aidan mcmahon - i/a recording

aidan mcmahon

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


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.


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.


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.

james t green - emdr


EMDR was produced by James T. Green and features C’ne Rohlsen. It airs for the first time here on Constellations.


James says:

Whenever I was alone, I always heard this internal monologue that was trying to take over. It almost was like my conscious trying to break out. With this piece, I was trying to get down to the bottom of why I felt anxious in a world where it felt like I was losing control, either literally or conceptually.


Inspiring James in the world of sound and beyond:

Sharon Mashihi, Kaitlin Prest, Travis Scott, SoundCloud rappers, Four Tet, Rignam Wangkhang, Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt, Adrian Piper’s visual artwork, William Forsythe’s movement work, the writing and visual projects of Jenny Odell.


Constellations Says by Amita Kirpalani:

In a medium where the unfurling of an idea is often synthesised and made neatly linear, James T. Green’s piece offers a welcome unending. In perfect tense, “I’ve always felt this need for control”, is a musical refrain with a psychoanalytic spike. The ‘cut ins’ of conversation between James and another person who, from his explainer we learn is his partner, are positioned above a muffled or partially muted version of the motif.  These intimate exchanges are the pleasureable and painful working-it-through of togetherness, the reaching for mutual understanding while doing the mundane stuff of sharing a life, like the dishes.

Is to be in control not to speak of control? And so, is to speak of control to talk it away? Perhaps like liquid, control is temporarily holdable but not graspable and so James’ repetition is an attempt and reattempt to hang on.

American novelist and essayist Leslie Jamison describes crafting the first person of her work as a ‘throwing her voice across vast distances’ to bridge that gap between writing what you know and writing the story.  James T. Green’s ‘throw’ is taut and economical. Here is perhaps a questioning of whether ‘to know thyself’ is to remove oneself, to push that feeling-self into the background. Which, I guess is another type of journey.


James T. Green is an audio documentarian by trade and an artist by practice. By day he works at Gimlet Creative as a producer. Previously, he was the Director of Audio at the Outline, producer at MTV News, and Graduate Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. James also has an ongoing audio art podcast, u+1f60c. You can also subscribe to his writing project newsletter here. Find James on Twitter @_jamestgreen

tamara montenegro - naka naka oka aina


Naka Naka Oka Aina was produced and composed by Tamara Montenegro, and features poetry by Violet Witt.


Tamara says:

This piece sounds unheard and repressed voices in our society. Behind the laughter of children playing, we can hear the solemn chanting of a lost Roma woman walking the streets of Barcelona. Violet Witt’s sung poem “All I am is a woman" explores the incongruence of being read as a woman, when experiencing a far more complex relationship with gender. The last part of the piece is inspired by another poem by Witt in which they write of taking action rather than only thinking, n order to heal and co-create a more inclusive world.


Born in the lush lands of Nicaragua, Tamara Montenegro’s work was birthed from their engagement with the electronic music scene. Tamara’s sound work now also extends to sound art, soundtrack composition, field recording, and psychoacoustic research. They understand the power of sound and music to bring about social development, healing, action, and change and see DJing as an act of shamanism. Their music and research seek to touch the human psyche and incite social change by building roots and networks through dance and integrative listening, weaving together their vision of global community for a new culture of conscious living. More of their music is available here.