Magneto Mori: Vienna CD

Canti Magnetici / Canto 32 CD / DL

Limited edition CD release on Italian label Canti Magnetici and the follow up to my previous 2019 release for the label, ‘Magneto Mori: Kilfinane’.

Originally commissioned by Kunstradio for broadcast on ORF Ö1, Austria this is a significantly reworked alternate version created specifically for this CD release.

Magneto Mori: Vienna is a fragmented sound portrait of the city constructed from found sounds, buried tapes and field recordings. In this de-composition sounds from Vienna’s past and present are conjoined in a stew of semi-degraded audiotape. Using a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder sounds from around the city were recorded direct to tape over a two-day period. This tape was then cut into fragments and buried in a hole in the ground with a number of souvenir fridge magnets that erased the portions of the tape that they came into contact with. After several days steeped in the muddy earth of a Viennese garden the remaining audio fragments were exhumed, washed, dried and spliced back together in random order. The deliberate distressing and erosion of these present-day recordings results in artificially degraded sounds that fast-forward the effects of time, disrupting the perceived chronology of this audio matter.

During the tapes’ interment, old cassette, Dictaphone and reel-to-reel tapes were gathered from local flea markets and additional field recordings were made around the city. The addition of these found sounds stretches the timescale from just the short period spent making location recordings to perhaps as far back as fifty years ago. All of these elements provided the raw materials for a radiophonic composition that represents a portrait of Vienna in both place and time; an archaeological excavation of found sounds, lost fragments, buried memories and magnetic traces. Presented here are the sounds that endured…

Purchase on Bandcamp.


Reviews:

“…a chamber set of quiet power”
Mike Hoolboom

“…suffused with peeling paint, crumbling infrastructure… it’s fascinating as an assemblage of the cultural detritus that has oozed out from its base, leaking into used-goods stores and ramshackle market stalls — forgotten memories exhumed, reanimated, limping with half-life.”
Maxie Younger, Tone Glow


Reviews in Full

“In this suite of exquisitely arranged miniatures, the artist recycles everyday moments – chiefly convos and traffic – subjects them to various analog derangements (like burying the tapes), then carefully rearranges the broken, shredded samples, producing a chamber set of quiet power.”
Mike Hoolboom

“There’s certainly a transfixing quality to this collage, degraded, suffused with peeling paint, crumbling infrastructure; I can’t speak to the veracity with which it portrays Vienna, but it’s fascinating as an assemblage of the cultural detritus that has oozed out from its base, leaking into used-goods stores and ramshackle market stalls — forgotten memories exhumed, reanimated, limping with half-life.”
Maxie Younger, Tone Glow

“The bits in which the recordings are more or less pristine act like islands of sound amid the morass of obliteration and its many shades, giving dynamism to the listening experience. There’s a richness of sound and a subtle handling of the medium here, and they’re evidence of someone who knows what they’re doing very, very well.”
Gil Sansón, Tone Glow


Sonograph Sound Effects Series Volume 2: Public and Domestic Plumbing and Sanitation

Calling Cards Publishing / CCP007 LP (2021)

New limited edition Sound Effects Library LP released by Calling Cards Publishing.

Mark Vernon presents the second volume of his Sonograph Sound Effects Series – the follow up to the unexpectedly popular ‘Sounds of the Modern Hospital’ LP. This time the focus is on sounds of plumbing and sanitation: drainpipes, plugholes, leaks, squeaky taps and cisterns.

Vernon has recorded many of the sounds from unusual perspectives, in extreme close-up scenarios, using contact mics or small binaural microphones to get into tiny inaccessible spaces. There is also a particular focus on plumbing on-board vehicles and vessels in motion. The intention here is to reveal the marvellous within the most mundane and every day of sounds.

The record masquerades as a collection of generic archetypal sounds whilst in actuality it revels in the specific and unique – some of the most idiosyncratic and characterful instances of such sounds. No two gurgles are alike.

As an avid collector of sound effects records these obsolete discs have gradually taken on new meaning for Vernon as unintended audio time capsules. As their use value has decreased their value as historical audio documents has grown. To produce a sound effects LP in the age of digital audio libraries is an anachronistic gesture intended to elevate what purports to be a generic collection of recordings intended for functional use to the level of an artwork.

