joaquin cofreces - maquinas humanas

Maquinas Humanas was produced by Joaquin Cófreces.

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Joaquin writes:

This sound piece is an adaptation of the play R.U.R (Rossum's Universal Robots) that was written in 1920 by Karel Čapek. The story takes place on an island where there’s a factory that makes androids which are being sold to the world as a cheap labor force. Although at first they seem happy to work for their creators, the play climaxes with the end of the human race due to a hostile robot rebellion.

In this visionary play the author criticizes our attitude towards technology. He expresses that all the machines can be worthless to humankind if we don't know how to use them, and his belief that not all progress means evolution.

The piece is a free adaptation of the original text, and a mixture between drama and radio art, with the aesthetic of comics. I had in mind the concept of a factory, assembling pieces from many sound sources. The work is made in different languages because the play happens in a kind of Babel tower. The voices were made with text to speech software to suggest that even humans can behave like robots, losing their emotions, living lives of repetition while building invisible systems of control. I wanted to create a mechanical experience with an electronic rhythm, an artificial reality and a world full of tiny noises.

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Constellations says:

Even if you don't understand Spanish, this piece is an evocative, multi-lingual sci-fi adventure. Masterfully produced, its assemblage of voices, samples, sound design, complex musical beds and sound effects wind it up into a delicious ear candy collage that leaves listeners reeling and dreaming.  We haven't heard any sound-art fiction like this before. 

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Joaquin Cófreces was born in 1975. He is a sound storyteller from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, whose work ranges from features, to radio art, radio drama, museum installations, field recordings, sound art, to soundscapes. He has run and spoken at conferences, workshops, and universities around the world, and been featured by broadcasters, festivals and galleries in China, Iran, India, France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Belgium, Norway, Croatia, Finland, Australia, and beyond. A dedicated collector of sounds, he brings a recorder on his travels instead a camera. Joaquin understands radio as a space for experimentation, and sound as a global way of telling stories in an emotional language. 

meira asher - refuse: military.01

 Image courtesy of Meira Asher

Image courtesy of Meira Asher

refuse: military.01 was produced by Meira Asher. Words by Noam Gur, Hebron recordings by Issa Amro and Hebron Human Rights Press. Prepared typewriter from a performance with Guy Harries. Some beats by Floy Krouchi. Mixed and mastered by Paul Kendall. The piece was initially commissioned by Saout radio, and broadcast on Kunstradio.

More pieces in Meira's fearless radio series are available here

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Meira writes:

refuse: military is a series of radio works, addressing the many youths who encounter compulsory military service in Israel. What alternatives to forced conscription are presented to these children? Schools which allow access to the Israeli military propaganda merchants, rarely, if ever, allow alternative voices to reach the children. 

In this first episode 'refuse: military.01', Noam Gur recently refused to serve in the Israeli army. She is a conscientious objector. She had three trials, and was jailed twice for a total of 30 days in military prison. The usual procedure is to be repeatedly ordered to enlist – and repeatedly sent to prison, before one is ironically released on medical grounds. In the first part of the work, Noam reads her imprisonment statement followed by her description of the militarist presence and activity in her high school. 

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Constellations says:

This complex manifesto of a piece is powerful both in its content and delivery. Noam's written testimony is powerful, but set against the rhythmic collage of percussion, sampling, and field recordings, its descriptions are rendered more raw and graphic. Meira's work is politically relevant as ever, and we're inspired by the bold and heartfelt stand she makes in all her work.

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Soundinista Meira Asher's work has been released on Crammed, Sub Rosa and Auditorium. Her visionary early voice-based albums from the 1990s were too forward thinking and challenging for the Israeli audiences of the period, but after her departure to Europe they attained cult status. 

She Studied Tabla and Dhrupad in Varanasi-India, and traditional drumming, voice and dance of the Ga, Eve and Dagomba people of Ghana, both of which she later taught and performed. She attained a BFA in percussion at California Institute of the Arts (1990). She completed her Masters in Sonology at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague (2002). 

Her areas include HR intervention, social documentary, radio art, and the expression/transition of traditional rhythms in/to contemporary music.

