William Basinski - Shortwavemusic [Auris Apothecary; 2013]

Pleasantries first: Auris Apothecary and Cerberus entered the world the same day in the same year. I consider this no coincidence, for we are all particles connected to one another by hippie bullshit that doesn’t matter in the end because we’re all screwed up. AA transmits that and we report it. And for more than a decade, William Basinski has had to be swallowed by the same damning press all because his masterwork happened to find its completion as the twin towers of the World Trade Center sadly crumbled on the same day. Irony isn’t always fun , but AA’s twisted smirks and Basinski’s fragile compositions can make it so.Shortwavemusic’s latest reissue (of many from the 1982 composition) came in the midst of New Year’s in the guise of a ¼-inch tape on a 7-inch reel. Without purpose, I hunted eBay to find a working reel-to-reel player for which to listen. I read, I studied, and I coveted. And here it is a pile of tape on the floor after heart and soul has been poured into such a centerpiece. But music isn’t for show, it’s for hearing. But AA does not heed such consequences, for it embraces both (always for the better). They knew what a clumsy but adventurous shell would do armed with 7-inches of reel. I’m sure many have framed and hung theirs by the chimney with care, but I sledgehammered it down to obtain the precious and put it through its paces. And it sounds good–oh so good. I’ve wrapped myself like a mummy in its discards, trying to contemplate where AA begins, Basinski takes over, and Cerberus ends. It all comes out too Donnie Darko for my tastes, so I try to ignore the coincidences. I try to focus on what each of us does and in that, I find solace. Shortwavemusic is an empowering piece, triumphant in a time where shows of aggression or talking loudest win fights. AA and Basinski take no such course. We shall oblige.

This is a tape of Lou Reed and Nico rehearsing that’s commonly referred to as “The Bedroom Tape.” These rehearsals were for a solo Nico appearance in New York where Lou was to back her up on acoustic guitar. he gig itself never took place (once again, this is hearsay) because Nico got in a fight with a woman in a bar and decided to leave the country rather than have the woman press charges. (Notes by punchomatic via DIME, July 2008)

Episode 42: ShortWaveMusic



«ALL NIGHT FLIGHT» is an immersive nocturnal ambient sound excursion in honor of World Listening Day 2013. «ALL NIGHT FLIGHT» is a wide-ranging sonic odyssey which reflects ecologies of many kinds: environmental (ocean sounds, wildlife, atmospheres), religious (calls to prayer and ritual singing), radiophonic (data transmissions, Morse code, folkloric music), and beyond. The listener experiences “natural” sounds juxtaposed with “unnatural” sounds, robotic speech mixed with human speech, field recordings of electronic amplification carrying human sound across rural environments. Weiskopf’s hope is that the listener will be able to hear the world as he does: an endlessly recombinant sonic field where every noise, song, and sound, regardless of its source, takes its place in a perfect, haunting, and eternal arrangement.

Performances start between 9 and 10 PM PST and run all night, mixed continuously, until 5 or 6 AM. Weiskopf rejects traditional concert settings in favor of remote, rural, desert, or undocumented areas.

This edition, produced exclusively for Radius, is a 73-minute distillation of the inaugural «ALL NIGHT FLIGHT» performed, created, and mixed live by Myke Dodge Weiskopf in the desert of Joshua Tree, California, on 20 July 2013, 10 PM - 5 AM PST.

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In April 1971, WWV began announcing details of a joint NASA/West German atmospheric experiment involving the release of a barium-ion cloud from a specially-designed vehicle to be launched from Wallops Island, VA. According to NIST Bulletin #85, dated March 15, 1971: “The purpose of the test is (1) to study the electric fields as defined by the geometric shape of the cloud, and (2) to study the behavior of an ion cloud in a collision-free plasma by observing the expansion rate, acceleration, development of fine structure, and perturbation cloud on the surrounding medium.“

As these recordings indicate, this ambitious experiment was the repeated victim of unforeseen atmospheric complications which precipitated to such an extent that the project was eventually abandoned. A second attempt was made at Poker Flat, Alaska, by the University of Alaska and the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in January 1973, but no evidence is available to determine the success of this experiment.

Track 18 of ‘AT THE TONE: A LITTLE HISTORY OF NIST RADIO STATIONS WWV & WWVH.’ © 2009 Myke Dodge Weiskopf / Obscure-Disk.

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William Basinski - Shortwavemusic  2003

Episode 42 will host ShortWaveMusic. Myke Dodge Weiskopf is a radio producer and historian, broadcast artist, multi-instrumentalist, sound recordist, and composer based in Los Angeles, CA. ShortWaveMusic is his principal project: a global sound series which aims to preserve the sound of regional and international broadcasting around the world. As an offshoot of the ShortWaveMusic project, he travels the world recording local and indigenous musicians, from Bulgarian singers to Malian drummers and Yemeni muezzins and beyond.