VS 17 (2013)
30 minute double sided cassette
Track Listing Cassette
Side A – Midnight Radio 1 or Part A
Side B – Midnight Radio 1 or Part A
Midnight Radio 1 or Part A
Recorded with radio-cassette Walkman in many different cities.
Seven or eight years ago I acquired a radio-cassette Walkman: a Sony TCM F59. Since then, whenever I go on a trip, I throw the Walkman into my suitcase and take it around with me. No matter what country I am in, upon my return to the hotel room, it has become a habit to listen to the radio into the late hours of the night. As soon as I snuggle into bed, I begin tuning the radio in search of a program I like. If I concentrate very hard at my fingertips, I can sometimes catch two or three frequencies at once and hear different languages overlap. Russian, Swedish, Arabic, Korean… there is no bigger joy than the moment when I begin to hear these languages that are foreign to me not as words but as sound. In these moments, I am wading in voices.
I always fall asleep doing this and so half the time, the radio is playing in my dreams. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up to the high-pitched beep of the test tone bouncing off the hotel room walls. In the mornings, I wake up to some unknown program or if the tuning is off, the result is static white noise. In a way, the radio is my substitute for sleeping pills.
For this Voice Studies, I have selected some of my favourite segments from my recordings. The sound is just as it had been recorded; no post production work has been done to it.
I am grateful to Michael Snow for giving me the cassettes of 2 Radio Solos just around the time I began using my TCM F59. 2 Radio Solos was recorded in a remote North Canadian cabin in the summer of 1980 by tuning into the shortwave radio frequencies around the world. For this piece, I instead took the radio to different countries and spun the sound together. If this practice of mine continues, a sequel (2 or Part B) is a likely scenario.
P.S. If the key to this composition is to listen to voices divorced of meaning, then this may not be as effective to the multilingualist who can understand many languages at once. I would like to somewhat apologetically acknowledge this in advance.
New York, April 1, 2013
Translated by Aiko Masubuchi