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Happy Coincidences in Sound Art Radio

While trying to find the Wave Farm Radio feed on TuneIn this afternoon, I stumbled upon “NAISA – New Adventures in Sound Art” and tapped play. What I heard fit the bill of what I was looking for, but from a different source based in Canada: transmission and sound art akin to what Wave Farm broadcasts and supports.

I heard host and sound artist Eleanor King describe her experiences as an artist in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as she introduced the show “Cross Waves Series #7: Top Songs,” a series she curates featuring “artists who consider the musical form of the pop song as a point of departure.” Pieces included a pastiche of versions of Led Zeppelin’s classic rock warhorse “Stairway to Heaven,” and one from Ryan Maguire made from the sound that is removed from Neil Young’s “Tonight’s The Night” through being compressed into an MP3 file.

Coincidentally, earlier in the day I listened to Bang & Olufsen’s “Sound Matters” podcast, the newest episode of which concerns the topic of music and fidelity that is lost in different sound media, like MP3s. Maguire is interviewed, and his piece “A Ghost in the MP3” is featured. The funny thing is that when I fired up my podcast app, I hadn’t intended to dive into sound art, even though I planned to tune in to the Wave Farm’s “Twenty Performances for Twenty Years” live anniversary broadcast later in the day. It just so happened that the “Sound Matters” episode was at the top of my download queue.

Back to “New Adventures in Sound Art” — the online station is a project of NAISA, a non-profit based in South River, Ontario, a couple hours north of Toronto. The group puts on a host of annual sound art events, including the Deep Wireless Festival of Radio & Transmission Art in January/February, the NAISA Sound Bash Series in March, the Sound Travels Festival of Sound Art in July/August and the SOUNDplay Festival in October/November, the latter of which is in progress. This past June NAISA opened its North Media Arts Centre that has a large exhibition space, a small café, a community gallery and workshop space.

I certainly recommend NAISA’s online radio station, and if I’m ever in that part of Ontario I definitely want to stop in.

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