Projects include Spears into Hooks (album and performance about the Israeli occupation of Palestine 1999), Infantry (album and performance with Guy Harries, about child manipulation and child soldiers 2001), Face_WSLOT (album, book, art installation, and documentary film on female ex-child combatants in Sierra Leone 2004-06), One blanket lost (radio art piece about girls trafficking to Europe 2010), and Myelination 2 (album and performance with Jean-Claude Jones about Multiple Sclerosis and the myelin sheath 2013).

She is also the co-founder of the bodylab art foundation in The Hague (2001-2011), a lecturer at the Haifa University, and the Curator-presenter of radioart106.

For more of Meira's work, check out her Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages.

rui costa + maile colbert - birds of maio

birdsofmaio

Birds of Maio was composed by Rui Costa and Maile Colbert in Portugal, 2008 and 2014.

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Maile says: 

Rui Costa and I met through our work. I was living in Los Angeles. Rui was living in Lisbon. This was about 10 years ago. Rui sent a track of processed and composed birds song, primarily swallows. We both work often with field recordings as the base of our compositions. Swallows are a symbol of spring, of hope, and of renewal. The Romans predicted their future by observing random flight paths of the swallows. 

This seemed a perfect narrative to me at the time many years later, and many collaborations later after I had moved here and while pregnant with our daughter Odette. We worked on an album for her that included work and audio from our years together. I took the birds of May that Rui had sent and I added and layered through that personal archive we had... and it became Birds of Maio, which is from a dedication album for, at the time, our future daughter, called Future Memory for Odette

The swallows and the other birds on this track were recorded in Nodar which is where Rui's family is from many many generations. This is also where we first met in person at an art residency run by Binaural Nodar. 

So May, in Portuguese, Maio, is also when Rui and his twin brother Luis, both of who founded the organization and residency by Binaural, they were both born in May. I moved to Portugal in May. My nickname is 'Mai", "Maio", and our daughter was born in May. So lots of layers of time and significance and content to this wee little track. 

Inspirations from inside the world of radio and sound:

Maile: I'm excited and thankful for the continuously expanding body of sound work that is using sonic techniques and expressions to highlight and address climate change. 

Rui: I'm inspired by the writings of Seth Kim-Cohen on the shortcomings of a "sound-in-itself" approach to sound art. 

And from outside of it: 

Maile: My mind races, most of my inspirations are technically outside of my disciplines, but I think that is the case with almost every artist. I'm often really inspired by science fiction though, and have been as far back as I can remember. My father is a scientist, and my mother a fiction writer...those influences are always woven in my work somewhere.

Rui: I'm inspired by philosophical and cultural debates on how to navigate between a globalized & socially-mediated "reality" and an experience-based, individual and local perception of the world.  

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Constellations says:

That this piece was born from a beautiful love story is evident in the intricate and intimate texture of the sounds. The pulsating soundscape traverses mood and plays with space in its reverberations. Who knew that symphonic wildness of bird sounds set against a gentle music box would be such a striking juxtaposition. 

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Maile Colbert is an intermedia artist with a focus  on sound and video. She is currently a PhD Research Fellow in Artistic Studies with a concentration on sound studies, sound design in time-based media, and soundscape ecology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, through the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, and a visiting lecturer at the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto. Her current practice and research project is titled, Wayback Sound Machine: Sound through time, space, and place, and asks what we might gather from sounding the past. 

Upcoming projects: Sound design for filmmaker Irene Lusztig's Yours In Sisterhood, which applied some of my new research and methodologies in sonic representation of time, space, and place. I also will be working at the end of the month in Denmark as part of that Sounding Bodies project!

Rui Costa is a sound artist from Lisbon, Portugal. He is a founding member of Binaural/Nodar, an arts organization founded in 2004 and dedicated to the promotion of context-specific and participatory art projects in rural communities of the Gralheira mountain range, northern Portugal. Rui has been performing and exhibiting his work since 1998 in festivals, galleries and museums across Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United States and has been collaborating regularly with the American intermedia artist Maile Colbert. Rui Costa is also a regular speaker in conferences and gives workshops dedicated to sound art. 

Upcoming projects: I've had the pleasure of participating in Brandon Labelle's Dirty Ear symposium in 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal, which included a collective exhibition where I presented an installation called Codes of Affect. A book about it will be released on Errant Bodies Press later this year.