News from the Sonic Arts Network

Sonic Arts Network and BBC Radio 3 present Cut and Splice

Sun 22 May 7.30pm, Jerwood Hall, LSO St. Luke's

This year’s Cut and Splice explores the relationship between score and performance in electronic music and sound art with a concurrent show at the Jerwood Gallery, a specially curated webspace and concerts at St. Luke’s.

The next event in the series is:

  Robert Ashley – The Wolfman
voice, vocal feedback and electroacoustic sound
performed by Joel Ryan and Keir Neuringer
  Peter Ablinger – IEAOV part 4 “für Johann Michael Fischer”
2 trombones, 2 celli and electronics
performed by Apartment House
  Mauricio Kagel – Acustica
experimental sound producers and loudspeakers
performed by Apartment House

This ambitious concert brings together Ashley’s notorious ‘The Wolfman’ which casts a sinister lounge performer as feedback messiah; Ablinger’s ‘IEAVO’ which uses the St. Luke’s acoustic as its generative material and Kagel’s epic ‘Acustica’ which takes its performers and audience on a journey that drags instrument construction out of the garret and into the DIY store and beyond.

Don’t miss a rare opportunity to experience these pieces in the beautiful Jerwood Hall at LSO St. Luke’s

£10 (£8 concessions)

Barbican Box Office: 020 7638 8891
(9am-8pm daily, booking fee) or
(reduced booking fee)


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.

18 May
Philip Jeck & Janek Schaeffer
Wilton's Music Hall, London

Philip Jeck and Janek Scaeffer premier the results of their collaboration in the form of ‘Songs for Europe’, recorded between Athens and Istanbul in 2004. It’s also the final opportunity to view the site specific sound installation from measure, in the grand setting of Witon’s Music Hall.
020 7702 9555

23 May
CCA, Glasgow

A collaborative night of experimental music featuring four artists with extraordinary approaches from avant garde composition, free improvisation, original folk modes, psychedelic rock, electronic noise and loner/DIY aesthetics.

24 May
Tortoise and Konono No.1
Royal Festival Hall, London

Post-rock ensemble Tortoise co-headline with 12-piece African Ensemble Konono No1 (reviewed in the previous diffusion) which was founded 25 years ago by Mingiedi, a virtuoso thumb pianist. His band includes 3 electric likembes plus makeshift junk-percussion, 3 singers and 3 dancers.

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.

28 May
Steam Driven
(site-specific performance)
The British Engineerium, Brighton

Steam Driven is an audio-visual piece generated through the movement and sounds of a 16 ton Corliss steam engine and interactive digital technology. Devised for the 2005 Brighton Fringe festival it is a collaboration between the Laptop Jams and engineers at the British Engineerium, Brighton. The sounds and movement of the steam engine interact with a composed score through the use of manipulated real-time data derived from sensors placed around the machine.

14 – 19 June
EVENT: Merce Cunningham Dance Company
(live performance)
Barbican Theatre, London

Dance, music and art combine in a series of 6 one-off performances celebrating choreographer Merce Cunningham, who worked extensively with the likes of John Cage, Brian Eno, Andy Warhol, and Robert Rauschenberg. EVENT features live performances of new work from Takehisa Kosugi, Kaffe Matthews, Steve Montague, Scanner and Philip Selway (Radiohead).


Lines That Go Outside the Boxes: Mauricio Kagel
by Paul Attinello

Borges, that most exciting of modern Spanish writers, showed us fantastic beasts, libraries with endless staircases leading up and down to infinity, and a man writing every word of Don Quixote as though it is a new book. At least one of his students learned from him that the unexpected can tell us who we are, that paradoxes are productive, and that humor can be a very serious vocation: the brilliant, sarcastic, charming, arrogant, multitalented, and extremely tall Mauricio Kagel.

Most of Kagel’s early works, written when we was a restless young polymath in Buenos Aires, tend to experiment with the notation and production of music, with film and time, and with increasingly unexpected transposition of elements from one medium into another. His first famous works from the years after he arrived in Germany, the Sexteto de cuerdas, Anagrama and Transición II, involve a structured quasi-serial technique that is subverted by uncontrollable elements and exaggerated demands for precision, implying a sharp but subtle critique of formal control and structured systems.

