Tune(Out)))side

Jul 04, 2005: 3pm- 10pm
Wave Farm

5662 Route 23 | Acra, NY 12405 | 518-622-2598
http://wavefarm.org/

free103point9 Wave Farm's opening event. This outdoors variation of Tune(In))) features over thirty sound artists playing directly into five FM transmitters. No sound is amplified in the listening environment. Attendees use a radio with headphones to hear the simultaneous performances on five unique FM frequencies. A video channel featuring wireless surveillance feeds by Matthew Spiegleman will be presented as a projection and on monitors throughout the property with audio only available through radio receivers.

For those unable to attend in person, all five channels of the performances will be webcast live on free103point9 Online Radio at www.free103point9.org. A performer's perspective

The Tune(Out)))side event at free103point9’s Wave Farm in Acra, New York became an unexpectedly transformative event for me and many other players present that day. Driving three hours outside the city to this idyllic spot tucked away in the trees, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The transmission techniques of the festival were familiar – four live stages of sound transmitted to visitors all over the farm, using portable headphone radios, as they lounged and roamed at will across acres of trail, forest, and field. It was this rural setting, however, that made me wonder about the concept: was ‘transmission art’ going to be satisfying in an environment already so complete with all the stimulus of the natural world (a stimulus we city dwellers were starved for) – a place already so alive? I was afraid that the headphone listening might introduce an artificial distance to the community gathered there, a gap that would be difficult to bridge while playing live.

What I found, however, and was fortunate to share with all the other performers fo the day, several of whom you will hear on this disc, was an extended moment of connection – between players, audience, and environment – that was utterly new and enthralling. 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 a 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. The performer’s perspective matched the receiver’s. This allowed my playing to become more detailed, subtle, and evolving; it was as if I were playing to an intimate audience of one, multiplied many times over. This feeling was confirmed as passersby smiled and nodded their approval as they emerged from a wooden path, then drifted away again without a word – we were close without being near, attending to minute details of sound no matter what our actual location.

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.

There was a power invested in the sound by this sense of shifted dimension and transmitted closeness that I had never experienced in playing before, and that has permanently altered my practice of listening and performing. Looking forward to next year…

Andy Graydon
November 26, 2005 New York City