40+ hours of archived Itinerant Mind broadcasts (2016 – now) at Wave Farm WGXC90.7fm … the sound of artists 16,846 kilometres apart improvising through a wire.
Since February 2016 we’ve been producing at least an hour of recorded material for broadcast on Wave Farm. But generating a lot more material each month has gone into the making of that one hour broadcast each month.
Listening back to the archive is an interesting reflective act. Pick a random month and settle in for some deep listening.
Our output as artists and in particular presenters on Wave Farm depends on regular long form improvisations to which we have dedicated a considerable amount of time over recent months. We’ve consciously stripped back our instrumentation to just sax and guitar with none of our usual use of field recordings, electronics or code. Itinerant Mind this month epitomizes this. Comprised of edited parts of four improvisations that together extend over four and a half hours this mix is high pitched and intense…kind of “brittle” in it’s sonic qualities. A word used to describe our sound in a recent WIRE review.
We were joined again this month by guitarist Ross Oliver for “Morning/Nite” a live hour of improvised and distributed sonic exploration. Itinerant Mind in April was a live improvisation directly referencing our influences including Bachalard’s view of time, producing a work composed of paradoxical, disrupted and unrepeated sounds juxtaposed in a triangulated and tangled engagement. Tune into WGXC 90.7 FM Wave Farm at 11:00am each month on the first Saturday morning US Eastern time. https://wavefarm.org/wgxc/schedule/y1e2ta
It’s after two o’clock in the morning when I get offline – around 5:00pm in the UK, and 12:00pm the previous day in New York. The last thing I’d said was “I’m going to bed…” I feel strange. Not much I had planned meticulously over the previous days had played out. The samples and midi files I had tweeked responding to the agreed improvisational concept hadn’t felt or sounded the how I intended in the telematic swirl of our Wave Farm broadcast. What I’d heard as bells were manifested as string-like, the pianos shrill, not jazzy (brittle they said in a recent WIRE Review). The field recordings I typically use as textures seemed to be drowned out. The mix was chaotic and the screeching feedback inherent in our live work was there for much of the performance. The space I imagined leaving for the other performers had been replaced with an ambiguous noise I couldn’t yet decipher. Annie and Ross’s enthusiasm for what had transpired was puzzling. As we finished Annie had said it was one of our best performance. She liked the ways we’d listened to each other. What had they heard that I didn’t? A viable space must have been there I tell myself. We weren’t playing blindly, each isolated in our own bubble. As we’d played I felt in turn, a relaxed “go with the flow” vibe, anxious as things unfolded, focused as we struggled to reach some kind of sonic consensus that visited fleetingly as we progressed through the two hours online – then finally I let go – it was ok whatever transpired. At some points it all seemed to gel – like just prior to going live and then again at the very end, but as the broadcast had progressed the chaos reigned … normal for improvisers I tell myself…normal…but there is nothing normal about this space, this tangled engagement … the sound of artists 16,846 km communicating in real time through sound and deep listening.
Listen for yourself here…
This month’s Itinerant Mind was a live improvisation of three new durational soundscapes. All continue our recent experiments with new material and processes.
New York: 11:00am Saturday
Sydney: 3:00am Sunday
London: 4:00pm Saturday
We completed up our year long project “The Grid” with a soundscape totally comprised of recordings related to London created by Annie Morrad. Broadcast on Wave Farm This brings to a close the work we embarked upon for Project Anywhere.
Image: Annie Morrad (London)
This recording is taken from a year long exploration into the underbelly of a city. The intention was to investigate intriguing aspects of the city through journeys interspersed with chat. This focuses on the minutia and moments that happen whilst on the move including falling in love with strangers, tripping over unseen crisp packets, being shadowed by your own shadow, and popping into new venues. The voices heard are from Craig Clayton, Chila Kumari Burman, Mike Summer and Josie Monro and the general background London voices. The people interviewed represent the fabric of the city interwoven into the day to day adventure that makes up London.
More information about Project Anywhere can be found here: projectanywhere.net
December’s Itinerant Mind
is titled “Resounding Chonging”
the most participatory work we have done to date to the extent that Annie and Ian don’t actually play on this month’s program which follows the format of the Resounding Beijing
workshop we conducted in 2016.
The broadcast offers insights into the sonic landscape of Chongqing, China’s hidden megacity through the outcomes of a sound mapping workshop conducted as part of mad.lab, a unique intensive studio that utilises mapping as a research methodology to create urban narratives through experimentation, observation, story-telling, journeys, film, and audio-visual recordings.
Located in remote South West China the city is a radically transforming urban environment that is constantly being remade anew at a frenetic and challenging pace.
The image is a detail of a soundmap by UNSW Art & Design student WanYi Lao.
Field recordings by thirty-three young media artists and designers working across a range of disciplines and practices including but not limited to sound art, installation, interaction design, sculpture, photography and graphic design are presented here as one of the three final installments of the Project Anywhere
program we have pursued throughout 2018.
