A collection of 2-minute radio micro-compositions by sound artists from across the globe.
Curated by Francisco López:
Released by Störung on DVD-audio only / 24-bit /
Total length: 3 hours.
A project by SONM, Sound Archive of Experimental Music and Sound Art.
Organized and coordinated by the “Puertas de Castilla” Center in Murcia, Spain.
A Tasty Swarm of Small Signals started with a very specific structure: repeated daily brief radio broadcasts of especially commissioned short pieces. Over a period of three months (thirteen weeks) each day of the week would have a featured sound artist with a different piece every time. That amounts to seven artists creating thirteen pieces each.
Among an obviously vast field of interesting choices, I invited six artists from different continents to join me in this micro-compositional effort:
- James Webb (Australia)
- Lawrence English (South Africa)
- Francisco López (Spain)
- Asmus Tietchens (Germany)
- Louis Dufort (Canada)
- Alan Courtis (Argentina)
- Zbigniew Karkowski (Poland/Japan)
The idea of micro-compositions is always an interesting challenge (particularly for artists who normally work in much larger formats) and -when taken seriously- tends to produce surprising and compelling results. With no “theme”, no restrictions other than a precise duration of two minutes per micro-composition, and keeping the radio broadcast in mind, ninety-one pieces were created for this project.
The result is a very modular constellation of small audio pieces that can be organized in a number of ways for broadcast. The project is now being offered for broadcast in radios worldwide (online: only streaming, no downloads) and open to recombination -as seen fit by the broadcaster- acknowledging its modularity: organized according to the original plan of thirteen weeks with one artist per day of the week, with monographic shows per artist, with thirteen different shows with pieces from all the artists… and with any other imaginable permutation of these small -but tasty- signals.
Interested radios / broadcasters, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Tasty Swarm of Small Signals” (DVD-audio Störung, Spain 2010) review at Vital Weekly (The Netherlands), January 2011.
This might be the future of releasing music. I think I said that before, with some of the Empreintes Digitales DVD’s, containing no images but 24-bit audio. And a lot more difficult to extract and rip and share (for free). But perhaps also a bit too much for audiophiles? I am not sure. Francisco Lopez curated this project, with consists of seven artists, each delivering no less than thirteen two-minute audio compositions. Why seven, thirteen and two, you may wonder? I am not sure either, but Lopez did a nice selection. Besides himself we have here James Webb, Lawrence English, Asmus Tietchens, Louis Dufort, Alan Courtis and Zbigniew Karkwoski. Which I guess makes an interesting selection from various parts of the world of experimental music. The serious avant-garde is represented by Dufort, who
does a fine job on the matter at hand, and while heavily under the influence of acousmatica, the briefness of the pieces makes it all nice.
Webb and English both represent the world of field recordings and ambience. Delicate pieces here, in which a certain amount of musical-ness slip through the gaps. Lopez and Tietchens also deal with field recordings and electronics, but their work is much more abstract than English and Webb’s. In Lopez’ case thirteen pieces of mildly droning affairs of heavily treated rainfall or ventilation shafts (or some such, you can’t be sure with Lopez), whereas Tietchens offers his highly atomized sparks of sounds and silence. Alan Courtis and Zbigniew Karkwoski are both on the more traditional noise spectrum, each at a side, firmly apart. Karkowski with some highly computerized noise patterns, at times fiercely loud and sometimes a bit less loud, but throughout firmly gritty and digital, while Courtis is much more quiet (than we are used of him?), but not allowing any silence in his work. Drone based soundscapes of a big city at night – perhaps – like indicated through the visual on display. An excellent compilation, which is of course a bit long – three hours – to be played at once, but you could select one a day and have a great week.
Frans de Waard