Many of these works initially look ‘normal’ on the page (if, for you, normal musical scores include those by Boulez and Stockhausen), but a closer look reveals complex surprises. Among my favorites are those passages in Transición II where the players must spin little dials they have cut out and attached to their scores to figure out their next pitches. This all seems fairly precise, but as of course they are dragging dots across lines of score at constantly changing angles that have little or nothing to do with actual pitch, they end up creating a very detailed, very difficult serial score out of operations that are actually playfully chaotic. Kagel later wrote articles on this technique, calling it ‘rotation’ and treating it half-seriously as an innovative serial technique – but the constant ironies of his writing suggest that he was aware from the first of the slightly parodic aspect of this idea which, like so many of others in his work, both illuminates and ridicules whole worlds of endeavor.

As Kagel settled into his rather lengthy stride in the 1960s, he began producing an extraordinary variety of meticulously constructed works in every possible genre, and in some that seemed impossible at the time. Although surface techniques in each work vary enormously – even more so because the technique of each work tends to be a concerted attack on any possible expectations the performers or audience might have – there are underlying concepts and values that are remarkably consistent over the decades. Since Kagel has always dedicated himself to the possibilities of anarchism and liberation, so most of his works focus on opening up the new and the radical; they generally do this by creating some system of subversive gestures of paradox, disjunction, and irony. The sound materials often involve unusual or exotic instruments, or regular instruments employed in unusual ways; major examples include Exotica, which uses a variety of non-Western instruments played by Westerners in tribal makeup, or Music for Renaissance Instruments, which suggests the liberated nightmares of an early music ensemble.

The sprawling landscape of Acustica for experimental sound objects and loudspeakers was assembled between 1968 and 1970, while real political change seemed imminent and while Kagel was writing his first and most radical anti-opera Staatstheater. Acustica has many pages, as does Staatstheater, each of which is a separate, flexible module of musical and theatrical activity. These works aren’t really scores in the traditional sense as much as they are catalogues of possibilities – instruments are given new sounds by being altered (a ukelele gets a paper clip across the strings); instruments like whistles and castanets, traditionally ‘below the salt’, are given solo roles; and objects that one would hardly expect to see jostling for space on a concert stage are given entirely new roles – a walkie-talkie reorients antennae like a dowsing rod, and a damaged bellows wheezes percussively.

As with many of Kagel’s works, this is not only a catalogue of experiments, but also a deconstruction of an entire field of activity. Such ‘instrumental theatre’ (Kagel’s  own term, for which he has become famous) shows us what we don’t know about music, by using methods typical of deconstruction – taking the margins to the center and the center to the margins, inverting basic concepts and hierarchies, and essentially forcing an entire system of ideas to implode, thus showing its limitations and what we are missing when we follow it too dogmatically. Staatstheater does the same things in different ways – the opera soloists are forced to sing an ensemble, the chorus has a “debut” of sixty simultaneous solos, the ballet is for non-dancers, and the entire forces of the traditional opera house do calisthenics over enormously amplified chords at the end. After such a performance, it would be impossible for the denizens of the opera house to take their positions for granted – the prima donna looks over her shoulder at her understudy, the janitor looks askance at the conductor, and the oppression implicit in tradition begins to show cracks in its façade.

In the same way, performers who participate in Acustica may find the keys of their normal instruments feeling slightly odd or restrictive; the ways they define themselves, as performers or composers or technicians, might start to loosen from their moorings. Later that same week, they may find themselves thinking differently about the busker they pass in the tube station, or they may try something new while playing a Beethoven sonata; they may even wonder if they should be talking about their music, or possibly drawing it instead. And the audience might start to wonder why they’re sitting night after night in darkened rooms, watching other people make music happen: why don’t I get to do that? What else could I be doing with music, or even about music? And of course, ultimately, as you sit there reading about all this, perhaps you cannot help wondering: what else might I be missing?