The album is in part a homage to classic ranges of sound effects albums such as the BBC Sound Effects Library – even down to the utilitarian design and functional descriptions of the sounds (a key aspect of this release). Such generic collections of sounds were intended to fulfil the needs of professional and amateur broadcasters, filmmakers and theatre producers. However, through careful selection and sequencing it is also intended that this record works as a linear sound composition.

>>> Utilitarian Unsounds for Undisclosed Purposes <<<

 
Reviews:

“…as the pieces begin to pass in quick succession, they start to wriggle free of meaning like a word repeated until it feels like just a collection of uttered sounds. Rather than take you out of the experience, this dislocation becomes hypnotic and compelling… creating the soundscape to somewhere new and bewildering.”
Spenser Tomson, The Wire magazine


Reviews in Full

“Opinions differ as to what constitutes a ‘good’ field recording. It could be argued that the more precisely it captures a place or event, conjuring it with clarity in the mind of the listener, then the more successful it is. In Cathy Lane and Angus Carlyle’s book In The Field: The Art of Field Recording, the musician and exponent of the technique, Francisco López says, “for me field recording is essentially a creative way of interacting with reality, rather than ‘representing’ reality”. In his view, the most interesting field recordists are those who, rather than employing a documentarian accuracy, opt instead to let the sounds bleed across the frame, obscuring their nature and using them as the components to construct a completely new fiction.

Mark Vernon’s work often plays with this ambiguity, using various methods to sever these sonic artefacts from their original connections. Lend An Ear, Leave A Word constructed a disorientating picture of Lisbon from snippets of tape recordings and found sounds, while Sonograph Sound Effects Series Vol.1: Sounds of the Modern Hospital took the already curious sounds of these places, amplifying their strangeness by presenting them in quick-fire sequence, disorientating the listener in strange soundscapes. With the follow-up, subtitled Public And Domestic Plumbing And Sanitation, Vernon achieves weirder results from a source material that is more quotidian.

But its weirdness is not immediately revealed, and initially his recordings appear as straightforward documents of the everyday and mundane. “Shower Hose Attachment” and “Toilet Flush And Cistern Refill” set a tone that gurgles and squeaks its familiar way through U-bend and plughole. But as the pieces begin to pass in quick succession, they start to wriggle free of meaning like a word repeated until it feels like just a collection of uttered sounds. Rather than take you out of the experience, this dislocation becomes hypnotic and compelling, such as when the soggy clatter of “Drainpipe Drips” rolls into the lonely groan of “Radiator” creating the soundscape to somewhere new and bewildering.

As with his previous works, Vernon illustrates that from ubiquity, he is able to conjure something unfamiliar and compelling.”

Spenser Tomson, The Wire magazine, September 2021

Public and Domestic Plumbing and Sanitation – launch event

 

CALLING CARDS PUBLISHING PRESENTS:
MARK VERNON & LAURA PHILLIPS + MARY HURRELL + JOHN MACEDO
Cafe Oto, FRIDAY 27th AUGUST 2021, 7.30PM – Tickets £12, £10 (ADV), £6 members.

To mark the launch of the new LP on Calling Cards Publishing “Sonograph Sound Series Volume 2: Public & Domestic Plumbing & Sanitation” – Mark Vernon and Laura Phillips will plumb the depths to present an experiment in sound and image exploring the structures of sanitation systems, boilers, pumps, plumbing networks, drainage and water supplies.

The evening also welcomes Mary Hurrell, an interdisciplinary artist working across sound, performance, sculpture and text to explore choreography of the body. And John Macedo, whose work explores connections and relationships and revealing the hidden potential in all sounds, environments and technologies, often in intimate, immersive and intuitive ways.

More details here.

The next day Mark & Laura perform at the Bristol Exchange on a bill with Agathe Max, Ocean Floor and Wendy Miasma.

Early show, 10pm curfew – Tickets £6.
Exchange, 72 – 73 Old Market, Bristol.

More details here.

Tickets available here.

Sheet Erosion on Kunstradio

 

A newly commissioned programme for Radiokunst – Kunstradio, Sunday 29th August, 23:00 – 0:00 (CET), Ö1, Austria.

