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Radio



Andy Dowden
the love song, 1982 2:32
My earliest mash-ups were sounds recorded from television in the 1960’s using a tape recorder, and I have been fascinated with sound since that time. I am struck by the creative potential which is revealed when recorded sounds are treated as analagous to clay, plastic, rubber, or even thoughts, but in an electronic form. As a popular form of musical expression, the mash up emerges from scratch and hip hop sensibilities. The mash-up is also a form of media art because it explores audio culture in a new way. It is reflective like a mirror, inviting society to listen to itself and wonder, “is that really us?”

The Love Song a strategy for reconciling or integrating music which is popular/public with that which is personal/private. At the same time it tells a minimal story with an almost operatic flavour. Love goes out partying all night.

William Robinson
Stairway to Heaven, 2010 – ongoing 7:54
Stairway To Heaven is a composite of 100 recorded versions of Led Zepplin's iconic rock anthem, Stairway to Heaven, performed by a multitude of musicians found on Youtube. As part of an ongoing process of archiving and retrieval, different variations of this song will be cumulatively added until the piece’s melody reaches a level of complete disintegration.

Stephen Kelly
Lost Songs: Tonight’s The Night, 1975, 2015 4:41
Mp3 is an encoding format for digital audio that compresses a file's size while maintaining most of the content. It was introduced in the early days of the Internet, when bandwidth limitations made sharing full-quality sound files impractical. Mp3 is lossy, meaning that the sound quality of an Mp3 is significantly reduced relative to it's uncompressed source. This is not a problem for most listeners. However, today there are many lossless alternatives and bandwidth is no longer an issue on the Internet. Despite this, Mp3 is still the most used audio compression scheme. Some artists feel their work is not properly represented in a compressed, lossy format. The most outspoken of these is Neil Young. Young cares so much about this issue that he took matters into his own hands and launched an online, lossless music service and hand-held digital audio player, Pono, which people largely ignored.

This piece is an ode to the sounds that are left behind when a digital music file is converted to an Mp3: the lost songs. It is also a tribute to Neil Young, who is famously ornery in his refusal to bow to external demands.

My favourite anecdote about Neil Young comes from the early 1970s: Prior to the release of his album Tonight's the Night, Young and his band would play the album front to back on tour, ignoring fan requests to hear their favourite, familiar hits. At the end of the concert, Young would announce: "Now we're gonna play something you've heard before" to loud applause before launching back into Tonight's the Night from the beginning.  

jake moore and Steve Bates
100 lines, version 2.015,  2015 8:44
100 lines is a call out in the dark.
Punk rock is our shared history and often a touchstone between us. We grew up in parallel and performed in bands in the same city long before we came to know one another directly. Song titles, bands and specific events associated with punk and post punk illustrate kinship and shared knowledge between us (and others). The musics are emblematic of dischord and resistance, desiring of different, evidence of difference yet often carried a quest for the commons as a way to challenge the then contemporaneous socio-economics of Thatcher and Reagan that have continued to lead us downwards into the neoliberalist now.

We challenged each other to come up with 50 lines each, in no particular order, of lyrics that have stayed with us. Words or utterances that actively reside within; the sort of thing that one hears internally while in the non-places of contemporary society. We recorded without knowing what the other had selected. We began each line at the same time so we could not always hear what the other was saying, one of us in Montreal and the other in Stockholm, Sweden. The sonic effects and delays are indexical of the distance technologies yet suggest a more affected production. This interference of distance manifested troubles the communication through the very tools that allow it, and asserts again the sonic as our shared space. There were some expected crossovers, beautiful actions of simultaneity of the same lyric in the same order, and near misses of the same song but different section. The intention was not comprehension of the lyric or the creation of a chorus but a volley to the other, the lover, to seek resonances and visit oscillation, to communicate.

Leah Singer
NAVEL MILK PRISON, 2009 4:54
This is an audio excerpt from the soundtrack to Navel Milk Prison, a short video. In the video a woman and child embark on a drive through the countryside in an old convertible Cadillac. A bluesy soundtrack is heard on the radio but the conversation is muted. A voice over recites disparate words and phrases throughout, as if someone was thinking aloud about the stream of the day.  The text is from online spam emails that were turned into a poem by Lee Ranaldo. I am reciting the words both in isolation and in context. Listening to each of these isolated words allows you to imagine them visually like they were snapshots —images flashing by in succession, the views outside the window of a moving car. The reading itself is deadpan and deliberate giving the words equal weight, cohesiveness.

