Independent curatorial project for a series of audio web based and radio broadcasts
SIMULCAST 2.0 : Sackville was a curated radio art project selecting works by four Canadian sound artists for a series of four-hour late night radio broadcasts.
As late-night radio listeners well know, unusual things can happen on the radio after midnight. There is something about the solitude of night-time listening which brings out radio’s best and most original attributes. The densely-packed conventions of daytime programming are loosened, and can at times even fall away entirely. This second edition of SIMULCAST taps into these possibilities, asking the question: what if time — and specifically time on the radio — were to stand still, even just for a few hours? The answers which Prévost, Gauthier, i8u and Claude offer to these questions are rich and diverse. Using a variety of strategies and techniques, their inhabitations of the airwaves for twenty-eight nights are not only works of audio art or radio art, but interrogations about what it means to take one’s time.
An unending flow, emanating from nowhere, ebbing, subsiding, leading nowhere.
An electrical pendulum pulsates, demarcating the radio’s crackle into even slices, occasionally letting drop small crumbs of sound, brief moments of electrical waste, tumbling over the airwaves as a walker might trip on a rock. A walk at night on an electrical cable plugged into the wall.
Transparences is a series of six pieces (La tierce, Ombres, Cordes, Itérations, Tempus Fugis, Passages, La tierce) inspired by a single idea: that despite appearances and regardless of context, nothing is ever completely immobile. This idea is developed in six different ways, in each case taking a “single” sound as a starting point and applying a variety of techniques to the sound. The results are to be heard and to be listened to, but the true comprehension of what these explorations reveal can only be gained over a sustained time. For even though each of these pieces is derived from a single sound, that sound is itself not neutral. It is always accompanied, augmented, or contaminated: a ray of night, an accidental incursion, the listening environment, the effect on the listener, etc.
Paul Valéry writes that “While there is conscious variation of thought, no variation of reality,” (Notebook I, p. 256) but the opposite is also true.
In composing still life, i8u recalled a fascinating experience during a recent stay on the Frioul archipelago, near Marseilles. While walking and recording sounds for various projects, she noticed a snail on the steps leading to my studio. Every day she walked up and down those steps; she was constantly excited at the prospect of observing the progress this snail would manage. It was very cold and it looked to her as if the snail wasn’t moving at all. Her enjoyment of the snail was the surreal concept that she could not observe its immediate progress but was aware of it by gauging how much progress it had made each day. This project being in line with the minimal aesthetic she is interested in of late, i8u have decided to approach the sound of imperceptible change as an audio still life.
Waves Array is a four hour real-time recording session / performance, a sound piece for the airwaves.
It combines a Blumlein stereo recording of an empty room with real-time sound synthesis and short-wave manipulations. These wave elements, living on their own and colliding with one another, are mixed and assembled into a vertical compositional structure with minimal intervention on the part of the composer.
Simulcast 2.0 : Sackville was curated by Emmanuel Madan, produced by /Undefine and co-presented by Ok.Quoi!? Arts Festival (Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre, Sackville, NB).
Invited artists: Stéphane Claude, Mario Gauthier, i8u, Hélène Prévost
Broadcast partner: CHMA 106.9 FM (Sackville, NB)
Online archive: Free103Point9.org (New York)
2009.10 Radio Jean-Talon, Montréal QC Canada
2009.09 ((Audience on the Air)) Radio festival, Red House Art Radio, Syracuse NY USA
2009.08 Ok.Quoi?! Contemporary Art Festival, CHMA 106.9 FM, Sackville NB Canada