News from the Sonic Arts Network


Jaap Blonk at the Private View

Private View: 13 May

The Cut and Splice festival opened in impressive fashion with a stunning performance of Kurt Schwitters' Ursonate by the world's leading exponent, Jaap Blonk.

Concert 1: 22 May
Robert Ashley - The Wolfman
Peter Ablinger - IEAOV part 4
Mauricio Kagel – Acustica

You can still listen to the Hear and Now programme, featuring this concert and artist interviews at the Cut and Splice website.

Read a review of the concert here...

Concert 2: 29 May
Yasunao Tone – Paramedia Centripetal
Frank Bretschneider
Olaf Bender (Byetone)
Carsten Nicolai (alva noto)

Hear and Now will feature extracts from this concert on 11 June.

An interview with Yasunao Tone will available soon on The Wire website.

Read a review of the concert here...

Closing Event

The Cut and Splice festival will end with a performance of John Cage's Williams Mix, performed by Quartet Electronische and Langham Research Centre, at the Jerwood Space on Friday 3 June. This is also the last chance to see the gallery exhibition.


Octopus (Poulpe)
(experimental radio network)

Nantes based APO33 collective has been invited by 3 multi-media centres of the Centre Region in France (Bandits-mages/Bourges, Labomedia/Orléans, nUM-Esbat/Tours) to set up an experimental radio network: a system of audio streaming exchanges and a visual cartography of the network.

2 June
ATP Easy to Swallow
(live performance)
SEONE Club, London

An ear-bleeding night of noise curated by Russell Haswell and featuring Mark Stewart And The Mafia, Hecker + Yasunao Tone, Aphex Twin, whitehouse and more...

2 June - 31 July
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Beaconsfield Gallery, SE11

First Solo show in the UK by the founder of cult record label Radium. Works in sound and light focus on the mystique of remote and abandoned habitations.

3-5 June
Venn Festival

Eclectic festival featuring Mark Stewart, Minotaur Shock, Oneida and Acid Mothers Temple amongst many.

9-15 June
Ariel Pink
(live performance)

SAN CD cover star (Interesting Results) Ariel Pink plays his unique brand of lo-fi.

17-21 June
SAN Expo 966
Various, Scarborough

Sonic Arts Network and The University of Hull invite you to take a British seaside holiday with a difference this summer and promenade your ears through the wonders of Expo 966. Featuring new installation and performance commissions from Justin Bennett, Ergo Phizmiz and Luke Styles; An ultra rare staging of Trevor Wishart’s classic 70s public sound intervention, Beach Singularity and an exclusive live collaboration between Black Galaxy (former members of Napalm Death and Scorn) and kreepa. Over 60 artists will be contributing  including, Adrian Moore, Alistair MacDonald, Automated Noise Ensemble, Cesar Villavicencio, Cloudbase, Geography of Nowhere, Man for Uranus, Minimism Records, Nick Melia & Matt Rogalsky, Ninki V, Peter Stollery, Simon Emmerson. All events are free.

29 June
Hive 012
(live performance)
FACT, Liverpool

Hive returns to FACT with microsound artist Si-Cut.db. Support comes from Highpoint Lowlife labelmate Tigrics. Strcprstskrskrk teams up with vj Bob Wass for the first presentation of their project based on the work of German filmmaker, Werner Herzog. DJ sets: Andy Odia (ex-Roger) of Manchester’s Black Heart Disco and Alextronic.


Yasunao Tone
by Alan Cummings

Japanese artist, writer, theorist and composer Yasunao Tone (pronounced Toe-ney), born in 1935, is part of a whole generation of post-war iconoclasts who followed in the wake of John Cage's discovery of indeterminacy, determined to shake music and art out of their enslavement to the high art, romanticist ideals of the 19th century. Since the early 1960s he has moved like a shadow through the Tokyo, New York and European avant-gardes, leaving few tangible traces, but equally at home with the Fluxus crowd, Downtown improvisers and European electronica experimentalists. His creative work in the areas of improvisation (he was a member of Japan's first free improvisation unit, Group Ongaku), automatism, inter-media and paramedia art, event music, and the deliberate disruption of technology tends to burn with a slow fuse - by the time its relevance and importance becomes apparent, Tone has invariably moved on to something else.

While his career in the avant-garde may span over forty years, in his work Tone has consistently returned to a limited and methodologically narrow range of concerns. Absolutely central, though, is the relationship between text and meaning, and in particular the nature of processes that can transform texts into sound. Perhaps this interest in pure process was natural, given the fact that when Tone joined Group Ongaku he had no prior musical experience and had just completed his university thesis on surrealist literature. Number, one of his earliest composed pieces from 1961, indicates that he was fascinated by the potential of textural transformation right from the start. The piece was constructed around tape recording of numbers being enunciated. This tape was then played back at maximum volume with the playback itself being recorded at a minimum input level. This was repeated several times, distortion increasingly layered on distortion until the original number recitation was obscured under the accumulation of audio detritus. The piece is a neat illustration of the importance of process to Tone's work - it is process (preferably with an element of unpredictability) itself that creates the texture of the work, simultaneously obliterating and rewriting the original text's signifiers.

