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The Wire Salon: 
How To Wreck A Nice Beach: The 
Vocoder From World War Two To Hiphop

The Wire

The Wire’s monthly series of salon events returns after an extended Christmas and New Year break with an illustrated talk by the magazine’s former hiphop columnist Dave Tompkins on the history of the vocoder. The talk will be based on Dave's acclaimed recent book on synthetic voice phenomena, How To Wreck A Nice Beach (available from Stop Smiling Books)

In anticipation of the salon Dave and Monk One have made an exclusive edit of their How To Wreck A Nice Beach mix for The Wire. You can download it here. Also, click here to read Dave's extensive annotated track list for the mix in all its unexpurgated glory.

The Wire Salon: 
How To Wreck A Nice Beach: The 
Vocoder From World War Two To Hiphop takes place at London's Cafe Oto, 15 February, 8pm, £4.

In addition to his appearance at the salon, Dave will also be talking on (as opposed to through) the vocoder at the Off The Page festival in Whitstable this weekend...

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RIP Rolf Julius

The Wire

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="photo by Jens Schumann"][/caption]

The artist Rolf Julius has died. According to the label Western Vinyl, "Julius had a chronic illness, which we were aware of, but his sudden passing on Friday 21 January was unexpected."

Julius was born in Germany in 1939 and studied fine art in Bremen. In the mid 1970s he began using sound alongside his visual practice. Later he moved to Berlin and became an important figure in that city's budding sound art scene, participating in Für Augen Und Ohren (1980), one of Europe's first major sound art exhibitions. Over the course of a 30 year career Julius's performances and low-volume, minimal sonic sculptures and installations developed an approach highly influential on a younger generation of sound artists.

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Adventures In Modern Music 4 November 2010

The Wire

4 November 2010 on AIMM: New music brought to you by the team behind The Wire magazine, presented this week by Derek Walmsley. This week, to celebrate the forthcoming launch of his new label, we have two exclusive new tracks from former Skull Disco man Shackleton. Now based in Berlin, Shackleton's organic, ethnically tinged style of dubstep was one of the most original strains of electronic music to emerge from London in the late 2000s. His new label, entirely dedicated to his own work, is named Woe To The Septic, and we'll be airing its debut 12" release.

Every Thursday 21:00-22:30 (BST), 104.4 FM for Londoners, streamed live at resonancefm.com for the rest of the world.

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Adventures In Modern Music: Theme tune competition

The Wire


The Wire is launching a competition to write a new theme tune for Adventures In Modern Music, the zine’s weekly show on Resonance FM. The theme can be in whatever style you want, created however you want, involve any instrumentation whatsoever, with the only requirement being that it should be roughly two minutes long. The prize for the best entry: it'll be played at the beginning of the show each week, and if that isn't enough, the winner will be interviewed on air (in the studio or on the phone) about their piece, how they did it, what they were thinking, etc etc.

The competition is open to anybody and everybody. Entries should be sent as MP3, AIFF or WAV file format to:

Derek Walmsley
derek@thewire.co.uk
with 'AIMM Theme' in the subject line
(no attachments over 5mb please – provide a download link if necessary)

or in CD format via post to:

Derek Walmsley
AIMM Theme, The Wire
23 Jacks Place
6 Corbet Place
London E1 6NN

Deadline for entries is 17 December.

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Radio Art To Work By

The Wire

[caption id="attachment_767" align="aligncenter" width="407" caption="Noise In The Ether by Ben Drury & Ben Weaver"][/caption]

Knut Aufermann, author of the Radio Art feature in The Wire 320 has compiled, in his own words "a selection of radio streams to listen to whilst concentrating on other things, a kind of audible wallpaper that commercial radio aspires to, but much better."

• Live VLF Natural Radio
A collection of live streams of the VLF band. Beautiful sounds captured from the earth's natural radio signals: lightning strikes from near and far. The station in Todmorden, UK is my personal favourite.

• Ham Radio Live: FM Repeater "Zugspitze" DB0ZU and "Bussen" DB0RZ
An amateur radio repeater station based on the highest mountain in Germany for trans-alpine communications. Mainly silent with the odd morse code interjection this stream randomly offers insight into the Bavarian psyche, when human voices break in as a reminder that you are legally eavesdropping.

• Knut Aufermann: online sound installations
47 different loops from sound installations that were broadcast live on various radio stations, often for hours thoughout the night. The sound sources are always mix of electronic, electroacoustic and radio feedback, the latter one happens when a radio transmitter listens to its own output.

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The Wire Salon Reading List: Environmental Agents: The Art Of Field Recording

The Wire

The Spanish sound artist Francisco Lopez has talked about the potential of field recordings to produce "acousmatic broadband sound environments of thrilling complexity". Following on from September’s edition of The Wire Salon, which looked at the rise of sound art, this month’s salon examines a parallel phenomenon of 21st century sound - the emergence of environmental field recordists as sonic artists in their own right.

