Symbiotic processes

A blogpost over at the main Miraculous Agitations blog introduces two very different projects I recently contributed to. One of these projects is titled Project Symbiosis, and, as it happens, the process of symbiosis forms the underlying theme of that blogpost (which is prefaced by a meditation on perceived ‘impossibilities’ pervading acts of promotion in my own recent wrigglings).

Project Symbiosis is a CD+booklet curated by Brighton-based audiovisual artist/author/filmmaker/circuit-constructor Ian Helliwell. It contains ten different interpretations of the same graphic score, including the original recording by the score’s composer, Malcolm Pointon. The exploratory score, Symbiosis, was published in Practical Electronics magazine in 1975 as an exercise in electronic music-making, intended to be realised on a ‘Minisonic’ synthesiser – its circuit also published by the magazine a year earlier. A supplementary booklet gives details on all the different versions (available via Public Information). I supplied a microtonal version of Symbiosis.

From the experimental to the (nominally) chart-bound: this year I was given the opportunity, to paraphrase David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, to patch myself back into the world’s mixing board of humanity by reworking a radio-friendly track about human relationships (whatever they are), entitled ‘Floundering’ by musician and sound artist Kalou aka Samuel Shelton Robinson. It appears on Kalou’s new album The Sculpture Garden, idealised as a cassette release (but also available as download). Kalou’s output ranges from postmodern experimental montage to quirky pop, zested with neurosis. The Sculpture Garden is Kalou’s most commercial release, and it rather obscures its creator’s deeper interests in offbeat sound engineering.

Ian Helliwell, and surprisingly, Kalou too, touched upon issues of visibility, audience engagement and ‘undergroundness’ on two separate broadcasts on Resonance FM last month, on William English’s Wavelength.

‘Thwarted Histories of Electronic Music’ @ Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology salon, Copenhagen

Last week I gave a presentation titled ‘Thwarted Histories of Electronic Music’ at a special sound archaeology salon organised by the Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology as part of the Gong Tomorrow festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. There’s a long and digressive blogpost covering it on the main Miraculous Agitations blog.

My talk was about the pre-history of electronic music, but also acknowledged the ongoing dynamics that bring about thwarted histories in the historical continuum. Thwarted histories are discovered whilst scrounging across auctionhouses, second-hand bookshops, bins, and other venues at culture’s tail end – the histories I presented were excavated in this way… They included Johann Baptist Schalkenbach’s electrical music, Alfred Graham’s Victorian feedback device, the first electronic sequencer of 1925, and Delawarr Laboratories thought-to-frequency Multi-Oscillator. It has been an enduring source of surprise to me that these unknown episodes I’ve excavated have not found wider interest among publishers (I did self-publish a comb-bound edition of ‘The Magnetic Music of the Spiritual World‘ in 2015) and in the light of this I’ve come to theorise that ‘thwarted histories’ have an almost occult aspect wherein their essence of neglect can somehow persist into the present-day.  The question is: how can this thwarting force be grappled with?  Possible answers were touched upon during other talks at the salon…

Read an extended summary of the salon over at the Miraculous Agitations blog.

The Delaware Road : Ritual & Resistance trailer

The Buried Treasure label’s monumental project ‘The Delaware Road‘ returns this August, 2019. The multimedia extravaganza previously unleashed its haunted wonders within a time-capsule-like decommissioned nuclear bunker in 2017, combining folklore, science, theatre and magic (under the auspices of the shadowy ‘Corporation’) and of course there were plentiful sonic emissions! (Radionics Radio was among the Corporation’s worshipful, diffusing tones in the medical bay).

This year, the psychoacoustical-psychogeographical jamboree returns to a secret military base located just a dowsing-rod-wobble away from Stonehenge. ‘The Delaware Road: Ritual & Resistance’ will be jam-packed with thrills – tickets are now available here.  There will be an extraordinary collection of artists involved.

Buried Treasure released a teaser trailer which happens to be soundtracked by a Radionics Radio piece ‘Frequency Cluster’ (live at the Delaware Road) available on the label’s Creeping Cinquefoil compilation.

A line-up of the acts is viewable on the tickets page – surprise additions are expected! In a rare live outing, the as-was Sound and Music-sponsored Radionics Radio joins the happening with a special one-off electroacoustic microtonal diffusion (more details soon), once again bringing the Delawarr Laboratories radionic frequency-diffusion techniques to The Delaware Road…

The Wire #409 – Psyphonics – ‘Further Listening’

The latest issue of The Wire (#409) contains my article on ‘psyphonics’ – the idealistic practice of attempting to embed idea, emotion and ‘thought’ within sound. A blogpost over at the Miraculous Agitations blog gives a little background to the idea. The Wire article charts how this romantic concept survives and even flourishes within modernity’s rigours.

A newly formed Psyphonics Facebook group now exists for anyone wishing to explore the idea further and share related music/recordings.

Organised Sound – Alternative Histories of Electroacoustic Music – August 2017

My paper – ‘Failed Histories of Electronic Music‘ – appears in issue 2 (vol. 22) of Organised Sound.  It brings to light some electronic music precedents that have never received detailed attention, if at all.

The background of the ‘failed histories’ concept is given in a new blogpost over at my Miraculous Agitations blog – click here.  It raises many questions, including “why can’t I earn a living from my research?”

IKLECTIK Tuesday 13th June 2017: Extra Nights #2: Nicolas Collins + Oscillatorial Binnage

Oscillatorial Binnage will be performing at IKLECTIK tomorrow (13th June)! More details can be found on the Iklectik website: here.  There’s a Facebook event page here.  It forms the second in the series of Resonance Extra’s ‘Extra Nights’.

A posting over at the main Miraculous Agitations blog gives an idea of what to expect.

Here’s an impromptu behind-the-scenes photograph of us setting up for our rehearsal at the weekend:

Toby Clarkson, Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver