTP, Museum of Haifa (2012). Noble has undertaken several collaborations with Turner Prize 2012 winner, Elizabeth Price, producing sound and music for her large-scale video installations.

Maddie Leach

Maddie Leach (NZ, 1970) is an artist based in Wellington, New Zealand. Her practice is one that seeks viable ways of making artworks in order to interpret and respond to unique place-determined content through a process of establishing specific relationships between form, materials, locations, histories, events, individuals and communities. Leach’s projects favour a keen poetic resonance alongside strong conceptual and formal rigour. Within this framework she has consistently varied the way she resolves her work – having fabricated objects or had them fabricated for her, used text and print media, worked with video, performative actions and processes of exchange. Elements of uncertainty and risk become evident in many of her projects where idiosyncratic narratives are drawn between a tenacious logic of material and economic actions, elusive hopes and fragile navigations of possibility.

Leach’s project If you find the good oil let us know (2012-14) has been nominated for the Walters Prize 2014 at Auckland Art Gallery. Last year her work was included in the 5th Auckland Triennial and SCAPE Biennial of Public Art. In 2012 she was Taranaki Artist in Residence with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth and in 2008 was an International Artist in Residence at the National Sculpture Factory in Cork City, Ireland. In 2014 she has had international residencies with Spaced (Perth, WA) and Spike Island (Bristol, UK).

image: Shaun Waugh

radia programme sound editing: sally ann mcintyre

Show 469: concrète, by Jacques Soddell (Radio One 91 FM)

radia season 32, show #469 (radio one 91FM. dunedin, new zealand), playing from march 24 to march 31, 2014.


by Jacques Soddell

A suite illustrating my abstract narrative “cinema for the ears” style of musique concrète using processed field recordings to create new sounds & textures, with an improvised interlude separating my compositions.


1. Les grenouilles – based on a piece I composed for a live gig in the Conservatory in Bendigo’s Rosalind Park in 2013, using manipulations/processing of frog sounds, some voice manipulations and the unprocessed sound of rustling leaves. You won’t hear the original unprocessed frogs. (10:27).
2. Improv with Viv Corringham, New York based British vocalist/sound artist. An excerpt from our performance at the undue noise gig at the Old Fire Station, Bendigo, in February 2014, using Ableton Push to control my electroacoustic samples (8:27).
3. Paralysed – composed in 2013 was inspired by the artistic paralysis I felt while waiting for a collaborator to deliver material I needed for our joint project. Performed in Melbourne in January 2014, it contains “randomly” selected processed & unprocessed samples from many sources (8:07).

Jacques Soddell

I’m an Australian sound artist, based in regional city Bendigo. I produce computer-based electroacoustic music, with a particular interest in deconstructing natural sounds (field recordings) to create new sounds & textures, which I then assemble into abstract narrative soundscapes (usually composed, but sometimes improvised). I produce sound & video for theatre, dance, live performance and installation and am also passionate about promoting experimental art, hence my past involvement with the film society movement (bendigo film group (1976-1988), promotion of experimental music in the local community through the undue noise concert series (2002 – present), presenting possible musics, an experimental music radio program on local community radio (1983-2013)), and involvement in live arts group Punctum, With my wife, Fran, I investigated music based on Lindenmayer Systems modelling of fungal growth and also run sound art label cajid media (with the help of my daughter, sound artist Thembi Soddell). I was a microbiologist in a former life, specialising in the microbiology of wastewater treatment, but left this field about 10 years ago to concentrate on sound art. Examples of my work can be found on soundcloud and vimeo.


Show 445: quaker hall hire by L$D Fundraiser (Radio One 91 FM)

“… a raft of tapes of his musique concrete and sound collage opus, lurid cymbal work, slackened piano strings and reverb boxes and such atmosphere —- a bleak deathly grind – the Fundraiser’s sound is a dark psychedelic funeral.” – Matt Middleton

