News from the Sonic Arts Network

18 August 2020

SAN have had a very busy first half of 2004.
In January we started with Nicolas Collins leading a weeklong hardware hacking workshop in Bristol, April we were in Belfast for a 25th Anniversary Retrospective Concert and Cut and Splice with BBC Music Live, June we went to Leicester for SoundCircus, and in July we spent two weeks in Yorkshire for the Max/MSP Residential Summer School followed by Chris Watson and Justin Bennett running courses on environmental recording and sound installations as part of the COMA Summer School.

We have been taking our well-earned summer holidays over the last few weeks but come September we will be full steam ahead in particular by rolling out Sonic Postcard workshops in schools in Shetland and Slough.


Are You Up To Date?
Last week when we mailed out the Agents of Impurity CD (which goes out free to SAN members) we were surprised to find that only 250 out of 600 members had entered their addresses in the database at the online shop. This means 350 members have missed out on the CD. Also, if you usually renew your membership in June and have not received the usual 1st and 2nd reminders this would also indicate that we do not have your address in the online database.

Due to increasing numbers in our membership we have needed to look at alternative ways of managing the membership scheme. For such a web savvy community as ours an online database where members keep their own details up to date was the best solution. So if you are yet to submit your details, please go to

First choose shop, then click my account (you should already have an account so enter your email address and the password you set when we first transferred to the new system in January). Once logged-in click update, then new address – you need to select both a billing and postal address for the account to activate. The whole process takes no longer than three minutes and you do not need to enter any credit card or bank details.

Once you have done this if you email me I will send out an Agents of Impurity CD and a membership renewal form if that applied to you.


SAN Job Opportunity
The closing date for applications for the SAN Information Manager position is 5pm this Friday - 20 August.

For a job description and further information please visit

To apply please send a CV and covering letter, detailing relevant skills and competencies to: The Chief Executive, Sonic Arts Network, The Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN or email your application to


The Agents of Impurity

The second in our series of specially curated themed CDs was released last Thursday 12 August. Curated by Kenneth Goldsmith who created the online resource, The Agents of Impurity is a celebration of guilty pleasures, as viewed through the lens of the historic avant-garde - a place which despised such impulses.

The Agents of Impurity was sent out last week to SAN members as part of your membership entitlements, extra copies of are available from the webshop for £15


Thursday 19 August
Acid On Sea
London Bridge

Line up; Luke Vibert, Plaid, Ceephax Acid Krew, DJ Rephlex Records, DJ Townsend Vs DJ Thoresen

Warp, Rephlex and WIOH invite you aboard The Dutch Master for a nautical 303-soaked adventure downstream and back again along the river Thames. Leaving at 9pm from London Bridge Pier we head downriver, around the Woolwich Flood Barrier and back again for 5 hours of mayhem aboard our 3-decked craft, enjoying drinks on the poop deck and the riverside sights along the way.

Friday 20 August
Mira Calix’s ‘3 Commissions’ Album
Launch Party
Haywood Gallery, London

Joining Mira Calix at the Hayward will be Andrea Parker, Plaid DJS and Mark Broom. The evening will include the performance of two contrasting versions of ‘NuNu’, her ground breaking interplay between human and insect worlds, recorded at the Royal Festival Hall last year.

Wednesday 25 August
Wrong Music
Volks Tavern, Brighton

With Aural Addiction, Shitmat, Hardoff, DJ 100,000,000

Sunday 29 August and Sunday 5 September
Optophonic Lunaphone - A performance by Brian Duffy
Mac Outdoor Arena, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

Conceived by Birmingham artist Brian Duffy, Optophonic Lunaphone is a performance which takes place at night.  An ensemble, comprising one conductor and two operators, will slowly explore and reveal the celestial soundscape in a unique collaboration between the Lunaphone, the conductor, the operators and the earth’s atmosphere.

Thursday 2 September
Rrum: Open Perceived
Macondo, Hoxton Square, London

Live music by: Manyas (multi-laptop electronic music) feat. Le Hub (multi-laptop visual improvisation), Sonicity (London-based electroacoustic music) feat. Ian Stewart, Eric Pessel, Ambrose Seddon.

Short experimental films & music videos by: D-fuse, Jonny Voss (RCA), Ron908 (Berlin), Yuko Ichimura (Independent Cyclist Collective), Max Hattler (RCA). Video performance art by Monica Alcazar (Mexico/New York)
For further information email:

Saturday 4 September
Digitonal + Support
Spitz, London

Fresh from playing in one of the headline slots at The Big Chill, Digitonal return to London for a live show in anticipation of the release of their new EP "The Centre Cannot Hold" in September, featuring singer Kirsty Hawkshaw - famous for providing the vocals on Orbital's seminal "Halcyon & On & On"

Support comes from the Rephlex camp with a live performance from Aleksi Perala (also known as Astrobotnia, and Ovuca) and the Rephlex DJ's, plus live electro & breaks Kansas City Prophets, from Keith Tenniswood's Control Tower imprint.

