John’s annotated list of podcasts.
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|Alvin Lucier – SON[I]A #226
A key figure in post-Cage experimental music, Lucier is one of a kind, a composer who, as James Tenney says, makes his fellow musicians find themselves “having to revise our basic (and often unconscious) assumptions – our self-evident axioms about music.” Driven by a curiosity to understand “how things work” (an innocent and unprejudiced curiosity that Tenney compares to that of a child), Lucier always seems ready to disappear within sound. It is as if his fascination with the sound phenomenon leads him to avoid interfering in its manifestation. His work is thus by no means based on self-expression or on compositional interventions. Instead, he allows sounds to “be themselves” without pushing or directing them in any way.
|Blind Guy Travels
How would you describe a world you’ve never seen? Blind Guy Travels invites you into life without sight. Join host Matthew Shifrin as he experiences a Marx Brothers comedy, creates an online dating profile, collaborates with LEGO to develop instructions for blind builders, and prepares for college graduation.
|Listening Across Disciplines
An Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC) funded network project which brings together artists, musicians, scientists, technologists and social scientists as well as scholars and practitioners from the humanities to work across disciplinary boundaries on the recently emerging focus on sound and listening.
|Medium Rotation – Triple Canopy
conversations and sonic experiences that probe the conditions (and counter the received ideas) of our time, among other times. Each season of the podcast is animated by the concerns of an issue of the magazine, which are addressed by artists, writers, and scholars. The first season, Omniaudience, asks how we understand ourselves and others through listening—and what the obstacles to listening reveal about our society. Omniaudience also testifies to the power we exercise as listeners to act in concert with each other, and to amplify voices that might not otherwise be heard.
|Noise a Human History
What if history had a sound track? What would it tell us about ourselves? This thirty-part BBC Radio series explores the human dramas that have revolved around sound at various points in the last 100,000 years, allowing us to think in fresh ways about the meaning of our collective past.
|Oceans of Noise
Wildlife recordist Chris Watson begins a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise pollution
|On Being – Gordon Hempstead
Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton collects sounds from around the world. He’s recorded inside Sitka spruce logs in the Pacific Northwest, thunder in the Kalahari Desert, and dawn breaking across six continents. An attentive listener, he says silence is an endangered species on the verge of extinction. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound but an absence of noise. We take in the world through his ears.
|On Listening – Thinking Through the Ear
To what extent is listening ‘thinkable’? Philosophical inquiry, deeply rooted in the visual regime, seems to struggle when it comes to theoretically coming to grips with listening and sonic phenomena. It is, after all, no coincidence that the Greek term ‘theoria’ (θεωρία) means ‘looking at, viewing, beholding’. This programme explores philosophy’s seeming difficulty in grappling with listening and its counterpart – sound – as a powerful deconstructive means to cut through some of the philosophical certainties that underpin classical and modern Western thought.
|On Listening – Jacob Kirkegaard
With projects on the deserts of Oman, the Chernobyl ‘zone of alienation’, Arctic calving glaciers and the tones generated by the human inner ear itself, mapping out Jacob Kirkegaard’s artistic practice is no easy task. He allows himself to be led by wonder, focusing on hidden or unheard layers of sound and sonic phenomena in highly charged contexts.
Radio Concrete – produced by Hagai Izenberg – is an ongoing experimental sound project which combines field recordings together with radio broadcasting.
It is an exaggerated interpretation of sounds that we are exposed to every day in the public and domestic spheres, often in passing or involuntarily. Fresh raw materials including field recordings of our everyday routine, samples and loops from tv & radio, news editions and advertisements are all gathered on a regular basis and then mixed together on live radio broadcasting. The radio show attempts to capture the busy modern lifestyle together with the daily news & events, tragedies and political discourse next to advertisements and entertainment.
|The Dominant Eye
Siân Lyn Hutchings & The Noematic Collective The Dominant Eye (2018)
Responding to the overload of visual media dominating our contemporary senses, Siân Lyn Hutchings and The Noematic Collective will develop a series of interconnected projects that foreground the use of sonic interpretation on site: a series of live weekly podcasts, a tailored programme of sonic workshops and, installed permanently in the Bold Tendencies Auditorium, a sonic library of the site’s ongoing and evolving aural history.
| The Listeners – BBC
Listening is about more than hearing as we discover with people whose professional lives revolve around listening, in one case using listening devices to pick up signs of life.
|The World According to Sound
Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett are co-creators of The World According to Sound, a radio show that airs on NPR’s All Things Considered and weekly on individual public radio stations. The Washington Post writes that “each episode is 90 seconds, containing a neat little story about an evocative, unusual sound rendered in intense aural detail.”
|Twenty Thousand Hertz
podcast revealing the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds.
| Variations – Jon Leidecker
‘Variation’ is the formal term for a musical composition based on a previous musical work, and many of those traditional methods (changing the key, meter, rhythm, harmonies or tempi of a piece) are used in much the same manner today
by sampling musicians. But the practice of sampling is more than a simple modernization or expansion of the number of options available to those who seek their inspiration in the refinement of previous composition. The history of this music traces nearly as far back as the advent of recording, and its emergence and development mirrors the increasingly selfconscious relationship of society to its experience of music. Starting with the precedents achieved by Charles Ives and John Cage, VARIATIONS will present an overview of the major landmarks in Sampling Music, following examples in twentieth century composition, folk art and commercial media through to the meeting of all those threads in the present day.
Electronic Animisms, Cosmic Diplomacies, Sonic Fabulations, Blasted Landscapes / Abundant Futures, Field Studies. Over five chapters unfolding a plurality of sonic expressions, imaginaries and thought, YNK interrogates relations to nonhumans, nature, bodies, and matter.