CAMP.Radio | episode 024 | 07.13.22
The weather in July is usually hot, humid, and thoroughly unpleasant, where I live. The one bright spot each year is the Tour de France. For several years I use the three week race as an intensive practice, writing, and recording exercise. I record fragments of audio by race announcer Phil Liggett that pop up in some of the recorded pieces. Improvisations on guitar and/or piano just kind of drip and dissolve into semi-worked out pieces of "music." Several of these events are featured in episode 024. This program also marks our two-year anniversary on
01. stage 01, time trial (2022)
Stage 1 of the Tour de France was an individual time trial that took place in the city of Copenhagen. Because the time trial is a solo event- all of the drama takes place in the head of each cyclist. The guitar line was intended to reflect a controlled candence- both physically and emotionally/intellectually as the riders made their way, one by one, over the route of the course. Phil Liggett provided the commentary.
02. Connecticut forest series (2022)
Marion Belanger is a photographer and professor of art. She provided me with a recent dump of forest sounds from her Zoom portable recorder. This set of field recordings were made during the month of June in a mixed deciduous forest near Long Island Sound. If you slow down a recording of a chirping bird- it can sound like an owl. Is it daytime or night? The sounds of a distant interstate highway and the Amtrak railroad are, sadly, part of the soundscape of this region.
03. stage 02 - SHR (2022)
SHR was playing a piano melody while the Tour de France was playing on the television, so I set up a microphone. We realized that the piano was WAY out of tune, but went forward without caution. Later on, distortion was applied and some relatively thick reverb. Against this VERY lo-fi sound, Phil Liggett's commentary was clear and randomly poignant.
04. Heartbeat, extended edit (1978)
Chairs Missing is one of my favorite Wire albums. Heartbeat is a slow drone- two chords as far as I can tell. There is a LOT of tension in this song. I looped and extended the introduction and the ending.
05. Happiness (2016)
In 2016, the Recordiau Prin label asked 30 fans of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci to record a cover of their favorite song. The result of this project was the album,
Iechyd Da - A Tribute to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. One of my favorites is Happiness, recorded by my friend Stefan James, aka, Sweet Benfica. The vocals are very well inflected. The ensemble is minimal, steady, and marked with Stefan's use of noise and distortion in the background. This is a great song for a hot summer evening.
06. stage 9, into the mountains (2022)
This is another page from my Tour de France notebook. Up-tempo. Chaotic. Nervous. An open A string droning longer than it should with harmonics from F and C chords hard panned in opposite directions. The bass goes thump-thump and there's a full drum kit. Then it goes to half tempo and the hi-hat is replaced by the sound of a bicycle tire freewheeling. click. click. click.
07. Warm Water Burn (2022)
If you have not heard Birl of Unmap,
click here and listen while you read the rest of this post. I'll wait.
This album is a collaboration between Andy and Mike Truscott and Clare Archibald.
Clare is a visual/performance/writer/artist that I've been following on twitter for a few years. She posts great photos of Fife, Scotland. One recent conversation I had with Clare was included in episode 015. You should listen to that too.
The Truscott brothers are musically gifted. Clare is not shabby as a musician either.
I would describe Birl of Unmap as a work of environmental ambience. The sounds, tempo, and sonic arrangement is their shared musical soundtrack to the life/ecology/geology of the area where they live. I think we are going to see a lot more environmental/geological music in the future- and Birl of Unmap is a roadmap.
08. metamorphic (2021)
The scenes from the Tour de France, Belanger's field recordings, and the Birl of Unmap are all rooted, in some form or other, in geology. This is another piece of music about geology.
-- episode 024 endnote
Wowzers. This episode marks 2-years of CAMP Radio broadcasts. How did I do it? Intellectual curiousity, gin, great conversations with artists, and legal cannabis. I truly hope that you enjoy these broadcasts. Comments always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @experimenttrash.
Thank you for listening.