Soundscapes, activists and seniors

Today was learning time; learning how to make a transmitter, soldering irons and all, learning about the categories that make up Radio Art, trying to fathom out who are the strangers in the room for seven of us know each other from Up Your Street, and keeping tolerant and cool when needy individuals find their place on earth at the expense of others’ time in the Tate recording suite. See you never know who’ll turn up on a course.

Reclaim The Waves is a Radio Art recording workshop based course exploring seniors’ interactions with the ever-changing built environment (What again?). It’s free at Tate Britain.

The first part of the first day’s morning was an introduction to a whole new language and behaviour all to do with radio as a communication channel using sound: the deliberate corruption and distortion of sound and speech, sound as commands, neglected noises, the global recognition and sharing of bodily noises and more. The group today will do homework recording noises and people-speech which will be edited. Afterwards the collected montage of sound will be the medium to express dissatisfaction or otherwise with the erosion of river paths and the constant changing London horizon. The public will be able to access the group’s creative work through the home- made radio transmitters and fm channelled radios. Some suggested a title as “Permanency and Transience”. We’ll see.

There are at least two events coming up in London all to do with the ageing population and how the ever-changing landscape around them can be the environment for arts, the place to interact with art and blah blah. Oh did I say that? By the first tea break today I had expressed how Radio Art would mean zilch to anyone I know. You need an arts scene first. Of course Brighton the place to be would be open to experiments with participants from a young white community. Broadstairs the same and then there was Grimsby.

The vivid experience I have about sound is from the work done by singer P.J. Harvey, and of course Bjork.


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