Dead Air Spaces

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.

Horse Box Orchestra

For a series of performances at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow in 2008, Sarah Kenchington put together a number of different permutations of her ‘Horse Box Orchestra’. On this occasion the line up was:

Martine H. Crispo (Montreal) circuit bent toys and laptop.
Mark Vernon (Glasgow) mic’d up objects, electronics, field recordings and laptop.
Sarah Kenchington (Balfron) home made mechanical orchestra.

Recorded live at the CCA, Glasgow, 13th December, 2008.

Lend me your eyes

Lend me your eyes and I’ll lend you my ears: a blind date with Vernon & Burns

We all get lost in the dark sometimes. Vernon & Burns shed some light on the matter in a theatrical radio play that displays a distinct lack of vision. Taking as a starting point the dilemma of how to reconcile the visually theatrical with the sonic dimension of radio, they will explore the concept of audio descriptions for the visually impaired with a performance which shouldn’t work on the radio, producing an off kilter audio vérité variety show. This collision between hörspiel and horseplay, fact and fiction, and indeed Vernon and Burns will produce something we’ll call vaudioville.

A theatrical audio-visual performance staged as part of the exhibition ‘Open Field’ at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow in 2008. The initial idea was to produce a work that would function both as a radio play and as a performance before a live audience. It was a mixture of music, documentary, sound art and theatre. Amongst the catalogue of things that would not work on the radio, the play included tap dancing, mime, ventriloquism and a comical burlesque striptease. Presented alongside this were documentary elements including interviews recorded with Glasgow and Edinburgh audio describers with a scripted live audio description by actors conveying the events of the performance as they unfolded – on occasions, not entirely accurately. The live recording of this performance was to be used as a basis for a post-considered radio version including an additional level of audio interpretation to further obfuscate what actually happened on that night. It has not yet made it to the air waves…

Cast:
Barry Burns (himself)
Mark Vernon (himself)
Anna McLauchlan (audio describer 1)
Rob Kennedy (audio describer 2)

The Empty Orchestra Machine

A live improvisation between Andrew Deakin and Mark Vernon recorded live at the Lanternhouse, Ulverston, Cumbria, March 2010.


An edited version of this live recording was aired as part of the series Data for the Doubtful on Resonance 104.4FM in 2013.

Resonance Radio Orchestra

Resonance Radio Orchestra: Overheard

A performance, a radio show, an installation. A game of chance. Constantly broadcasting live, actor Tam Dean burn left Tramway at the beginning of the festival walking along a Fibonacci spiral drawn on a map of the city and returning back to the building 48 hours later; walking, talking and broadcasting all the way. His opening and closing speech was accompanied by a musical backdrop created by the Resonance Radio Orchestra.

The Resonance Radio Orchestra on this occasion comprised of: Barry Burns, Luke Fowler, Mark Vernon and Chris Weaver.
Overheard was written by Ed Baxter and performed by Tam Dean Burn.

Instal, Tramway, Glasgow, 12th – 13th November, 2010.

Solo Set – MK Gallery

Scratch Nights: Sound Art – Entr’acte label showcase
Entr’acte label night at Milton Keynes Gallery

A live radiophonic mix of voice, sounds and improvised music using electronic toys, white noise, amplified objects and field recordings.

The night also featured: Adam Asnan; Jacques Beloeil; Theo Burt/Tim Wright; EVOL (video).

Milton Keynes Gallery, 17th March 2011.

Le Drapeau Noir

Fowler, Vernon & Burns: live at Le Drapeau Noir

A concert of improvised, electronic and sample based music featuring Luke Fowler (Lied Music, Rude Pravo), Barry Burns (Vernon & Burns) and Mark Vernon (Hassle Hound, Vernon & Burns). Part of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Le Drapeau Noir, Glasgow, 2nd May, 2010.

Paper Cone Music

Paper Cone Music
A group performance for paper cones, turntables and sound effects library records, to be performed by four or more players.

Using rolled up paper cones and sewing needles as a stylus to create primitive gramophone horns, the performers play sound effects records, attempting to play each record simultaneously from as many different points as they can. Each cone is closely miked up and the output is fed into a mixer. The mechanism of the turntable itself is also miked up using contact microphones. Each performer is in control of their own mix. Together they gradually build up a live soundscape from dead recordings of locations and events that were captured and imprinted on vinyl decades ago. The low frequency rumble and circular sound patterns of the mechanism and the scratchy, tinny, gramophone like sound of the paper cones make the listener acutely aware of the medium of the vinyl record itself and the associated history and nostalgia for this increasingly anachronistic format. Additionally, it highlights the fact that these mass produced sound effects library records themselves are also unintentional capsules of the past.


Paper Cone Music was a FON Air micro-commission for the Octopus Collective. Performed by Mark Vernon with the Piel View Hackers group at the Octopus Collective Headquarters, Barrow-in-Furness, November, 2012.

A re-worked version of this piece blending together advance rehearsals and other experiments with the live performance appears as a unique, one of a kind, 12” record as part of the foam collection – an archive of commissioned dub plates featuring artists sound works as one-off, 12” records presented in a touring exhibition.
 

Immediate Recall

Recording of a live sound piece performed as part of the The Interzone exhibition at Glasgow School of Art. The piece combines various forms of tuned white noise with a live ultrasound feed of the performers own heartbeat and excerpts from a series of psychological audio perception experiments investigating immediate recall and word identification played from the original found reel to reel tapes.

Friday 30th November, 2012, The Mack Museum, Glasgow School of Art.


A re-worked version of this live recording was also broadcast as part of the series Data for the Doubtful on Resonance 104.4FM in 2013.