Radio Yaks: A Soundproof series in which eminent producers and sonic luminaries from around the world share audio they’re crazy about, and tell us why.
Magz Hall is a sound and radio artist, teacher, and co-founder of Radio Arts. Her work explores the artistic potential of radio and it’s use beyond conventional settings. Taking as her point of departure a hypothetical future characterised by vacant airwaves, Magz Hall’s work re-imagine’s radio’s utopian potential.For Radio Yak, she chooses five pieces that variously explore psychic life and reflect on conscious and unconscious human experience.
Listen to her sonic selection at this link
Soundproof have also aired several of our past commissions: CRAZY HORSE ONE EIGHT:Gregory Whitehead, Characterized: GX Jupitter-Larsen (US) and Plunge, Flip, Bump and Score: Esther Johnson hear them via our Radio Arts Gallery or via ABC.
Radio Art and New Media in Radio Studies: An Interview with Magz Hall – Pt. 1
by Brian Fauteux on January 15, 2016 in Radio Scholarship, Radio Survivor Academic Series
“In the first part of this two-part interview, Dr. Hall explains how her research is closely connected to a variety of experimental and artistic projects in the field of radio art. By engaging with radio as a flexible, fluid, and accessible medium, Dr. Hall highlights the ways in which radio can engage with communities and inspire cutting-edge research and arts-based practices.” Read part 1 of the interview at this link
IMMERSIVE SOUNDSCAPES: THE ENGINE ROOM SOUND ART EXHIBITION by Andrew Manns for 1984Bold Ideas
“The Engine Room takes a turn for the esoteric with two artists. Spiritual Radio by Magz Hall, a ‘book-radio’ that transmits the words contained into an eternal loop, which cannot be conventionally read, rather the listener must tune to the right frequency in order to access it’s content. Combining themes of hypnosis, telepathy, and futurology its idealism is reminiscent of the Steven Spielberg’s films but its scope accords more with sci-fi hardliners, like Isaac Asimov. According to Hall, the text itself is “‘Spiritual Radio’, initially published in 1925, which sets out cleric and radio enthusiast Archbishop F.H. du Vernet’s vision of the nascent technology as a spiritually-charged electrical force capable of mediating human sensibilities and the transcendent will of God in a text that is by turns visionary and often absurd in the bathetic disjuncture between spiritual promise and quotidian reality.””
Crane TV interview with Magz Hall
Making Conversations – Resonance FM Tuesday 28th October 2014 - Listen again to the live broadcast with Magz Hall and artists Mariana Manhães, Luciana Haill and Dianne Harris, hosted by Bronac Ferran also available via the Craft Council
Making Conversations series in full can now be listened to at: http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/makeshift
“Not on the floor but on the airwaves Magz Hall aims to bring together the technologies of radios and publishing. A book is read on a certain frequency and you must be tuned in to hear the sound waves. The reading is of a spiritual text that sees technology ‘as a spiritually charged force’; the value of the content of the book surpassing its physical form.” Elizabeth Murton a-n, 2014
“A book which is also a working radio is supplied by Magz Hall, in which the pages of the book are held shut by copper nails, connected to form a transmitter circuit through which words flow “in an eternal loop”, said organisers, adding: “the text awaits the listener who is tuned to the right frequency”. The Guardian, Sept 2014
Gregory Whitehead talks about his new Radio Arts Commissioned work Crazy Horse One Eight on Soundproof ABC Australia
Kinokophonography Night at the Library for the Performing Arts: Hearing is Believing by Katrina Dixon, Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts March 14, 2014 ”Highlights”… ”I also particularly enjoyed Radio Arts—Jim Backhouse and Magz Hall’s Voice Like a Foghorn in which we got to enjoy over 40 different Medway people lending their voices to a ship’s broken foghorn.”
Radio Arts LV21 Lookout21 project in WOW Magazine March 2014 read online here
Radio Making Workshops in UK in Name of Radio Arts by Jennifer Waits for Radio Survivor 11th December 2013
Recently I’ve been following with interest the wide range of hands-on radio activities being lead by Radio Artsout of the United Kingdom.
