Radia is an international network of radio stations interested in radio as an art form. In 2019, this included 26 stations in 19 different countries. Each week, one of the radio stations commissions a local artist or group of artists to create a 28-minute sound art episode. In 2015, I was first commissioned by CFRC Radio Station in Kingston, Canada to create an episode (spaces to act or not) and then commissioned to create a collaborative work with other local artists (radio(waves) in motion). The two works are described below.
Spaces to Act or Not (2015)
I recently discovered Caroline Nevejan’s work on presence. In the piece 8 spaces to act or not, she divides presence into three parameters: now/not-now, here/not-here, you/not-you. I was taken by the option of now/here/not-you, the immediacy and intensity of being in ‘now’ and ‘here’ surrounded by not-you. This piece contains field recordings from places where I felt surrounded by “not-you” most and wanted to act (make a sound), and then versions of just those sounds without a place. It ends with a sacred moment, I witnessed a wedding in a church in a small town in Lithuania which was open to the public despite being a private ceremony. The wedding was only 8 people, and the song I walked in during was entrancing and futuristic.
The piece contains readings from 8 spaces to act or not by Caroline Nevejan (http://www.being-here.net/page/745/8-spaces-to-act-or-not), and samples from Paras’ Memon’s A Story from their Self-titled EP, and M Mucci’s Days Blur Together. how
Belle Island, The Small Grand Man and Breath: Radio(waves) in Motion
Journeys Between Personal Meditations and Public Mystery
1. Belle Island by Nelly Matorina: I recently read about Jodi Rose’s piece Nida Radio Wave Bridge, which collected radio waves from the shoreline at Nida Art Colony in Lithuania. I wanted to replicate a similar idea in Belle Island in Kingston, Canada, which has a manmade beach that the city began to create in 1988, before finding aboriginal human remains and conducting an official excavation to respectfully collect, date, and relocate the remains to another area of the island. I like the idea of AM radio, amplitude modulation, as a magnification of histories in an area, so I collected AM radio waves using a “TV radio lantern” in the shape of a bunny that I found in a thrift store on Montreal st. (Kingston, ON). Although I couldn’t discern any words, the static changed greatly as I moved through the area.
The piece contains samples of The Gateless Gate – View of the Greenland sea north of Siglufjrur.
2. The Small Grand Man by Kristiana Clemens: Originally titled “Ambrose” the piece was produced for a theatre production of the same name. Ambrose Small was a prominent Ontarian and self-made millionaire who owned multiple theaters including The Grand Opera House in Toronto, The Grand Theatre in London (Ontario) and the Grand Opera House in Kingston. On December 1st, 1919 Small sold every one of his theatrical properties. On December 2nd, 1919 he disappeared. It was rumoured that his wife and her lover killed him and cremated his body in one of his own theatre furnaces. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle almost took on the case. The recording was created within the walls of the Grand Theatre in Kingston, 96 years after its former owner went missing.
3. Breath By Adam Binhammer: I created this piece with inspiration taken from long swims in the lake up at my cottage. Sometimes in the water for an hour, the repetition, vocalized thoughts, splashing, and radio are all supposed to represent the rhythmic nature of swimming for that extended period of time, and the overpowering voice of the water. The mind’s inner turmoil of constant thoughts, music, and stresses that plague me throughout the day are subdued by the sound of the water, only rising momentarily between breaths, and then being calmed immediately by the knowledge that the waves I am making as I swim will echo to the far shores of the lake.