Ribbons of Rust – new tape out now on Flaming Pines

New cassette tape out now on Flaming Pines. Limited edition of 100 pro printed and dubbed J-card tapes in rust orange. Buy now from Bandcamp

This album focuses on a derelict and abandoned holiday resort at Laem Thian bay on the east coast of the island of Koh Tao in Thailand. The resort is situated in a small cove that is only accessible on foot via an overgrown path and a walk of several miles. There are signs of vandalism; graffiti decorates the walls, the remains of campfires, broken glass and other detritus litter the floors – but traces of the previous occupants also remain. Children’s toys, kitchenware, hand written notes, menus, mattresses, a plastic telephone and four cassette tapes – rusty, caked in sand, weather damaged and corroded by the humid salty sea air. Back at home these tapes were prised apart and transplanted into new cassette shells to salvage the audio from them. This piece is composed from excerpts of the recordings found on the tapes along with field recordings taken on site, the journeys there and back and audio rips from video clips uploaded by other travellers who came across this same location.
 
The haunting quality of this place left a deep impression on me. The sense of isolation and abandonment it engendered was in stark contrast to the rest of the island, and indeed the rest of Thailand as I experienced it. This feeling stayed with me and in some way it permeated the rest of my stay in the country. It is that feeling that I wanted to convey through this work. The impetus behind this project has been less objective documentation and more a form of sonic time travel. A document of a place that no longer exists.

Made with support from the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund and Sound and Music’s Francis Chagrin Award. Developed during the Hospitalfield Summer Residency 2017.


Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror

I’m excited to have been asked to produce an exclusive ‘soundtrack’ for Ears Have Ears on FBI radio in Sydney. The show will air from 9-11pm AEST (12-2pm GMT) on Thursday 27th June on FBI radio 94.5FM in the Sydney area or you can listen live online here.

 

‘Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror’ is based around a found voice recording from a Dictaphone micro-cassette bought at a car boot sale in the east end of Glasgow. It continues a series of works that marry found recordings from the past with contemporary field recordings of the same location to accrue sedimentary layers of time and blur chronologies.

On one side, the tape documents the dissolution of a relationship and the aftermath of the separation in a series of text message exchanges read aloud into the Dictaphone for some purpose unknown. Equally puzzling, on the reverse side, the same voice lists a mundane catalogue of company vans and their contact details observed whilst driving down the motorway.

The Old Hairdressers

 
I will be performing a new live piece at the Old Hairdressers on the 29th May as part of a special event featuring AWOTT, Conspirators of Pleasure and Pavel V.

The Old Hairdressers, Renfield Lane, Glasgow
8pm, Wednesday 29th May
Tickets £8 Advance or £10 on the door

Tickets and further details here.

Awott are an experimental postindustrial synth group form Moscow, “Awott – the Liberator, protects those who recognize it. AWOTT is ether, air, fire, water and earth. All the physical desires are satisfied through it. Knows 64 Rithms, AWOTT gifts joy to the Creator. It is pure transcendental Note and timeless. Universal for any age, shapes, size and heights. Everybody loves and respects.”

Conspirators of Pleasure were formed in 2012 by Poulomi Desai (ex Dead Jalebies) and Simon Underwood (founder member of post punk band The Pop Group). They are an improvising duo that seek to bend all the rules, question the sacred, create extraordinary soundscape performances and self-regulating sonic systems, using modified and prepared instruments. Part of their unusual musical armoury includes a prepared sitar, sonically twisted stylophones, prepared bass, modified toys, resurrected radios and visually scarred slide projections. Their compositions explore experimental terrains, twisting technology to transform organic sounds into eerie calls that flow from intense waves of abrasive, noisy, chaos invoking industrial nostalgia, to structured pulsating rhythms, to melancholic, microtonal drones.

Mark Vernon is a Glasgow-based artist whose work exists on the fringes of sound art, music and broadcasting. At the core of his practice lies a fascination with the intimacy of the radio voice, environmental sound, obsolete media and the re-appropriation of found recordings. He incorporates these diverse elements into radiophonic compositions for broadcast, fixed media and live performances.

Pavel V is plays guitar through enough FX to sink a battleship.
Disrupted loops and fuzz make his guitar sound like throbbing gristle.

ALERT – new Alter double LP compilation

 
ALERT A new double album compilation available now on ALTER – order here.
 
