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.
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.
Vernon & Burns with Nichola Scrutton / Ingrid Plum / ShadowPlay / Hardworking Families
The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow.
Sunday, 4th February, £7.
VERNON & BURNS WITH NICHOLA SCRUTTON
Vernon & Burns are a duo of sound makers who create radio plays, records and performances through an innovative mix of samples, field recordings, voice and music. This show sees them come together in a special one-off collaboration with the magnificent composer, sound artist and experimental vocalist Nichola Scrutton, whose work spans a range of self-directed projects and interdisciplinary, participatory collaborations.
Ingrid Plum uses her voice with extended technique, improvisation, field recordings and electronics, to create layered soundscapes, spoken word and songs. Having performed and exhibited installation sound art and visual art since 2002, she creates work that sits between sound art, improvisation, multi-media installation, neo-classical and contemporary Nordic folk music.
Live arts collective Colliding Lines present Shadowplay, a unique, cinematic experiment in live literature. Suspended in a dark auditorium, the audience are alone save for white words projected into the pitch black canvas. Around them a soundtrack emerges; a post-apocalyptic score improvised by sound artists Jacob and Reuben Kyriakides. It is a story about the power of language to make reality and, inevitably, undo it – a story of what happens when stories fail, written in words that are taking themselves apart.
Hardworking Families is Tom Bench’s solo sound-play interrogation. Working with no-input mixer feedback, tapes, objects, and occasionally instruments, intuitive textural adventures will coax your ears with visceral flavours.
Remnant Kings, Cassette (C45, 50/50)
Cosmovisión Registros, 2017
A new limited edition tape only album out now on Chilean label Cosmovisión Registros. Available in the UK through Penultimate Press.
Bits and bobs. Odds and ends. Scraps and leftovers. Remnant Kings takes its name from a Glasgow fabric store that historically dealt in offcuts, end of line textiles and fabric remnants.
The cassette consists of a series of audio collages based around a single found reel to reel tape. It gathers various home recordings from the 60’s and 70’s in a ‘best of’ compilation spanning a twenty year period – a kind of ‘Greatest Hits’ family album in sound. The found tape included, amongst other things; baby talk, a toy railway set, playing and practicing music, bird song, conversation, karaoke style sing-alongs and some home experiments with tape echo, along with popular music of the day.
In addition to the found material other sound sources include whistling, water droplets on a hot plate, broken ice, creaking gates, an electric fan played with a brush, excerpts from improvised sessions with open reel tape manipulation, feedback and electronics plus various other field recordings.