AIRtime Live: John Roach and James Rouvelle

Oct 11, 2007: 8pm - 9pm
Wave Farm + WGXC Acra Studio


Trailhead, John Roach and James Rouvelle

Trailhead, John Roach and James Rouvelle. for AIRtime 2007 at free103point9 Wave Farm. Project sketch. (Oct 11, 2007)

Trailhead, John Roach and James Rouvelle

Trailhead, John Roach and James Rouvelle. for AIRtime 2007 at free103point9 Wave Farm. Project sketch No. 2 (Oct 11, 2007)

Online Radio Logo

Online Radio Logo.

John Roach and James Rouvelle present an online radio performance in association with their residency at free103point9 Wave Farm.
In Trailhead we will map the Wave Farm grounds with sound and images. As we wander through the woods, we will listen and respond with our equipment. We will record our activities and document our location. We will invite collaborators to help in our mission, to shape the project, and fill out the map. The final transmitted product will have no fixed form. Instead, the listeners of free103point9 Online Radio will be invited to select locations on a map available online, and by doing so, see images and video, and trigger changes in the final on-air mix.

Our History as a collaborative team:
James and I have, at various times in our careers, drifted into each others' orbit to work on projects. Perhaps it is because James comes from a background in sound and has found himself in a world of visual art and I have been sliding somewhat in the opposite direction. In short, we share sensibilities, but have different points of reference. One thing is certain: we have a mutual desire to draw out unexpected responses from our chosen materials whether they be rubber bands, motorized cat toys, chocolate, or bluetooth technology. We aim, through our playful approach to our tools, to encourage an active participation from our audience. We create situations that invite the viewer or listener to get involved and to help to make the work into something different every time.

Part One - mapping: working separately
Trailhead will begin as a series of explorations undertaken individually. In this way we will divide and conquer and "map" the Wave Farm location in our own peculiar ways. I will venture out with my Band-o-fly instruments and James with his arsenal of electronics and objects. I will listen and, based on what I hear or see, alter the speed with which I fling my instrument over my head. (This action varies the volume, pitch and intensity of the sound). James on the other hand will monitor certain aspects of the environment; wind, temperature, humidity and light and use that data to emit and also to alter sounds. We will make extensive use of Wave Farm's transmitters and so we will be connected to each other while we go about our tasks. In this way we can respond to each other, but also merge and manipulate our output. Please note that our activities will be respectful of the environment at Wave Farm.

We will invite collaborators to join us during some of our days. One of our collaborators, the poet Matthew Rohrer will tote a parcel of books through the woods and read when, where and what he sees fit. Matt is comfortable collaborating and improvising and has a long-standing collaboration with the poet Joshua Beckman that can be heard on their CD "Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty." We will also invite a photographer and video artist to join us in our mapping.

Our mapping of Wave farm will take three forms:
Audio maps: these are a sonic response to the locations and paths of Wave Farm. GPS maps: we will mark our location as we wander through the woods. This will be an accurate positioning that can later be plotted on a map. Hand drawn maps: we will use the old fashioned pencil on paper method, recording our perceived progress, natural landmarks, etc. These will be highly subjective representations of the terrain. Part Two - mapping and following: working together At night we will journey together, carrying uncomfortably large and heavy inflatable objects that respond to the slightest disturbance by emitting streams of data. We will attempt to follow, in the dark, the hand-drawn maps that we created during the day. The carried objects, like giant rafts and spheres are impossible for one person to carry solo and so we must work together to move them through the terrain. We imagine ourselves as an absurd Lewis and Clarke hauling our canoe through the forest to get to the next river. Just to make things exciting we will also attach dozens of lights to these objects as we follow our paths in the dark which should lead to some very unusual imagery.

Part Three - sound sorting
Beginning at Wave Farm, we will catalog our sounds, images, and video and position them on our maps. Once the audio and images have been sorted, we will build our maps.

Part Four - building maps
Our final audio project, transmitted on air, will consist of pre-recorded materials mixed live. The Free103.9 listeners will be free to look at our maps online and select areas that are marked. When clicked, these areas will reveal images and video from the locations as well as sound-triggers. When selected, these triggers will activate equipment for our broadcast, tape decks, reel to reel decks, sound chips, etc, all loaded with audio from each location. The GPS maps will contain our daytime activities while our hand-drawn maps will mark our night-time activities. We anticipate very different results from each map.

Artist Statements:
John Roach
I don't consider myself an installation artist, a sound artist, or a sculptor, but prefer to think of myself as a nomad, touching down in whatever place is most hospitable to my ideas. I like to treat my subjects in unorthodox ways like playing CDs as if they were records, creating structures for books which allow them to turn their own pages, or amplifying balloons so that they resonate when struck by little motorized arms. These transformations, often humorous, are intended to release a new spirit from the original materials. Current projects include A sound installation for twirling overhead objects and a web-based radio stream manipulator called The Simultaneous Translator.

James Rouvelle
Formally trained in both music composition and performance at the Aspen Music Festival and Juilliard schools, and Art at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College, James Rouvelle’s current media can best be described as ensembles of networked actions, often utilizing electronics and some form of computer programming. Presently acting chair of Interactive Media at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore, James teaches programming, networking, physical computing, and interactive theory and practice. Having happily worked on various team based, interdisciplinary, tech-intensive projects over recent years, his current, personal efforts can be described as shared, de-centralized, perhaps even aimless events, unfocussed by design to investigate collective intelligence, enhance social relationships, and foster empathy through the practice of listening, dialogue, and interaction.
Wave Farm / WGXC Acra Contact Info
Mailing: PO Box 13 Acra, NY 12405
Main Office / Acra Studio
(518) 622-2598
WGXC Office
(518) 697-7400
WGXC Hudson Studio
(518) 828-0290
WGXC Feedback
(518) 212-7509
Wave Farm / WGXC Acra Studio: 5662 Route 23 Acra, NY 12405
WGXC Hudson Studio: 369 Warren St. Hudson, NY 12534