jeff emtman - dream tapes

Dream Tapes was produced by Jeff Emtman in collaboration with DMR007-Anonymous.

It features selected dreams from Jeff's project, Dream Tapes, in which 50 participants received tape recorders in the mail. Every morning for 3 weeks, they recorded all of their dreams as they woke up. The dreamers then mailed back the recorders.


Jeff says: 

The Dream Tapes Project is an ill-advised attempt to make meaning of dreams. While participants are waking up, they flip on a tape recorder and say everything they can remember from their sleep.

Currently inspiring Jeff inside the world of sound:

This album by Run Child Run has been playing in my mind as I drift off to sleep for a while now. "...hungry for your loving affection / somehow you are both the cure and infection..."

Currently inspiring Jeff outside the world of sound:

I spend a lot of time watching videos about homemade electronics on YouTube. It's a huge genre, and I've fallen in love with a particular pair of hoaxers who claim to have invented an electromagnetic weapon from a couple microwaves. The sheer amount of aluminum foil they wear should be evidence enough of the satire, but their honest personas, a deep knowledge of mainstream understandings of science, and a pretty high production value make this invention somehow believable.


Constellations says:

We're excited by the tactile nature of this project -imagining the recorders Jeff sent out waiting on 50 strangers' bedside tables, and their sleep-drunk fumbles with the record button.

As an ensemble, the dream tapes are a peek into an alternate subconscious reality. The speakers are recording as they cross the boundary between sleep and waking. Their words slip past the mind's sense censor and thus possess a kind of intimacy that is interesting beyond the psychedelic content of the dreams.


Jeff Emtman is the creator of the Dream Tapes Project and KCRW's Here Be Monsters.  The Dream Tapes Project is currently seeking an app developer.  If you're interested in helping, please contact Jeff.


karen werner - swimming through butterflies

 Photo by Laura Wulf

Photo by Laura Wulf

Swimming Through Butterflies was produced by Karen Werner for ABC's Soundproof. It features the voice of Laura Wulf and the cello playing of Reinmar Seidler.


Karen says: 

A few years ago, my friends Laura Wulf and Reinmar Seidler traveled together to the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico, to see the monarch butterfly migration. I was very moved hearing Laura describe the sights and sounds of being amidst so many butterflies and wanted to record her.  

Wondering how to turn this into a radio story, I realized I could ask Reinmar, who is a conservation biologist, to describe his experience of the butterflies and make a kind of duet with Laura’s version. Then I had the idea to ask Reinmar to “tell” his version only by playing the cello in response to my questions.

 I liked the idea of getting a biologist to “speak” in sound and not in words or facts.  Reinmar is an amazing cellist and, without hearing Laura’s version, described his own experience of being amidst the butterflies with a lot of passion and subtlety. In my editing, I wove Laura's and Reinmar’s versions together.

On her process:

I learned a beautiful interviewing technique from a talk Rikke Houd gave at Third Coast Festival where the interviewer sits beside an interviewee and asks them to close their eyes and slowly describe the scenes of a story in present tense. It’s an intimate interviewing practice and allows one to draw out very associative and sensory-rich tape. I know Laura very well and felt comfortable trying this approach with her. Plus this butterfly story lends itself so well to a visual experience for the listener and was a story I personally wanted to experience as closely as possible. Trying out this interviewing technique is really what got this radio piece off and running.

Inspirations from inside and outside the world of radio and sound:

Muriel Rukeyser’s poem, Poem (I lived in the first century of world wars), walking, Fred Moten, Layli Long Soldier’s poem, 38. I’m inspired by working collaboratively lately, and also by a video about phantom limbs called “Reflecting Memory” by the artist Kader Attia. Attia has wonderful ideas about repair.

And a new friend named EE Miller has had a long time radio show, Death Jewel, where guests play sounds and music and tell stories to honour their dead.


Constellations says:

We love the interdisciplinary and collaborative approach that Karen took in this piece. The scoring of this piece feels raw and vivid - clearly the cello is a second narrator in this piece, seamlessly harmonizing with the speaking voice and pointing to both speech's and the narrative's musicality. This piece makes time slow right down, with musical interludes complex and abstract enough to bring the listener fully into this conjured fluttering space. On every listen, we're left with a potent sense of wonder.


Karen Werner is a radio producer & sociologist based in Montague, Massachusetts. She is currently producing Strange Radio about Holocaust postmemory in Vienna.  Karen's sound piece, Haus, part 1: Covenant of the Tongue is playing inside the MuseumsQuartier Tonspur passageway in Vienna through February 23, 2018. Haus, part 2: Zirkus will be the focus of a group exhibition at the gallery MAG3 in Vienna, opening February 23, 2018.

Upcoming projects: Creating Haus, parts 1 and 2 for Kunstradio on Österreichischer Rundfunk (Austrian national radio); working with students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland to make an episode of Ghosts Radio; creating a compilation of Strange Radio episodes in 2018-2019.


rignam wangkhang - prairie wind

Prairie Wind was produced by Rignam Wangkhang.


Rignam says: 

This piece was a rumination on what’s important in life and what is just noise. It came from my ongoing battle dealing with the ephemerality of life and how much time I waste on frivolous things.

Inspiring Rignam within the world of audio:

It’s hard to pin down a singular inspiration but Jad Abumrad always blows my mind. Outside of radio, The Dalai Lama is an example of the best humans can be.

Inspiring him outside the world of audio:



Constellations says:

Rignam reached out to us about this piece after recently having moved to Winnipeg. He said it would be inspired by "the prairie wind - outside my apartment windows, you can hear it howl". His piece takes us to the prairies and beyond, sweeps us across a vast and melancholic landscape while kicking up the dust of the world under its heels. In this piece, the wind is an omniscient character whose powers seem matched only by the anxious pulls of technology. 


Rignam Wangkhang is a Tibetan-Canadian multimedia journalist and radio producer at CBC Manitoba. He got into radio pretty randomly and is now trying to get better at the craft everyday. He’s currently trying to reconnect with his Tibetan heritage and history, so his next two projects reflect that desire. He will be producing radio documentaries for CBC’s The Doc Project and Now or Never. Follow him @RignamW.