We use Mixlr and Skype for our live broadcasts via Wave Farm and more regularly to improvise between Australia and the UK. Our live page can be found here. Back in rehearsal/recording mode, we have just been exploring two new compositional propositions both exploring to an extent the potential of incorporating AI derived content into our telematic improvisations.
In other news and despite the typo on our name – our album “Shadowed” made number five in this month’s Rays Jazz at Foyles top ten list in Jazzwise magazine (the UK’s biggest selling jazz monthly and the leading English language jazz magazine in Europe). Neat!
We (Annie Morrad and Ian McArthur) live at opposite ends of the planet. We compose and play collaborative live performances through the use of digital software Mixlr and Skype .
Mixlr is an Internet radio platform through which McArthur broadcasts electronic sounds, field recordings and live mixing. Morrad plays live improvised alto and tenor saxophone against these. Skype enables the artists to create networked live improvisational performances but also enriches their work through its inherent defective elements. Skype produces effects such as time delays, glitches, feedback and distortion. These problematic sonic artifacts have been widely discussed in discourse about telematics and live performance in terms of latency and the challenge it presents to artists. However, in the live improvisations of Morrad and McArthur these otherwise undesirable and unpredictable ‘accidents’ are all utilised. The use and extension of prior technical or experiential understandings to produce sound art creates the potential for new knowledge and language.
When playing a live instrument with the digital a unique is formed. Whereas digital sound is electronically mediated, the traditional instrument is forged from established understandings of music shaped within a Western scalic use of wavelengths. Playing saxophone requires physical responses formed from a reaction in the breath through a bamboo or plastic reed and fingers on a set of metal disks. Expanding such a technical device by re-contextualising or extending its intrinsic dimension to re-arrange or reinterpret existing concepts can communicate, re-communicate and delineate new positions on established tropes or generate novel sonic concepts. In live performance and improvisation the networked digital environment created by Skype produces an uncertainty about what is coming next. A human player creates rhythms that one can predict but live digital output is inconstant. This exciting and emergent aspect manifests as interference, feedback, glitches, frozen screens, delays, echoes repeating back, and environmental sound sent from the original source.
A frozen screen can be a nuisance, but also provides space within the piece – a moment for reflection on what was heard. Glitches provide a textural palette of information. As an enlivening element the delays and repeating back enable a complex sonic dialogue through which the artists can respond. The repetition of continuous sounds alters over time and can be augmented on each repetition, creating complex, momentary expanded improvisational spaces.
Reclaimed is a mixtape of earlier Morrad+McArthur material on Soundcloud. It collects in a new mix, material from our first album and a selection of longer ambient and field recording based tracks as well as a few more recent tracks that don’t appear on our albums.
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.
Itinerant Mind has a new timeslot on Wave Farm
. Hear us three hours earlier from this month – We’ll be playing our mix of improvised telematic noise at 11:00am Eastern US time every third Saturday of the month. That’s good news for listeners in Australia.
Listen back to this month’s broadcast of Itinerant Mind on WaveFarm Radio WGXC90.7 FM by Morrad+McArthur which aired on April 21. “Telemosis” takes in live and telematic improvisations, work related to our involvement with the most recent Documents, Alternatives (#3) symposium and exhibition in Bath, and some of our ongoing Project Anywhere research outputs.