Independent curatorial project for a series of audio web based and radio broadcasts
Reacting to a radio culture which accustoms us to the division of time into a grid of discontinuous slices, SIMULCAST proposes a renewal of radio’s relationship with eternity. Four artists are asked to provide an unchanging sound or soundscape. Each artist’s work is broadcast continuously over seven consecutive nights. By bathing listeners in an event which remains unitary for a period of many hours, SIMULCAST suggests a simultaneity between all moments of a broadcast: a collapsing of long periods of time into a single instant.
SIMULCAST 1.0b : Saskatoon spanned twenty-eight nights in April 2008. The series is archived at free103point9.org/archive/
This piece is a recording of seven consecutive nights, each lasting 6 hours, 36 minutes.
Two microphones are placed under a ceiling fan on the second floor of a central room in my house. Under the fan hangs a mobile composed of photographs of family members and close friends, illustrating different episodes from my past. In the foreground of the recording we hear the motor of the Westinghouse fan as well as the waving of the photos in the wind. In the background, we can distinguish the ambient sounds of our house at night, as we pass into sleep and back into wakefulness. Over the seven nights, the only measure of time is the evolution of the ambient sounds in the background, changing with the hours of the night and the nights of the week.
7 nuits sous le Westinghouse. is an intimate sound track which offers a view (or a listen) into the passing of time, the memories it leaves us and their effects on our identity.
In Tot morgen (À demain), a chord consisting in two tritones (’diaboli in musica’) that overlap each other by a semitone sounds 140 times forwards and 140 times backwards. The unlawful sequence of these soundings forms a palindrome. It spans the interval that separates the beginning of a next day from the end of a previous one, the end of a previous day from the beginning of a next … ‘until, again, the roar of dawn’ …
(In the first measure of Stockhausen’s Klavierstueck IX the same chord is played 140 times in an evenly spaced decrescendo that lasts 48 seconds.)
“… tezelfder tijd duizend duivels van beneden en van boven duizend goden …” (a thousand demons from below and from above a thousand gods) – Tip Marugg : De morgen loeit weer aan (The roar of morning), 1988
DANBY is a broadcast composed of a single sound that is the most pervasive in our interior environments: 60 Hz. The frequency 60 Hz is the soundtrack to the electrical currents that power our radios, our appliances, our light. Yet, it is a soundtrack so prevalent in our everyday lives that only at night in the absence of noise do we realize that silence is continually filtered through the buzz and hum of electricity. DANBY transmits an unchanging loop of the 60 Hz recorded from an everyday household object. By juxtaposing this constant frequency with the 60 Hz that is no doubt also present in listeners’ homes, DANBY creates unpredictable variations and harmonies – a spontaneous simulcast of the singular sound that infiltrates our lives.
In the 1980’s, whenever GX Jupitter-Larsen wanted to create an all-night broadcast using only a single sound, he would take a long tape-loop and play it through multiple playback heads. This technique always provided a seamless sound sculpture. For SIMULCAST 1.0b: Saskatoon, the artist did something different. Instead of using analog based repetition, he took a short recording of 40 seconds and digitally stretched it into a single ten hour long wave form. The original recording was that of an auto accident, which is a favourite sound source of his. The resulting effect is very much like ceaseless grinding. Which also happens to be a favourite of his.
Simulcast 1.0b : Saskatoon was curated by Emmanuel Madan and produced by PAVED Arts + media (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan).
Invited artists: Magali Babin, Martine H. Crispo, GX Jupitter-Larsen, Harold Schellinx
Internet broadcasting and archive: free103point9.org/archive/ (New York).
2009.10.21 Radio Jean-Talon, Montréal
2008.04.01-07 free103point9.org/archive/ (New York)