Saturday 18 September
Sonic Arts Discussion Meeting
Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds

An informal discussion forum for composers/sonic artists creating electroacoustic music. Present your own music or simply come along to listen and discuss ideas. Everyone welcome, regardless of background or level of experience.

A range of equipment is available - including a small diffusion system – it may be possible to provide other equipment on prior request. Some details as to equipment can be found on our new website along with pictures from the last event, location map etc.

If you are interested in presenting your work or taking part in discussions, please contact before September 1st as we need to know numbers.

18 September - 6 November
Radio 101 by Zoe Irvine
(Sound Installation and Performance)
BCA Gallery, Bedford
Visitors are being invited to embark on a sonic journey and revisit history through an art installation created by sound artist Zoe Irvine for the Radio 101 exhibition opening at BCA Gallery on Saturday 18 September. Radio 101 is an extraordinary exhibition that retraces the stories surrounding the R101 airship and its fatal voyage to Karachi through a sequence of sound recordings.

Irvine is a sound artist and audio producer whose work often responds to a particular historic episode. Like the events she has explored in previous work, the R101 serves as a real and imaginative trigger for her sonic archaeology, a story for her to unravel with various strands to explore.

To commemorate the anniversary of the R101 crash BCA Gallery will be hosting a live radio broadcast as part of the Radio 101 exhibition. Radio 101 FM will air from 6.24pm the precise time that the R101 left Cardington and end at 2.04am the same time that the airship crashed. Visitors are invited to attend the broadcast at BCA Gallery or contribute their thoughts and memories via a live phone in.

Prior to the broadcast visitors to the exhibition will be able to get involved with the various audio work in preparation for the broadcast.

The York Renaissance Project: Call for Proposals
Deadline for receipt of proposals: 5pm Friday 17 September 2020

New ways to tell York's ancient tales. The York Renaissance Project invites Yorkshire-based artists, architects, commissioning agencies and companies active in contemporary art and creative new media to submit proposals for innovative interpretive installations and public art projects in any media which will refresh, re-interpret and breathe new life into York's historic urban environment.

The York Renaissance project has been established to develop “state of the art" interpretive installations (visual/ sculptural/ audio/ interactive/participatory) in spaces that are accessible or visible to the public which will respond to the city's heritage, recognise it's creative potential and inspire residents and visitors alike.

For further information contact: Rory McCarthy, Tourism Development Officer, Economic Development Unit, City of York Council, 20 George Hudson Street, York Y01 6WR

Tel: 01904 554550
Email: - Call for Submissions
Introducing a free online listening library featuring all forms of experimental electronic music: from sound art to electroacoustic music, experimental electronica to soundscape, etc. With over 1200 works from artists around the world, is an extensive audio web-resource dedicated to technology-based sound exploration.  Best of all, it's free to listen and free to submit your work.

Sonus is built around a Flash interface, which makes the site simple to use and navigate. It's easy to create and modify playlists, or find music in the library with the powerful search engine. Curated galleries will be a regular feature, showcasing work from different labels and festivals, or presenting work chosen by a curator around a particular theme or style.

With these features, Sonus is a great way to promote your work. You can include biographical information, track notes and links to personal webpages. So why not send in your audio? The CEC will encode it as high quality mp3 and include it in the Sonus library.

If you run a weblabel or have a personal webpage, you can use Sonus to house your audio with a link directly from your page. Contact us for more information.

For submissions:

For more information email:

Oima - Sucking Isis
Performed and produced by David Mutch and Magda Crace

This is the first Oima’s CD that I have ever listened to and the whole CD as a unitary work has attracted me: it paints for us, in fact, a touchable continuity. It is often difficult to notice the transition between two contiguous tracks because a characteristic element of a new track is frequently found in the final part of the previous one. This element can be a rhythmic pattern or a timbre and, of course, it does not mean that the same constitutive component is inserted in both tracks, but the elements of connection have something in common.

I only heard a clear interruption between the third track (‘Nano’) and the fourth one (‘Magneto’), and it seems to me a defined aesthetical choice; and I found also a breakpoint between ‘Gullabye Sub’ and ‘Brushman Whole’ (the last track), and in which the choice seems to tell the listener: “Our work is finishing”. Sometimes the link has been realized with a graft such as between ‘Metatron’ and ‘Softer Persuasion’: the start of ‘Softer Persuasion’ has been juxtaposed at the end of ‘Metatron’.

This music is a perpetual fountain of sounding material that evolves continuously. It is like somebody that speaks properly on all subjects but he knows what to say, so he knows also when to leave off; a continence which is practiced by few musicians. Apart from the stunning clarity of the sonorities of this work, the most noticeable thing about these pieces is their normality: flowing pads, drums, percussion, sharp sounds, and human voices. We find some similar sonorities in our own everyday life. Oima explores impulses and motives, and presents them in a so vividly a way that we feel we can touch them.

Every time there is no drums or percussion the sonic environment creates suggestive imagery, like something of the bygone centuries. I do not know why but I have thought of a myth in a historical setting rather than history of historical legend with a mythical dimension.

