News from the Sonic Arts Network

Cut and Splice: Gallery Preview

This year's Cut and Splice festival features an exhibition to be held at the gallery at the Jerwood Space from 14 May to 3 June.

This collection of ideas and artefacts explores the relationship between the musical score, image, text and code in electronic music and sound art. The works, many of them on show for the first time, challenge the senses and highlight the points where aesthetics, instruction, sound and ideas combine.

The Jerwood Space splits into three areas. Gallery 1 includes the large size geometric printed patterns designed by Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender, plotted and displayed over a wall in the gallery space. Also included are two pages from the original score of Trevor Wishart’s piece for 6 amplified voices - Anticredos; sketches from Tempo Liquido by Christina Kubisch; Spectral by Tim Souster and two of the famous amplified performance interfaces (Spring Boards) created by the late Hugh Davies presented here for visual consideration alone.

This space also includes a specially commissioned digital media tryptich by Nick Rothwell. Tryptichos transforms real-time images from a video camera into an abstract graphical music score, and interprets the score to play an interactive, algorithmic soundtrack.

Gallery Two juxtaposes Fluxus and Dada instructional scores with contemporary examples of works using computer code and generative sound and image. Contained in this space is Water Yam by Georges Brecht and the original copy of Merz 24 containing Kurt Schwitters' optophonetic notation for his Ursonate.

Alongside these pieces is a microfilm reader displaying different images by the Raster-Noton collective and Stanza’s interactive, generative, audio-visual digital paintings and drawings providing a seductive, multi-sensory non-linear experience. Also featured is Nonet, the graphic matrix representing the ‘source score’ for Tristam Cary’s computer music piece. Other items on display include, conceptual sketches and plans for the Oramics System by Daphne Oram; compositional sketches from Mortuos Plango Vivos Voco by Jonathan Harvey; The Wolfman score by Robert Ashley as it appeared in Source Magazine, 1968 and a CD-ROM piece in which Yasunao Tone converts the entire text of Man’yo-shu, the oldest Japanese anthology of poems from the 8th Century, into digital sound art.

The Norman McLaren films - Dots; Loops; Pen Point Percussion will also be showing in Gallery 2. McLaren created ‘animated sound,’ a form of ‘visible’ or synthetic sound made by hand-drawings on the sound-track of the film as seen in his films Dots and Loops. He explains his method in the short film Pen Point Percussion.

In Gallery 3 SAN proudly presents the UK premiere of the installation, Messa di Voce by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman. This prize winning work (Ars Electronica 2004) is an audiovisual system in which the speech, shouts and songs produced by gallery visitors are radically augmented in real-time by custom interactive visualisation software.

The exhibition contains all this, plus published scores, reference materials and ephemera.

The show runs from Saturday 14 May to Friday 3 June at the Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London, SE1 0LN (opening hours - 10:00-18:00. Mon-Sat). ENTRANCE IS FREE.



3-8 May
(Sound Art exhibition)
The Foundry, EC2

This exhibition focuses on recycled sound, bringing together found sounds, sonic artefacts and reworked and recontextualised art works. Featuring Jim Backhouse, Iris Garrelfs, Sharon Gal, Moshi and Kaffe Mathews.

4 May
The Muse@269,London

A night of soundscapes, improvisation and sonic art in an atmospheric and receptive environment.

5 May
New Noise
Great Hall, Goldsmiths College

Programme features new compositions for oboe, percussion and electronics/tape by students working in the Electronic Music Studios.

6 May
Wildlife Sound Recording
RGS-IBG, London

Wildlife sound recording adds a great deal to the value of conservation research, especially in remote places. This one-day workshop is an introduction to the special techniques and equipment for capturing the sounds of insects, amphibians, birds, mammals, and other natural sounds. It is designed to equip participants with the essential knowledge to select and use equipment correctly and to achieve results quickly and effectively.

8 May
Ministry of Defiance
(live performance)
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Avant-gardist David Handford indulges in sinister organic synth instrumentals. DIY electronica compared to Throbbing Gristle and Mount Vernon Arts Lab.

