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Radio Row on WFMU

On Jan 17, I hosted one hour of radio on Radio Row, a new show on WFMU, run by the station music director Olivia Bradley-Skill. This hour featured new radio collages under the banner of career anxiety, show business tips, and self-help. Also, featuring listener calls, and other collages taken from the piece Second Hand Third Eye.

Listen here:

https://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/100282

People Like Us/Vicki Bennett is currently Hallwalls Artist in Residence at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, NY. This residency is a multi-tier project consisting of an onsite new film called Fourth Wall and a six-channel audio collage called First Person featuring readings from her co-authored book The Fundamental Questions. In parallel to the onsite exhibition, Vicki Bennett created an online archive of new micro-commissions from collaborators across the field of visual, audio, and textual art. These works respond to the themes of first person / the fourth and can be heard and seen on this WFMU page:

https://wfmu.org/playlists/ip

Featured Artists: Dina Kelberman, Buttress O’Kneel, Mark Hurst, Scott Williams, Irene Moon, Jasmin Blasco, Matmos, id m theft able, Sheila B, Ergo Phizmiz, Yon Visell, Porest, David Shea, Gregor Weichbrodt, Carlo Patrão, Tim Maloney, Gwilly Edmondez, Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly), People Like Us, Peter Jaeger, Ranjit Bhatnagar, Adriene Lilly, Micah Moses, Andrew Sharpley, Andie Brown, John Kilduff (Let’s Paint TV) & Hearty White.

Stills from “Fourth Wall” (2020) by People Like Us

For this project, I contributed with a 40-minute radio collage called Second Hand Third Eye that mixes themes related to self-image, consciousness, perception, existentialism, media theory, and extra-dimensions. The creative process for this piece started with a quick survey of academic literature anchored on selfhood and a compilation of terms orbiting the construct of self.*** This list of keywords was the starting point for creating a dedicated archive of over one thousand voice samples from radio and tv shows from the 1950s to the present day. Often contradictory, non-sensical, or meta-referential, these samples come together in a collective search for meaning, both local and cosmic. More info: wfmu.org/playlists/shows/95230

***The self, self-realization, self-fulfillment, selfhood, self-destruction, self-commentary, self-creation, self-evident, self-making, self-understanding, self-esteem, self-sacrifice, self-reliance, self-portrait, self-knowledge, self-determined, self-interest, self-defense, self-censorship, selfish, self-tracking, self-image, self-care, self-immolation, self-improvement, self-interest, self-reflection, self-harm, self-rule, self-management, self-expression, self-deification, self-defeat, self-propelled, self-deception, self-reference, self-perception, self-medication, self-injury, self-service, self-formation, self-criticism, self-canonization, self-restraint, self-mediation, self-transformation, skin and self, self-mourning, self-obsessed, self-overcoming, self-centered, self-killing, self-protection, self-annihilation, self-reliance, self-publishing, self-translation, self-photography, self-cultivation, self-regulation, self-control, self-organized, self-invention, solitary self, self-critique, self-development, self-institutionalization, self-reproduction, self-ownership, self-love, self-preservation, self-appreciation, self-made, self-criticality, self-mastery self-congratulation, self-insight, self-hate, self-aware, self-forgiveness, self-taught, self-wolf, self-governing, self-assessment, self-exploration, self-interpretation, self-education, self-inflicted, self-organization, self-model, self-build, self-paced, self-reproducing, self-institution, true-self, second-self, self-identity, self-sabotage, self-analysis, self-service, self-glorification, self-hypnosis, self-empowerment, self-impression, self in roman thought, self-evolving, self-healing, self-experience, self-employed, the younger self, the myth of the self, self-study, self-fulfilling, self-talk, self-design, self-discipline, self-confidence, self-imitation, self-massage, speaking of the self, song of myself, self as enterprise, self in late modernity, self and god, phenomenology of the self, the riddle of the self, online self, the Dostoevskian self, the natural history of the self, psychology of the self, rewriting the self, Kant’s theory of the self, immaterial self, the virtual self, false-self, hungry self, obligated self, the death and life of the self, beyond the self, measure yourself, the plural self, identity and self, know thyself, orienting the self, self and the afterlife, quantified self, animal self, mimetic self, the embodied self, early-self, global self, political selfie, from self to social, the allure of the self, thinking about one self, embattled self, the naked self, becoming myself, the state and the self, amoral self, fractal self, memory and the self, the modern self, digital self, pristine self, classical self, networked self, genes and self, saving democracy from itself, bifurcation of the self, life itself, how to represent yourself in court, editing yourself, deep-self, the self in the transcendental tradition, disorders of the self, enigmatic self, divining the self, traumatized self, fight yourself, privacy of self, giving account of oneself, the emergent self, the self and other, despite itself, boundaries of the self, the care of the self, the purloined self, minimal self, inner self, selfie of a nation, self-exile, not itself, other self, technologies of the self, the quest for the self.             

