constellations

aidan mcmahon - i/a recording

aidan mcmahon

I/a recording was written and produced by Aidan McMahon.


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Aidan writes:

This piece is about the tension between experience and the impulse to record it. The two, I believe, are incompatible. What happens when the experience you want to record is another person? How does this interrupt the relationship, or improve it?

When I first started this piece, I used a text to speech voice because it was convenient. The voice, named Justine, was eerily passable. After a time, I began to appreciate the voice itself. It was a pure recording. The phrases it recited were entirely new, never having been spoken before.

90% of the sounds in this piece come from my home recordings. Mixed with Justine's cold, chop and paste voice, the tension between these two worlds reflect the odd divisiveness of inscribing living moments into cold media.

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Inspiring Aidan in the world of sound and beyond:

I listened to a lot of Nicholas Jaar, the Chilean/ American electronic music composer, while making this piece. I tried to mimic with my narrative what he does in his music. He blends texture to make very visual, fluid and sensual scenes. Mary Wigman's "Witch Dance," Dreamcrusher, Yorgos Lanthimos, J.M Coetzee, Alice Munro, Artaud's "Theatre and the Plague," "Frog and Toad," the spring, "Queer Voices" by Freya Jarman-Invens, mouth sounds.

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Aidan McMahon is an audio producer and editor currently based in Halifax, NS. His docs and radio drama have featured on CKDU, CJLO, and Radiophrenia. Aidan is currently working on a doc about the Collin's Bay Prison bee-keeping program. Find more of Aidan’s work here.


rachel ní chuinn - heavy summer

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Heavy Summer was produced by Rachel Ní Chuinn with Fán O'Toole on piano. It airs for the first time on Constellations.

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Rachel says

I had a baby last February. I wanted to make something that reflects some of my feelings about what that means, without necessarily too many words. Obviously being a mother is a huge change for me. Fán is 9 months old at the moment and sometimes we put her in her high chair and put her up to the piano, and she really enjoys playing and sometimes singing along. I had a recording of Fán playing the piano and singing. I also rediscovered a field recording of a lawn mower in the Botanical Gardens in Dublin that I took a couple years ago which had this compelling drone-like sound. I placed both recordings together and responded by playing the clarinet, which I've recently started playing and love for its expressiveness. 

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Inspiring Rachel both in and beyond the world of sound

I've been a huge fan of Benjamin Walker's for a long time and I am really impressed by his treatment of the real and the fake. I am generally low on sleep and inspiration these days but if it isn't too cloying to say it, watching a tiny human's reactions to sounds is ultimately what I am finding most inspiring as she parses everything with such curiosity and enthusiasm. 

There is a movement in Dublin called Take Back the City that is occupying vacant properties and standing up for families who are being evicted. Dublin is in the middle of a housing crisis and it is inspiring to see people try and tackle the problems with direct action.

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Rachel Ní Chuinn works with sound, movement, text and electronics. She produces sound works for radio, live performance, theatre and installation. Her radio features for RTÉ lyric fm include The Shape of Sounds to Come and Mean Time  — a collaborative concert with 10 sound artists for live broadcast. She has worked on exhibitions and electronic performance with sculptors Vanya Lambrecht Ward, Gillian Fitzpatrick `and Renata Pekowska and many great experimental Irish musicians. She has also recently performed her own music with clarinet and live electronics for Martin Sharry's Running + Walking in the Phoenix Park and is working on a new feature documentary for RTÉ lyric fm about a verbatim opera called The Woods & Grandma.

camilla hannan - it was right there in front of you

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It was right there in front of you was produced by sound artist Camilla Hannan. All source material is from field recordings made by the artist over the last year or so. This piece airs for the first time on Constellations.

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Camilla says:

In this work, I was thinking about foreground, mid field and background. I love the sound of scraping metal and the way these sounds can merge up against each other. I like the mix of the natural world with machines. I like the on/off of contact mics and sometimes I like inserting myself in an incidental way – breaking the fourth wall if you like.

In this piece, I was thinking about how things right in front of you can tell you stuff that for whatever reason you may be oblivious to.  You may be distracted by other things or… you can’t or you don’t pay attention. That’s what it’s all about, paying attention.

Inspiring Camilla in the world of audio

The magpie birdsong in my garden is inspiring me at the moment. It’s spring where I am and the magpies are nesting and their morning calls are really quite magical. They make me stop and listen.

And outside of it?

What inspires me are the many talented and creative people I know personally and publicly who continue to make amazing work, despite fashion and trends. They just continue to impress me with their solid dedication and practice. 

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Camilla Hannan is an Australian audio producer who has created a broad range of work for radio, podcast, performance and installation over the last fifteen years. Her work has been broadcast, performed, installed and exhibited both in her home country and internationally. Most recently, her sound design work featured as part of Particle/Wave for the Melbourne International Arts Festival with a multichannel immersive work specially commissioned for the Planetarium Dome at Science Works, Melbourne Museum, Australia 

Her interests lie in examining how sound impacts upon our psyche and how field recordings can create a road map for understanding the world around us. Find her on Twitter here.