Friday, 16 November 2012

Feonic Speaker Technology

 Whispering Windows – Attract New Customers How do I Attract New Customers into my store? Answer: Use sound to attract attention Every store owner with a window display asks themselves “how do I attract new customers into my store”. The first task is to attract attention to ensure people passing by actually look at what you have to offer.

Consider FeONIC Technologies Whispering Window® which has a proven track record in substantially increasing sales by up to 40%. A unique technology that delivers audio advertising messages from your shop, store, cafe or restaurant window display. These are not tacky speakers stuck on the outside of your building, instead our sound transducers gently turn your shop window into a speaker.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

CRiSAP Presents - Not for Human Consumption

This is the launch of an intriguing online exhibition featuring a collection of sounds that were not intended for humans in the first place. The exhibition reveals weird but inspiring sounds, ranging from the almost inaudible, to the sounds of languages evolved by robots to communicate with one another. Inspiring!

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Niftymitter is a short range FM transmitter based on the open source hardware design by Tetsuo Kogawa, housed within a cardboard body, with a variety of options for hacking. The transmitter is tiny and handy for small scale radio broadcasts, building a distributed PA system for performances, linking your personal audio player to your car radio, or for general audio experimentation.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

David Toop - Making Sounds

David Toop is a musician/composer, writer, and curator. He has written four books, currently translated into eight languages: Rap Attack (now in its third edition), Ocean of Sound (included in the Observer Music Monthly’s 50 Greatest Music Books Ever), Exotica (a winner of the 21st annual American Books Awards for 2000), and Haunted Weather. His first album, New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments, was released on Brian Eno's Obscure label in 1975; since 1995 he has released seven solo albums.

David Toop - Making Sounds from Expression Design on Vimeo.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Free Lab Radio

Composer, former post-punk band member and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Robert Worby in the studio discussing his methods, influences and the forthcoming John Cage centenary. From reel tape to keyboards to field recordings, features on sound art history, and even directing the Sonic Arts Network while holding down his day job on BBC 3′s Hear and Now – Worby’s life is steeped in audio.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


FOUND are an Edinburgh-based art collective and band whose members include Ziggy Campbell, Simon Kirby, Tommy Perman, and Kev Sim.

They are perhaps best known for creating an emotional robot band called Cybraphon, that captured the attention of the world’s press.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Dan Graham

Past Future Split Attention (1972)

"Two people who know each other are in the same space. While one predicts continuously the other person's behavior, the other person recounts (by memory) the other's past behavior. Both performers are in the present, so knowledge of the past is needed to continuously deduce future behavior (in terms of causal relation). For one to see the other in terms of the present (attention), there is a mirror reflection or closed figure-eight feedback/feedahead loop of past/future. One person's behavior reciprocally reflects/depends upon the other's, so that each one's information is seen as a reflection of the effect that their own just-past behavior has had in reversed tense, as perceived from the other's view of himself."

Lax/ Relax (1969)

In this work created in 1969, the artist articulates spoken language with body language by means of a feminine voice which mirrors his own in the framework of a repetitive structure.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Close Radio - Evidence of Movement

From 1976 to 1979, Los Angeles radio station KPFK hosted Close Radio, a weekly half-hour program that allowed artists to present sound and art projects via radio broadcast. Initially founded by artists John Duncan and Neil Goldstein, the program was primarily organized by Duncan and Paul McCarthy, with Nancy Buchanan and Linda Frye Burnham also participating as organizers at various points in the program’s history. Over the course of more than one hundred broadcasts by more than ninety artists, Close Radio challenged nearly every conceivable industry standard of radio broadcast, and collectively its projects present an encyclopedic array of strategies used by artists to present performative art works using only sound.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Shady Lane Productions 2006

by Phil Collins

Turner Prize 2006 exhibition at Tate Britain

Phil Collins’s art investigates our ambivalent relationship with the camera as both an instrument of attraction and manipulation, of revelation and shame. He often operates within forms of low-budget television and reportage-style documentary to address the discrepancy between reality and its representations. In his projects, Collins creates unpredictable situations and his irreverent and intimate engagement with his subjects – a process he describes as ‘a cycle of no redemption’ – is as important for his practice as the final presentation in the gallery.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Tetsuo Kogawa - Mini FM Radio

