audio

phoebe wang - in search of the miraculous (bas jan ader)

phoebe

In Search of the Miraculous (Bas Jan Ader) was produced by Phoebe Wang.

Special thanks: Niki Boghossian, Bee Crowe, Maria Dønvang, Grace Finlayson, Michelle Macklem, Heather Raquel Phillips, Kaitlin Prest, Lydia Rosenberg, Katharina Smets, Marisa Turesky, Amalia Wilson

Ft. Musicians: Phil Kline, Martha Farquhar Mcdonnell, Alex Samaras, Phil Smith, Owen Stewart Robertson

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Phoebe says: 

I think of this piece as a painting and artist manifesto of sorts; it's about searching for something that you may never find, and the compulsion to make.

This work is inspired by the artist Bas Jan Ader, who disappeared at sea while making his final art piece, "In Search of the Miraculous."

On her process:

I am a compulsive documenter - I need to believe that the next moment is going to be beautiful. This piece includes sounds I've recorded throughout my life, including art crits, phone calls, cab rides, and archival tape of my track and swim meets.

I like to include sneaky, but intentional elements in my work... for instance, the buzzing you hear at the beginning of the piece is the sound of a film reel playing Bas Jan Ader's piece, "I'm Too Sad to Tell You."

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

Inside:

Laurie Anderson, Katharina Smets, Maria Dønvang

Outside:

Doreen Garner, Mike Kelley, construction sites, pom poms

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Constellations says:

This piece feels like rifling through a scrapbook inside someone's head. Its structure is as flowing and choppy as the ocean that Phoebe so often alludes to. We love Phoebe's play with music, and the raw meticulousness of the tape she's collected. This is a piece that resists traditional personal narrative storytelling arcs; it reveals itself slowly through additional listens. 

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Phoebe Wang is a queer artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She primarily works in sculpture, installation, and sound. Follow her on Twitter @feebswang.

ellie gordon-moershel - anatomy of the road

Ellie

Anatomy of the Road was written and produced by Ellie Gordon-Moershel, and stars Allison Hogg, Tricia Black, and features Claire Whitehead.  It's a fictional story about a woman getting an unusual opportunity to re-experience a nostalgic family road trip.

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Ellie says: 

I was driving down the 401 which I normally find to be very uninspiring, but then I was thinking about all the breakthrough moments I've had in cars, whether its been me alone thinking of something and coming to a conclusion, or being on a road trip with someone else and us having our first real bonding moment or big fight. And I was thinking about how that's kind of like therapy.

So I was wondering if there was a way to spatially re-create the sounds of being in a car using binaural microphones and whether I could capture that mood and weirdness and giddiness and intensity that comes from being in such a small space with another person.

What's inspiring her in the world of radio:

The Strange Case of Starship Iris by Jessica Best. Audio fiction can be very hard to do without having a lot of cringey expositional dialogue. In Starship Iris the plot moves along beautifully by leaning on carefully constructed (and charming!) character dynamics as well as clever scene reveals. I'm also a big fan of Alice Isn't Dead by Joseph Fink. I love the writing, of course, but also the smooth delivery by Jasika Nicole.  

Inspiration outside of audio: 

Kids animation. It's a bleak time and I take refuge in the heartfelt, subversive, complex and queer storytelling coming out of shows like Steven Universe, OK K.O!, and Legend of Korra. That, and the Reductress essay, "I Didn't Come to this Corn Maze to Make Friends." Gotta have balance. 

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Constellations says:

We're thrilled to feature Anatomy of the Road as Constellations' first foray into the realm of radio drama. We're inspired by Ellie's play with space throughout this piece, both conceptually and technically - using binaural microphones and recording through her car speakers (!!). This piece is funny and weird and taps into the all too real potential for VR as a tool for therapy / empathy. 

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Ellie Gordon-Moershel is an independent audio producer, writer, and instructor based in Toronto. To keep informed of her upcoming pieces/projects subscribe to her newsletter.

michelle macklem - ode to my last 10 years of dating

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Michelle Macklem

Ode to my Last 10 Years of Dating was written and composed by Michelle Macklem.
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Michelle writes: 

 

OTML10YOD is an audio short story that charts the familiar sequences of romantic relationships. It stems from a personal experience, but embraces common feelings of closeness, connection, difficulty, love and loss. Let your mind wonder and project how you will.

On what inspires her to make audio:

Music, conversations that pull my heart in, the wind rushing past my ears as I ride my bike and, let's face it, I've been pretty hooked since I first listened to Radiolab back in the day.

These days I'm into Short Cuts, going back through the Soundproof catalogueFrozen Garbage segments, Sarah Boothroyd (forever and ever), Wiretap archivesScene on Radio's amazing Seeing White series and the fine pieces the Constellations community has been sending in!

Inspiration outside of audio: 

Reading. Particularly lyrical essays. Lately I've been into Claudia Rankin, Durga Chew-Bose and Anne Carson.

Listening. Listening to what people say and how they say it. Trying to sit with discomfort more. Not interrupting to offer advice. Just being present with people without story in mind.

Pop Music. I know! I listed music above AND it's audio BUT you can find a lot of gems in contemporary pop music... a lot of great production techniques that are quite obvious and relatively easy to borrow. Take this Lorde song, for example, there's a weird ambient windy synthy sound about 2/3s of the way through. Totally extraneous, totally great.

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Constellations says:

Ode to my Last 10 Years of Dating explores a romantic loop suspended somewhere between the past and the future. Michelle's piece takes the listener through intricate moments of uncertainty, vulnerability, and projection. Plus some delightful musical composition. - Jess

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Michelle Macklem is a radio producer and sound designer based in Toronto. Her documentary and fiction radio work has aired on CBC, BBC and ABC. Michelle uses vivid sound design to explore the atmospheric and ambient nature of audio. She holds an MA in Media Studies and Communications. When she’s not mixing it up in the studio, she can be found out and about recording forests, fields and waterfalls. Recently, she’s been a producer with CBC Original Podcasts including Sleepover with Sook-Yin Lee and The Fridge Light. Michelle is also the co-founder of Constellations. Follow her on Twitter: @michmacklem