“ALERT dredges the depths of grimy UK bedroom studios, old computer hard-drives and budget lager-soaked gallery sonics in search of presenting a unifying vision of a particular brand of the here and now… Each piece on ALERT is bound by a distinctly punk attitude, a form of experimentalism that skirts across genre markers and forces you to sit up and pay attention. Zero coffee house easy listening or functionality here – there’s metallic clanging, skittering drums and screeches, tough as nails gabber compression (check the Acolytes track ‘Feelings’) and dirgey guitar feedback all fighting for space in a surprisingly coherent manner. Sound artist and broadcaster Mark Vernon’s ‘The Object Invoked…’ lulls us into quintessentially British, nightmare-inducing radiophonic territories with terrifying fragmented media chatter, making for one of the highlights of the compilation. If anything, we can agree on the fact that this double LP stands to highlight the fringes of carefree, convention defying abstract electronics that currently permeate our little island in an illuminating and necessary way.”

Cryptic Residency at Cove Park

I’m looking forward to spending a week at Cove Park developing a new sound performance work in association with Cryptic based around the Glasgow Underground system. It will feature field recordings made on the Glasgow subway and voice interviews with SPT transport workers, engineers and train drivers. The piece focusses on the two concentric circles of the inner and outer circle lines that travel in opposite directions around the city – a ‘loop within a loop’. It will draw parallels with compositional processes in electronic music such as open reel tape loops, tape delays, audio cassette and digital loops and at its heart will be two concentric open reel tape loops that echo this looped system.

Delaware Road Festival – tickets now on sale

THE DELAWARE ROAD : RITUAL & RESISTANCE

Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 Aug

I’m honoured to have been invited to play at The Delaware Road festival in August this year. The event is a unique mix of theatre, film, sound & light inside a secret military base near Stonehenge. The full lineup has been announced and tickets are on sale now here.

Based on the graphic novel + screenplay The Delaware Road featuring an incredible line up of experimental artists, film + video producers, sound designers, guest speakers, writers & illustrators.

Gathered inside the austere military complex of New Zealand Farm Camp near West Lavington, artists will perform work inspired by The Delaware Road screenplay, landscape, myth, broadcast propaganda & the transformative nature of sound.

With overnight camping, food & merchandise stalls plus a licensed bar. Performances start at 5pm Saturday.(campers can arrive from 3pm) & ends 3am Sunday morning. The site must be vacated by 1pm Sunday.

Visit www.thedelawareroad.com for further information

RADIOKUNST – KUNSTRADIO – new radio commission for Ö1, Austria

Magneto Mori: Vienna
Produced by Mark Vernon.

Kunstradio, ORF Ö1, 92.0 FM, Sunday, 10th February 2018, 23:00 – 0:00 CET.

The debut of a new radio production commissioned by Kunstradio will be aired on Sunday 10th February at 11pm European time, 10pm GMT.

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 tacky souvenir ‘Vienna’ fridge magnets that erase the portions of the tape that they come 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 as far back as fifty years into the past. 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…

This project has been supported through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Funding Programme.

EMS studios residency

 

Hybelkanin
 
I am currently exploring the amazing facilities at EMS Electronic Music Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. During the 2-week residency I’ll be working on a new 8-channel surround sound work titled ‘Hybelkanin’ (dust bunnies). Named after the Norwegian phrase for conglomerations of hair, fluff and dust that appear out of nowhere in homes, the piece will be composed from field recordings and found tapes gathered from across Scandinavia over the past decade.
This project has been supported through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Funding Programme.

New tape release on Canti Magnetici

 
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 the frailty of 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.

Noche de Los Muertos / Un-Tape Me – at Echoraum, Vienna

NOCHE DE LOS MUERTOS / UN-TAPE ME – a night of music and installations involving magnetic tape

01 / 11 /2018 – 19:00 @ echoraum / Vienna

Like every year on November 1st, Institut 5haus, Echoraum and for the second time Wien Modern will host the annual Electro-Improv-Night “Noche de los Muertos”, this time, with the title “un-tape me”. The night has been curated by Mexican-born, Vienna-based artist Angélica Castelló and it promises to be a magnetic evening with all kinds of tapes and cassettes, obsolete machines and illustrious guests from Vienna, Glasgow, Marseille, Berlin, and more.

Concert
– Jerôme Noetinger / revox, tapes, electronics
– Mark Vernon / found dictaphone and reel to reel tapes
– Marta Zapparoli / tape recorders & reel to reel tape machine
– Wien Diesel feat. burlin mud (r.f. culbertson iii) / tapes

Installation
– Angélica Castelló / magnetic altar

Curated by Angélica Castelló /
Production i5haus
Coproduktion Wien Modern and Echoraum