Radio Arts, “an independent artists’ group founded in 2001 by lecturer, producer and artist Magz Hall and artist, producer and musician Jim Backhouse,” works “to promote radio as a site for creative experimentation and intervention.” The group is “currently commissioning six new radio art works for broadcast as well as running a series of free, public workshops across South East Kent until early 2014.”
As part of this project, Radio Arts is completing a residency aboard the restored lightship LV21 (Light Vessel 21) in Kent, England. One event that caught my eye was last month’s radio workshop in which participants built their own AM radios. According to Magz Hall,
“As Radio Arts we have been promoting radio arts activity through number of workshops and an open call for new work – this particular workshop to make an AM radio was the result of a collaboration between Radio Arts and the Lightship and its radio operator Colin Turner who shared his skills in AM radio building with us.”
Next month, there will be another hands-on workshop for radio-o-philes. On January 25th, lucky attendees will get the chance to make their own FM transmitters at an event held at the Beaney in Canterbury, England.
Additionally, Radio Arts just wrapped up an open call for recorded radio pieces for a future program and has been collecting old, working FM radios for an April, 2014 exhibit at the Beaney. More details on how to donate can be found on the Radio Arts website.
Across the pond, Hall also has her radio-themed “Numbers” installation on view at the Canterbury Exchange exhibit at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois through December 15th. It looks like a fascinatingpiece.
Hall explains, “The installation is in part homage to shortwave numbers stations, on air since the cold war and plays a series of coded messages from provocateurs of the future heard as numbers from six voices played simultaneously on different radios around the space. The work predicts numbers stations will move to FM and will remain there after licensed FM services are switched off, to be used by outlawed gangs, groups, agents and political movements. The work uses encrypted tweets collected from Occupy activists.”
Hall was able to get folks in Illinois to donate radios for use in this numbers station-themed installation. I wish I could be in both Illinois and England to take part in all of these radio events and exhibits, but for now will just live vicariously through the online accounts.
Read on Radio Survivor: http://radiosurvivor.com/2013/12/11/radio-making-workshops-in-uk-in-name-of-radio-arts/
Interview with Daniel Monday community show at BRFM
Aired 4th Nov 2013
Live Radio Interview of Magz Hall by Pat Marsh on BBC Radio Kent
29th August 2013
Live Radio interview on Red Sands Radio with Magz Hall and Jim Backhouse, 15th July 2013
Read about it here: http://www.redsandsradio.co.uk/showblog/magz-hall-radio-arts
Resonance FM interview on Password Show with Magz Hall by Jane Wyatt,14th July repeated 17th July 2013
Thanet Gazette 30th August 2013: “This is Broadstairs calling. Repeat, this is Broadstairs calling. Explore the world of FM radio in Radio Recall an exhibition by, Magz Hall who is turning the Old Lookout Gallery, in the Harbourmaster’s House overlooking Broadstairs harbour into a Theatre of Radiophonic Memory, and will be inviting visitors to contribute their memories and donate used radios to this week-long interactive radio installation. 11am to 4pm daily. Until September 4.”
Dada Radio-Radical Vox-Pop – Euan McAleese, July 2013
Joining a small group of sonic auteurs we first explored definitions of Radio Art and appreciated the work of some of the practitioners from around the world. We discussed Duchamp and other artists who pushed the boundaries of the art world.
Our creative task for the day was to head out in the sun to record vox-pops and channelling the spirit of Dada and a cut-n-paste ethic to edit the recordings into a #RadicalVoxPop
Heading off in pairs we interviewed and gently cajoled the good folk of Herne Bay. Vox-popping is a task which I have often found to be a bit tricky due to the reticence of the public to spend any time talking to a weirdo with a microphone, but today everyone seemed happy and willing to chat. Testament to the chilled out sunny seaside vibe possibly, with microphone wielding radio adventurers a novelty rather than a nuisance on the par with chuggers.
After a really nice lunch we got into the editing, chopping and pasting with a wild and splendid abandon. After a while I got a feeling for what I was wanting to create, changing the tone of what was said. I maybe got a little over enthusiastic with effects but hey, I was having fun.
I really want to make more experimental productions and my brainbox is buzzing with transmission based art ideas.