How to make a mini FM transmitter - First broadcast on Paper Tiger TV (November 4th 1991, New York)

"Pirate Aesthetics of the Mini-FM"

Lecture at the Glasgow School of Art on the 20th September 2009 as part of Arikas' Instal festival.

Read some of Tetsuo Kogawa's Writings in English here

How to build Tetsuo Kogawa's simplest fm radio transmitter from Bradley L. Garrett on Vimeo.

Friday, 17 February 2012

R. Murray Schafer - Listen

Monday is Murray Schafer’s 78th birthday. It’s also World Listening Day. Here’s a 5-minute film profile of Murray from the good ol’ National Film Board of Canada:

Soundscapes: Atlantikwall

Sounds of World War II Bunkers by Nick Sowers

Sunday, 5 February 2012

How does LISTENING affect our lives?

As you would expect, the theories and application of Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis have now been commodified into a listening program, meaning that there is no need to go to a doctor but the benefits can be gained from the comfort of your own home.

"Because listening is such an important aspect of our daily lives, and because our auditory system has such a profound impact on how we function, it is fair to say that anyone could benefit from an auditory stimulation program such as The Listening Program. Specifically TLP was designed for children (ages 2 and older) and adults who have auditory perceptual / processing concerns."

Click on image above to watch video

Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis

Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis (January 1, 1920–December 25, 2001) was an internationally known otolaryngologist, and inventor. He received his Doctorate in Medicine from the Paris School of Medicine. His alternative medecine theories of hearing and listening are known as the Tomatis method or Audio-Psycho-Phonology (APP).

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Microsoft Sound composed by Brian Eno.

In 1994 Microsoft corporation designers Mark Malamud and Erik Gavriluk approached Brian Eno to compose music for the Windows 95 project. The result was the six-second start-up music-sound of the Windows 95 operating system, The Microsoft Sound (.wav). In the San Francisco Chronicle he said:

"The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I'd been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, "Here's a specific problem — solve it."
The thing from the agency said, "We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional," this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said "and it must be 31/4 seconds long."

Talking about a proposal for a sound work which could be installed in an airport "when you're changing planes and you're and you've got an hour to spare and you don't want to spend more money on calculators."

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Open Music Archive

Open Music Archive is a collaborative project, initiated by artists Eileen Simpson & Ben White, to source, digitise and distribute out-of-copyright sound recordings. The archive is open for anyone to use and contribute to.

Filling the Deadly Silence

From shopping malls to office spaces to the privacy of home, silence is rare. People in general are uncomfortable with a noiseless environment. Whether in the shopping mall or the office, people are more productive when they are listening to the appropriate music. This manufacturing of an emotional buying and working experience has become a staple of the American programmed music industry. But, people do not like to feel like they are being acted upon. Thus, Musak was born. Made most popular by the company “Muzak”, this style of audio has evolved into a conflict of control over consumer behavior versus consumer resistance to such coercion. In effect, Musak is the epitome of the subconscious war for the consumer’s mind.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Music and Morality

By Roger Scruton

“The ways of poetry and music are not changed anywhere without change in the most important laws of the city.” So wrote Plato in the Republic (4.424c). Music, for Plato, was not a neutral amusement. It could express and encourage virtue— nobility, dignity, temperance, chastity. But it could also express and encourage vice—sensuality, belligerence, indiscipline.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Flat Panel Loudspeaker

Unlike a conventional speaker, which is in essence a highly-controlled piston-like structure, the flat panel speaker goes back to first principles in sound reproduction. Those simple experiments with a tuning fork at school, tell us that the tuning fork itself, when struck, can hardly be heard. Yet rest the fork on a surface e.g. desk, filing cabinet, etc, and the surface comes alive and reproduces a tone essentially at the frequency set by the tuning fork. The loudness of the sound will depend on how stiff and heavy the surface is. These surfaces are creating sound, not by being a highly controlled piston, but by vibrations that are occurring across the entire surface.