Sheet Erosion is the third episode in a series of works based around ideas of audio archaeology and found sounds. The setting this time is the city of Brest in France. The piece is created from field recordings made in early 2020 during the storms Ciara and Desmond and a batch of found open reel tape recordings from the 70s and 80s. The tapes include domestic home recordings but mostly document the recordist, Michel’s tastes in music and radio programmes of the time. In listening to the tapes it occurred to me that what we choose to record is actually a record of ourselves – our tastes, interests, emotional state or personality even. Each recording in isolation provides little in terms of clues but en masse a clearer picture begins to emerge and certain character traits start to become identifiable. Recorded with a mic in front of a speaker rather than directly cabled, daily life bleeds into these lo-fi recordings of radio and TV programmes – ambiguous activities in the background, babies crying, feedback, chairs scraping, chatter, etc. In the composed work family histories and musical tastes are transposed over a more contemporary soundscape of Brest. Over-saturated tape distorts time as well as sounds. Speeds change. Chronologies become confused. Different instances in time are blended and fused. What seeps through these chronological crevices are events and incidents unmoored from linear time taking place in a chimerical non-space. Although the location remains the same would it be in any way recognisable to the inhabitants chronicled within it?

Berliner Hörspiel Festival

My experimental radio play The Dominion of Din originally produced for the Amplify: Quarantine festival, has been shortlisted for the Burning Mic Prize for international non-German works at this year’s Berliner Hörspiel Festival – a radio play competition and 4-day extravaganza of listening sessions, Q & A’s, workshops and live radio plays. The winners are decided through a public vote.

Sunday, 14th August from 17:00 (CET) / 16:00 (GMT)

To tune in to the live stream or to view the full programme visit:

https://berliner-hoerspielfestival.de/festival-2021/

Update: I’m really happy to say that The Dominion of Din won first prize in Sunday’s competition against some pretty stiff competition.

Clyde Built Radio Show – Calling Cards Publishing Special with Mark Vernon

·
In conversation with Calling Cards’ Sam Hailey-Watts, Glasgow’s Clyde Built Radio hosted an hour-long deep dive into some of my favourite sound effects records and field recordings works ahead of the forthcoming release on Calling Cards Publishing: Public and Domestic Plumbing and Sanitation.

Clyde Built Radio, 8am -9am, 23rd July.

(Track list below)

Mark Vernon – Draining Kitchen Sink
Sonograph Sound Effects Series Vol.2: Public & Domestic Plumbing & Sanitation (Calling Cards Publishing, CCP007, 2021)

Sound Effects Volume 16 – Rowing (hydrophone)
(Stereodisc, DFS 7056, 1974)

Andreas Oskar Hirsch – Row Out (excerpt)
Row LP (Makiphon 003, 2017)

Mark Vernon – Phacoemulsifier
Sonograph Sound Effects Series Vol.1: Sounds of the Modern Hospital (meagre resource, mere 025, 2014)

Mark Vernon – Hot Water Tap
Sonograph Sound Effects Series Vol.2: Public & Domestic Plumbing & Sanitation (Calling Cards Publishing, CCP007, 2021)

Mark Vernon – Plughole Drone – Steam Train Toilets
Sonograph Sound Effects Series Vol.2: Public & Domestic Plumbing & Sanitation (Calling Cards Publishing, CCP007, 2021)

Toshiya Tsunoda – Inside of a Pipe at the Seashore 1
Pieces of Air CD (Lucky Kitcken, LK 016, 2002)

R.S.King – Sink-Symphony
IWT / CIMES / IARC 1993 CD

Pigface – Symphony for Taps
Gub CD (Devotion, 1991)

Mark Vernon – Wash Basin Tap
Sonograph Sound Effects Series Vol.2: Public & Domestic Plumbing & Sanitation (Calling Cards Publishing, CCP007, 2021)

Mark Vernon – Paper Cone Music
(unreleased, 2012)

Bands 1 & 3 – Threshing and Cultivating by Steam Power LP
(Sounds of the Countryside series, Abbey 607, 1967)

Sven-Åke Johansson ‎– Konzert Für 12 Traktoren (excerpt)
Konzert Für 12 Traktoren LP (Trost Records, TR 137, 2015)

Sound Effects Volume 16 – Zilch
(Stereodisc, DFS 7056, 1974)

In the Throat of the Machine – new digital release on Scatter

 
Liam Stefani’s Scatter Archive has released an album of works I composed from stereo and binaural recordings of two very unusual organs:

– a five-stop polyphone built by the John Compton organ company that was in the process of being restored. Recorded in the garage cum workshop of church organist Mark Latimer in Barrow in Furness in 2015.

