released August 19, 2013
This composition by Spanish composer Miguel A. García was originally created for the experimental music online radio Hots! (hots-radio.info
) and explores ‘hacked’ radio technology as a means of creating new sounds. A portable radio set is used as a receiver, but also as a sound source in itself, as well as an effects device when microphoned voices are being routed through its speakers and re-recorded.
Out of disembodied voices and the static between stations, this piece creates a virtual desert soundscape with the humblest of technological means, paying respect to the pioneer days of radio in the early 20th century when radio was still a ‘do-it-yourself’ technology for everyone to experiment with until, in Europe at least, it came under state control. Sonically, there are (of course) hints of John Cage’s radio pieces as well as more recent glitch/drone music.
THE SOUND PROJECTOR
Hiztun! (ATTENUATION CIRCUIT ACM 1008) is quite a grabber…from the start, we know we’re back on more cerebral hard-core experimentation turf as it’s published by our conceptual German friends Attenuation Circuit, and as such comes packaged in one of those sandwich cartons which you could also use for storing half a piece of Ryvita. This one is an all-radiophonic piece, created using radios, and intended for broadcast on the online experimental radio station, Hots!. García does it brilliantly, bringing a portable radio set for use as a receiver / FM tuner but also as an additional sound-source in his murmuring electric broth, and a third time when he plays back voice tapes through the speaker (and re-records them, I might add). The spirit of the work is “hacking” into radio technology, a strategy which I think we can all approve of as that was the basis for much 20th-century experimentation and discovery in sound – just ask Theremin, Stockhausen, Keith Rowe or Hugh Davies. Hiztun! is an exciting and dynamic listen with its remarkable textures and contrasts, alien voices drifting in from the ether with their foreign-language barks, stray music phrases likewise wandering in, and moments of high tension when you can hear the creator flicking his switches live on air. Dramatic! Score for this gem: 80 points for innovative manipulation of the crackling ether, 20 bonus points for its raw-edged exposure of the processes involved, plus an additional “silver antenna” award for radical reinvention in radiophonic art.