R A D I O R A D I O
RADIO RADIO is a sixteen-part series of forty-five minute broadcasts
which asks an honest question: Is there really a place on radio for
experimentation? Twenty people immersed in radio, sound and
performance (Prix Italia winners, Prix Futura winners, SONY winners
and platinum recording artists as well as sound poets, unconventional
radio producers, audio artists, critically savvy DJs and writers on
the social and aesthetic margins) offer, in their own ways, answers
to this question through conversation and the presentation of their
work. Things called "voice bumpers" frame and counterpoint larger
discussions throughout the series. Ironic versions of the music
bumpers in NPR-style magazine programs, these voice bumpers combine
found sound with conversation fragments from interviews with
important radio critics, scholars and inventive practitioners (Allen
Weiss, Kersten Glandien, Kenneth Goldsmith, Lauren Goodlad, Mark
Percival, Himan Brown, Tim Crook, Matthew Finch, David Chesworth,
Sonia Leber, Simon Elmes and Jo Tacchi) to create a listening
experience more restless and engaging than it is wallpaper.
Radio Radio evolves out of two other recent projects: a
BBC-broadcast, radio art magazine called ENGAGED, and a U.S.-based
nationally-distributed literary series called LINEbreak. It combines
the production style and innovative editing of ENGAGED, the in-depth
interviewing and host presence of LINEbreak, and material with an
international scope. The series debuted on 104.4 Resonance FM in
London, England, in 2003 and will be heard on stations and networks
around the world until 2005. The series was produced, researched and
edited by Martin Spinelli.
PROGRAM 1: GREGORY WHITEHEAD
Gregory Whitehead has created remarkable sound for radio, the stage
and the gallery for over twenty years. His more than one-hundred
radio plays, essays and performances notably include Dead Letters,
Pressures of the Unspeakable (winner of a Prix Italia) and Shake
Rattle Roll (winner of a Prix Futura). He has written extensively on
the unique qualities of "radio art" and co-edited the seminal radio
criticism anthology Wireless Imagination.
PROGRAM 2: STEPHEN ERICKSON
Stephen Erickson has produced perhaps the best documentaries heard on
radio in the past twenty-five years and garnered numerous awards in
the process (most significantly a Grammy for his audio work on Ken
Burns's series The Civil War). His Radio Radio program features
samples from his programs Forbidden Voyage, The Exile of Braten
Braten Bach, Airworks and The Blue Wall of Silence: the New York
PROGRAM 3: JENNIFER AND KEVIN MCCOY
Jennifer & Kevin McCoy are Brooklyn-based artists who cycle, repeat and
morph pop-culture tropes
and images. Their series of microradio installations conflate
gallery patrons with pirate radio listeners
while ironically tweaking the language of
novels like Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland and the
corporate-promo-speak of the web.
In New York City their work has been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
P.S.1, Postmasters Gallery, The New Museum and other venues.
PROGRAM 4: CRIS CHEEK
cris cheek is a sound poet, performer, curator and SONY Award winner.
He has collaborated on the Slant series
of CDs and has created soundtracks (or languagetracks)
for choreographers such as Michael Clarke, Kirstie Simpson,
Lisa Nelson, Patricia Bardi, Mary Prestidge, Sue MacLennan and Julyen Hamilton.
In his Radio Radio program
cheek discusses "performance writing"
and plays/performs "Public Announcement," "How Can this Hum Be Human" and other pieces.
PROGRAM 5: CHARLES BERNSTEIN
Charles Bernstein is a poet, critic and formerly the David Gray Chair
of Poetry and Letters at SUNY Buffalo, now professor of poetry at
the University of Pennsylvania. He is Executive Director of the Electronic
Poetry Center and (perhaps most famously) he edited with Bruce
Andrews The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book, which gave rise to its own
genre of writing. On his Radio Radio program he performs selections
from his book With Strings, his opera Shadowtime about the life of
Walter Benjamin, and "Dear Mr. Fanelli."
PROGRAM 6: JOHN OSWALD
John Oswald's 1989 CD Plunderphonics spawned a new category of music which
samples not just pop songs, but their cultural contexts as well. Since then Oswald
has refined his "electroquoting" on the CDs Greyfolded, Electrax, Discosphere, Plexure
and the recently released Plunderphonics box set. In his Radio Radio program
he talks about the legal machinations that have surrounded his work
and plays a range of examples.
