The Radio Art Hour: Jesse Kudler, Graham Stephenson; Derek Bailey (Audio)

Jun 25, 2022
Produced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellows and Artistic Director Tom Roe.

Tune in today for radio art works released in 2022 from Jesse Kudler and Graham Stephenson and also English avant-garde guitarist Derek Bailey. First, Stephenson plays amplified trumpet, and Kudler performs on guitar, radios, transmitters, tapes, and electronics on the "Apposite Rejoinder" album, and we tune in to the "Liquid Assets" track here. Then we hear from Bailey, who died in 2005, but in the 1990s enjoyed playing along with jungle pirate radio stations. On the album's liner notes, Bailey says, "So I've been listening to it, and I really like the way they do it on the radio - I have to say that in recent times it seems to have got softer, a lot less abrasive in some ways. There are more vocal samples, for example... But what I like about the radio is the live quality - although the stuff is records, they don't leave them alone - they'll talk over them, advertise gigs, order a pizza - the music's constant but with interruptions. It's very live - and with that sustained pace, which of course is inhuman... And it's nice to play along with, particularly as opposed to free jazz situations where the pace is often very slow. I've found it fantastic to practice with. So for a long time I've been doing that... I've always liked the parts where the music stops and drifts along - you get some ridiculous string orchestra, then it just slips a bit, the pitch goes or they slow it down or something. Then the drums come back - it's completely meaningless! I like that... What is a pain and can sometimes dilute it is the repetitive - looped or sampled - vocals... The funny thing is, I've never heard a jungle record, all I've heard has been off the radio...."