A panel including the sound and field recordists Peter Cusack, Lee Patterson and Justin Bennett will discuss the philosophies and processes of contemporary phonography, its relationship to the parallel disciplines of acoustic ecology, bioacoustics, cybernetics, ethnomusicology, urban soundscaping and audio mapping, and the way these and other related investigations at the occult fringes of environmental audio science have infiltrated and influenced much experimental music practice. The discussion will be illustrated by audio examples of the modern field recordist's art. Plus other participants to be announced. London Cafe Oto, 7 October, 8pm, £4.

Read:
• The Primer: Field Recordings by Richard Henderson (from The Wire 168)

The Wire 300: Will Montgomery On The Changing Uses Of Field Recordings

• Sound & Music's guide to Field Recording, by Richard Thomas

Field Recording and Experimental Music Scene, by Toshiya Tsunoda

Framework Radio, regular Resonance FM radio show focused on the art of field recording with the subtitle "open your ears and listen!"

Favourite Sounds map started as a radio program on London's Resonance FM in 1998, asking participants to answer the question "What is your favourite sound of London?". It has since carried on in cities around the world.

radio ::: aporee maps began in 2006 and is based on artistic research into mapping, spatial conditions and the navigation between the real and the virtual.

The British Library's new UK SoundMap, with contributions of sounds from around the UK from the public at large.

Montréal Sound Map, a growing archival database of sound recordings from all over Montréal, Canada.

London Sound Survey, a collection of the sounds of the public life of London with compilations of past aural accounts showing how the city's sound environment has changed.

The World Forum For Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), "founded in 1993, is an international association of affiliated organizations and individuals, who share a common concern with the state of the world's soundscapes"

Christopher DeLaurenti, Seattle based composer, performer, sound artist, and phonographer. Site contains recordings, writings and information on his various projects. Also, listen to his album Wallingford Food Bank, free to download from Ultra-red's online label Public Record.

Chris Watson's home site, with information and links to the work of one of the best known field recordists in the UK

The Quiet American, website of the field recordist Aaron Ximm with a large collection of compositions and recordings collected from around the world.

The Wire Salon: We Hear A New World: Microphony, Technology & The Rise Of Sound Art

The Wire

At the turn of the century sound art reached a new level of visibility with a cluster of high-profile shows and countless below-the-radar initiatives. Meanwhile, new thinking about sound has led to an extraordinary proliferation of practices, and in recent years a phalanx of sound recordists and sonic artists has emerged to stage a revolutionary coup on behalf of sound, demanding its right to exist both in and of itself, free of the competing agendas of music or the visual arts.

The emergence of this new world of audio was accelerated by the dual technologies of microphony and digital processing, and can be heard in the examples of acoustic ecology and anthropology; desktop synthesis; the form-destroying praxes of Noise makers; Reductionism's amplification of previously occult sound events; frequency experiments with waveforms and pure tones; and more.

A cluster of recent books on this area has showcased the range of thinking behind the new sound art. For some, this work calls for a renewed focus on the perceiving body; for others, sound art offers new perspectives on the circulation of cultural meanings; for others still, sound has removed itself from the realm of the human to occupy a world where we simply don't figure.

For this edition of The Wire Salon, artist/writer Salomé Voegelin, author of Listening To Noise And Silence (Continuum), Helen Frosi, curator of the Soundfjord gallery, and critic/sound artist Will Montgomery discuss the new philosophies and practices that have emerged in recent years to map and calibrate the new world that has been revealed by 21st century sound art.

The Wire Salon: We Hear A New World: Microphony, Technology & The Rise Of Sound Art takes place at London's Café Oto, 2 September, 8pm, £4 Ticket on the door only.

Plus: take part in an audience-participation sound art quiz and have your perception of the audio world around you reshaped!

In anticipation of the night, we've put together the following reading list with links to online MP3s, videos and texts:

Listen:
• Anne Hilde Neset hosts an edition of The Wire's Adventures In Modern Music on Resonance FM. Anne was joined by Dont Rhine and Robert Sember, members of the international activist/art/music collective Ultra-red.

• Steven P McGreevy specialises in recording natural Very Low Frequency (VLF) Radio phenomena, "The (very beautiful) Music Of The Magnetosphere And Space Weather"

• Recordings of Futurist composer Luigi Russolo's compositions using his noise making Intonarumori instruments (page also contains a downloadable PDF of Russolo's The Art Of Noises manifesto from 1913)

Read:
• "Return To Form: Christoph Cox On Neo-Modernist Sound Art" from Artforum, November, 2003

•Seth Kim-Cohen's "The Hole Truth: On Doug Aitken's Sonic Pavilion" from Artforum November, 2009

• Francisco Lopez's essay "Environmental Sound Matter" on La Selva, the sounds of nature and 'profound listening'

• Read about Konstantin Raudive and Electronic Voice Phenomenon

• Mike Kelley's essay: "An Academic Cut-Up, in Easily Digestible Paragraph-Sized Chunks or The New King Of Pop: Dr. Konstantin Raudive"

Ubuweb's Kenny Goldsmith on sound art

David Toop on The Art Of Noise

Watch:
• A selection of video work by Brandon LaBelle: Concert #2: working with participants to stage the tension between sight and sound; Perspectives: writing and listening action in public space; Z: writing action utilizing motion-tracking to generate sound in real-time.