PROGRAM 7: BOB COBBING
Bob Cobbing was a fixture on the London literary scene from the late 1940s
until his death in 2002. Despite being the publisher of Writers Forum,
having produced hundreds of books of poetry and pieces of visual art,
and more-or-less inventing the concept of the "sound text," he made remarkably
few inroads into either institutionalized art culture or academe.
His Radio Radio program is his last broadcast interview.
PROGRAM 8: CHRISTOF MIGONE
Christof Migone is a composer, performer and radio artist who heads
the Centre for Radiotelecommunication Contortions (CRTC) where the
voice of his radio body hems, haws, slurps, clicks, breaths, contorts,
cuts, modulates and masticates. His CDs include South Winds, Undo
and Radio Folie/Culture. On Radio Radio he plays selections from
his other CDs Hole in the Head, Vex and The Death of Analogies.
Michael Basinski sounds the poetry in "chart junk," the printers' ding-bats,
wing-dings and odd typefaces found in any casual scroll through your
word processor's font list. For more than twenty years he has performed choral
voice collages and sound texts with his intermedia performance ensemble
The Ebma; The Ebma has released two LPs: SEA and Enjambment.
PROGRAM 10: SIANED JONES & CRIS CHEEK
Sianed Jones & cris cheek are poets, musicians and multi-media artists
who have collaborated on the Slant series of CDs and performances.
For Radio Radio they present and discuss several versions of their book/CD/performance
project Navigations in Sound and discuss how in-situ studies of ethnopoetics
have contributed to their own performance styles.
PROGRAM 11: PIERS PLOWRIGHT
Piers Plowright worked for thirty years as a BBC producer of dramas,
documentaries and innovative features before setting out as an independent
producer. During this time his elegant and hybridized programs have won
several SONY Awards and three of radio's most significant award the
Prix Italia. On Radio Radio he talks about the evolution and the future
of the medium and plays samples of his work from throughout his career.
PROGRAM 12: PAUL D. MILLER, a.k.a. DJ SPOOKY
Paul D. Miller, A.K.A. DJ Spooky, is a writer, visual artist and platinum-selling
recording artist. His mixes blend black radio and cartoon soundtracks with
vintage recordings of Thomas Edison and manage a rare combination of street
credibility and critical sensibility. In his program he discusses "the mix"
as culture and as metaphor.
PROGRAM 13: LAWRENCE UPTON
Lawrence Upton is the curator of London's long-running Subvoicive Poetry
series. Upton has been making poetry for nearly four decades and works
in a variety of writing genres. He divides his time between London,
where he was born, and the west of Cornwall and Scilly, where his family
originates. His most recent collection, Wire Sculptures, is published
by Reality Street Editions.
PROGRAM 14: JANE DRAYCOTT & ELIZABETH JAMES
Jane Draycott & Elizabeth James have been collaborating on radio poetry
projects for several years. Their work has been heard on the BBC and on stations
and networks around the world. Draycott's latest collection Tideway
(Two Rivers Press) is a collaboration with artist Peter Hay. A sound
montage made during the writing of the book features in the Summer 2002
issue of Boomerang UK. James's poetry has been published by Vennel
Press, Form Books and Writers Forum (the latest being Recognition, 1999).
Her other collaborative projects include: Neither the One Nor the Other
with Frances Presley and 'Two Renga' with Peter Manson.
PROGRAM 15: BUFFFLUXUS
The BuffFluxus ensemble consisted of Matt Chambers, Rick Royer, Mark Peters,
Natalie Basinski and Mike Basinski at the time of this recording. Based
in Buffalo, New York, they have performed at venues throughout North
America and Europe. For their Radio Radio program they perform "Five
Minutes of Eternity," "Breath Song of the Soil Fungi" and "Shit Piece."
PROGRAM 16: BOB COBBING & LAWRENCE UPTON
Bob Cobbing & Lawrence Upton had worked together on Writers Forum for over thirty years
and had been collaborating sound and voice performers for nearly as long.
Together they produced the seminal sound-text anthology Word Score Utterance Choreography
and the pamphlet series Domestic Ambient Noise from which they perform during
their Radio Radio program.
These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial
and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to
the artists. © 2005. Used with permission of the artists. Distributed
UBU Collection; also archived at UBU <http://www.ubu.com/sound/radio_radio/> .