Akin O. Fernandez

Akin O. Fernandez, is an artist working in the medium of sound. In particular, he has utilized recordings of shortwave radio transmissions as the raw material for his work. His fascination with shortwave recordings spans several decades, and has been heavily influenced by the unique sound sculptings of Bruce Gilbert, Graham Lewis, and Russell Mills, and the Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo’s 1913 manifesto “The Art of Noise.” In the essay, Russolo argued for the incorporation of new noises birthed by the industrialization of modern urban life into musical composition. For Akin Fernandez, the shortwave noise originating from the “numbers stations” he records is itself a form of music. Fernandez has worked under pseudonyms on numerous projects in connection to the label Irdial Discs, of which he is the founder. A continuation of Fernandez’s interest in transmission, in 2008, Irdial released Electric Enigma, a double CD authored by artist Stephen P. McGreevy, which documents recordings made of atmospheric very low frequency (VLF) effects. This “natural radio” includes electromagnetic perturbations caused by massive energy interactions of the solar wind and the aftereffects of the mixing of lightning strikes with the earth’s magnetic field.