• Footage from Sound Seam, Aura Satz’s collaboration with Aleks Kolkowski, shown as part of the AV Festival 2010

• Mike Patton and Luciano Chessa test out reconstructed Futurist Intonarumori noise machines.

• Join the Soundasart mailing list

• More sound art links (via Seth Cluett)
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The Wire Salon is a monthly series of salon events, hosted by The Wire magazine, and dedicated to the fine art and practice of thinking and talking about music. The evenings, which take place on the first Thursday of each month, will consist of readings, talks, panel discussions, film screenings, DJ sets and even the occasional live performance.

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The Wire Salon: Electric Eden

The Wire


Our monthly salon series continues with a talk by The Wire’s Editor-at-Large Rob Young based on his history of folk, folk rock, psychedelia and the British imagination, Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music (published by Faber And Faber, 5 August 2010.). The talk will be illustrated with film and audio clips and will be followed by a discussion of the book’s central themes; plus DJ Jonny Trunk will be in attendance spinning the sounds of wyrd and wired Britain. London Café Oto, 5 August, 8pm, £4.

• Read: The Incredible String Band and The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter. Extract from Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music by Rob Young

• Read: Into The Woods. "Across folk, classical, pop and exploratory music, the sense of exile from Eden is key to the progress of British music in the twentieth century, writes Rob Young." Article for The Journal Of Music.

• Listen: Exotic Pylon podcast. Featuring conversation between Rob Young and host Jonny Mugwump. The show lasts 90 minutes and includes a selection of music from Talk Talk, Peter Bellamy, Steeleye Span, John Ireland, Dave Cousins, Archie Fisher, Mandy Morton & Spriguns, Robin Williamson and Alasdair Roberts.

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The Wire Salon, Enigma Machines: How To Decode Graphic Scores

The Wire

The Wire’s monthly series of salon events continues with an evening dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of graphic scores and other revolutionary approaches to musical notation. A panel made up of The Wire’s Philip Clark, composer Claudia Molitor and pianist Ian Pace will discuss how graphic scores can be used to access entire new dimensions in sound. The night will also feature screenings of Claudia Molitor’s 3D graphic scores (3D glasses will be provided), and a special audience participation graphic scores Invisible Jukebox session. London Cafe Oto, 3 June, 8pm, £4.

Check out some online content in anticipation of the evening:

Notations 21, website for the book on contemporary musical notation and graphic scores, written by Theresa Sauer. Check out her blog here.

A transcript of a discussion between composers Morton Feldman and Earle Brown with the German music critic Heinz-Klaus Metzger.

An interview by Philip Clark with bassist and composer Barry Guy about his graphic notation (includes a reproduction of one on his graphic pieces).

• "Translating Graphic Scores Into Music" by the sound therapist, improvisor and New Age composer Frank Perry.

Two examples of early graphic scores by the German visual artist and designer Karl Peter Röhl.

A DIY flicker book of a moving score for cello, "It Suddenly Descends", part of Claudia Molitor's work in progress Flicker Book Magnum Opus (for all cellists out there to download, print off, put together and perform themselves).

Below is a 3D video by Brian McClave and Gavin Peacock for Claudia Molitor's work "It's Not Quite How I Remember It" (to see it in 3D you'll need the proper red/green glasses). It's a lo-res YouTube version but people who are able to make it the salon will get to see it in full resolution with 3D glasses provided.

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Blow Up: Exploding Sound and Noise (London - Brighton 1959-1969)

The Wire

An exhibition curated by The Wire’s David Toop and Tony Herrington that investigates the links between artists from different disciplines who were active in London and Brighton in the 1960s, as well as the simultaneous emergence of a shared ‘Noise’ aesthetic.

[caption id="attachment_495" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Still from Jeff Keen's Marvo (1967)"][/caption]

The exhibition features material on a host of Swinging London’s counterculture figures including artists John Latham and Gustav Metzger, jazz musicians Joe Harriott and Coleridge Goode, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett, improvisors John Stevens and AMM, composer Annea Lockwood, film maker Jeff Keen, and sound/text poet Bob Cobbing. London Flat Time House, 24 June–25 July.

John Latham's Encyclopedia Britannica (1971)

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