9 May
Legacies in Technology II
Birmingham Conservatoire Recital Hall

A series of concerts dedicated to the diffusion of electroacoustic classics of the twentieth century alongside new works from the twenty-first. This concert features works with an eastern influence, including pieces by Trevor Wishart, Jonathan Harvey, Iannis Xenakis, Pippa Murphy and Simon Hall

12 May
Discoveries XXXIII
Marischal Museum, Aberdeen

With Alistair MacDonald (live electronics) and Pete Dowling (saxophones) and featuring electroacoustic music by composers from Scotland, including Bill Thompson, Diana Simpson, Pete Stollery, Kirsty Robertson,
Robert Dow and James Wyness.
tel: 01224 272570

13 May - 3 June
Cut And Splice: Dots and Lines
Jerwood Space & LSO St Lukes, London

SAN and BBC Radio 3 present Cut and Splice. Spanning concert performances, a gallery show, an online exhibition and BBC Radio 3 Broadcasts and featuring names such as Carsten Nicolai, Yasunao Tone, Robert Ashley, Mauricio Kagel, Peter Ablinger and many more.

14-18 May
Me and my Shadow
Wilton’s Music Hall, London

A projection of new sound interventions at Wilton's Music Hall. Five artists have been commissioned to create a new
series of sound interventions. Played sequentially, each work aims to transform the atmosphere of the auditorium in subtle, unexpected and compelling ways. Featuring Loretta Bosence and Liz Haven, Thor Mcintyre-Burnie, Duncan Whitley and a special evening event with Janek Schaefer and Philip Jeck.

27 May - 31 May
Radio Taxi
Radio and Net

Taxi Gallery presents its final major project - RADIO TAXI - which will integrate a 3 mile radius analogue FM broadcast with a worldwide digital transmission via a server capable of handling multiple streams. Containing a mix of locally originated programmes and interventions, a curated programme of invited sound works and a schedule of sonic art from all over the world.



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

The MaxMSP 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


This year the PRS (Performing Rights Society) Foundation has broadened the scope of its Live Connections scheme by offering grants of between £500 - £5000 to electronic music artists, for a one-off performance of their work. 
This money could be used for anything from a live PA as part of a club night or as a small part of the funding towards a grander scale event. Applicants can be individual artists or collaborators but they do need to be working closely with a promoter/organisation/club or with a sound system that will help them deliver their chosen performance.
Previous recipients of Live Connections grants including: Kreepa, Brian Duffy, Plaid, Adam Freeland, London Elektricity and I am the Mighty Jungulator, have been able to put on dynamic and unusual performances, from electro-acoustic installations to full-on techno and breakbeat events.
"Thanks to support from The PRS Foundation we were able to rehearse and promote our show extensively which contributed to us selling out the Jazz Café in Camden on a Tuesday night! We devised a method of playing our drum and bass show completely live, because it became clear when we were rehearsing that relying on playback from computers or sequencers would take away some of the energy and excitement of the live performance. Although I was a bit nervous about delivering a completely live performance I think it really paid off as we had a fantastic response from the audience. We aimed to break new ground in live electronic music with our show and, with the help of the PRS Foundation, we definitely succeeded."                          
Tony Colman, London Elektricity
For more information and details of how to apply please visit:


Private View is a unique commission from the BBC and Arts Council England. It offers two awards of £20K for works that will be launched in September 2005.

Private View will commission two works of outstanding innovation and vision from visual artists experimenting with live technologies in the public realm. These proposals can be from individual practitioners or production teams. The commissioners are particularly keen to encourage works that engage the public and offer a dynamic or interactive role within the work of art. They will prioritise projects that illustrate a knowledge of contemporary trends in practice in the realm of live media and visual arts, such as the uses of immersive technologies, augmented reality, networked performances, explorations of emerging software, wireless and networked media or other interactive platforms and also reflect wider media trends such as flashmobs, bluejacking and reality TV.

The commissioners are looking for strong conceptual works rather than technology driven projects.

The works should address issues such as: How do we experience and interact with public and private space in the era of wireless networked environments and how do technological transformations reflect broader cultural changes in the way we perform in private and public?

This is the latest BBC Arts Council England collaborative commission. For examples of previous commissions from the Shooting Live Artists series you can visit an archive:

For complete guidelines and application form:


The Exhibition:
Submissions are invited from contemporary artists working in all mediums - including but not limited to video, performance, photography, painting, sculpture, audio - whose work fits in to the theme of the exhibition "Monstrous Tales".

We aim to curate a show that uses humour and spectacle to investigate the monstrous, grotesque, or shocking. We are particularly interested in work that carries a narrative be it personal or fictional.