Tone revisited the possibilities of this kind of textural process in 1976 (not entirely coincidentally the same year that Derrida's Of Grammatology was first published in English), creating Voice and Phenomenon , an important piece which both expanded into the area of visual music and created a bridge to his current work. In Voice and Phenomenon a tape of Chinese T'ang dynasty poetry was synchronised to a slideshow of found photographic images. The images were based upon the constituent parts of the Chinese ideograms that made up the original poetic text. Each ideogram contains several elements, so for each vocalised element there were several images. While the slides were projected on to a screen, Tone used a closed circuit video to add an overlay of calligraphy, inscribing the text in real-time. Here a process of logographic decoding was combined with a multi-sensory, inter-media approach to the text. The following year Tone rearranged the piece to add a closer but simultaneously less predicable element to its processes. The new Voice and Phenomena did away with the temporally controlling element of the pre-recorded tape, instead adding an oscillator connected to a light sensor. This arrangement allowed the projected images themselves to 'play' the oscillator without any human input, the play of light and shadow altering pitch and thus creating unique sounds for each image.

In the eighties drawing upon the work of Gerard Genette in his Paratext: Thresholds of Interpretation, Tone began to refer to this kind of work as "paramedia". The term is a complex amalgamation of meanings, speaking on one level to the ways in which a medium can be diverted away from its original purpose by its users. An additional level highlights the transformative processes by which ideas were chewed up as they are translated from one media to another (for example, from image to sound), their original signification radically altered. The dynamic concept of paramedia raises a fascinating question about the relationship between sound and meaning, namely should sound be a simple vehicle for the transmission of meaning, or should it rather create autonomous zones that allow listeners to facilitate their own meanings? Tone has also spoken of paramedia in terms of a parasite, hitching a ride on a linguistic host and nibbling away at its meaning until the parasite alone remains.

These kinds of questions have been brought to their fullest flowering in an ongoing CD-ROM project based upon the 4516 poems of the 8th century Man'yôshû , Japan's oldest collection of poetry. Tone has been working on this project since 1996, and seems to have been drawn to the Man'yôshû in particular by its archaic, complex and unstable orthography. The Man'yôshû uses Chinese characters to represent the very different semantic and phonetic qualities of Japanese, but it also incorporates sophisticated, magico-linguistic games. As an indication of the complexity of this orthography, 8th century Japanese contains just eighty distinct sounds but in the Man'yôshû these sounds are represented by 1500 different characters. This complexity proved tailor-made for Tone's paramedia techniques - by digitizing each of the poems and using music software to convert the pixellized data into a waveform, he has created a vast sound library of distinctly different instant compositions, stuttering and intense bursts of sound that obliterate the original texts' meanings in an ice-storm of jaggedly splintered digital noise. In recent performances, Tone has further transformed his texts by recording them on to CDRs and then 'wounding' the disks with scratches, holes, pinholed pieces of scotch tape and so on. This abuse of the physical matter of Tone's texts is designed to introduce further elements of unpredictability into the equation - as the CD player struggles to read the data, its error-correcting software extrapolates and compensates, adding new layers of complexity to the original poetic texts.

Tone's ongoing concerns with the parasitic alteration of language whisper subtly in the ear of our post-modern culture with its permeable borders, media overload and growing exile communities. He shows us ways to disturb the restrictive injunctions that govern our use of technology, to alter the dictates of official texts to carve out our own meanings.

Alan Cummings has written widely on contemporary Japanese music for magazines in the UK (including regular contributions in The Wire), US, Europe and Japan. He also teaches classical Japanese literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

This text and more can be found at


The School of Intermedia and Performance Arts at University Centre, Doncaster is to host CoMA (Contemporary Music-making for Amateurs) Summer School, which runs from 23rd to 28th July.

CoMA's award winning Summer School, which has run annually since 1993, offers a friendly, non-competitive approach to contemporary music. A wide range of composition, improvisation, performance and music technology opportunities catering for all abilities, from complete beginners to experienced musicians and composers, are available.

The Summer School will make use of SIPA’s resources, which include 24 Pro Tools workstations, 18 Logic Pro workstations, 14 Cubase SX workstations, a 200-seat theatre and a dance studio.

Further information can be found at and


Applications are invited for full-time research degree studentships for students interested in single or cross-disciplinary research. You should possess a good first degree in a relevant subject and preferably have a Masters qualification in an appropriate subject. The studentships will commence in October 2005 and each carries a three year bursary plus fees. Please note that the college you will be registered with will be where your Director of Studies is based.