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


Term. is hosting an open remix project in conjunction with the release of Taylor Deupree & Kenneth Kirschner’s new CD, post_piano 2.

Post_piano 2 continues Deupree & Kirschner’s open source experiments in digitally-processed piano music. The CD is based entirely on sounds derived from Kirschner’s piano sketch “November 11, 2003.”

For the open remix project, listeners and fellow composers are invited to create their own interpretations of “November 11, 2003” and submit them to 12k. A selection of the most interesting and original variations will be curated and released online by term.

As with Deupree & Kirschner’s CD, the only criterion for remix submissions is that all sounds in the recording must be derived from Kirschner’s piano sketch. These piano sounds should then be processed and transformed in order to create a new and original composition.

"November 11, 2003" is available as Track 4 of post_piano 2. A copy of the piece can be downloaded here.


- deadline for submissions: august 01, 2005.
- not all submissions will be used. 12k will curate an online release with the material we feel best suits the concept. artists will be contacted whether or not their piece is used.
- tracks will be distributed as a free download on 12k's website. no payments or royalties will be distributed.
- 12k's usage will be on a non-exclusive basis only.

to submit a recording:

post a downloadable mp3 online and email the link to,
mail a CDR version to: 12k, 47 Lincoln Place #3B, Brooklyn, NY 11217, USA.


Not-for-profit organisation 8i8 seeks new and interesting musicians, video/multimedia artists and filmmakers for our eclectic monthly exploration of the outer reaches of musical activity at London's 291 Gallery.

There is no 'house-style' so to speak. what we are simply interested in hearing/seeing, is forward-thinking music and video.

Our past invitees' output ranges from: sampling feedback from the acoustic properties of the space, to classically-inspired cello and guitar works, to solo-laptop experiments, post rock-influenced multi-instrumental ensembles, improv, noise and beyond.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Send demos, mixtapes, videos, proposals to:

8i8, Unit 5, Acme House, 30 Gillender Street, London E14 6RH ENGLAND



The second audiovisual festival March 2006 Newcastle Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, UK

Deadline for Expressions of Interest: 27 May 2020

The AV Festival is a new bi-annual international festival of digital art, moving image, music and new media convergence which takes place in the North East of England. The second AV festival - AV.06 - will take place across three cities in the North East of England during the first two weeks of March 2006. It will examine one of the key issues within creative and scientific practice - life.

AV.06 will include internationally renowned artists, filmmakers, researchers, technicians and musicians as well as emerging practitioners. Concerts, performances and exhibitions will be complemented by a conference and an education programme.

AV.06 is providing creative practitioners with an opportunity to contribute ideas to the programme. If you have an existing project which could fit the thematic context of the programme, or an idea for a new work, we would like to hear about it.


AV will be commissioning new works especially for the festival, as well as presenting creative work which already been produced. AV is now calling for expressions of interest from artists, filmmakers, musicians, DJs, VJs, designers, games developers, theorists, technologists, scientists, philosophers and others interested in this field.

You are invited to submit a short proposal for:

- a new work which you would like to make specifically for the festival
- an existing project which you would like to present at the festival

The Application Form and Guidelines document are available on the AV website:

Expressions of Interest must be sent via email.

Please include: "expression of interest: AV.06" in the subject line.

Examples of work can be sent via post, if necessary, as per the Guidelines on the website.

DEADLINE: 27 May 2020

Email proposals to:


Honor Harger
Consultant Director

AV Festival
c/-Tyneside Cinema
10 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Tel: +44 (0)191 2328289, ext 112


Friday 22-Sunday 24 July at venues throughout Manchester

Futuresonic is launching a showcase and competition for new and ground
breaking events in an open festival strand at Futuresonic2005. Within
this three event promoters, programmers or curators will each be awarded 1000 UK Pounds to stage an event as a part of the Futuresonic2005 festival.

Send your event proposals in by 25 May 2005.

All featured events will be profiled online using EVNT event software. Futuresonic has linked up with EVNT, the event sharing project, to celebrate the creativity and talent in today's club, music and media arts scenes with a showcase of the best new and ground breaking events from around the world.

