My latest album is out now on Discrepant as a limited edition LP or download. You can purchase copies direct from the label here.
“This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.”
(Don Draper, Mad Men)
Call Back Carousel is an audio time-travelogue, a slideshow of the mind’s eye – projecting Kodachrome memories directly into the listeners’ mind by means of sound alone. It is a way of travelling without ever having to leave the home. A vicarious vacation for the imagination. Pure audio escapism.
Each episode is based on a found tape of a pre-recorded slideshow commentary. Most of these tapes were made by amateur tape recording enthusiasts and hobbyist photographers of the 60s and 70s. Their recorded commentaries would at one time have been used in conjunction with a sequence of 35mm slides but only the taped voices now remain. The recordings themselves come from my own archive of found reel-to-reel tapes that I have collected over the past twenty years.
Using these found slideshow commentaries as a framework, a series of musical soundscapes have been created to bring the absent images to life, activating the listeners’ imagination in the classic tradition of ‘cinema for the ears’. It’s a little like looking through a family photo album where only the hand written captions and mounting corners remain; the photographs themselves have all been removed. The evocative rattle and clack of the projector shuffles through different slides as the fragile voices of our tour guides accompany us on a sonic journey that fractures time – and through the cracks, the past bleeds through into our present.
With special thanks to Manja Ristić, Barry Burns, Gonçalo F Cardoso and Bill and Marjory Howard.
Produced with the support of the Creative Scotland and the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund.
Oscillation festival, 27th – 29th April, 2023.
MILL (Needcompany)/HISK: Rue Gabrielle Petit 4, 1080 Molenbeek, Brussels.
For the Oscillation festival I will be performing a new piece, ‘Time Deterred’, on Saturday the 29th April at 10.45pm.
Tickets available here.
Delving deep into his tape archives, audio archaeologist Mark Vernon presents a specially-devised quadraphonic performance featuring lost voices, found sounds, tape trash, small objects, tape loops, and field recordings. By intermingling found tapes and voices of the past with memories and recordings of his own, a multi-layered tapestry of sounds is woven, blurring and overlaying different time periods in what could be described as a form of sonic time travel. Within this hiss of history, faltering magnetic memories fade and resurface, bobbing like audio flotsam and jetsam on a sea of white noise.
More details here.
SONOHR RADIO & PODCAST FESTIVAL
24th – 26th February, 2023, Bern, Switzerland.
Tickets available here.
“The SONOHR Festival is a three-day celebration of creative documentary and fictional audio stories that are rich in sound, and an event which also allows for an active exchange between authors and the audience. We offer the unique experience of enjoying thrilling radio dramas, intriguing documentaries, experimental sound art or interactive audiowalks together with friends and like-minded people in high-quality sound and in the comfortable setting of a cinema.
Our selection includes a national competition as well as outstanding and innovative audio creations from around the world. The side program offers opportunities to various forms of listening and discusses new developments in the field.”
On the 24th February I am excited to present a live version of ‘Call Back Carousel’ – the debut outing of this new project:
CALL BACK CAROUSEL
Friday, 24th February, 21.30, Kino Rex, Bern.
Call Back Carousel is an audio time-travelogue, a slide-show of the mind’s eye – projecting Kodachrome memories directly into the listeners’ mind by means of sound alone. It is a way of travelling without ever having to leave the home. A vicarious vacation for the imagination. Pure audio escapism.
For SONOHR Mark Vernon presents three episodes of Call Back Carousel – each episode is based on a different found tape of a pre-recorded slideshow commentary. Most of these tapes were made by amateur tape recording enthusiasts and hobbyist photographers of the 60s and 70s. Their recorded commentaries would at one time have been used in conjunction with a sequence of 35mm slides but only the taped voices now remain. The recordings themselves come from Mark Vernon’s own archive of found reel-to-reel tapes that he has been collecting over the past twenty years.
And on the Sunday I will be doing a presentation on my work relating to audio archaeology and found sounds:
EAR LESSON 5: AUDIO ARCHAEOLOGY
Sunday, 26th February, 11.45am, Lichtspiel, Bern.
In his presentation Mark Vernon explores the world of audio archaeology, magnetic memory, lost voices and found sounds through the lens of his practice as a sound artist. At the core of his practice lies a fascination with the intimacy of the radio voice, environmental sound, obsolete media and the reappropriation of found recordings. A rich collection of domestic tape recordings; audio letters, dictated notes, answer-phone messages and other lost voices often find their way into his unorthodox soundworlds and these diverse elements are distilled into radiophonic compositions.
In April 2020, Yanik Miossec et Jérôme Noetinger invited 20 artists, among the twenty countries most affected by the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus (in terms of number of contaminations as of March 31, 2020) to participate in an interpretation of the Alvin Lucier composition, ‘I am sitting in a room’. Sitting in 20 different rooms in 20 different countries, 20 artists recorded their own voices and then re-re-recorded the voices of each of the other so that by the end of the process everyone’s voice had passed through the rooms of each other. Under lockdown conditions it was proposed as a means of contaminating speech without risking our health.
After almost two years this lockdown interpretation of the classic Alvin Lucier piece is now available online.
Sitting In a Room (Because of Covid 19) is a “pay as you wish” Bandcamp release with all proceeds going to French charity ‘Secours Populaire’ – an organisation helping people in need of food, clothes and education.
Nicolas Collins, Maria Auriemma, Yan Jun, Marta Sainz, Andrea Neumann, Anne-Julie Rollet, Bani Khoshnoudi, Mark Vernon, Delphine Reist, Hankil Ryu, Frans de Waard, Angelica Castello, Floris Wanhoof, Eda Er, Eric Normand, David Maranha, Guroe Moe, Miyuki Jokiranta, Claudia Mader, Eran Sachs.
You can listen or download the individual pieces or the whole project here.