The audio archived is a recording of a radio show on Resonance FM 104.4 that took place on 13th February 2007 between artists Sean Dawson, Rob Flint & Jo Mitchell and was an event recorded and broadcast just prior to the one-off re-enactment of Concerto for Voice & Machinery performed at the ICA on 20th February 2007.
Rob writes: I wanted Jo to do the radio talk because when we talked about it we seemed to get distracted onto something else to do with music, sound or whatever, and I didn't really grasp it. Live radio is a great way of focussing attention, and the event sounded very appropriate for ResonanceFM, so we thought I'd find out more about it on-air. Sean's involvement was interesting too, as I knew that experimental sound and music was important to his work as a painter.
'Live-ness' is hard to define in a era of recording and playback media, but making radio without the possibility of editing or revision always feels freshest to me. It was interesting to effect this kind of spontaneity in relation to Jo's 'Concerto ...' project, which seemed to be about the impossibility of trying to replay, rewind, re-stage and re-assess a past event.
Thanks to Richard Thomas at Resonance for finding a slot for us.
Conceived of as a platform for a discussion about the then forthcoming re-enactment at the ICA, it was above and beyond that, an opportunity for 3 artists with related interests in experimental music to get-together to exchange ideas, play some sounds and see where the conversation took us. As a complete novice to such broadcasting experiences, I was at first (after Rob's suggestion to do a radio show) inclined to pre-record the session - building in control and structure through the editing procedures in order to probably, "over-determine" the narrative and how the conversation would be understood and perceived by the audience. An ego unprepared for loss of control and potential for "failure" or "rupture" live-on-air. Rob being more experienced in this department having done many shows on Resonance in the past, advised (and wisely so) that in fact the ego only takes control even more once given the seeming security of the editors control panel and that the point of completion and "absolute meaning" is never arrived at. The only purposeful way forward was to go live, to surrender oneself to the natural dynamic and flow of live broadcast just as the live performance of Concerto II could only exist asanother one-off live event, again.
Concerto for Voice & Machinery, 1984 ICA (a clip from original bootleg recording or as back-drop to some of the discussion)
Einsturzende Neubauten, Kalte Sterne '81 from Strategies Against Architecture
Fad Gadget, Collapsing New People (Berlin Mix with EN)
Cabaret Voltaire, Nag Nag Nag 1979
EN, Three Thoughts (Devils Sect) 1991 written for La La La Human Steps
Boyd Rice/Non, Arka 2001 (from Ambient Works)
Fennesz, Only The Poor Have To Travel, 2002
Earth (mixed by Autechre), Coda Maestoso in F Flat, 2004 from Legacy of Dissolution
Wolfeyes, Burned Mind 2004 from Burned Mind
EN, Grundstuck 2004, from Perpetuum Mobile
Sunn O))) & Boris, NLT 2006 from Altar
EN, Vicki, 2006 Jewel Download from Supporters Site
The above tracks represent what maybe can be seen as the idealised "musical" structure and soundtrack (happily relinquished to the organic flow of thought and talk) to the radio show; they would be interludes that would punctuate the discussion, give context to music interest in the Concerto and act as back-up in case the verbal side of our interaction experienced a lull, hit a dead-spot or dried up momentarily. It is a wonderfully indulgent thing to do - to talk live on radio about something one is interested in and passionate about and then to have the added bonus of embellishing ones ideas and personality with a well-crafted and deliberate repertoire of "songs" that is methodically honed towards that perfect atmosphere and structure. A night spent trawling through the CD archives in preparation, the excitement as one creates connections between tracks, that can somehow be made to substantiate a certain narrative and can weave just that specific magic for that occasion. A way of re-forming ones identity and re-affirming ones cultural markers. This process took me back to the (slightly) long-gone romance of listening to Radio Luxembourg back in the late 70's/ early 80's - usually in the car or occasionally at home when the fix for new music beyond the record-collection needed updating, with these mysterious and disconnected voices giving rise to burgeoning musical tastes and a desired, (sub)cultural identity. It didn't matter that all of the selected tracks didn't get played on Resonance but that they performed as a notional framework and that they exist now as an index, in this context. And is this context the recorded radio session acts as archived documentation, as an index to an event simultaneously about to happen and already having happened and as a free-floating subjective & creative discourse.
Jo Mitchell 2007