The exhibition will be held in London although the venue is still to be confirmed. We are seeking funding to finance this exhibition however a small fee may be required to cover costs of publicity, private view etc. The show will take place in late summer/Autumn 2005.

How To Apply:
Please send the following to:
Gabrielle O'Connor, Flat 1, 27A George Street, Croydon, CRO 1LB, UK

We will not accept email submissions.

- An up to date CV
- A short statement detailing why your work fits into the theme of the show.
- 3-6 examples of work in any of the following formats:
- 35mm slides
- Prints
- Jpegs or tiffs on a CD (Mac compatible)
- Film or sound: VHS tape, PAL DVD, audio CD

Please send a covering sheet detailing the title, size, and medium of each piece you send. If you would like to make new work for the exhibition please send examples of old work and a proposal. If you would like your work returned, please include a stamped addressed envelope. The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Friday 3rd June 2005.

If you would like further details please email


In preparation for the radio programme ‘Sounds in Space’ (YLE Finnish Radio 1) we are looking for electronic compositions and sound works based on sounds which are normally difficult to capture and perhaps impossible to hear.

Seeking works (or just sounds) based on

a) extremely tiny sounds : like piezo recordings of vibrating materials or other microscopic sound phenomenons, amplified flies or bugs or even smaller creatures, hydrophone recordings of underwater life / creatures, sounds based on bioelectricity...

b) extremely 'large' sounds : like space sounds, atmosphere recordings, cloud recordings, seismic vibration, thunder / storm, bridge recordings...

The programme will be developed during the second week of May.

Deadline for material is Thursday May 12th.



Calling for notes for a composition. I'm making a piece of music by asking people to donate one note. One note per person only!...Please specify the note, the octave, and duration. I will place the notes one after each other in the order of their arrival (email time & date).You can also choose to group the note with the previous or the next note, in which case these will be played simultaneously in the resulting piece. All note-donors will be cited as co-composers.

The Univalve Orchestra will perform the resulting piece. Our next concerts will most likely occur late this year in Helsinki.

Please send your note before 1st July to:


Theme: Celebrating a Global Community of Electroacoustic Music

Focus: Raising International Awareness and Making our Presence Known

Sponsor an event, organize a concert, create workshops, host a conference or festival any time in November, 2005 and register your events at: SEAMUSONLINE.ORG/eamm2.html

Register your event by July 1st, 2005 and be included on the SEAMUS EA Month poster distributed internationally in September.

Paul Rudy
SEAMUS, Vice President for Programs

Chris Meloche - Impossible Shapes

This retrospective collection of Chris Meloche’s work dating from 1982 to 2002 is informative in terms of referencing developments and influential figures in experimental fields of composition and showing how the work of an electroacoustic composer might develop over such a time span.

The first track, “Tale of the Brocken Specter,” develops along ponderous, subterranean, synthesiser lines. A subtle, static sound coming in and out of focus over the top of this low, electronic bass evokes something arctic in nature, as though the music is describing the dark interior of a forest, above which a snowstorm persists. This atmosphere is present also in the artwork on the CD sleeve; like the title, “Impossible Shapes,” watercolour stains that have been manipulated to look like pixel art evoking many different things, but are impossible to ascribe any definite meaning to. The images are more atmospheric than representative, and this is true also of the music.

“Not yet Broken,” the second track on the CD, is a much more edgy work. Inspired by the compositions of Gloria Coates, this second piece deliberates slowly and intensely through a series of low notes, and never feels restful, in spite of its unhurried pace. “Endgame,” written in 1989, commemorates Morton Feldman’s passing in 1987. Wavering synth pad sounds resonate beneath a kind of keyboard-harp sound that plinks over the top, playing a complex melody that seems both methodical and illogical. The sounds themselves would almost remind me of new-age music if the composition itself wasn’t so mathematical, rhythmical, discordant and interesting. “Half-Arcane” was commissioned by the BBC for their series “The Alternative Shock of the New,” and contains manipulated alphorn sounds provided by Hans Kennel. These strident, grand, recognisable sounds soon collapse unrecognisably into a sea of electronic manipulations, only to re-emerge again towards the end, changed. It is an interesting discourse between electronic manipulation and acoustic instrumentation, which reflects Meloche’s interest in both “real” instruments (as he puts it) and “the seemingly limitless spectrum of the synthesiser and electronic music.” “Electric Interlude” is a very dark, intense, electroacoustic drone piece. Sniping interjections cut across it; hard, insect-like electronic noises. Like a dense swamp, it suggests more dark and difficult terrains – more “Impossible Shapes.” Finally, “A bit of Rat,” the oldest recording on the collection, dating from 1982, opens with deep, electronic notes that throb under birdlike, synthesised sounds. A pattern begins to develop in the complex sound-textures, and lists its way uneasily through ever denser and more layered electronic sound experiences. Some spaces open up towards the end; the drones die out, and glitchier, quieter sounds take the CD to its rather quiet conclusion.

