Produced in partnership with aqnb, this month’s Unthinkable segment for NTS Radio by J.G Biberkopf features contributions from Rosen and Rob Thorne. Altogether, the mix upholds an archaeoacoustic perspective. Firstly, as a survey of contemporary music cultures in which past traditions are preserved and, further, as a means of piecing together intercommunicating paths and threading them anew, interweaving past, present and future.
Maori musician and anthropologist Thorne uses taonga pūoro —traditional Māori instruments —within contemporary composition. Taonga pūoro are adherent to both sacred ritual and storytelling, with sounds often imitating nature: wind, sea, birds and insects. Indeed, from an archaeoacoustic perspective sites can be viewed to discover the natural phenomena of a terrain as well as the otherworldly state of its habitué.
Comparatively, sound and visual artist Rosen deals similarly in storytelling, particularly concerning non-linear narratives, otherworldly adventure and interaction. aqnb recently spoke to the artist about PORTALS, a transmedia narrative developed in collaboration with Quantum Natives and Werkflow, whereby participants follow interconnecting pathways —each a different version of events. Here, tradition transverses between fixed and fluid.
Also including tracks by Luc Ferrari, Secret Boyfriend, FIS, DJ NJ Drone, and The Savage Young Taterbug, this Unthinkable mix is characterised by a return to sound in thought, focusing primarily on hearing as substance.
Listen to the mix and read the text below:
The physical foundations, the material finds, the bodily, sensual discoveries, are unearthed objects offering insights, as well as new meanings. Indeed, “the restoration of the body means, first and foremost, the restoration of the sensory-sensual —of speech, of the voice, of smell, of hearing,” wrote Marxist philosopher Henri Lefebvre. This perspective brings with it a move away from the superiority of the spectacle —the decayed monument of a bygone time, soundless and unthinkable without an attending presence —toward these changeable sensory faculties.
These discoveries elicit a landscape that concurrently pursues and remembers, a tangle of variously assembled grains, which cultivates uprooted voices and folds them into new corrugations, exposing a maze of potentialities: chasms, fissures, rifts, ravines and overhangs. In this ecology of air and water, organisms and their surroundings, the body reveals itself, cracking open individual reality to voices inside and out, simultaneously here and there; a presence that rethinks ancestry in its groundlessness.**
Ro Sen – PXU
00:00 – 7:05
Demdike Stare – Demdike Stare Meets Shangaan Electro
Laurel Halo – Nimrud
Roly Porter – 4101 + Luc Ferrari – The Ranch. Texas USA, October 2001
Babyfather – Prolific Deamons
William Basinski – Melancholia IV
Mohammad – Letzten Tränen
FIS – Speech Spirits
JGB – Archeo 2
Secret Boyfriend – The Singing Bile
Tim Hecker – Music of the Air
DJ NJ Drone – 10 Cones
The Savage Young Taterbug – Taxi Fantasma
Luc Ferrari – The Ranch. Texas USA, October 2001
JGB – Archeo 1
Rob Thorne – Whaia Te Maramatanga
34:40 – 60:00
J.G. Biberkopf’s Unthinkable radio show airs at midnight on a Friday every other month at London’s NTS Radio. This latest one aired April 16, 2016.
See here for more ‘Unthinkable’ mixes.