Find out more about how to take part in a Radio Art workshop contact www. radioarts.org.uk
“The high calibre of the Kent artistic community is demonstrated by the many Whitstable Satellite artists I encounter later that afternoon at the AIRTIME event. I chat to Magz Hall, a founding producer of Resonance FM who is completing a PhD on Radio Art. Her long-term research project sets out a number of fictional hypotheses about the future of FM once it has been abandoned by broadcasters. Babble Station is one of these future unsanctioned stations, using the airwaves for baby monitoring. This Sunday, Hall will be running an all-day drop-in workshop, sampling baby sounds and playing them back via solar radios.”
Radio Mind Press
SERMONS on the sand will be a feature of Viking Bay from today and until Tuesday.The content has been inspired by an obscure group of early 20th century Anglican clerics who shared an interest in telepathy, psychic research and psychology and used radio to preach the word of God.
ETHER PREACHER: Lecturer, radio producer and audio artist Magz Hall will be testing telepathy and religious broadcasting in Broadstairs today until Tuesday. The Broadstairs broadcasts, from The Old Lookout at the harbour, will be both a spoof and serious doctoral research.Radio producer Magz Hall, a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University is an audio artist, with work exhibited around the world.She is now completing a PhD at University of the Arts London and the broadcasts, between 10am and 4pm, form part of her research.Radio Mind also promises to be entertaining and, perhaps, controversial. The idea came from Magz’s reading of academic papers and a book called Spiritual Radio from the early 1900s. She said: “It suggested the idea of radio mind, an experience shared together and illustrated today by some American religious stations where they ask people to touch the radio and pray together. It’s more persuasive than manipulative, but is very direct and links spiritual awareness and technology. Almost new age in fact.”Magz, who says she’s interested in creating sound and radio events outside conventional studio settings, will be closely watching people’s reaction to the broadcasts and the “missionaries” around the harbour.Listeners will only hear the transmission inside the accompanying exhibition in the gallery and immediately outside. Visit www.canterbury.ac. uk/events/event-details.asp?event Id>2827, or search Facebook or Twitter for Radio Mind for more information.
REINVENTING THE DIAL SYMPOSIUM : Review by Frances Morgan 03/11/2009 for Sound and Music
For those who missed the day-long symposium at Canterbury Christ Church University last week. Billed as ‘an opportunity for discussion between students, practitioners and academics with an interest in radio art and experimental radio’, Reinventing The Dial lived up to this broad remit while avoiding a rushed or superficial approach to the subject matter. Producer and radio lecturer Magz Hall‘s diverse choice of speakers for the event ensured that almost every presentation felt satisfyingly focussed and in-depth, while covering a fair amount of ground.
The day started with a series of historical approaches, as Tom McCarthy read from his forthcoming novel set during radio’s emergence in the 1920s, with the coded radio transmissions of Cocteau’s Orphee cited as an inspiration for this and other work. Radio’s early history was a starting point for exploring ideas of interpretation, transmission, interception and the artist as respondent; Andy Birtwistle likewise focused on the Modernist period, but provided a fascinating account of the work of filmmaker Walter Ruttman, whose early sound work Weekend prefigured the electroacoustic compositions of Cage and Varese. Keynote speaker Kersten Glandien provided an overview of the relationship between sound art and radio art from an historical perspective, tracing the connections and conflicts between the two forms from the 1960s to the present day. Perhaps inevitably, given the rich subject matter, this was a lot to take in, and Glandien’s presentation rewards a second listen on the Reinventing The Dial blog; it is particularly interesting with regard to the relationship between radio art and public radio commissioning and producing.