Futuresonic EVNT Showcase
An opportunity for music promoters, programmers and curators to stage
their events in venues in Manchester's Northern Quarter - the city's
creative hub, home to Night and Day, Cord, Centro, The Roadhouse,
Common and more. Futuresonic is looking for innovative and ground
breaking events of international calibre, and will match-make promoters
to venues. Deadline for proposals: 25 May 2020

Futuresonic EVNT Competition
A rare chance for three up-and-coming promoters to each win 1000 UK
Pounds to stage an event as part of the EVNT Showcase. Open to any
promoter, programmer or curator anywhere in the world, with the focus
on ground breaking and new events as well as one-off or adventurous
events by established promoters. Proposals will be judged by a panel of
leading industry, club and music figures. Deadline for proposals: 25 May 2020

Time is tight - in order to guarantee inclusion in festival publicity, the deadline for proposals for the EVNT Showcase and entries for the EVNT Competition is 25 May. Results will be announced the following week.


In association with EVNT event mapping project supported by Arts Council England.

For further information and to register to receive updates about the
Futuresonic festival visit



The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is pleased to announce a call for scores for the Imagine2 Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, to be held November 3-5, 2005, at The University of Memphis. The festival will feature James Mobberly, professor of music at University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music. Selected works will be performed by the university's Contemporary Chamber Players, Kamran Ince, director, (Core instrumentation for chamber players: Fl. Cl. Vn. Vc. Piano, Percussion); The Memphis Brass; University Wind Ensemble, Kraig Alan Williams, director; faculty members and student performers. Any composer regardless of region, age or nationality may submit up to two works for tape alone or instrument(s) and tape or electronics up to 5.1, video and dance for consideration. Student submissions are strongly encouraged.

Deadline: Scores mustarrive by July 1, 2005. We will respond by August 1

Entry Fee/Festival Registration fee: none

Submission: Submitted pieces must be on CD, Quicktime 7or DVD. Include a cover letter with the following information:
1) Contact information.
2) If performers are required, please indicate whether or not you will be able to provide players.
3) A statement confirming your attendance at the festival.
4) Short bio

Submitted works can only be returned if an SASE in enclosed, or else they will be archived for future considerations. Only works that conform to the guidelines above will be considered.

Send submissions to:
Mark Snyder
The University of Memphis
Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
3775 Central Ave. 129 Music Building
Memphis, TN 38152

For additional information
Mark Snyder
Scott L. Hines


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


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

Jacob Kirkegaard - Eldfjall

It has taken me a few weeks of having this CD in my possession before I finally found an opportunity to play it; let alone review it. After all, it is difficult to find the perfect occasion to listen to recordings of geothermal rumblings. Getting ready for a night out, I’ve never been tempted to apply make-up while listening to the earth’s crust gurgling. Similarly, on long car journeys I can’t see myself humming along to seismic vibrations.

These are sounds which require concentrated, undisrupted listening and anyone lucky enough to have time to engage in such an exercise will be justly rewarded.

Everything about this album was completely alien to me; from the strange other-worldly sounds to the unpronounceable track names. Even the beautiful, muted images on the CD sleeve seem somehow bizarre and impenetrable.

Using accelerometers – vibration sensor microphones - Kirkegaard is able to map the sonic aspect of volcanic activity at the surface of the earth and Eldjfall is a compilation of recordings taken from geysers in Iceland.

You experience the sound as vibrations, retaining some of the huge physical forces present at the source of the recordings. I found it impossible to distinguish between what I was hearing and the sensation of the sound travelling through my body. It was a surreal experience; one which highlights the sensory overlap between hearing and feeling. I was most aware of this – surprisingly – in the gaps between the tracks, when the silence feels like it is still pulsing with the aftershock of the vibrations.

As for the tracks themselves, it is a hopeless task to try to describe them: they are unlike anything I have ever heard before. Bass-heavy rumbling gives way to a tinny high-pitched tapping which then dissolves into an uncomfortably visceral noise; as though the earth is mimicking the internal sounds of our bodies.

