WGXC-90.7 FM

Itinerant Mind: Tropological Sketches

Aug 18, 2018: 11am - 12pm
WGXC 90.7-FM: Radio for Open Ears

90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and wgxc.org/listen everywhere

Standing Wave Radio

wavefarm.org/listen and 1620-AM at Wave Farm

Performed by Morrad + McArthur.

This month’s Itinerant Mind has been constructed from two recording sessions conducted online and in Lincoln, UK on July 21 2018 and subsequently edited in Sydney in the following weeks. Much of the broadcast is based on improvisations by Annie Morrad, Ross Oliver (on prepared guitar), and Fouad el Baidouri.

Fouad describes himself as an evolutionary biologist who is also interested in musical practices and ethnomusicology. He records and documents ancestral traditional music (including trance/healing music) from Morocco. Fouad’s contributions are played on two instruments. He says, "The first instrument (traditional bass-like) is the “uembri," the leading instrument of the Gnawa music. It has also many different names like, Hajhouj, Dendba, Gogo, etc. reflecting the different African origins of the instrument. The one I have is from Morocco and it is used in trance/possession ceremonies/rituals as therapeutic/healing music. The instrument is accompanied by the Krakebs - castanet-like, with a metallic sound. The second instrument is the Gasba (meaning flute in Arabic), along with the Bendirs (circular wooden frame covered from one side by a goat skin), it is the main instrument of Jilala confraternity. It is also played in trance/possession rituals in Morocco. The origin of this music is probably dates to about 1000 years ago, originating from Bagdad and the founder of this confraternity is Abdelkader Jilani.”

Although very much part of a work in progress, some of Annie’s recent field recordings around London for our Project Anywhere work “The Grid” are included in the mix with synth and percussive contributions from Ian. In contrast, the final section is an excerpt from a longer telematic improv recorded live by Annie and Ian earlier that day.

The word ‘tropological' in this month’s title is a reference to how meaning is constructed tropologically. "In other words, what to discuss and how to discuss it are always arbitrary decisions.” (Lane, Carlyle, 2013, http://sonicstudies.org/lane2013). We see some correlation in the improvisational conversations and methodologies we engage in the virtual spatial context much of our practice occupies and discusses.

Annie Morrad and Ian McArthur live at opposite ends of the planet. They compose and play collaborative sound work and live performances through the use of digital software Mixlr and Skype. For live events McArthur broadcasts electronic sounds, field recordings and live mixing. Morrad plays live improvised alto and tenor saxophone against these. For their recorded sound work the starting points vary from being concept driven to "I've got this idea…."