– and ‘wind pipes’ a custom made organ built from over 100 salvaged church organ pipes by instrument inventor, Sarah Kenchington. Recorded at Trinity Apse, Edinburgh in 2013.

Name your price download here.

Sonic Territories

Magneto Mori: Vienna will be featured in the Sonic Territories festival next month.

For the fourth time, Sonic Territories, the festival for sound art in Vienna’s Seestadt, will immerse visitors in unusual worlds of sound. From July 1 to 4, the focus of this year’s festival is on new forms of interaction with sound. The piece is included as part of the Sound Parcours programme presenting audio works in public spaces.

01 – 04 July 2021
FREE ADMISSION / EINTRITT FREI
Eva-Maria-Mazzucco Platz 2, 1220 Wien

Daily 3pm – 8pm / Täglich 15-20 Uhr
Individual Tours: Smartphone Festivalguide-App
Guided Tours: Daily 5pm / Täglich 17 Uhr

More details here:

https://www.sonic-territories.at/mark-vernon/

Magneto Mori: Vienna CD – out now

 
 
A new limited edition CD release on Italian label Canti Magnetici and the follow up to my previous 2019 release for the label, ‘Magneto Mori: Kilfinane’.

Originally commissioned by Kunstradio for broadcast on ORF Ö1, Austria this is a significantly reworked alternate version created specifically for this CD release.

Magneto Mori: Vienna is a fragmented sound portrait of the city constructed from found sounds, buried tapes and field recordings. In this de-composition sounds from Vienna’s past and present are conjoined in a stew of semi-degraded audiotape. Using a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder sounds from around the city were recorded direct to tape over a two-day period. This tape was then cut into fragments and buried in a hole in the ground with a number of souvenir fridge magnets that erased the portions of the tape that they came into contact with. After several days steeped in the muddy earth of a Viennese garden the remaining audio fragments were exhumed, washed, dried and spliced back together in random order. The deliberate distressing and erosion of these present-day recordings results in artificially degraded sounds that fast-forward the effects of time, disrupting the perceived chronology of this audio matter.

During the tapes’ interment, old cassette, Dictaphone and reel-to-reel tapes were gathered from local flea markets and additional field recordings were made around the city. The addition of these found sounds stretches the timescale from just the short period spent making location recordings to perhaps as far back as fifty years ago. All of these elements provided the raw materials for a radiophonic composition that represents a portrait of Vienna in both place and time; an archaeological excavation of found sounds, lost fragments, buried memories and magnetic traces. Presented here are the sounds that endured…

Copies of the CD are available directly from me (just drop me an email), through my Bandcamp page or if you’re in mainland Europe shipping may be cheaper directly from the label.

https://markvernon.bandcamp.com/album/magneto-mori-vienna

https://cantimagnetici.bandcamp.com/album/magneto-mori-vienna

Transmigration Comp – out now on Lullabies for Insomniacs

Various – Transmigration (LFI019)

New compilation album from Lullabies for Insomniacs themed around ideas of Transmigration. The album features ‘Black Faile’ – an exclusive new track by me along with works by 24 other artists. All proceeds from sales go to Samos Volunteers.

The Transmigration compilation navigates a fragmented world that is constricted by miotic idealism and obscured with self-reflexive references that have calcified into new standards and paradigms. Sounds both echo and refuse, sometimes dissolving into mystic contemplation, at other times hatching new foundations or simply melting minds to make matter better (or worse).

The collection is from artists, devoted experimenters, whose timeless explorations inspire and consider the constant revival and perpetual change of meaning – we join them as they are unafraid to plunge into fire without phoenix.

The Immortals become mortal and dance with death. Sound as liminal agent, summons a weightless existence where the disembodied revel with transfigured spectral gestures momentarily relieved from earth bound duties.

What is the significance of similarities and coincidences? Are they rebuses of memory, delusions of the self and the senses, or schemes and symptoms of an order underlying the chaos of human relationships that applies equally to living and dead?

Available to buy from Lullabies for Insomniacs here.