Review by Giuseppe Rapisarda, Paternò (CT), Italy.


Jean Routhier - Endurance
Aurore001 Aurore Nocturne

You can't be too careful in your choice of CD titles - especially in the case of this CD. Most of the works on this CD contain fragmented materials, anything from telephone conversations to The Shadows (without Cliff (thank goodness)) are assembled in a pretty random order. Bergson famously claimed that there was no such thing as disorder, just an absence of the particular order you were looking for - he might have added that some kinds of order just aren't that interesting, or perhaps I'm just not getting it.

The first three tracks on this CD really don't contain anything I found to be interesting in terms of structure and even the basic materials which are assembled are not necessarily that interesting with some featuring rather obvious looping. Yet those loops don't set up any real feel of structure through insistence - something which can be said of Yves Beaupre's Humeur de Facteur for example - despite my reservations as regards Beaupre's work. So let me list a track for you - Speech dub tape activity, a car goes past, a choir swells, a looped synthetic sound swells being gradually hi-passed filtered. Someone coughs, the wind blows, a door squeaks there is a steady drone - which then subsides. Electronics are placed against trees leaves and squeaks and a synthetic choir emerging from the trees leaves, although the transition is not handled well, a door slam followed by some speech (in french) - whilst the same synthetic choir continues to drone in the background. Someone walks along with The Shadows performance of 'Ghost Rider in the Sky' mixed quietly in the background - a bit of feedback and speech, someone walking along again - harder surface this time and so forth.
It is not impossible to assimilate such diverse elements together to cohere into a satisfying whole, as Brume, for example, proved on works such as Standard, but it is something this CD appears incapable or doesn't want to do in its attempt at surrealism.

Some of the tracks on this CD are less list-like, but even here the editing and structure seems less than ideal. Track 6 for example features a saxaphone, playing in a manner very reminiscent of Nurse With Wound's Dance of Fools (featured on their classic, Automating II album), but the tracks 'progression' to a low drone with timpani followed by the saxophones return has little poise and sounds closer to Limpe Fuchs studied primitivism, which isn't a recommendation.

The final track again shows the limitations of Routhier's compositional ability with a reverberant guitar pitched against swelling and falling drones with some delayed activity and the banging of some light metal percussion in a manner lacking the care required to merit the repetition it receives. The whole track is soaked in washes of reverb in a flawed attempt to create atmosphere, a technique which is somewhat clichéd to say the least. I always try to find something positive to say about the CD's I review, but I really am struggling in this instance to find anything to recommend about this release.

Review by crrs
Composer, Philosopher, Office Worker

Philip Jeck - 7
Touch TO57  Total length: 49:49.

7 is compiled from edits of home and concert recordings from the UK, Germany and Belgium using his faithful arsenal of relic turntable, minidisc and keyboards. Jeck's latest release on Touch Records gives the listener an audible experience of William Burrough's prophecy of “cutting into the present to let the future leek out”. The 7 pieces seem to be studies of a single moment, spliced and dissected to set free sounds that only otherwise exist in the invisible world.

Jeck is a master of his own language and the record displays his beautiful understanding of the limitations of his equipment and compositional skills. Like a huge leviathan moving to occupy a small amount of space in a long time, Jeck is developing at his own pace and the pieces contained on 7 are small flags of victory for each small but carefully taken step.

The whole CD is some kind of polar map. Shades against shards of haiku like compositions not competing against each other for space, but offering each other space.

The opening track ‘Wholesome’ slowly lowers the listener into the first space, surrounded by shoals of distant piano repetitions and static messages. This situation is turned on its head with ‘Museum’. A fanfare broken up by tears of a regretful funeral drum. Again Jeck's static rain drenches the piece, and the funeral drum distorts battling and losing to ghostly strings. Ultimately a very beautiful piece.

Bush Hum’ made form the amplified hum of a bush? Record player and delay pedal comes across as some kind of avant-krautrock obsessed aborigine splitting atoms with his didgeridoo backed by his children playing violins pleading not to be left alone.

The train station broken heartedness of ‘Now You Can Let Go’ with it's 'Carry On' film horn loop and Hawaiian guitar diverts the flow of the record. The track is divided in its opinion of where it should go. This confusion is diluted by adding additional samples of suburban rumours and a 'Keep On Running' drum loop. This chaotic piece destroys the ground covered previously, but Jeck is retracing his steps, re-looking to see if there are gems in the dirt.

The CD ends with the sublime and gentle ‘Veil'. A composition reflecting hidden moments. The loop of the Gorecki like strings swim under a constant drone and are broken by the appearance of minimal percussion. It sound like shadows of thousands of people all turning their heads at once. In Hebrew, 7 signifies completeness and the complete cycle of things as allowed by God. All 7 pieces here explore and question stillness, they open the moment for the listener, making us more aware of the tiny space we occupy.

Review by Justin Wiggan
Justin Wiggan is a phonic artist who works with Dreams Of Tall Buildings, robotti nu se pot ruga and as Geography of Nowhere.