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The Pursuit is a mini album based on the radio session made for the visiting DJ Hour show Radio Row on WFMU. It compiles radiophonic pamphlets on professional goals and tips for successful careers.

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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

         

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
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