Mark Vernon –
Magneto Mori: Kilfinane
Release date: 15th February, 2019
New tape available for pre-order from Italian label Canti Magnetici. Limited edition of 100 copies. Cover artwork by asenseofsomeplace.
Magneto Mori is an exploration of tape recording as a form of memory storage. In this iteration the location is the Irish mountain town of Kilfinane. Using a portable reel to reel tape recorder sounds from around the town were recorded onto the first side of the tape over a two day period – dripping rain, creaky gates, car mechanics, drainpipes, shops, church bells, refrigerator cabinets, wind blowing through the trees, passing traffic, etc. were just some of the sounds encountered.
On the second side were compiled voices of Kilfinane – extracts from the personal radio archives of Diarmuid McIntyre and Grey Heron Media that date back as far as twenty years or more. The recordings selected consisted mostly of local history, coverage of community events, news stories of local interest and interviews with a variety of Kilfinane residents.
Using tape as an analogy for human memory this tape was then cut into pieces of random length, freeing the sounds from their linear, chronological sequence. The tape cuttings were then intermingled with a collection of magnets that de-magnetise (thus erasing) portions of the tape. The tape (along with the magnets) was then buried in a hole in the grounds of the local school. After several days steeped in the earth of Kilfinane the remaining audio fragments were exhumed. Dirty, mangled and partially erased the tape was washed, dried and spliced back together in a random order ready for playback.
This process of recording, emancipation from chronology, burial, erasure over time, unearthing and the reassembly of jumbled fragments for playback parallels the operation of memory and recall. Experience, retention, buried memories, forgetting, distortions, recall and chronological inaccuracies are all aspects of the human memory process. The main difference being that our memory is selective and plays an active role in what it chooses to remember or forget rather than the arbitrary procedures that are in operation here.
Once the tape was cut into pieces there was no way of telling which fragments were which and in the process of splicing the tape back together the voice recordings gathered over a twenty year period became interspersed with the sounds of those two days spent making field recordings in the area.
Further digital recordings were also made around the same location during the period of the tape’s interment. The contrast between these higher fidelity field recordings and the degraded analogue sounds added a further substrata of time to the process.
The final listening event consisted of two parts: A straight uninterrupted playback of side one (aside from occasional tape jams).
Followed by: Playback of the second side combined with a live collage of pre-prepared field recordings made in the intervening days.
Side A and Side B of this cassette tape correspond to these two distinct versions of the piece.
Magneto Mori was first presented at the Kilfinane Convent Chapel as part of the Hearsay Festival on October 1st, 2017.
Research Laboratories / RL020 Cassette
New tape album ‘Orphaned Works’ by Mark Vernon - out now on Research Laboratories. Twelve tracks. Limited edition of 30 copies only.
>>> Monaural verbal stimuli of forgotten provenance <<<
Available in the UK from Penultimate Press.
Research Laboratories / RL020 Cassette (2018)
New tape ‘Orphaned Works’ released on Research Laboratories, 2018. Limited edition of 30 copies. Twelve tracks.
>>> Monaural verbal stimuli of forgotten provenance <<<
“…Side one brings us glitched rhythms, distant drums, creaking doors, static walls and half-heard words from a tea room conversation. I imagine a lot of the sounds here are ‘found’. Cassettes / tapes lost in time and rediscovered lurking in the back of dusty charity shops, boot sales and the radio airwaves. Orphaned Sounds? Both sides play as one piece. On side one “Sentinent Dust (Go Thou Must)” stands alone though. A pagan banishment ritual discovered after taking the wrong turn on Summerisle.”What was the interest of Dr. Pepper”?
Side two begins carrying an air of menace. All seance and atmosphere. Concentrated mouthplay, detuned radios and clutterphonics. The approaching air of menace soon turns to whimsy with toy guitar and cat-a-waling. It all starts straying in to Nurse With Wound territory before returning to the shadows with “A Pale Pink Voice”. I am not complaining. This is my first hearing of the sound of Mark Vernon and I am intrigued and wanting to hear more.”
Steve Cammack, Remuhmuration
The Old Hairdressers
20 – 28 Renfield Lane,
Tickets £5 Adv, £7 Door
As part of the Old Hairdresser’s programme for the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2018 Vernon & Burns present a night of performance, music and film:
50Hz or thereabouts: Calum Stirling’s 2015 film, made in collaboration with Barry Burns and shot on location in a decommissioned nuclear bunker in the East Neuk of Fife, has been re-edited by Viltė Vaitkutė for this special one-off expanded screening with a live soundtrack by Vernon & Burns.
“We’ve got a new man interested in isolation”.
Toi-so, Christina Dunwoodie and Tony Morris. Two performers coming from wildly different musical backgrounds, collaborating in the deconstruction of the old, reinventing it in a dark, diverse, sinister and sensual world with voice and electronic music.
“Like Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue with a lobotomy or two.” Nick Currie (Momus)
Marta Adamowicz will create a live version of Poludnica – a part soundscape, part drone music performance that illustrates an attack by a mythical summer demon from Slavic folklore.
For more details visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/849874765213624/
PDF of full Old Hair programme available HERE:
Old Hair programme is supported by Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2018.
A live radio work created for Radio Revolten. Recorded at the Radio Revolten Club on Tuesday, 25th October 2016.
‘Dead Air Spaces’ is a new radio work that explores one of the most basic but vital of our bodily functions – breathing. It includes interviews with diving instructors, a singer, an organist and a yoga teacher and recordings of breathing exercises, snoring, pneumatic tube systems, purring cats, suction units and scuba-divers along with mechanical processes analogous to the human respiratory system such as church organs, bellows and hospital ventilators. The piece also incorporates the use of bi-nasal microphones, a balloon repurposed as an artificial lung and variety of pipes, tubes, whistles and other apparatus played live.
A ‘dead air space’ in diving terminology, refers to a pocket of air that doesn’t play a part in the gas exchange with the lungs; air left over in the snorkel, regulator or even the throat containing greater levels of carbon dioxide.