The afternoon’s sessions had a more hands-on, demonstrative feel, and Peter Cusack‘s presentation, opening with a recording of his being questioned by police while collection audio material at a London railway station, was not only funny and engaging, but also opened up debate about privacy, access, the perception of field recording as an activity and the concepts of safety and danger as related to sound. Cusack’s recent work with the (www.positivesoundscapes.org) Positive Soundscapes project addresses the relationships that people have with the sound in their environment, arguing that it’s often at odds with accepted notions of ‘harmful’ or pollutant noise; Cusack demonstrated a soundscape ‘sequencer’ developed as part of this project. I look forward to hearing more of his recordings from the ‘dangerous’ places he cites in (http://reinventingthedial.blogspot.com/2009/10/peter-cusack-abstract-of-presentation.html) his abstract
Taking the focus away from the field and into the studio, Andy Cartwright talked about his work with Soundscape Productions for the BBC, an insight into the tensions between radio art and public service broadcasting, while Lance Dann‘s (http://www.theflickerman.com)Flickerman – an interactive radio drama – perhaps pointed to a way of overcoming, or subverting, those tensions. Dann’s understanding of Web 2.0 and and demonstration of how dramatic content can be inspired and generated by its users was enlivening stuff, taking a positive approach to developing technologies and their possible effects on radio drama. Angus Carlyle‘s more oblique, contemplative talk concluded the afternoon, and was a reminder of radio’s unique character; its ability as a medium to be both intimate and distant. Carlyle put forward the idea of distance as a ‘creative strategy’, citing examples like Locus Sonus and Global String, and nodded to radio’s occult properties with a mention of the Conet Project. It was a great shame that Kaffe Matthews was unable to attend, as her presentation on 2003 project (http://www.kaffematthews.net/works/radio-cycle-1014fm) Radio Cycle 101.4FMlooked to have touched upon many of the issues brought up in the afternoon’s talks – and indeed, throughout the day, involving public/participatory art, sonic environments, early radio experiments and new technologies.
The day’s final discussion was notably free of participants interested only in putting a pet argument across – a common hazard at such events. In fact, a good deal of listening as well as talking went on as Magz initiated debates about questions of practice, composition techniques, relationships with the media industry, engagement with audiences, experiments with binaural recording and 5.1 surround sound and the new aesthetics created by the Internet.
Recordings of the presentations given at Reinventing The Dial: Explorations In Experimental Radio Practice are now online at:
The Independent, Todays Radio: Critics Choice
Thursday 21st February 2008
YOU ARE HEAR at feeds.feedburner.com/youarehearpodcast
This podcast and online radio show is produced by Magz Hall and Jim Backhouse and features live sessions,festival specials and band interviews. There are more than 70 episodes of legal-to-download music from the likes of Tony Conrad, Black Devil Disco Club, Wolf Eyes, Burning Star Core, David Cunningham and Xylitol. You can also hear sets recorded at festivals such as Sonar, Oya,Green Man, the Big Chill and Faster Than Sound. The current podcast features new releases by among others, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Erik Nordgren and Han Earl Park. -Robert Moss – The Independent
The Alternative Media Handbook (Media Practice)
Eds K. Coyer, T. Dowmunt and A. Fountain.
Pg 118, Magz Hall contributor.
Read online at: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AFCzBqqaw-QC&pg=PA117&lpg=PA117&dq=magz+hall&source=bl&ots=2SfYSQSYwj&sig=4kFxclh8B-u8pYBot5YvTQmhpaQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QwCAUpDxJsathQfM8oCgAQ&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBDge#v=onepage&q=magz%20hall&f=false
The Wire Magazine
“London’s Resonance FM current studio space is a bohemian wet dream of cramped dilapidation and romantic under funding. Future generations will look back with envy but nervously. Meanwhile DJs Magz Hall and Jim Backhouse have spent four years coaxing live acts onto their You Are Hear Radio show to perform exclusively for the show for Resonance (a la John Peel, but 100 per cent live in the studio), and here they cherry pick their 20 favourite sessions. Much of this comes with extra edge because it was played live in a tiny space- amazing that Pram ( Midlands Exotica and Oddfellows Casino (Canterbury via Brighton Rock) managed to fit in at all. Murcof ( Mexican electronica) and Noxagt Norwegian Noise niks) are darkly omininous, while San Francisco’s Oxbow sound no less intense for being only one voice and an acoustic guitar. In a lighter vein is the playtime electro of The Man From Uranus, and the Casio versus theremin punch up of Ninki V and CarterTutti’s contribution is a typically classy chunk of electric driftwood. Then No Bra drop by with their ultra- droll ‘Munchausen’ (Really? I was very briefly in a band called Clock DVA’ ‘Really?’) and the music staggerers round a hall of comedy mirrors. Germlin’s nerdcore ‘Key Lime’ is far too short, and Miss Hawaii’s ‘Pyramid’ is rampant chaos from a Japanese laptopper formally known as MC Cambodia. David Grubbs sings over a bristling guitar, and This Is The Kit are an endearing folk duo who have supported Vetiver. If you haven’t been listening, this is a quick and easy education”. Clive Bell- The Wire