Amina has taken this one stage further in order to achieve an unobvious or invisible source. Using the skills and techniques developed over the last six years from the commercial installation market, Amina has created a true in-wall speaker which is skimmed over with plaster. Both the composite panel structure and the thin layer of plaster and paint or wallpaper on its surface, become the vibrational soundboard. In fact in a stud wall, or a ceiling, the vibrations spread out beyond the boundary of the panel into the surrounding plasterboard. Just like the acoustic musical instrument (e.g. the sides of the piano), these vibrations are not as active as the main panel area, but they still make a valuable contribution in generating sound energy in the room, thus making an even more consistent sound field in the space. And just like the piano in the concert hall, such a surface can fill a very large space.

Noise: The Political Economy of Music

Jacques Attali (Former adviser to President François Mitterrand and first president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

Attali's essential argument in Noise: The Political Economy of Music is that music, as a cultural form, is intimately tied up in the mode of production in any given society. For Marxist critics, this idea is nothing new. The novelty of Attali's work is that it reverses the traditional understandings about how revolutions in the mode of production take place:

"[Attali] is the first to point out the other possible logical consequence of the “reciprocal interaction” model—namely, the possibility of a superstructure to anticipate historical developments, to foreshadow new social formations in a prophetic and annunciatory way. The argument of Noise is that music, unique among the arts for reasons that are themselves overdetermined, has precisely this annunciatory vocation; that the music of today stands both as a promise of a new, liberating mode of production, and as the menace of a dysotopian possibility which is that mode of production’s baleful mirror image." - Fredric Jameson, from the "Foreword" to Noise

Peter Cusack

Peter Cusack, based in London, works as a sound artist, musician and environmental recordist with a special interest in environmental sound and acoustic ecology. Projects move from community arts to research into the contribution of sound to our senses of place to recordings that document areas of special sonic interest, e.g. Lake Baikal, Siberia, and Xinjang, China's most western province. Recently involved in 'Sound & the City' the British Council sound art project in Beijing 2005. His current project 'Sounds From Dangerous Places' examines the soundscapes of sites of major environmental damage, e.g. Chernobyl, the Azerbaijan oil fields, controversial dams on the Tigris and Euphratees river systems in south east Turkey.

An Anthology Of Chinese Experimental Music 1992-2008

Adventures In Modern Music 06 August 2009

Hosted by Anne Hilde Neset. With special guest Clive Bell discussing Chinese experimental music

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


A superb, if not slightly disorientating website, set up by Ben Watson, author of Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play (Quartet, 1994). Covering almost everything under the sun that you had never even thought worth considering before.

"MILITANT ESTHETIX has advanced the quivering tip of the visual pyramid into Esemplastic Heraclitean Infinity. With our floating upright lyric (blue and sparkling) and plagiarist communism (Trotskoid and betusked) we burst through the indigo (possibly of coal-tarred synthetic origin) lampshade of the firmament, slog beyond, abandonning the petty purple (mauveine?) mortality of the merely individual to the bruised condition of a historical-non-historical life. Let spill the fire! Sizzle. Drip. Drip. Arrows, speak."


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Plague of Noise

"And this is the reason why it is impossible in a visitation to prevent the spreading of the plague by the utmost human vigilance: viz., that it is impossible to know the infected people from the sound, or that the infected people should perfectly know themselves."

- Daniel DeFoe. Journal of the Plague Year

Inspired in part by Leif Elggren's Virulent Images/Virulent Sound (if images can be virulent, can sound be virulent too?), blackdeath is the first open hardware/free software noise synthesiser with the plague inside.

