Shadows of the Unseen / Movement Radio 17

Seventeenth episode of “Shadows of the Unseen” for movement_radio Athens. Aired April 2022

1. Excerpts from Ciao! Manhattan (John Palmer, 1972)
2. The Necks, The Boys 1 (From The Boys, Rowan Woods, 1998)
3. Roger Baudet, Comme un distance 1 & 2 (From Comme un distance, Dominique Genton, 1983)
4. K Leimer, The Outpost (From Land Of Look Behind, Alan Greenberg, 1982)
5. Gino Piserchio, Doctor Feelgood (From Ciao! Manhattan, John Palmer, 1972)
6. Lucretia Dalt, Blob on The Lawn + Alien Lullaby (From The Seed, Sam Walker, 2021)
7. David Lynch & Dean Hurley, Slow 30s Room (From Twin Peaks: The Return, Mark Frost, David Lynch, 2021)
8. Dirk Schaefer, Alpsee II (From Alpsee, Matthias Müller, 1995)
9. Bruno Maderna, Reflection in the Night (From La Morte ha fatto l’uovo / Death Laid an Egg, Giulio Questi, 1968)
10. Christaene F., Dave Ball, Genesis P. Orridge, William S. Burroughs, Dream (From Decoder, Jürgen Muschalek, 1984)
11. Goblin, Flashing (From Tenebre / Tenebrae, Dario Argento, 1982)
12. John Carpenter, Alan Horwath, 69th Street Bridge (From Escape from New York, John Carpenter, 1981)
13. Lucretia Dalt, Leonid’s Temple (From The Seed, Sam Walker, 2021)
14. Wendy Carlos, The Rock Mountains + A Ghost Piano (From The Shining, Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
15. Stephan Wittwer – End Title (From Der rechte Weg, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, 1983)
16. Egisto Macchi, Perquisizione (From Nucleo centrale investigative, RAI TV series, 1974)
17. Toshi Ichiyanagi, untitled (From Eros + Massacre, Yoshishige Yoshida, 1969)
18. Pierre Raph/Jane Weaver, La Rose De Fer (From La Rose de Fer / The Iron Rose, Jean Rollin, 1973)

Conversation with Trevor Mathison

In the context of the Courtisane festival 2022 (30 MArch – 3 April). Part of the event series Echoes of Dissent, produced by Courtisane, argos and Auguste Orts, in the context of the KASK and Conservatory School of Arts research project with the same title.

“Within the spectral temporality of the tape loop, the imperial anxieties of the early twentieth century resonate with the multiple fears of the present.” This is how Kodwo Eshun described the sound piece Trevor Mathison created for Expeditions, the very first work of the Black Audio Film Collective (1982-1998). With this impressive composition, which incorporates elements from dub and musique concrète as well as the industrial mantras of Cabaret Voltaire or the neo-Constructivist anthems of Test Department, Mathison set the tone for the soundtracks that he would subsequently provide for the films of the collective. It is no coincidence that the collective’s name places as much emphasis on “audio” as “film”, or that several of their titles — such as Handsworth Songs (1985) or Three Songs on Pain, Light and Time (1996) — refer explicitly to sonic processes: the auditory was at least as important as the visual in their multi-layered and pioneering explorations of notions of race, ethnicity, colonialism, diaspora, identity and memory. When asked why sound and music occupy such a prominent place, John Akomfrah, one of the members of the collective, replied, “because there is so much we can’t say without it.”

For Twilight City (1989), Mathison created a hypnotic aural landscape of repetitive textures and melancholic timbres that expresses the psychogeographical relief of the British capital in the grip of gentrification and segregation. In Who Needs a Heart (1991), a portrait of political exhaustion and racial drift in the 1960-70s, dialogue is exchanged for a composition of fragments from the work of jazz greats such as Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Anthony Braxton to evoke disharmony and dissonance. In The Last Angel of History (1996), Mathison’s mixture of wavering motifs and stuttering pulses accompanies a quest for the genealogy of Afrofuturism and its continuation within electronic music movements. In each case, Mathison produces deeply resonant sound worlds based on what he himself calls “post-soul noise”: “sounds that take their cue from pre-existing black musics… but they’ve been defamiliarised, put through a sonic box that renders them strange and unusual” (John Akomfrah).

After the dissolution of the Black Audio Film Collective, Mathison continued to work closely with Akomfrah, with whom he made numerous films and installations. With Anna Piva and Edward George, another former member of the collective, he formed the projects Flow Motion and Hallucinator, whose mutant techno dub featured on the leading record label Chain Reaction. Under the name Dubmorphology, he and Gary Stewart make installations that explore the relationship between culture, history and technology. He also recently produced the soundtrack for Garret Bradley’s America (2019), a reinterpretation of a forgotten history of African-American cinema.

This programme is the first chapter of Echoes of Dissent, a trajectory that aims to counter the hegemony of the eye and the subsequent disregard for the ear by considering the relationship between cinema and politics from the perspective of sound. It is therefore only fitting to begin this journey by focusing on the striking work of a sound artist who is rightly considered by Gaylene Gould as “the quiet centrifugal force behind what we now recognise as a black British aesthetic”.