London College of Communication

Creative Research into Sound Art and Performance

Practice and/or theory based doctoral research in: sound art practice from a historical, conceptual or aesthetic dimension, the application of data-mining and data-manipulation technologies to creative sound art practice, and sound arts. Proposals which engage with archive materials are particularly welcome.


The Royal College of Music is seeking to expand its team of composition professors. There are opportunities for up to three part-time appointments.

All applicants should have experience and expertise in at least one of the areas listed below.

•    General 1-to-1 and group composition teaching at HE undergraduate and taught postgraduate level

•    Composition for screen and the teaching of this specialism, preferably at HE level

•    Composition and/or dissertation supervision of doctoral students to successful completion

•    Course management at HE level in composition, preferably including screen-based composition and supported by strong professional links in this area.

For further details see the RCM website at A letter of application with a full CV should be returned to Sophie Rees, Human Resources Manager, Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 1200 on Thursday 23 June 2005.

Interviews will be held during the week commencing 4 July 2005.


During July 2005 Goldsmiths College Electronic Music Studios will be running its popular Max/MSP Summer Courses for a fifth year.

The Max/MSP courses have previously attracted participants from across the UK, Europe, North America and Australia, including students, educators, mainstream musicians, composers/sound artists, and performers who utilise live electronics.

Course dates:

MaxMSP Introductory Course #1
Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd, Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th July 2005
Tutor: Tim Ward

MaxMSP Introductory Course #2
Tuesday 5th - Friday 8th July 2005 (inclusive)
Tutor: Tim Ward

MaxMSP Advanced Course #1
Monday 11th - Thursday 14th July 2005 (inclusive)
Tutor: Sebastian Lexer

MaxMSP Advanced Course #2
Friday 15th - Monday 18th July 2005 (inclusive, over weekend)
Tutor: Sebastian Lexer

Full course details, cost and booking forms are available at


Music Beyond Performance: SoundImageSound III
Submission Postmark Deadline - July 11, 2020

With Music Beyond Performance: SoundImageSound III the Conservatory Computer Studio for Music Composition (CCSMC) in combination with the Conservatory of Music, University of the Pacific presents the fourth year of concerts featuring the work of artists who cross boundaries to combine the aural and the visual. For 2005 this event will again feature new works of "fixed media" which in some manner combine multi-channel sound and visual images without "live" performance. For complete submission guidelines and information about previous events go to:

Works in all media and style will be considered. Preference will be given to concert works but sound/image installations are also possible. The audio portion of the work may be composed for two to eight channels of sound. Preference will be given to work which exceeds normal stereo presentation.

The visual elements may be projected image (DVD, minidv, vcr, still image, etc.) or three dimensional objects within the space. Works requiring multiple projections will be considered. Any unique or unusual equipment required for the presentation of a particular piece will be the artist's responsibility.

Artists selected for presentation are encouraged but not required to attend.

For further information contact


Venue: Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham
Date: Sunday 2 October to Saturday 8 October 2020

are invited for the second PLAN event which will take the form of a team-based hands-on workshop in Nottingham. Those interested in taking part should submit a 2-page summary of their areas of interest and expertise, so that working groups can be formed to develop a seed idea into a hypothetical project.

Deadline for Expressions of Interest: Monday 4 July 2020

The Pervasive and Locative Arts Network (PLAN) is an international and interdisciplinary research network funded as part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Culture and Creativity programme. The network aims to bring together practising artists, technology developers and ethnographers with the aim of advancing interdisciplinary understanding and building consortia for future collaborative projects. Further details about PLAN and its membership are available at

Cross-disciplinary teams will be formed to work on seed project ideas and develop methodologies, encouraging cross disciplinary experimentation. Proposals may develop into real projects or may be entirely hypothetical. There will be opportunities to take the projects further, in particular as part of the PLAN final exhibition at Futuresonic 2006 in Manchester UK during July 2006.

We regret that due to the nature of this event, the number of participants will be limited, and we will not be able to offer a place to all those who could make a valuable contribution or who we would like to see attend.

Please send a 2-page expression of interest, including details of your areas of interest, experience and expertise to the address below by Monday 4 July 2005. Suggestions for seed ideas in the area of locative-based media are also welcomed. Places at the workshop are limited and the steering committee reserves the right to seed ideas and put together diverse teams from the best submissions, based on the expressions of interest together with views generated at the ICA Event.

The expression of interest should also include:

Contact Name and postal address
Email address

There will be no attendance fee for the workshop, but attendees will be expected to pay their own hotel bills and travel expenses where possible. We request that participants seek support for travel and subsistence from their institutions or funding councils. Limited support is available from PLAN for participants without institutional affiliation or other means of support, please contact us for further details.


A call for pieces for The Digital Music Research Network Summer Conference that we are organising this summer in Glasgow with other young researchers.

More information about the conference can be seen at: