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Programme Notes and Bios

Volmet North
by Ben Ramsey

Volmet North is the first piece on an EP which is composed around broadcasts from known and unknown sources, both foreign and more ‘local’ to the recording location - somewhere in the West Midlands, UK. The central theme of the piece is the capture (and recapture) of materials that should have been, or were already, lost in the aether.

Ben Ramsay graduated from Middlesex University, London, with a BA (Hons) in Sonic Arts in 2001, and is currently lecturing in Creative Music Technology at Bath Spa University in the South West, UK. His research is centred around acousmatic music composition and the exploration of social and sonic relationships that exist in modern forms of sound art. He completed a PhD in electronic music composition at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK in 2014.

by Olivia Bradley-Skill

This radio piece (turned performance), entitled Exposure/Communication, brings together narrative, music, experimentation, and field recordings to tell the story of a breakup. It's an intimate and vulnerable piece that aims to let the stitches show - embrace fragments - and tell a familiar story in unique and exploratory ways.

Olivia Bradley-Skill -I graduated from Princeton University in June of 2016. I’m very passionate about working with and talking about sound (speaking/musicking/listening/etc) – be it through radio, podcasts, or experimental sound collages. I worked in radio all throughout college, have been posting my own sound collages online for the past few months, and am in the process of writing my own series of zines (the first one should be out by November) called “Lo-Fi Goddesses,” which will feature interviews, writings, and other musings on experimental music, soundpieces, and storytelling. I currently live in NYC and intern at The Moth (dedicated to the art and craft of live storytelling), as well as at Gramercy Learning (where I teach HTML to young elementary school students). I do not believe that there is only one way to tell a story and like experimenting with their structure and form – I relish in incomplete sonic realms.

Sounding Water
by Karen Power

In Sounding Water, Karen Power combines her interest field recording, our worlds natural timing, musical structures and the performance space, in a partially improvised and composed laptop performance based on water in its many states. The emphasis of this live electronics performance is on highlighting the many audible and inaudible features of water in all it’s various states - from the frozen Arctic ice-waters to the fluid-flowing Irish Blackwater River and the deafening underworld in the Laotian ricefields. Karen’s partially-improvised soundscape performances uniquely create simultaneously real and imaginary soundscapes for audiences to wander and explore. She specialises in using audible and inaudible environmental and every day sounds, all of which she has recorded from around the world, as catalysts for constructing multiple sonic paths and soundscapes, which could not physically coexist outside of each artist-made performance space. Karen’s intention is closely aligned with her compositional practice and a desire to play with that fragile space, which lies between the comfort in recognising a sound and your personal association with it, and the wish to move beyond this into hearing new sonic possibilities for that same sound. Audiences are invited to find their own way into each and every sound.

Karen Power - Everyday environments and how we hear everyday sounds lies at the core of Karen’s practice with a continued interest in blurring the distinction between what most of us call ‘music’ and all other sound. She has found inspiration in the natural world and how we respond to spaces we occupy. Resulting works challenge the listeners memory of hearing while simultaneously shifting focus and presenting new contexts for such sounds, often merging constructed (concert hall, instruments etc) with natural worlds. Some exciting recent projects include; Gorging Limpet, which is a collaborative project between sound and experimental film, The Arctic Circle Residency, hearSpace (2014) - interactive Radio Art, a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Award - 2015/16, Instruments of Ice for QME + Arctic Ice, once below a double installation + soloists based on Berlin’s underground bunkers, veiled babble for Ensemble Mosaik + sounds from under the Spree River + Quartet + crickets piece

The Holy Sea (excerpt)
by Mike Vernusky Salas

The Holy Sea is neither theater, combine, hörspiel, nor musique concrète - and yet it builds upon all of these things at once. Harvested from hundreds of pre-existing phonographic recordings from around the world, The Holy Sea comprises a supra-sacred, multi-channel electroacoustic sound installation based on the liturgical Mass. The duration of the full work is 46 minutes, but for this performance I will diffuse various excerpts live. Source material has been curated from the last 50 years of the 20th Century: an endless variety of vinyl recordings pressed throughout history including spoken word, sound effects, radio drama, miscellaneous musics, Greek Orthodox chant, aids for self-hypnosis, computer instruction, paid advertising, radio transmissions from space, etc, as well as original acetate recordings of such traditions as a private wedding ceremony. At one time widely available for public consumption, these sounds and memories are now granular particles of a retroactive audio-historical perspective. The Holy Sea seeks to interweave and unify these sounds through composition, combined space, allegoric language, sonic imagery, and overlapping narratives.

Mike Vernusky Salascreates music for concert, theatre, dance, and film, primarily using electronic sound and live performance. His works have been described as ‘brash’... New York Times, ‘isolationist’ ... The Wire, 'otherworldly' ... New Music USA, 'strange & intriguing' ... Exclaim, and 'étonnante' by EtherReal France. Vernusky Salas holds degrees in composition from The University of Texas at Austin and in classical guitar performance from Mercyhurst College. He is an alum of the WordBridge Playwrights Laboratory in Baltimore where he worked alongside dramaturgs, directors, clowns, carpenters, designers, and psychologists. His teachers & mentors have included William Duckworth, Denis Smalley, Russell Pinkston, Bruce Pennycook, and Kevin Puts.

by Amanda Dawn Christie

Transmissions is an improvisational performance for analogue and digital technologies that explores radio waves and dreaming; satellites and ideas; wireless internet and cell phones; television and radio broadcasts; all of these signals contribute to complex interconnected webs of invisible landscapes and invisible architectures passing through our bodies in every time and in every space. The analogue aspect of the live performance involves the manipulation of 16mm film loops through the use of prisms, mirrors, and lenses, which distort the images while sending them beyond the rectangular perimeter of the screen. The digital aspect of the live performance involves the real time processing of short wave radio sounds through the use of a kaoss pad. This performance bridges the gap between contemporary digital technologies and anachronistic analogue machines. People often equate interactivity with digital technologies and yet this improvisational performance finds a way to interactively engage with 16mm film loops in real time through the use of glass and mirrors. It ironically presents analogue images of digital devices while simultaneously incorporating digital manipulation of analogue source sounds. Transmissions, questions the notion of visible space while playing on the tension between nostalgia and the drive to move forward in an ideological dance of attraction and repulsion. The imagery of this performance is improvised around a set structure that builds tension between nostalgia and progress. Hand-printed film loops present images of technological devices such as cellpones, satellites, and laptops juxtaposed with human forms that are always kept just beyond the viewers grasp through abstraction or shadow in order to develop a sense of ephemerality and an emphasis on the liminal senses tied to bodily memories of visual space. This performance was originally presented in a shorter version at the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers $100 Film Festival.

Amanda Dawn Christie is an interdisciplinary artist working in film, video, performance, photography, and sound. Since 1997, she has been serving on various boards, teaching, publishing, and serving on juries across Canada. She completed her MFA at the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts in Vancouver, before moving to Amsterdam. Upon her return to Canada she worked at Faucet Media Arts Centre & Struts Gallery, and later as director of the Galerie Sans Nom and RE:FLUX festival of music and sound art. She currently works primarily on her art practice while teaching part time at U de M in Moncton.