In describing the sounds, I am forced to fall back on modes of comparison. My notes are a jumble of metaphors. Everything “sounds like” something else. In track one the earth ‘breathes’ and there is a sound like water running beneath a sheet of ice. Track two features a segment reminiscent of the blurry noise made by a screaming crowd at a music gig. Track three has a rhythmic quality; a regularly repeating sound like an airplane propeller rotating and parts of track five sound like a faraway swarm of bees, gathering momentum. These tracks generate questions about the limitations of our vocabulary to capture the nuances of sound. My clichéd similes can’t begin to describe the experience of listening.

From a practical perspective, this is a CD which needs to be listened to on a high-tech, high-spec sound system and my paltry CD player and budget speakers mangled the finely-modulated sounds, causing distortion and frequent static. This detracted from what is, in fact, a carefully edited collection of recordings.

I remain unsure how and when a CD like this should be listened to and I certainly can’t endorse it as relaxing; these sounds are a disturbing mixture of soothing and sinister and I felt fairly drained at the close of its 36 1/2 minutes. But it nevertheless resonates; both literally and metaphorically. In their capacity to express the subtle noises of the earth readjusting and in the multi-sensory experience of listening to them, these tracks transcend the sum of their parts. Not only has Jacob Kirkegaard mapped the environment in which he has made these recordings: he has created an album that can transform the environment in which it is played.

Reviewed by Jana Phillips
Jana is Sonic Postcards Project Manager, a playwright and has an interest in marginalised artists.

J.O. Mallander
More Time: Hits and Variations 1968-1970

Anoema Recordings

Our Finnish cousins seem to be producing bucket-loads of backwoods avant sounds at the moment, so this retrospective release is timely as it brings together material from two rare as hen’s teeth vinyl EPs, Extended Play and Decompositions, and one previously unreleased piece that represent the complete sound works of this celebrated Finn.

J.O.Mallander began his artistic activities in the 1960s within the blooming Finnish underground movement, taking part, amongst other things, in the notorious music/performance collective Sperm. He has since assumed a multitude of roles within the world of art, operating as an artist, critic, writer and curator. Through his international connections he became a singular node of the Fluxus network in Finland. 1968’s Extended Play is simultaneously an intriguing ready-made, two mantra like tape compositions and a commentary echoing the Finnish cultural climate of the day that displays, in torturing detail, the drama surrounding the presidential elections of 1962 and 1968. In these pieces the name of Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, the president of Finland for a quarter of a century, is repeated in a live recording, which I can only assume, represents the reading of election results. Sounds like no headaches for the Helsinki bookies that day. Tony Blair should be so lucky. Kekkonen remains a controversial figure. Without question the most legendary politician in the history of independent Finland, he is regarded as a caring father by some and as a democratically elected dictator by others. Mallander taps into the Reichian politicisation of 60s tape minimalism with these two short pieces. Repetition strips Kekkonen’s name of its usual signified meaning leaving it a cipher for political cowardice and Orwellian consensual totalitarianism. This effect is enhanced through the lack of compositional intervention in the pieces. No tape loops here, just pure mindless human recurrence presenting the speakers as dehumanised bureaucratic automatons. Or, on the other hand, if you think that’s all a load of pretentious crap and you are sick of politics (who could blame you at the moment) then it’s just two nutty spoken word recordings, and in my household at least, we drink deep and regular to nutty spoken word recordings.

To quote another 60s absurdist icon it’s more “liquor, love and laughs” on the six tracks of the Decompositions EP. These pieces shows Mallander in a more light-hearted mood as he plunderphonises his way through mostly jazz and croon records in the wonky-tonk style picked up by later masters in the John Oswald, Christian Marclay and People Like Us bloodline. It’s great stuff. Humour does, indeed, belong in music and for God’s sake cheer up if you don’t agree. Mallander sums up the awakening aesthetic of the snatched audio fragment perfectly in his note to the 4 second Variation on a Theme of Haydn, “I mean everything, that’s left out”.

There can’t be many workaday offices where a classic Finnish politico-satirical sound art re-release is a welcome addition to the morning playlist. Fortunately mine is one of them. Make yours one too.

Reviewed by Richard Whitelaw