November 8-15, 2006 Podcast of the week: You Are Hear
“This excellent alternative music show is available at www.totallyradio.com as well as via directpodcast subscription,but which ever way you want to listen, you’ll find a very well-executed product which features overe 80 podcasts of live, legal recordings ranging from Tunng playing at the Greeen Man Festical to Vasti Bunyan, Martin Carthy and a Hawk and a Hacksaw at the Big Chill. There are also live sets from Sonar including The Modified Toy Orchestra and Senor Coconut, plus archive interviews with Bob Moog what’s not to like?” – Lisa Mullen
The Community Media Toolkit
Contributor Magz Hall p206
Dan Synge interview with Magz Hall in The Telegraph 21st Jun 2003 extract
“We aim to promote radio art and use the experimental power of radio,” says presenter Magz Hall. Hall is not the first to see the potential of the medium: the Italian Futurists were broadcasting their own “art of noise” back in the 1930s. In the 1933 Manifesto Della Radio, Filippo Marinetti envisaged a radio that could transmit the sounds of inanimate objects (such as flowers or diamonds), waveband interference, even silence. Through this popular new medium, the radiasta (radio artist) would make phonetic interpretations of the free-flowing Futurist parolibero (words-in-freedom) style.A decade later, Orson Welles shocked listeners in America with his War of the Worlds broadcast, in which invading Martians were evoked so effectively that hundreds of listeners fled their homes, some of them close to suicide. Radio art continues to thrive in Italy, Germany, the USA and Canada.”
BBC Collective Interview
It’s radio, but not as we know it
“I’m sorry,” whispers the voice at the end of the phone. “We can’t talk to anyone at the moment, we’re in the middle of a live session.” Strange cacophonic music hovers in the background. “In fact, the phone went off while they were playing. It sounded pretty good, though.”
Welcome to Resonance FM, London’s first non-profitmaking “art” radio station (on 104.4 or at www.resonancefm.com), supported by the likes of Gavin Turk and other luminaries. Its brief? To “provide a radical alternative to the universal formulas of mainstream broadcasting”. And it sure as hell does.
“We’re offering people stuff they won’t hear anywhere else,” says presenter Magz Hall. Her weekly show, You Are Hear, features everyone from 73-year-old musical icon Lee Hazlewood to electro weirdoes Church Of Sonology and the Association of Autonomous Astronauts (the worldwide network of community-based groups dedicated to building their own space ships, obviously).
“You can listen to wall to wall dross on the radio every day,” insists Magz. “You just hear the same formats, the same type of people and the same way of conducting programmes. They’re not really interested in letting new blood in and trying out new formulas. I mean, the DJs don’t even choose their own music, do they, on Radio 1?”
Resonance has been on air since May this year, and their licence is due to expire on 01 May 2003. “Really, we need to start a campaign so that we can stay on air,” says Magz. “We’re also going to start trying to raise some money by auctioning things on air. Perhaps we could get Gavin Turk to build a giant egg, then we could crack it and sell it.”
If they do stop broadcasting it’ll be a crying shame. Where else can you hear an eight-hour special on Japanese experimental rockers The Boredoms? Or two hours featuring 50 cover versions of that old Brecht & Weill favourite Mack The Knife.
“Once, we even did a whole day playing Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, and another with folk singer Shirley Collins,” boasts Magz. Yes, but isn’t there just a slight chance that they might alienate listeners? “Not at all,” she insists. “Actually I think it opens it up, because it allows people to hear artists that don’t usually get played.”
But it’s not all obscurathons. Try Out Of The Blue Radio, every weekday at 11.30pm, and travel “inside someone else’s head for half an hour”. Or Burning Decks, on Fridays at midnight, for an hour of freewheeling noise from turntablism’s, er, more exotic shores, with DJs Electricity Substation and Scud, kone_r and more. Don’t touch that dial. JC
Morning Star online
29 Nov 2005
“Magz Hall’s diverse You Are Hear … shows are immediate favorites.”
“Adventurous musical programming that echoes the long running You Are Hear radio show”
“Championing all kinds of inventive and abnormal music with no regard for convention or decency. That’s just as it should be” David Swindells.