Sunday, April 29, 2007

radio across time zones

was wandering around copenhagen yesterday with two friends who i hadn't seen in a long time. that was enough of a treat in itself... finding the bar built out of stereos in the middle of a park was an added bonus. only one speaker actually transmitted any sound - an edgy but melodic indie/jazz song (but somehow palatable!) i thought for a moment this was all a jet lag induced hallucination, but no...the "landing bar" is very real, and very, very amazing. here's a picture of the back wall.

[update! i later learned this was just a temporary art installation (makes sense, in retrospect.) but this makes the fact that we stumbled upon it even more amazing...]

we also found some swans who must have been performing traditional danish swan dances, as we cheered them on. click on the photo to get a better look.

and all of this adventure was had last night, before the 33rd international features conference even started earlier today, at the danish radio house - DR BYEN. over the course of the day we listened to radio from russia, canada, holland, poland, australia, ireland and denmark, covering topics like songs about abilene, texas, and a boxer who was stabbed to death in the heart. my ears are full and my brain is over stimulated. now it's time for some dinner and a few expensive danish beers. (even the cheap beer's expensive.)

p.s. DR BYEN's a newly built behemoth of a building / media compound (deserves the all caps). it's truly stunning, and unfortunately so over budget in its construction that the danish radio management is closing down their documentary and feature departments / laying off quite a few producers. this is crushing news, and with 125 documentarians having descended from around the came at a strange time (announced last tuesday.) the situation could bode very, very badly for the future of these departments in other countries, and consequently the future of beautiful and important radio works.

sorry to end on such a downer. but i thought you should know.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

the old organ and the sea

so you've probably caught wind of the ghanaian postal workers cancelling stamps ditty, and we all know that elephants play a mean beethoven, but have you yet witnessed the greatness of the fluba (one of a kind tuba-sized flugel horn), or the exquisite tones of croatia's one-of-a-kind morske orgulje?

i suspect not. and hope you have a good chunk of time to spend at the
oddmusic website, which is devoted to celebrating...well...let's just say it's aptly named.

(the picture's of an aquaggaswack - just as you suspected.)

thanks to nthl for pointing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

moms on the radio

perhaps you've always wanted to honor your dear mother by producing an audio story inspired by or directly about her?

well producer
zak rosen (who keeps this blog) would like to give you just that chance. he's putting together a one-hour special for mother's day, and is looking for a few good 'mom stories' to round out the program. and not only will your story be aired on the radio, it'll be aired in detroit, on WDET. give zak a holler (soon) if you're game.

you should know that he's not able to pay for your story, but i sincerely hope that doesn't stop you from contributing. SHE'S YOUR MOM, FOR CHRISSAKES.

Monday, April 16, 2007


if you live near durham, NC, i hope you'll not pass up the chance to attend a fantastic-sounding event at the center for documentary studies. audio artist/radio producer karen michel has been asking strangers in two geographies - new york and north carolina - three questions: what do you live for? what would you die for? what would you kill for?

find out what people had to say on friday, april 20th, when she presents the answers to these questions at an audio presentation not only kicking off with BBQ, but followed by an evening of music. you can hear an interview about her live/die/kill project here.

and while it sounds like her audio piece is finished, she's still curious to know your answers to these questions. if you're so inclined, send her your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

not far from here

resonance-fm contributor and producer Martin Williams has put together what he describes as 'slightly rickety' website, but I've found it full of extremely solid audio work. You can hear excerpts from dozens of 30-90 minute documentaries, audio collages, radiophonic features, field recordings and interviews. There's everything from 'melancholy dada' to various artists' sonic ideas about 'home' to a hypnotizing radio rendition of Michael Lesy's book wisconsin death trip.

the only slightly rickety thing about the site is that you can't hear MORE of the audio...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

dollar storeys!

over at third coast festival hq we've just announced a new project, and hope tons of people will get involved. (nudge, adventurous reader of this blog.)

introducing...dollar storeys. here's how it works: we'll show you three items purchased randomly at a dollar store and you'll submit a 3 minute finished audio story directly inspired by one of the items. it's that simple. all the subsmissions will be posted (forever!) on the TCF site and four bucktales* will be chosen as the 2007 TCF shortdocs, which means producers of them will be invited to our conference in chicago this fall to present their work. besides those four we'll also be showcasing other fine submissions in various ways - like at public events and on the radio.

if you're a chicagoland resident all of this might sound familiar. that's because the project's a collaboration with the dollar store show, a monthly reading series in chicago. and it was THEIR (jonathan messinger's) idea, in the first place, to give people dollar store items to inspire stories of all stripes. so thanks to him for joining forces with us for this project, and thanks to YOU for giving it a try.

i know the term 'bucktales' is very silly, maybe even cringe-inducing. but we need at least one other way to refer to the stories. in the course of a few paragraphs, one can only use the words 'dollar storey' so many times...thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

sound camp

here's a camp experience probably unlike the ones you may remember. for one thing - it only lasts about two days. and it's centered around a series of boulders and joshua trees with a natural ampitheater living room and an adjoining kitchen. and it's BYOBJ (bring your own bug juice), along with five gallons of water. (an open venue for the communication and exchange of ideas) is teaming up with high desert test sites (a series of experimental art sites located along a stretch of desert communities) to offer this weekend getaway/ sound camp which takes place may 5-6 in the high desert above yucca valley, california. the goal is simply to explore sound in this large, open space. around 50-60 people will attend, and the cost is just $25.

registration opens april 9th and spots will likely fill up quickly. read more including how to sign up here. if i didn't have a direct conflict with dates and a different sort of sound camp, i'd try to pitch my tent right next to yours. so if you do make it - by all means, report back...