Hudson River fishermen heading out at dawn, Peter Lourie, 1998
Hudson River fishermen heading out at dawn, Peter Lourie, 1998

Last February 2020, I visited the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Trail in the Hudson River to make some field recordings of the environment surrounding the brackish tidal marsh. The Constitution Marsh is one of five large estuarine environments connected to the Hudson River and provides natural habit to several species of birds, fish, plants, and many vertebrate and invertebrate species. This wetland area is located on the east side of the Hudson, near Cold Spring, and is surrounded by the Hudson Highlands.

The soundscape above was recorded on a small hill overlooking the tidal marsh. It was a very windy day, so I sheltered the microphone between the rocky steps of the trail. The resulting recording captures the sounds of branches and dry leaves rustling in the wind, bird calls, and the sound of the Amtrak train on the distance with its characteristic horn. The marsh provides foraging, nesting, and resting habitat to more than 200 species of birds. However, this New York State Bird Conservation Area is still subject to a large conglomeration of human-made noises like the train and low flying airplanes.

Hiking trail at Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Photo Jessica Andreone.jpg

Inside a hollow tree, 2’14”. Feb 2020, download

The more pervasive sound in the area is the constant sound of airplanes. I tried to record the sound of a passing aircraft through the vibrating trunk of a tree by placing a microphone inside of a hollow tree. The airplane’s sound reverberating on the wooden walls resulted in an eerie drone sound.

Reeds, Water and Wind, 2’08”. Feb 2020, download

Phragmites australis, the common reed, is a non-native marsh plant spreading in many of the Hudson River wetlands. This plant forms fast-growing stands of stems, transforming the diversity of the habitat into a monoculture by crowding out native vegetation. Reeds introduce changes to the local microtopography, increase fire potential, decrease salinity, and outcompete plants. These changes have a ripple effect that ends up degrading the diversity of wetlands and coastal marshes and endangering wildlife. The Constitution Marsh Audubon Center dedicates its conservation efforts to the control and management of reeds in the area by using black geotextile material to flatten and cover patches of the vegetation. This method raises the temperature of the soil, killing the root system of the plant, allowing for the future growth of native vegetation.

Small brook flowing into the tidal marsh, Hudon River, 2’08”. Feb 2020, download

Carlo Patrão
*photos by the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center

Hudson River map

The February edition of The Wire magazine (issue 432) features the chart Waterfall as Metronome, composed of works inspired by the sight and sound of waterfalls including field recordings, on-site improvisation, sound installations, white noise, ethnographic work, and new-age interpretations of water, flow and the effects of negative ions. While putting together this list, I imagined a speculative history of music where compositions were not driven by metronome’s mechanical account of time, but by the continuous atemporal flow of a waterfall.

Waterfall as Metronome 15

Sarah HenniesGather (Category of manifestation)

Daniel Menche – Raw Fall (The Tapeworm)

Hafdis Bjarnadottir – North (Gruenrekorder)

Bill Fontana – Vertical Water (Whitney Museum)  

Peter Ablinger – Weiss / Weisslich 7b (Peter Ablinger)

Olivia Wyatt – The Pierced Heart and The Machete (Sublime Frequencies) 

Carlos Niño – Delightfulllll / Waterfall (feat. Iasos) (Leaving Records)

Francisco López – Tawhirimatea (No label)  

John Butcher- Close by, a waterfall (Confront)  

Annea LockwoodEnglewood Brook Falls, Palisades (Lovely)

Herman de Vries – Thema 1: bach (Artists Press Bern)

Micheal Pisaro – Still Life with Cicadas, Waterfall and Radu (Gravity Wave)

Ulahi and Eyo:bo – Sing At A Waterfall (Folkways) 

Paul Lloyd WarnerKipahulu Falls (MPI)

Steven FeldFlow like a Waterfall: The Metaphors of Kaluli Musical Theory (Yearbook for Traditional Music)

Voices of the Rainforest: A day in the life of Bosavi (2019), directed and produced by Steven Feld
Peter Ablinger at the Waterfalls of Krimml, Austria, recording Weiss/Weisslich 33, 1999
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