‘Quaker Hall Hire’ is a tape-based composition which was woven together for radia by Dunedin noise bricoleur L$D Fundraiser, from his extensive cache of found tapes of church recordings. A repeated sample from the answering machine tape from a Quaker hall, with its thrown-away, yet undeleted messages from people wanting to hire the venue, overlays borrowings from various found tapes from the discarded archives of Walter Ballantyne’s ‘N. Z Training Schools for Prophets and Intercessors’. A woozy, tape-quivered psychedelia runs through the piece’s emphasis on voice and mantric repetition, the cassette as found object being filtered through a decidedly outsider sampling process, by an artist with a predilection for splicing together careful, precise collages from the farthest reaches of audio material culture, his own sampled loops of guitar noise and other standard and invented instrumentation layering with the audio from VHS educational videos about raising children with handicaps. This material is then put through a process which equally balances the aleatory and the incisive, embracing both the aesthetics of the mistake and the humour of detourned juxtaposition, with digital files re-dialed through analogue history, time stretched and pulled by re-recording to 4 track off a cassette recorder for blind and handicapped persons with variable speed control. Searching the trash of mainstream political and cult-toned religious culture for clues, evidence of sickness, and strategies of subversion, sharing a language with Burroughs cut up tape-experiments, an aesthetic affinity with Stockhausen’s deconstruction of militarist nationalism (Hymnen) as filtered through the psychedelia of The Faust Tapes, and an interest in the grim side of the discarded excesses of capitalist culture in a way that implies decades-long familiarity with the Re:search Industrial Culture Handbook, while refracting such influences through local sensibilities, this is Dunedin dump-shop musique concrète at its finest.

More of L$D Fundraiser’s music is listenable here: http://lsdfunraiser.bandcamp.com/

Show 421: Taiwan Old-New Times, by Johnny Chang

radia season 30, show #421 (radio one 91FM. dunedin, new zealand), playing from april 22 to april 29, 2013.

Taiwan Old-New Times

by Johnny Chang

In the gentlest and least signposted of ‘city symphonies’, albeit one which transfigures the field recording toward the overheard musicality of the everyday, Berlin based composer Johnny Chang takes us on an extended soundwalk around the changed urbanscape of his Taiwan childhood. As Johnny says of the piece:

“Field recordings captured in Taiwan, from immediate vicinity of childhood home in the city to the countryside.

(in order of appearance) :

Street market vendors chatter and canned pop music punctuate.

Traffic sounds originate from the intersection directly at the corner of my family home – pretty much a constant background sound.

Ebb and flow of Kaohsiung city.

Repetition of life – signified by various type of drones surrounding us.”

Johnny Chang

Berlin-based composer-performer Johnny Chang engages in extended explorations surrounding the relationships of sound/silence and the in-between areas of improvisation, composition, performance and listening.  Johnny is part of the Wandelweiser composers collective, and works with: Antoine Beuger, Lucio Capece, Jamie Drouin, Jürg Frey, Christian Kesten, Hannes Lingens, Radu Malfatti, Koen Nutters, Morten J Olsen, Michael Pisaro, Derek Shirley, Stefan Thut. His articulated performances have been featured in festivals, residencies and experimental music series in both Europe, North America and New Zealand, from Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), ReiheM (Cologne), Wandelweiser Klangraum Series (Düsseldorf), Hörbar (Hamburg), Klang im Turm (Munich), The Wulf (Los Angeles), Q-O2 workspace (Brussels), Loop-Line (Tokyo), Umlaut festival (Berlin&Paris) to various experimental music series/venues in Berlin such as Ausland, Labor Sonor, Quiet Cue, NK, West Germany. Since November 2010, Johnny Chang and Koen Nutters have co-curated Konzert Minimal presenting performances and events centered around the music of the Wandelweiser group.

Show 398: antipodean field : constellations from kings rapid, by david haines.

radia season 29, show #398 (radio one 91FM. dunedin, new zealand), playing from november 12 to november 18, 2012.

Antipodean Field: constellations from Kings rapid.

by David Haines

“This piece was recorded in Dunedin New Zealand and in the Blue Mountains of
New South Wales, Australia. I thought I would climb Mt Analogue with this
piece, instead I found a deep and dark sandstone gorge. This is where I
live, not far from the Wollemi, which for the local indigenous people
translates as “look out country”. Electro-acoustic and electromagnetic
undulations tear open the firmament to reveal a thin sliver of the multiple
scales of an infernal roar.”

David Haines

David Haines lives in the Blue Mountains, Australia. He was born in London in 1966. His practice in contemporary art is diverse and he has shown his installations in galleries and museums internationally and throughout Australasia. His work encompasses all forms of installation, including working with sound, aroma and digital technology. He is also known for his collaborations with Joyce Hinterding that have won several awards and been shown Internationally including the Sao Paulo Biennale 2004. He is represented by Breenspace.

additional sound : Joyce Hinterding