25 Years in Your Ears
Wave Farm celebrates our 25th Anniversary in 2022. We've looked back at our first quarter of a century and selected 25 important moments that we are delighted to share weekly July - December via instagram @wavefarmradio and archived here.
Sonny Rollins practiced saxophone at this spot along the footpath almost daily from mid-1959 - 1962, and eventually released The Bridge at the culmination of his almost three-year withdrawal from the recording studio. free103point9's 1997 performance and 2001 record release Of the Bridge celebrated Sonny's practice and this location, which now has a quite a different feeling. In a recent reflection on his sometimes 14-hour days on the bridge, Sonny said: "I looked up at the sky and felt that communion with some kind of spiritual element. It felt great to me – that distance thing, reaching out to something beyond the people."
3. !!!, Black Dice, Avey Tare + Panda Bear + Geologist, Animals at the free103point9 Project Space (2001)The free103point9 Project Space and Gallery was located at 97 S. 6th St. in Brooklyn from 1997-2006. On May 9, 2001, the space was beyond max capacity for performances by !!!, Black Dice, Avey Tare + Panda Bear + Geologist (later, Animal Collective), and Animals. Animal Collective released a record with recordings from this show at free103point9, with proceeds going to two environmental justice groups.
The free103point9 Project Space was featured in Jon Fine contribution to Where the Wild Gigs Were: A Trip Through America's Legendary Underground Music Venues (ed. Tim Hinely, 2021). Fine writes, "But god, I loved it. I loved it even though, when you played there, you had to load your gear up two full flights of stairs. Ungentrified, narrow stairs, which distressingly gave a bit when you stepped on them, and variously squeaked, squealed, creaked and howled as you and your bandmates hauled your amps and speaker cabinets up to the third floor."
5. Tune(In)))s (2003-2004): Tune(In))), Tune(In))) The Kitchen, Tune(In))) Santa FeOver 60 performers played into six transmitters during free103point9's first Tune(In))) event at the now defunct New York Center for the Media Arts in Long Island City on March 1, 2003. There was no sound in the space. Performers performed into transmitters and attendees received a radio with headphones, to access the performances happening simultaneously on six different stages in the space and frequencies across their radio dials.
In April 2004, Tune(In))) traveled to The Kitchen as part of the city-wide festival New Sound/New York. Over 30 artists performed into five transmitters. Performances included work by Stephen Vitiello, Gregory Whitehead, Scanner, Zeena Parkins, Ikue Mori, Thurston Moore, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, and Carlos Giffoni. Image 3 shows the instructions given to attendees.
About Tune(In))) The Kitchen, Jon Pareles wrote in the New York Times: "It was the quietest concert of the year and perhaps the noisiest. For long stretches of the Tune(In))) the Kitchen, a four-hour electronic music gathering on Thursday night that was conceptual as its title, the only sounds in the Kitchen came from people strolling around and sporadic conversations. But the airwaves in the room were alive with abstract sounds."
The third iteration of Tune(In))) traveled to Santa Fe Art Institute in July where live local channels were complemented by a video program selected from Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI). Attendees listened to performances on radio with headphones, with only ambient sound at the Santa Fe Art Institute Courtyard.
With this improvement to access to the airwaves, free103point9 turned its focus to exploring how this medium could be used in interesting and new ways, and how the conventions of radio could be subverted. With encouragement and assistance from the free103point9 community at large, and generous grants from the New York State Council for the Arts and Experimental Television Center, free103point9 shifted from artist collective to nonprofit organization, employing the term "Transmission Arts" as an umbrella for our interactions with airwaves.
Writing for Art Forum, Marina Rosenfeld included free103point9's NoRNC coverage in her Best of 2004 Music: "Dedicated to the gamut of 'transmission arts,' free103point9's collaborative coverage of the Republican National Convention, undertaken with other activist groups such as the August Sound Coalition, was a critical reference point for artists and other citizens during the otherwise disheartening week Bush and company descended on New York."
Andy Graydon, writing about his Tune(Out))) experience both as a performer and attendee, unexpectedly discovered new moments of connection: "The first surprise was the intimacy of sound perspective that I could share with the listeners. I monitored my own playing of altered field recordings through radio headphones, and realized at the opening of my set that this was exactly what the audience was hearing – none of the usual questions about the diffusion of sound in an acoustic space, bad monitors, weird reflections, etc."
"A second revelation came in the act of listening. Taking a long solitary walk with Gill Arno’s and Tom Mulligan’s careful work in my ears. I found myself in a kind of slipstream between realities. The natural-yet-composed sounds seemed to open a new dimension that shifted and augmented my other senses and how they were attuned to the environment, creating a compound experience. The live performance was not a single focus of activity, but a strange new layer of the real that enlivened everything I encountered on the walk."
This program was released on CD as free103point's Audio Dispatch 034. In celebration of the release and in collaboration with Radio Web MACBA, Barbara Held and Pilar Subirá, live performances took place at the @newmuseum. Performing artists included Damian Catera, Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson, The Dust Dive & Latitude Longitude, Joshua Fried & Todd Merrell, Tianna Kennedy, LoVid with Howard Huang, Tom Roe, Scanner, and others.