Embedding epidemic and plague simulations amongst other data generation algorithms for granular re-synthesis of incoming audio signals or self-generated feedback, blackdeath represents a virulent yet highly controllable noise/audio engine with built-in, switchable distortion.

Alternatively you can abandon the plague carrier and code your own sampling software to make use of resident 512 Kb RAM (64 seconds of audio sampled at 8000 samples per second), 8 bit DAC (Digital Analogue Convertor), and digital switched distortion(s). A prototype area is provided to design, test and run your own distortion designs.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Right to silence?

The infuriating ring of someone else's mobile blights many a night out at the cinema or theatre. France has decided to jam phone signals to allow audiences to enjoy shows in silence - could the UK follow suit?

The trill or bleep of a mobile has become an all-too familiar recreational hazard for theatre and cinema-goers. In France they've had enough and the government is allowing venues to use mobile phone jammers to block incoming signals.

'Quiet zones'

Instead of electric jammers, the solution could be "wallpaper" containing complex metal patterns which block some signals but let others through. Its use is a legal "grey area" in the UK. This could soon be on the market, for use in airports, hospitals, prisons, military establishments or indeed any building which needs a "quiet zone", says technology firm Qinetiq. Just think of how schools could benefit from putting a stop to text-crazy pupils, suggests a Qinetiq spokesman.

Very interesting to think about the link between Erik Satie's Furniture music, which was otherwise somtimes refered to as wallpaper music, by which he insisted that the audience attempt not to listen:

"In the midst of an art opening at a Paris gallery in 1902, ambient music was born. Erik Satie and his cronies, after begging everyone in the gallery to ignore them, broke out into what they called Furniture Music—that is, background music—music as wallpaper, music to be purposely not listened to."

Musique d'Ameublement
Literally, "furniture music," the phrase coined by Satie in 1917, where he identifies sound
as drapes, tiling, wallpaper - items belonging to the environment - and changing it simply by being in it, by actually becoming elements of the space. The idea being that, since you don't notice the sound right away, it becomes, in a sense, part of the furniture.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Radio Ligna - Radio Ballet

Exercise in lingering not according to the rules

A Radio Ballet is a radio play produced for the collective reception in certain public places. It gives the dispersed radio listeners the opportunity, to subvert the regulations of the space.

The Radio Ballet “Übung in nichtbestimmungsgemäßem Verweilen” took place in the main station of Leipzig, Germany, a former public space that is under private control of the German railway company (Deutsche Bahn - DB) and it ́s associates since the mid-nineties. Like every bigger train station in Germany it is controlled by a panoptic regime of surveillance cameras, security guards and an architecture, that avoids any dark and “dangerious” corners. The system of control is designed to keep out every kind of deviant behaviour. People, who sit down on the floor or start to beg are detected immediately and instantly expelled.

The Radio Ballet brought back these excluded gestures of deviant behavior into the main station. Around 500 participants - usual radio listeners, no dancers or actors – were invited to enter the station, equipped with cheap, portable radios and earphones. By means of these devices they could listen to a radio program consisting of a choreography suggesting permitted and forbidden gestures (to beg, to sit or lie down on the floor etc.). These suggestions were inter-rupted by reflections on the public space and on the Radio ballet itself.

Decoder (1984)

, the artificial music product created by scientists and marketing experts to increase efficiency and enhance wellbeing, irrigates men everywhere. A young punk and hobby sound mechanic decodes this music and creates an antidote to provoke disturbances not only in the burger joints where he found this music. By recruiting street pirates to spread his twisted sounds via tapes (an idea directly taken from Burroughs' cut up manuals) the tumults turn into violent streetfighting (with real footage from Berlin's infamous Anti Reagan riots). The big corporations can not tolerate this and engage a shady agent to stop the antimuzak movement.

