Mobile Radio

art project by Sarah Washington & Knut Aufermann

BARROW June 2012

June 30, 2012 by Mobile Radio

Octopus Collective live broadcast to Lisbon from Peel View House in Barrow Park

The Octopus Collective is a Sound Arts and Music organisation based in Barrow, Cumbria in the UK, with its HQ in the former park keepers house in Barrow public park. Since 2009 we have delivered the FON Festival of music and sound arts, and a programme of commissions and education projects, working with artists from the USA, Europe and Japan including Mobile Radio, Faust, Richard Youngs, John Wall, AGF, Hildur Gudnadottir and others. Our interest in broadcast arts has led to collaborations with Tetsuo Kogawa, Haco, and an ongoing project with Mobile Radio who performed at our first festival in 2009.

For this commission we carried out a radio hacking workshop with the Octopus Collective Hacking Group, followed by a collective radio performance streamed live to the radio art festival RadiaLx 2012 in Lisbon, and finally a drone-based concert for assorted players around the building.













The hacking workshop needed to be short and sweet, as we only had half a day to get each person equipped with an interesting-sounding instrument to perform upon for the radio broadcast in the afternoon. Luckily, everyone was able to bring along an old or cheap radio (or two) which they didn’t mind dismantling. After a bit of trial and error short-circuiting the electronic components, each radio was able to make a range of tones, squealing, hissing or crackling sounds. Knut then conducted the group in a simple improvisation involving tuning the radios in and out of a home transmission frequency which broadcast radio feedback, and this was interspersed with solo spots on the newly discovered circuit-bent sounds








The radio show became an audio tour of Peel View House, led by Andrew Deakin. Each room was visited in turn to experience whatever brand of sonic exploration lay therein. When the hacking workshop room was reached, the group performed their mighty improvisation, before the roving microphone moved on to explore the basement where a percussion duo was taking place. Andrew narrated the tour of the work going on all over the house, including a touching account of his own audio obsessions during an examination of the noise-making objects crammed up to the rafters in his workroom. Throughout the hour-long show, pauses were made to play extracts from a few previous Octopus commissions by various visiting artists, and live backgrounds were supplied by tugging on a string at the radio desk which was attached to a guitar-string contact mic contraption hanging out of the window, made by Glenn Boulter – thanks also to Glenn for some of the photos on this page






The improvised drone concert featured action in all the various rooms and the performers were invited to move around the house to find other people to play with. The ancient harmonium in the music room provided a ready-made drone machine, and the most notable sonic landscape was supplied by John Hall’s set-up where he performed on violin, bastardised turntables, self-made records and assorted objects

KINHEIM-KINDEL June 2012

June 7, 2012 by Mobile Radio

We staged Vinosonic 3 at the Weingartenfest of Rita and Rudolf Trossen. The flyer stated: “…für jeden Wein eine eigene Klangwelt…” (for each wine its own soundworld)








We borrowed the title (with permission) from the 2009 Chicago event Vinosonic, where wines were matched with acousmatic pieces. Knut sent over a piece to be played there as it neatly coincided with our own plans to pair wine with sound.
In our events we play short improvised pieces for specific Mosel wines. We taste with the audience and that sets the mood for a short tribute to each wine. Then the winemaker Rudolf Trossen entertains the audience with tales about life, the universe and the wines. This time the audience complained that the music was too short…
Above photos by Yvonne Schwemer-Scheddin





The Mosel with its vineyards and a splendid table to play on by Aaron Scheuer, whose workshop can be seen directly across the river in Kinheim






In the wine hall there was an exhibition of paintings and objects from Eike Gall and various pieces of furniture made from wine barrels by Aaron of Ragit

As this event was at the winery, we played only Trossen wines. These were:
2007 VON DER LAY Riesling Spätlese trocken
2011 TROSSEN ROT ZERO unfiltered and without sulphur
2004 PYRAMIDE Riesling Spätlese feinherb
2008 VON DER LAY Riesling Spätlese fruchtig
2006 VON DER LAY Riesling Spätlese fruchtig

COLOGNE May 2012

May 29, 2012 by Mobile Radio

The Academy of Media Arts in Cologne – KHM – invited us to present a seminar on Mobile Radio and international radio art.
Their lecture programme is varied and very interesting, as they manage to attract pioneers of early electronic and experimental music. Historically Cologne has played a hugely important role in the development of these fields.


Snapshot by Echo Ho

NANTES May 2012

May 3, 2012 by Mobile Radio

We were invited by Jet FM to the SONOR festival, co-organised with Histoires d’Ondes. The opening was topped by an on-air discussion about radiophonic creation held at the University of Nantes, in which we spoke about the Radia network and radio art in the UK









The next evening we presented an overview of the work of Radia by introducing one minute radio clips from each of the 22 stations in the current production cycle. The way Radia functions is by inviting member stations to offer specially made radio art pieces in turn which are broadcast in the same week by each station around the world. There was much interest from the Jet FM team, who are committed to “La création radiophonique”
The venue for our presentation was POL’n which has a special atmosphere – it is a former theatrical costumier’s workshop








We took the opportunity to drop by at the Jet FM studio, where we joined in another discussion. It is the most tranquil radio station we have ever visited!






Anne-Laure Lejosne took care of technical matters, Loïc Chusseau kept a steady hand on the rudder and the discussions were moderated by Pascal Massiot












We were interested in the protests against the new airport in Nantes. Some protesters had been on hunger strike for 23 days when we attended the demonstration. Sometimes 400 tractors turn out for regular disruptions of the city centre alongside cows and sheep… There are expected to be escalating clashes with the extremely scary looking robo-police who are menacingly posted throughout the quiet streets

LONDON May 2012

May 1, 2012 by Mobile Radio

Imagine a radio station

We were delighted to be invited to play at the 10th birthday party of Resonance 104.4FM and to celebrate with many of our old pals from the station. The event was held at Corsica Studios and as you’d expect, the rest of the bill featured an unclassifiable line-up:
BOB DRAKE & KAVUS TORABI
THE HAUNTOLOGICAL ORCHESTRA (feat. Johny Brown, Kay Grant, Art Terry)
KINNIE THE EXPLORER
CAROLE FINER & TOM PALEY
CHIPS FOR THE POOR
FRANK KEY vs LEPKE B (See above, in rehearsal)
BERMUDA TRIANGLE TEST ENGINEERS
We skanked to the close in the warm embrace of the 50/50 SOUND SYSTEM.
Thanks to all for a wonderful London party, the creative spirit was palpable