Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Listening Cure

"Noise, noise, noise - the single greatest disease vector for civilisastion"
-Alto in JG Ballard's "The Sound-Sweep"

Ross Manning's piece for this month's sound slide takes the same proposition as J.G. Ballard's "The Sound-Sweep" and carries it to a different conclusion. Both works start with the (perhaps) ficticious idea that objects can soak up resonances which build up and seep out over the following years affecting the psyche (and health) of those around them.

Both fictions necessitate inventions. In Ballard's story its the Sonovac which sucks up and eliminates the sounds but in Manning's "Junkcast Radio" its an imaginary radio reciever which can detect and transmit these sounds. So the basic strategies for dealing with the phenomenon are different though both acknowledge a painful past sonically encoded on the environment. Manning utilizes these residues and contextualizes them amongst each other. This struggle is whats audible in the piece not reconcilliation but after all Ballard's neat and convenient "Sonovac" seems a little like wishful thinking.

Ross says that his "piece takes the form of an imaginary radio broadcast. The material heard is a mash of experiences that objects in the area have had over the years, the old 'if these walls could talk ' scenario. The walls, streets, back alleys, trees and drains of the area have the collected histories that are tapped and amplified by an imagined radio receiver, tuning in of different objects, remembrances of the soundings. Snatches of stories, the violence, love, friendship and terror of human occupation are recorded and played back to the street where they originated."

junkcast radio

thanks to Andrew Barrie for hosting