All the recordings in the mix, except the introductory and final compositions by Niko Plaskas
, were recorded at, or en-route, to fourteen locations across Chongqing on December 3 2018. Soundmaps were drawn at each location and an interactive sound map has been developed by Luke Hespanhol
and exhibited recently at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (SFAI).
A Weixin article (in Chinese) published by SFAI can be accessed here.
Participants and (locations) included:
Luhan Lin, Siqi Liu (Daping), Grace Chaplin, Joan Shin (Fotuguan), WanYi Doris Lao, Angela Xinyi Zhou (Eling), Jang-un Lee, Peier Yu (Shapingba), Yuxin Huang, Manxiu Lyu, Leidan Zhu (Hongqihegou), April Xinyuan Chen, Wendy Yuandi Cao (Huanxin), Kathy Veloso, Monika Murata (Liziba), Zhipeng Xie, Xiezhi Peng,
Yinni Hou, Xiaoran Xu, DeVanté Carpenter (Longtoushi), Jasmine Hall, Rabeea Soomro, Jingwen Ou, Kang Xue (Xiaoshiza), Ming Zhu, Yiqiu Zhou (Zhengjiayuanzi), Nicholas Glascott, Niko Plaskas (Wulidan), Moe Qashlan, Annalise Ifield, Erin Peixuan Mao (South Square), Mika Yuncong Liu, Yanting Zhan, Danni Fu (Yuanjaigang)
mad.lab’s project partners include: UNSW Art & Design, Design Lab (University of Sydney), Priestman Architects (Chongqing), CQubed (Chongqing), Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, DFAT (New Colombo Plan), Dimensions Art Centre (Chongqing).
The November, December, and the upcoming January 2019 broadcasts of Itinerant Mind are completely devoted to concluding our work on The Grid for Project Anywhere. We will post about and discuss each program separately beginning here.
The urban focus of The Grid has been centred on three very different urban conurbations London, Sydney and Chongqing while the outcomes of the project have been broadcast on Wave Farm WGXC 90.7 FM in New York. Each of these three final Project Anywhere broadcast’s has one of these cities as its sonic focus
November’s iteration of Itinerant Mind begins the triology with Sydney and the proposed emphasis on the drone as a sonic form.
In our collection collecting and broadcasting of material for the Project Anywhere work “The Grid” we have for the most part kept the material separate in that it has not been mixed in any way – just played as raw data, drones, field recordings, conversations and improvisations.
As this project draws to a close, the November broadcast “Project Anywhere (DroneMix)” marked the first of several where our Project Anywhere content taken from the cities and streets of Sydney, Chongqing and London is coalesced into a whole work in itself. Although you will hear material from all three sites throughout the emphasis in this mix is the drone – the Sydney component of The Grid project.
For more info on this project visit: https://www.projectanywhere.net/the-grid/
Over the time Morrad+McArthur have worked together, we have accumulated a huge archive of recorded online interactions and improvisations. Although in producing Itinerant Mind each month we have sometimes included fragments of our conversations and other incidental moments, much of what happens in and between the improvisations is not used or is “curated out”.
Our broadcast for October 2018 “The things we left out” was a dense sound collage that mashes together layers of previously discarded or left out edits, conversations – often around making plans, discussing strategy, trying to connect, mistakes or other malfunctions.
This is juxtaposed alongside or layered over new improvisations and drones for Project Anywhere, parts of our recent album, and excerpts from Annie’s recent Mansions of the Future performance “ Reaching Zero” with General Practice co-founder Nick Simpson. Others who make brief appearances in the mix include our regular guests Fouad el Baidouri and Ross Oliver.
Direct link to the archived broadcast.
Have you checked out Wave Farm? Residencies, artist experiments with broadcast media, a study centre, Transmission Arts and Experimental Sound programming around the clock, a Media Arts Grants program – it’s pretty cool.
May 19 we are on at 11:00am Eastern US time with our monthly program Itinerant Mind. This month is a mix titled “Different Rooms”.
Check out the Standing Wave Radio Scheduling for Saturday here and the WGXC Schedule here.
This month’s Itinerant Mind draws on and highlights the different facets of our research and practice bringing together our Project Anywhere program with spoken word pieces from London about London, and field recording from China and Sydney, telematic improvisation, a more refined version of the composition Restless (we played a very raw telematic version last month), and some rhythmic pieces we have begun working on.
You can listen back to the broadcast here…
This mix of the Morrad+McArthur composition “Restless“ was recorded live over the internet and aired on Wave Farm radio Saturday April 18 2018. The video was cut for our contribution to a symposium of artistic process and practice at Bath Spa University. The symposium is staged simultaneously with the exhibition Documents, Alternatives (#3) at BSAD gallery at Bath Spa University, which is open to the public 20th April – 1st May 2018. The exhibition and symposium are part of the Alternative Document, a project by Dr. Angela Bartram, Associate Professor and Head of Arts Research, at University of Derby.