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Deep Wireless

DeepWirelessLargeDeep Wireless Festival of Radio and Transmission Art

NAISA presents the 23rd annual edition of the Deep Wireless Festival of Radio & Transmission Art on the theme Reimagine with exhibitions, online broadcasts, workshops, a special Art’s Birthday broadcast and the launch of NAISA’s 18th edition of its Radio Art online compilation. All events are presented at the NAISA North Media Arts Centre in South River in the Almaguin Highlands.

“For Deep Wireless 2024, artists have Reimagined the electromagnetic sphere and have considered the sounds of transmission as a musical instrument: from converting solar data into images to uncovering the musical potential of the noise between stations and finally to reimagine the piano as a sound art instrument.” — Darren Copeland, Artistic Director, New Adventures in Sound Art

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Ghosts of the Ether
Deep Wireless Hybrid Concert #1
February 24, 2024, 1:00 pm
Online via registration. In-person at NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario.
General $12, Click Here to Register
The pieces on this concert conjure mysterious presences out of the ether - everything from pulsars to numbered stations to cultural ghosts of the past. Included are Radio Art works from the Deep Wireless 18 Compilation by Cláudio de Pina, Bekah Simms, Rutmeat and Keith de Mendonca.

I. Neurotransmits by Cláudio De Pina
Neurotransmits (anagram of ‘number stations’) is an electroacoustic composition that explores the eerie and mysterious world of number stations. Featuring sounds from ‘The Buzzer’, ‘The Pip’, Lincolnshire Poacher, among others from different countries. The sounds of the number stations are woven together with the electronic hum and other electronic apparatus, evoking a sense of cold war operations. Other sounds mimic capacitors discharging such as bullets and bouncing balls.
II. String Pulse by Bekah Simms
Using a NASA recording of a pulsar as a starting point, String Pulse by Bekah Simms interweaves processed sounds of space with electric guitar recordings performed by Graham Banfield that are part of Simms’ personal library. There is a serendipitous synergy to these two seemingly disparate sounds - electric guitar seems to live easily amidst sometimes grainy, sometimes rumbling recordings of stars, planets, and other galactic objects. Various interpretations of “pulsar” are used throughout the short work, from the recording itself to granulation in the shape of Carl Sagan’s pulsar map to regular flashes of short, bright guitar harmonics. "String Pulse" was created as part of the Turbulent Forms workshop in 2017 with guidance from Dan Tapper.
III. Your Violence is Soft by Rutmeat
Rutmeat says about this piece, "“I don’t really want to prescribe anything to the listener. The piece is made w contact mics, beaded belongings and a cymbal on the floor.” The piece is mixed by Oscar Vargas.

IV. London Punch by Keith de Mendonca
Let Mr Punch lead you on a sound journey around an imaginary London, its bells and its ghosts. From Samuel Pepys’ birthplace off Fleet Street and across the river Thames to stare into the Great fire. Climb Pentonville hill and dance on the musical grave of “Joey” Grimaldi the clown.
What is in the signal?
Deep Wireless Hybrid Concert #2
March 9, 2024, 7:00 pm
Online via registration. In-person at NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario.
General $12, Click Here to Register
In this event you can listen and discuss radio art pieces with the artists who made them. A book club for experimental audio!

The pieces in this session convey emotions and meaning through the ethereal world of electronic sound and electromagnetic energy. Featured are works from the Deep Wireless 18 Radio Art Compilation by Martín Rodriguez, AJ Cornell, Kat Estacio & Dale Bazar.

I. Entre Temps Perdus by Martín Rodríguez
Entre Temps Perdus is part of a project that began as exploratory sessions between by Rodri?guez and choreographer/dancer Corinne Crane. Together they examined the stretching of a single moment in time and creating a space between contemplation and movement. These sessions began prior to the pandemic, but gained in importance once the realities of the global health crisis took hold.

From these initial experiments, Rodríguez developed an instrument using live radio broadcasts, a theremin, and a single cymbal. Exploring time, movement, and resonance, the result is an unveiling of harmonies and textures merging sounds of a cymbal with those of radio transmission. This unconventional instrument creates music that can be described as Ambient Electroacoustics. The piece "Entre Temps Perdus" further implores the use of field recordings taken as Rodríguez observed a new-found silence emerging out of Montréal’s urban spaces during the early days of the pandemic. The piece was mixed by Martín Rodríguez and monsieur_b with mastering by Sébastien Fournier.
II. Lingap by Kat Estacio and Dale Bazar
Lingap n. (tagalog): compassionate care

One of the ways Kat Estacio learned to tend to and receive care from community during the pandemic was through food. She looked at the work being done by community pantries that had popped-up across the Philippines like the Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City and Community Fridges in Toronto; these local and decentralized initiatives addressed food security in ways that governments (and it's partnered community agencies) could not.

On the piece Lingap, she collaborated with Dale Bazar, a Kulintang musician who studied Ethnomusicology in Manila under the guidance of Kulintang master Aga Mayo Butocan. Dale is also a fellow community organizer and culture producer.

Kat started building the track with a bell/chime synth sound to spell out "Kumain k n b" (have you eaten) in Morse code. This message is usually how she and her beloveds show their care, by asking if we had eaten. She took inspiration from the time when Banana Ketchup was invented (wartime era) and used the rhythm of the Morse code as a foundation to build the piece. The notes she used are based on the tuning of the Kulintang, which is accompanied by some pads and drums. Dale then added kulintang rhythms, flute and some fat beats. Their guiding principle is 8+5: using the 8 gongs of Maguindanaon kulintang from Mindanao and 5 for the pentatonic scale of Kalinga music from Northern Luzon. Together it is 13, the number of the divine feminine, an invitation to turn towards our caring nature and to nourish ourselves and our community. A reminder that to care for each other is revolutionary, that there is strength in togetherness, and what is fed and cared for is what flourishes. Lingap was included in Nusasonic Radio, episode 5: Banana Ketchup, produced by HERESY and WSK.
III. Constriction by AJ Cornell
Constriction by AJ Cornell issues from a confluence of episodes of Chaud pour le mont stone, a radio art programme operated by Martine H. Crispo on CKUT 90.3FM in Montreal since the early 90s. The piece centers on and branches out from an episode where Cornell used re-amped radios, accordion, the high frequency hiss of a radiator, and a tone generator (operated by Mara Fortes) fluctuating between 20 and 30 Hz. Cornell had previously conducted some tests about the limits of FM radio's frequency response. She found that a carrier wave saturated with a low frequency tone could be used to modulate other sources, functioning like a gate of sorts capable of distorting and cutting out the secondary source. This technique (working with frequencies that fall outside of the optimal range of frequencies the FM carrier wave is capable of reproducing with a certain fidelity) has a muffling effect on the other sounds being sent through the transmission. Cornell hears it as constricting the transmission space and creating a muffled aesthetic that elicits an effort on the listening apparatus. The on-air performance with the tone generator was mixed in with elements from other improvised radio performances, some recorded with instruments, small synthesizers, resonant bowls, field recordings of rocks on a thinly iced pond, cassette tape field recording collages, and the lamentations of the metal gate outside the radio studio window.