[microsound-announce] New podcast: INTERRUPTIONS #10. Radio Maghreb. Curated by Alan Bishop

Radio Web MACBA rwm2008 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 10:01:57 EST 2013

*New podcast: INTERRUPTIONS #10. Radio Maghreb. Curated by Alan Bishop
In this project Alan Bishop vindicates the use of radio as an electronic
instrument in a journey through time and space that unearths old recordings
from the AM and FM airwaves made during his first trip to Spain and Morocco
in 1983.

Playlist: http://rwm.macba.cat/uploads/20130211/10Interruptions_eng.pdf

It all began for me in Saginaw, Michigan, where radio was the primary
portal to instantaneous information in the world. A decade before satellite
TV emerged and approximately thirty years before the internet transformed
the way people receive their news and entertainment, my father bought me a
cheap portable radio with shortwave, weather, police, and AM/FM bands. I
was nine years old. I had other radios to listen to, but this one was
different. It offered me more than the standard AM medium-wave frequencies
which dominated the device in the sixties (FM was insignificant at the
time). I was captivated with the possibilities of shortwave reception and
so began my obsession with the radio. For me it was an explosive, vital
source of an almost endless variety of sounds. Combine this fact with the
ever-changing reception possibilities of geographic movement and it could
be argued that the radio is the most unique and resourceful electronic
sound instrument ever devised. By 1980, I was experimenting with sound
collage, utilizing snippets of television and radio sounds incorporated
with my original music and field recordings.

In May of 1983, I traveled to Marbella, Spain, with my brother and a
friend. The plan was to spend a few weeks in a flat owned by a cousin and
then move south to Morocco. We spent the days busking the streets with
guitars to support our food and drink. In the evenings I would scan the
local radio. I began to record snippets of music from Radio Tangier
International from Morocco, which I was receiving in Spain on a portable
cassette radio recorder. The variety of music they were programming was
astounding: jazz and be-bop, Egyptian and Lebanese orchestral classics,
Moroccan folk music, Indian film soundtracks, late sixties psychedelic
rock, French chanteuse, etc. I had never heard anything so diverse
transmitting from one source. After recording selected songs, I began
capturing the commercials, bumper music spots, station IDs and news
broadcasts. This process continued as I crossed the strait of Gibraltar and
landed in Morocco where I spent the next two months.

Listening to local radio stations is a logical and effective way to
immediately tap into the possibilities of what music styles exist in a
country or region. My original intention of recording radio was to capture
a snippet of a song so that I could play it for a clerk at a local record
store to find out the artist name and song title and then purchase that
album or cassette. As I began to record radio segments consecutively onto
cassette, I noticed there was a strange, yet beautiful and informal sound
collage being formed. Then I began manipulating the radio for this effect
intentionally. My aim was to create audio collage in real time, although I
eventually became quite adept at editing segments together (Radio Algeria
has more than 70 cuts, Radio Sumatra over 100 edits). Radio Morocco was the
first collage I assembled in the regional/national radio source format.
After recording many hours of meticulously selected audio, I simply
sequenced my favorite segments together to form an hour long mix which I
felt represented the most satisfying listening experience for me. I had no
idea that, 21 years later, it would become the first commercially released
locale-specific radio collage. I employed a combination of AM, FM and
shortwave broadcasts which featured everything from local Berber music to
popular Moroccan and Egyptian songs and international news stations like
the BBC, Radio France, and Radio China.

keep reading <http://rwm.macba.cat/uploads/20130211/10Interruptions_eng.pdf>

<http://rwm.macba.cat/uploads/20130211/10Interruptions_eng.pdf>You can find
the previous installments of this series

<http://rwm.macba.cat/uploads/20130211/10Interruptions_eng.pdf>Follow us
at: http://twitter.com/Radio_Web_MACBA
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