In general, given the large time-span and the broad range of creative approaches that this recording attempts to cover, this brief retrospective is remarkably coherent. It’s debatable whether or not “Endgame” really belongs here – it is strikingly different in style, composition, and flavour, to everything else on the collection. But without it, the whole retrospective could feel like a long trudge through a dark, weathered, windswept, synthesised soundscape.

Reviewed by Felicity Ford
Felicity Ford is a sound-artist and writer. Her most beloved possession is her shiny, red accordion, but her advancement on this instrument is hampered by a frequent desire to play with the internet instead of practising arpeggios.

Konono No.1 – Lubuaku (Live in Vera, Groningen, Holland)

Terp Records

The hunt for an emerging African electronica has begun in earnest. Poisoned by the horror of endless insipid world-fusion tours and releases, the UK scene is desperate for a true warts-and-all developing ‘world’ form of DIY electronic music. We want something to give us all a bloody nose rather than another mildly annoying toothache. Here, bleep has passed into a neo-punk feral noise aesthetic and drone, chaos and crappy equipment are de rigueur amongst the current crop of bedroom experimentalists. This faux-Luddite approach being seen by its practitioners as more performative and ‘roots’ when compared to a laptop scene that is in danger of disappearing up its own lily-white backside in a puff of audience-unwitnessed DSP smoke. And, you have to concede, that it is indeed hard to make any political statement through one’s noise performance when hiding behind a corporate cluster of glowing McApples.

Konono No.1 intersect with this questionable opening gambit in a number of ways, some by chance, some by design. The group was formed more that 25 years ago in Kinshasa, Congo by likembe (thumb-piano) virtuoso Mingiedi Mawangu. The band was one of the first to electrically amplify their instruments. They built everything themselves. Pick ups were made from hammered bits of car starter-motors, handwound with copper wire and their wooden microphones and jack plugs forged from wire and branches. With an amp on a car battery and a set of field speakers they play fast, powerful, distorted music with the energy, rawness and, understandably, bitter social commentary lyrics, of a punk band. Oh, and they like their music blisteringly loud as well I’m told.

I’m no Clive Bell, but from reading the press release I can tell you that the music that the band play is based on the tradition of the Bazombe, a tribe living on the border of Angola and Congo. Their line up features three likembes, three drummers, two singers, female dancers and a non-instruMentalist simply described as “Le President”. A Congolese version of Bez maybe?

A previous release by the group was titled Congotronics and early web reports of this release mentioned musical similarities with rave and electronica (Aphex Twin obviously!). Hmm, I’m not sure about this, but two spurious connections do spring to mind. Firstly, you have to be there. Listening to an old Spiral Tribe C-90 isn’t the same as being at the infamous Castlemorton rave, that’s for sure, and though this is a live recording I reckon you really need to see the group perform to get the buzz. Secondly, it’s functional dance music, so it’s high energy, same tempo all the way through, well that’s the Aphex analogy screwed, but anyone into going to techno nights will certainly be no stranger to these particular pleasures. To the ears of this writer the brittle and relentless distorted counterpoint of the lead and accompanying likembes recall the epileptic guitar web of Beefheart’s Magic Band.

Konono No.1’s management have, commendably, been endeavouring to break the group outside of the traditional world music circuit. Their first European gigs were with Dutch punkers The Ex, and review copies of the CD came to this office through Dense, a Berlin based promotions company that has built its reputation around bleeding edge experimental electronic music. Konono’s sound does indeed challenge received wisdoms concerning African street music. In the 16 page CD booklet Terrie Ex reports that during their tour with Konono one disgruntled world music fan approached the mixing desk with the words “take the distortion off, how can you do that to those Africans!”

Ear-minded Diffusion readers could do a lot worse than checking out this rough, ready and refreshing live recording or, better still, seeing to group live. They play the Royal Festival Hall, London on the 24th May. Give my regards to the President.

Reviewed by Richard Whitelaw