MAAF for Artists awards assist artists in completing new work, reaching public audiences, and advance artistic exploration and public engagement in the media arts. MAAF for Organizations awards support technical strategies for online development as well as to hire outside consultants to support organizational and professional development. Visit wavefarm.org/grants to learn more about these opportunities and upcoming deadlines.
The weekend's events included live performances, plenaries, workshops, station building, shared meals and a big parade, seen on Columbia street in this image. The parade culminated with the release of a transmitter carried by balloons into the sky.
Remaining a frequent keystone in media arts curricula today, the book highlights discoveries in broadcast, public works, performance composition, sound, and text, stretching the boundaries of both transmitter and receiver. At a time when public access struggles with corporate control of the airwaves, Transmission Arts: Artists and Airwaves shows how artists have combined activism and communications technologies to represent alternative worlds on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Since 2012, the Study Center has hosted 10 artist residency seasons, 5 Audio Buffets, countless researchers and property tours, as well as WGXC 90.7-FM programming from across the world. On Saturday, October 22nd, visit Wave Farm from noon - 6 p.m. for tours of the Wave Farm's Public Art Park installations and Study Center. Or, schedule a visit by emailing email@example.com
Each Outpost provides electric power, WiFi, and a direct audio line-in to the WGXC 90.7-FM broadcast studio. The 1620-AM transmitter is housed in Max Goldfarb's Mobile 49 and enables artists and visitors to broadcast on the property. DinahBird and Jean-Philippe Renoult are pictured here performing using 1620-AM during their 2018 Wave Farm residency. Their project "Tuning the World" was a series of outdoor broadcasts and an active approach to field recording and listening where live sonic drones were transmitted back into the soundscape. Jean-Philippe played a shruti box, a Northern Indian portable instrument, cousin to the harmonium, while Dinah “actively” recorded the process, moving back and forth between the environmental sounds such as water, wind and birds and the transmitted sound.
As the sun warms the water each day, hydrophones (underwater microphones) reveal a slow crescendo of sound: aquatic insects “sing” to mark their territory while gas bubbles rise from the pond bottom, punctuated by unidentifiable grunts and squeaks. This poly-rhythmic chorus mixes with traces of bird-song and passing cars that filter down from above. Rain on the pond surface creates a dense cloud of high-frequency detail, like the coals in a cooling campfire. In the winter, life in the pond slows down to near silence as the water ices over, but the ice may crackle and hiss during its daily expansion and contraction.
Participating artists: 31 Down, Ed Bear, Lea Bertucci, Olivia Bradley-Skill, C. Lavender, Damian Catera, Brian Dewan, Anna Friz, Michael Garofalo, Max Goldfarb, Howardian, Tianna Kennedy, Jeff Kolar, Jen Kutler, LoVid, Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere, Stick Sellers, Melissa Weaver, Gregory Whitehead, and Bryan Zimmerman. Jeff Thompson installed his work Every Radio Station in the gallery, Melissa Weaver and Alon Koppel presented a video tour of the Wave Farm grounds, and Max Goldfarb created a limited-edition event poster that features an illustration of the electromagnetic spectrum and a transceiver and wireless router circuit.
The 2017 edition was organized into three parts. Tom Miller opened with "Talking with Birds," a site-specific sounding event in homage to Pauline Oliveros's "Sonic Meditations. Using the installation "Pond Station" by Zach Poff as a point of reception and transmission, a small fleet of sounding objects, including small transistor radios receiving micro FM transmissions, were launched on a Wave Farm pond and guided by wind, current, and human interaction.
This was followed by the Audio Buffet improvisation with players including Black Lake, C. Lavender, Seth Chrisman, Seth Cluett, Jonny Farrow, Chris Funkhouser, Max Goldfarb, Pat Gubler, Zach Layton, Al Margolis, Charles Martin, Nathan McLaughlin, Tom Miller aka Comrade Squelch, Michelle Nagai, Bobby Previte, soundBarn, Daniel Steffey, Adam Tinkle, and Tyler Wood. Lastly, Composer Daniel Steffey lead attendees in a group performance of Pauline Oliveros' Sound Pieces text score.
This slogan is deeply entwined with WGXC 90.7-FM's Manifesto for Participatory Radio: WGXC believes in hands-on, two-way radio. We provide public access to the airwaves, giving individuals and organizations the means to tell their own stories. WGXC listeners make radio, participate in on-air conversations, stream public meetings for broadcast, contribute content, host their own shows, and more. The G and the C stand for Greene and Columbia counties in New York. WGXC is listener-supported, and we serve 78,000 potential local listeners in the Upper Hudson Valley, in addition to listeners from across the globe online. Our programs can be uplifting, surprising; are very often experimental, and almost always entertaining.
Wave Farm's Radio for Open Ears workshops were supported by visiting artist Jen Kutler, and special guests including Joan Hunt and Rebecca Bray. The program was made possible by CreativityWorksNYS, an initiative of the New York State Council on the Arts in partnership with Carnegie Hall, and in collaboration with the New York State Department of Corrections. Wave Farm is excited to continue work that will bring arts programming and opportunities to system-impacted individuals in 2023 and 2024 through a new NYSCA Partnership: Arts in Corrections NYS.
John Cage's Rozart Mix: The tapes to be used may contain any material and may vary in length (up to around 45 feet). If a loop breaks, it should be fixed or replaced by another. A performance of the piece starts with the audience entering, and ends when the last member of the audience has left.