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:

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

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
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:

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.

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.

Trouble Tracer – Autofahrt

Trouble Tracer is a new collaborative project from Mark Vernon and Fritz Welch. Their debut release, ‘Autofahrt’ is available now from Crow Versus Crow as a limited edition of 50 hand-numbered, professionally dubbed cassettes and digital download with original artwork from Fritz Welch. Purchase your copy here.

Looking to identify the symptoms to understand where the problem lies?

Our handy Trouble Tracer® guide offers clear audio examples that will help you diagnose the problem. Whether it be Corona Discharge Stains, Cold/Carbon Fouling, Pad Contamination, Flash Over, Ash Deposits or Detonation we are here to help!

Facing ignition issues?

At Trouble Tracer® we know one thing: quality is in the details. And what is true for technological developments is true for adequately identifying issues and matching them with the appropriate solution.

At Trouble Tracer® we also believe that accuracy is best attained by working together. That’s why we openly share solutions and lay out in a to-the-point and concise manner a reliable way to diagnose contamination, wear, damage and other potential issues, and how to best return to the ideal standards of performance and efficiency we work with dedication to maintain. The Trouble Tracer® guide doesn’t always give you enough information for you to know exactly what’s wrong, but it does mean that you can eliminate everything from the input to the point where the signal changes. It’s important to understand that when fault finding, any anomalous voltage is a symptom of the fault, and is not the fault itself.

With its unique patented technology, Trouble Tracer® produces audio and visual signals that technicians easily catch when they tap the target. But nevertheless, it does not require bending, cutting, freezing or any other actions that can damage cables.

Autofahrt is ideal for individuals that have difficulty in differentiating between static and leak noise on an electronic listening stick!

“…there are other noises that can spell trouble, are just irritating, or that can be expensive. How can we tell the difference? It’s certainly not easy. It obviously helps if you can identify the sound and where it’s coming from.”
Sarah H. Sanders

“All of these noises you heard were recorded in the Meagre Resource Workshop and have since been cured. Regular listeners will find out how all these jobs and repairs can be tackled in a way that’s easily understood. Everybody should know these sounds.”
Big Jack Hay

Thanks for listening! And remember: Cause – Remedy – Solution!

‘Magneto Mori: Vienna’ wins 2020 Phonurgia Nova Award


I’m very proud to say that ‘Magneto Mori: Vienna’ was announced as the winner of the Sound Art category in this year’s Phonurgia Nova Awards – an international competition for radio art and field recording based sound works. Over four days the jury listens to and deliberates over the shortlisted works at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, along with an audience of listeners from the public. The piece was originally commissioned by Kunstradio in Austria for national broadcaster ORF Ö1. In her speech, the French critic Alexandre Castant said:

“This cubist and fragmentary portrait of the city of Vienna hides another, astounding one. In order to create Magneto Mori: Vienna, Mark Vernon recorded sounds on magnetic tapes which he then “buried” so that they would deteriorate, then, once they were “degraded”, he “cleaned” them and then “used” them for this work. The result is a new way of listening: the erosion of sound time is thus accelerated, simulated, amplified and brought to life. From then on, the listener, instructed in such a method of sound fabrication, re-reads the title of the work in a different way… Magneto Mori: Vienna… As in reference to the medieval “Memento Mori” which means “Remember that you are going to die”… And this portrait of Vienna by Mark Vernon then becomes another world: an archaeology of the city as well as of the sound device, the transformation of space into time and vice versa, a story of ghosts in the heart of Europe. Sumptuous.”



At the kind invitation of Counterflows and the Goethe Institute, Radiophrenia’s Mark Vernon and Barry Burns were invited to select a German artist to collaborate with on a new sound piece.

Having heard some of Berlin based sound and radio artist Antje Vowinckel’s exceptional works submitted to previous editions of Radiophrenia, they invited her to participate. All three artists share a passion for the possibilities of the medium of radio and a fascination for the rhythms and cadences of speech.

The resulting work should have been presented as part of Counterflows 2020 but unfortunately that was not to be. They are now working together on a longer term project for Counterflows 2021 but in the meantime Vernon & Burns in collaboration with Vowinckel have created an unorthodox sideways radiophonic portrait of the artist and her practice. The eccentric approach in the resultant audio collage is not intended as an accurate portrait of Vowinckel, more as an impressionistic overview with interventions and twists on the conventional form; thoughts and meditations on the act of purposeful listening and sound creation.

You can hear the piece and read more about the process on the Counterflows website here. It will also be broadcast on Radiophrenia at 10am on Friday, 20th November.