Craig Leonard
Folding Scarves, 2015  5:03
The look of a hunted animal displays the same gangsters' attitudes and costumes as we know from American films: two-tone suits, a variety of hats, folded scarves and so on. This misses the point, essential to the story is that here we have old-established businessmen who have been in the trade 'since Noah's ark'. These trust members are too much like upstarts, profiteers, so that the element of solid seriousness – the established element – is lost. As a result their subsequent alliances seem natural. Gangsters looking for their own way: not the existing state turning to something it had expressly branded as its own mortal enemy – organised crime. For the same reasons the crisis too is ill-founded, since people who make such an impression are used to running into money troubles because their business involves risks. Fuck it all, they say.

Lisa Lipton (a.k.a. FRANKIE)
Ridin’, 2015 5:13
This audio piece was developed during an audio residency program titled: Secret Selfie Residency, in the Summer of 2015 in Halifax, NS. Here, I created an experimental sound // noise recording that explored an alternative narration and voice for myself as drummer. The bed track for the sound piece was sourced through recorded drum practices, that became distorted and accentuated with additional dialogue, beats, songs and sound samples. Ridin' acted as an emotional, present response to what was being felt and found throughout the residency week.
***Listen with headphones if possible.

Dave Dyment
You Don't Bring Me Flowers (A + B), 2015
Live Performance: 15 – 20 minutes
A case-study of the circuitous path of the first hit 'mash-up' or 'bastard pop' song. The work takes the form of a brief presentation (lecture as soundwork) followed by a turntable duet.

Henry Adam Svec
Take It Easy but Take It to the Limit, 2015 9:58

Take It Easy but Take It to the Limit breathes sound into the dead silence of an Artificially Intelligent archive of Canadian folk music. Conceived and executed by song collector Henry Adam Svec and programmer Mirek Plíhal, LIVINGSTON can conceive of the totality of the history of Canadian folk—and generate new yet hyper-authentic compositions from the data. Yet, is there not an important distinction to be drawn between a signal and a singer? This piece explores both the end of noise and the revolutionary power of glitches.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
The Burden, 2010 6:30
The listener heard an individual trapped at the threshold of making an I-statement, caught in the infinite complexities of this world, traveling through vast pleasures, lamentations and solitudes of the ego. The “I” is sustained, uninterrupted over seven minutes, and as it stretches, a constantly shiftng musical score emerges, transforming the colour of this vowel through a spectrum of wordless emotions. Designed for an audience of one, when installed in a gallery, The Burden is accompanied by an arrangement of mirrors and a silkscreened concertina bookwork.

Divya Mehra
For Bapu (posthumous overture), 2011 7:27
Documentation of a live performance by a cellist of Tupac Shakur’s Ain’t Mad at Cha’. Artspeak, Vancouver, Canada 2011. Installed with speakers on a mahogany British parlour table circa 1890, dimensions variable.

The Bad P.I.
from the field recordings of 'the Bad P.I.' 2011-2013  17:00
The Bad P.I. (Aaron Weldon and Mitchell Wiebe) was influenced by a wide spectrum of beige in Halifax's now demolished Roy Building. The two were active between 2011-2013 and played a wide range of venueshouse parties, bars, graduate school lectures, black metal shows, galleries and dinner receptions. Highlights include a positive review from the artist Dan Graham.
The Bad P.I. would like to thank ethnomusicologist Dave Ewenson for these field recordings.
28 min. field recording is by Dave Ewenson. And Molohly Nagy was written and performed with Ray Fenwick.

D’Arcy Wilson
Tuck, 2011 14:29
Tuck responds to the century old taxidermy collection of the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site, in Banff, AB. In a filmed performance I wander through the silent museum at dusk. I tiptoe between the glass cases, singing lullabies to each animal, the lyrics created especially for them. In my songs I ask the mountain sheep to lie down, and the wolverine to close his eyes, but the animals do not budge from their poses and they remain alert. I turn off the lights in their dioramas, and continue my efforts. This activity of singing lullabies presents an alternative to the liaison formed between the specimens and their creators (the hunters and taxidermists who prepared them a century ago). Nevertheless, there is perversity in both our actions: the animals were killed for display, and now I propose to sing them to sleep, overlooking their inability to abandon their posts.