Sunday, 21. August 2011, 23:03 - 23:59, Ö1


A  Sampler of Recent Canadian Radio Art

compiled by Anna Friz

1) “Chaud a cold night in 2011” by Martine H. Crispo (2011)

3) “RadioRoam” (2007) by Stephen Kelly and Eleanor King

3) “Private Telephone 1981 (Compressed)” by Andrea-Jane Cornell (2011)

4) “RUN” by Tomas Phillips and s* (2011)

5) “The Bodhi Tree” by Debashis Sinha (2011)

For Kunstradio’s focus on Canadian radio art in summer 2011, we have invited the artist Anna Friz to compile an overview of new productions and projects. This is what she has come up with:

A  Sampler of Recent Canadian Radio Art

“It would be foolish to try to make many definitive statements about contemporary Canadian radio art, but it is fair to say that most radio art in Canada happens on independent or improvised airwaves. Public radio offers few corners for unfettered artistic expression, but a healthy campus/community radio sector (meaning: independent, not-for-profit, listener-supported, volunteer programmed radio) allows for all sorts of shenanigans in the studio, late at night or in the middle of the day. Independent stations in Montreal, Kingston, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and other cities are regular participants in Art's Birthday and the Eternal Network, often partnering with artist-run centres, and provide fertile ground for experiments by emerging and established artists alike. Artists have been pulling radio out of the studio and into more intimate venues as well, using small circuits and transmitters to occupy the airwaves however temporarily.

Most of the artists in this program have spent significant time in independent radio stations making interesting sounds (with the exception of s*, who has only recently arrived on the planet, but who was drawn down to Earth during a meteorite shower when it was mesmerized by the forward scatter of radio signals). Two of the works were created live on air, while the others are deeply informed by radiophony as bodily experience, or as metaphor. Electricity is channelled as transmissions banal and transcendent are sought; bodies are encountered, voices resound.”

(Anna Friz)
1) “Chaud a cold night in 2011”
by Martine H. Crispo (2011)


Since 1994, CHAUD POUR LE MONT-STONE, a radio program on CKUT FM in Montreal, has served as a sound laboratory where everything happens live. It is pure live radio – nothing hidden, anything goes. Host Martine H. Crispo jams solo or with invited guests, using any and all objects at hand – analogue machines, digital equipment, homemade circuits, recorded frequencies and radio
microphones. For listeners who don’t appreciate her radio art, Martine has a fabulous voice for reading public announcements.

This piece is a live jam featuring sounds from circuit-bent toys, photodiodes, and Martine H. Crispo’s laptop.

2) “RadioRoam”
by Stephen Kelly und Eleanor King (2007)



“Radio Roam” is a radio transmission installation work. It uses many radios installed in the gallery space, each tuned to a different frequency on the FM dial. The audio signal "jumps" from one radio to another, creating a surround-sound experience for the gallery visitor. It is intended that the transmitted audio blend and bleed into other high power FM stations, to create an ever changing collage of radio sounds, in real time.

Stephen Kelly created the “roaming” transmission, building a circuit that would automatically change the transmitter's broadcast frequency.  Using a motion detector, activity within the gallery space would trigger the custom circuit to randomly choose a new spot on the dial.

Eleanor King composed the audio signal that was transmitted. Using only recorded samples of her voice and noises of the mouth, the track is programmed with a digital drum machine, creating repetitive and rhythmic cycles of vocal sounds.

3) “Private Telephone 1981 (
by Andrea-Jane Cornell (2011)


“Cleaning the inside of an antique secretary dresser that was given to me, I came across a cassette tape wedged under one of its little drawers. Written on the label of the cassette in blue fountain pen was: "Private", "telephone 1981" on side A, and "God!" on side B.

I initially broadcast the cassette tape during an overnight program on CKUT FM in Montreal, and mixed in different musical selections. Because the cassette tape was resting on a magnet when i found it, there are a lot of glitches, pops and audio cut out.

There is something distinctly tragic about these conversations which are comprised of 4 voices recorded on a telephone answering machine. The first recorded exchanges are between a younger woman and much older man who calls to inform her that he is "safely in bed" in an unfeeling, distant and defeated tone. The second set of conversation is between an older woman and a middle aged "business" man whose conversations allude to a sexual relationship and a planned rendez-vous gone sour. Awkward pauses, giggles and sighs populate their exchanges which move towards the woman talking about being ill and how she told her doctor that her corpse was going to be "the healthiest corpse in the morgue. "Shortly after this comment there is the sound of phone hanging up and then the sound until the end of the cassette tape is just a vacuous static filled drone.

I performed ‘Private Telephone 1981’ in the cadre of the second edition of ‘Das Kleine Field Recording Festival’ using field recordings, a turn table and record with the recording of a heartbeat, pitchshifter and delay pedals, and then finally recorded the piece in one take as an improvisation in CKUT's production studio. This is a condensed version of the original 30-minute recording."

(Andrea-Jane Cornell)
4) “RUN”
by Tomas Phillips and s* (2011)


Crafted as part of a project exploring hueman rhythms of silence and movement on planet Earth, RUN layers binaural recordings taken from the running body of s* with abstracted sound delved from wave manipulation by Tomas Phillips. A full exploration into rhythmic meditations of the hueman body will be released in early 2012 on IO SOUND.

5) “The Bodhi Tree”
von Debashis Sinha


“The Bodhi Tree” is an audio work centered around an exploration of the Buddha’s struggle to attain enlightenment. It is a recreation of his experience as he sat beneath the tree, from his re-imagined thoughts, to the natural world surrounding him as he sat in the forest, to the sight of his skin and the sound of his blood flowing. The work is a re-telling of the Buddha’s quest, filtered through the artist’s own personal experience growing up in/between cultures as a second generation Canadian artist. In the retelling, Sinha strives to become a mediator, a diviner who struggles to tune into the ether of history and myth and share it through his own experience. This process of re-imagination and abstraction of his heritage into his work is one of the central themes of Sinha’s creative output.

All sound and text: Debashis Sinha
Text read by: Maxime Desmons