, by its very nature, has undoubted political significance. With this in mind, the authors of Decoder have achieved a blend of reality and fiction. Surreal, metaphorical imagery interwoven with music, words, and sound effects make this a musical action movie with a very physical impact and an exciting insight view in the subcultural ideas and aesthetics of the early 80's

Read more about the poetic German dystopian avant-garde science fiction film Decoder (1984)

Sonic branding: An earworm to your pocket

They may sound like mere jingles and ditties, but so-called "sonic branding" is big business indeed. How do advertisers capture your soul with just five musical notes?

Every day, trilling away innocuously in the background, dozens of tiny pieces of music are busy burrowing deep inside our psyche.

To the untrained ear they might sound unremarkable, even friendly - but drop your guard and you could fall under their spell.

Everyone recognises visual branding such as logos, and the aural equivalents are equally pervasive.

Nokia's ringtone, Intel's four-note bongs, McDonalds' "I'm lovin' it" refrain - all masterpieces of sonic branding, the genetically modified, 21st Century offspring of the jingle.


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves, edited by CRiSAP co-director Angus Carlyle, seeks to draw together a number of different perspectives on how the environment is made audible through sound. The perspectives contained in the book are made manifest through more traditional textual analyses, interviews, image-based works (both photography and graphic illustration) and ‘artist’s pages’ (which combine different registers of information).

Field Recording and Soundscape Compilation

Lavinia Greenlaw: Audio Obscura

13 September - 23 October 2011
Lower concourse, St Pancras International Station
(between Marks & Spencer and Le Pain Quotidien)

Audio Obscura - trailer from Artangel on Vimeo.

In the busy public spaces of London's St Pancras International Station, everyday dramas are constantly being acted out; people waiting or rushing, engaged in conversation or lost in their own thoughts.

In Audio Obscura, equipped with headphones, you'd enter the crowd and overhear voices around you. What did that woman mean? Did he really say that? Does she realise what she is saying? You might wish you hadn’t listened or you might want to know more. You will look for stories and you might even find them...


Janet Cardiff - The Missing Voice

(Case Study B)
Stranger in a strange city

"Sometimes I don't really know what the stories in my walks are about. Mostly they are a response to the location, almost as if the site becomes a Rorschach test that I am interpreting. For me The Missing Voice was partly a response to living in a large city like London for a while, reading about its history in quiet libraries, seeing newspaper headlines as I walked by the news stands, overhearing gossip, and being a lone person getting lost amongst the masses."

I had attempted to do a similar exercise to Janet Cardiff, before I had listened to this piece, making binaural recordings in Poundland for example, giving directions and descriging what I saw. Listening back to the sounds however, I found that my voice was hardly distinguishable from the backgound sounds as I had felt rather self-concious at the time, talking about people around me. I find that Janet Cardiff's voice has so much more clarity, so much so that at times it feels like her voice has become your inner voice. The audio clip below, is a good example of this:

Dreams of Darkness by The Confusion Of Tongues

There is something about the next audio clip (Part-1, 9:45), which somehow reminds me of Vito Acconci's following piece from 1969:

It's like you're invisible by The Confusion Of Tongues

Vito Acconci - Following Piece (1969)

Read More about Janet Cardiff - The Missing Voice...

Zai Tang - Sonorous City

“…how do we listen to sounds never before noticed, sounds long vanished, or sounds that are not sounds, exactly, but more like the fluctuations of light, weather and the peculiar feeling that can arise when there is a strong sense of place?” (Toop. 112: 2007)

My work explores the dialogue between sound and space. More specifically, it focuses on the relationship between the soundscape and our perception of the urban environment.

I undertook this project to investigate this in relation to my own experience of London. I felt my interaction with the city was becoming increasingly dislocated and often dictated by routines of work and necessity. Inspired by Situationist ideas of urban exploration, I embarked on a series of journeys stemming from the River Thames. I didn’t plan any routes, I simply let the allure of the landscape and the sounds I experienced lead me towards my next location.