What happens if critical analysis slows down the rate of perception and sustains a close hearing? If the revisionary archaeology that Black Audio Film Collective are so famous for is listened to as intensively as it is watched? If the ear, for once, pilots the eye through the counter-memorial practice? This is not a matter of downgrading the visual in favor of the sonic; rather it concerns one carefully situating the optical within the trialogical relay of narration, montage, and sound design so as to gauge the full implications of the BAFC project… Attention to the nervous routes between the dimensions of the aural and the filmic has been resoundingly silent. (Kodwo Eshun)

Shadows of the Unseen / Movement Radio 15

Fifteenth episode of “Shadows of the Unseen” for movement_radio Athens. Aired March 2022

1. Jeff Grace, Talking to Stars / Tree of Life (From Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt, 2010)
2. Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow, Losing Track of Time (From Archive 81, created by Rebecca Sonnenshine, 2022)
3. Ale Hop, Mayu Islapi (From AV installation Why is it They Say a City Like Any City?, Ale Hop, 2022)
4. Haruomi Hosono, Miyasundokoro (From The Tale of Genji, Gisaburô Sugii, 1987)
5. Arthur Cantrill, Soundtrack from Eikon (From Eikon, Arthur Cantrill, Corinne Cantrill, 1969)
6. Delia Derbyshire, About Bridges Polyphonic Theme (From Overbruggen / About Bridges, Madelon Hooykaas, Elsa Stansfield, 1975)
7. Aminadav Aloni, Loss (From Once,Morton Leonard Heilig, 1973)
8. Brian Gascoigne, David Briscoe, David Vorhaus, Untitled (From Phase IV, Saul Bass, 1974)
9. François de Roubaix, Plongée de Glace (commissioned by Jacques Cousteau for L’Antarctique, but unused, 1974)
10. Ale Hop, The Mountain That Eats Men (From AV installation Why is it They Say a City Like Any City?, Ale Hop, 2022)
11. Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow, Someone in There (From Archive 81, created by Rebecca Sonnenshine, 2022)
12. Mika Vainio, Öisin Pidän Magneetteja Vatsallani (From Mannerlaatta, Mika Taanila, 2016)
13. Eduard Artemiev, Untitled (From Solaris, Andreï Tarkovski, 1972)
14. Fernand Schirren, Dimanche (From Dimanche, Édmond Bernhard, 1963)

Shadows of the Unseen / Movement Radio 16

Sixteenth episode of “Shadows of the Unseen” for movement_radio Athens. Aired February 2022

1. Dirk Schaeffer, Untitled (From Aus der Ferne – The Memo Book, Matthias Müller, 1989)
2. Sam Waymon, The Seduction (From Ganja & Hess, Bill Gunn, 1973)
3. Nurse with Wound, Lumb’s Narcolepsy (Conceived for Lumb’s Sister, Chris Wallis, 2014)
4. Tibor Szemző, Steamy Whale (From Private Hungary, Péter Forgacs, 1988)
5. Vladimir Ussachevsky, Alice Fields, Pril Smiley, Untitled (From Line of Apogee, Lloyd Williams, 1968)
6. Henning Christiansen, Untitled (From Eurasienstab, Joseph Beuys & Henning Christiansen, 1968)
7. Anthony Moore, Untitled (From Hynningen, Werner Nekes, 1973)
8. Mario Nascimbene, Totalita Viole-Celli (From Socrate, Roberto Rossellini, 1971)
9. Carles Santos, Untitled (From Vampir-Cuadecuc, Pere Portabella, 1970)
10. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Infinity – Abraxas (From A Spell To Ward Off the Darkness, Ben Russell and Ben Rivers, 2013)
11. Joshua Bonnetta, Strange Lines and Distances I (From Strange Lines and Distances, Joshua Bonnetta, 2014)
12. Henning Christiansen, Untitled (From Eurasienstab, Joseph Beuys & Henning Christiansen, 1968)
13. Sam Waymon, You Have to Learn to Let it Go (From Ganja & Hess, Bill Gunn, 1973)
14. Melvin Van Peebles, Reggins Hanging on in There as Best They Can (From Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Melvin Van Peebles, 1971)
15. Andrzej Korzyński, Trying To Catch A Fly (From Hunting Flies, Andrzej Wajda, 1969)
16. Nurse with Wound, Béla Lumb’s Narcolepsy (Conceived for Lumb’s Sister, Chris Wallis, 2014)

Shadows of the Unseen / Movement Radio 14

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Thirteenth episode of “Shadows of the Unseen” for movement_radio Athens. Aired January 2022

1. Mihály Víg, Harang (From Santantango, Béla Tarr, 1994)
2. Trevor Mathison, Untitled (From America, Garrett Bradley, 2019)
3. Michèle Bokanowski, L’Indomptable (From L’Indomptable, Patrick Bokanowski, 2018)
4. Werner Dafeldecker / Christian Fennesz / Martin Siewert / Burkhard Stangl, Phonographics 1 (From Film Ist 7-12, Gustav Deutsch, 2002)
5. Alvin Curran, Untitled (From Effetto Puglia, Annabella Miscuglio, 1987
6. Rayon, Il Collo e la Collana 8 (From N-capace, Eleonora Danco, 2014)
7. Moebius, Hoffnungsschimmer (From Blue Moon, Karsten Wichniarz, 1986)
8. Tod Dockstader, Tango (From Cybernetik 5.3, John Stehura, 1960-65)
9. Ryoji Ikeda, Staring Writing Cooking Sleeping Listening (From See You At Regis Debray, CS Leigh, 2005)
10. Anthony Pateras, River Elbe + Easter Gene (From Errors Of The Human Body, Eron Sheean, 2012)
11. Michael Small, Tea with madame + On the Roof (From Klute, Alan J. Pakula, 1971)
12. Krzysztof Komeda, Niekochana I (From Niekochana, Janusz Nasfeter, 1966)
13. Eiko Ishibashi, Drive My Car (Kafuku) (From Drive My Car, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2021)
14. Krzysztof Komeda, Niekochana IV (From Niekochana, Janusz Nasfeter, 1966)
15. Excerpt from Encontros (Pierre-Marie Goulet, 2006) :
16. Mihály Víg, Harang (From Santantango, Béla Tarr, 1994)