Distant Transmission: Sound and Story from the North

March 25th, 2015


New Adventures in Sound Art has been advocating for experimentation in radio and sound for almost two decades. The first time I met artistic director Darren Copeland was back in 1998 at a ‘sound art retreat’ called Full Moon Over Killaloe in Ontario. For a week, artists camped out on a rustic rural property, discussing, listening and making sound. Since then, Darren and his partner Nadene Thériault-Copeland, have created hundreds of opportunities for the production and dissemination of innovative sound works.
When they asked me to participate in a new series they’ve created called Crosswaves, I was pumped.

Cross Waves is a Canadian Sound Art series that includes performances and internet radio programs curated by eight media artists representing various regional and cultural perspectives in Canada: Chantal Dumas, Steve Bates, Jason Ryle, Peter Courtemanche, Janna Graham, Christof Migone, Anna Friz and Eleanor King. The series will take place between July 2014 and July 2015. The content will be contextualized by the curators through commentaries and essays and will draw attention to Sound Artists from across Canada.

I put together a two-hour program that is meant to be a bit of a panaroma of the sounds and voices of the north. It is not complete and it’s a story still being written but I hope that it does offer an ear towards the rich world we live in north of 60.

Check out the Program Notes here.

Listen here:

Still Here.

February 1st, 2015

Still here


May 7th, 2014

One of my favourite artists is Rachel Ní Chuinn .
She is producing the wonderful and strangely eclectic program, Cluastuiscint. Have a listen. It’s bilingual – Irish & English.

Cluastuiscint 29/04/2014 by Cluastuiscint on Mixcloud

Yellowknife Old Town Soundwalk App Officially Launches..

May 2nd, 2014

Rosanna Strong and I made an app. We launched it with fish chowder on the government wharf.
It’s an audio tour around Yellowknife’s historical and quirky neighbourhoods. All kinds of fun extras like ‘Talk Like An Old Towner’ (honey bags, pluggers and more!), local music and archival photos and maps by the talented Myka Jones.

Here me yammer on about it here on CBC North’s The Trailbreaker

And download the app for Android here. Apple users will have to wait a few weeks for the release.

Turn, Turn, Turn

April 16th, 2014

April 16, 2014.  Great Slave Lake. Just before things are about to turn real slushy! It was a frigid one but it’s easy to forget that as the sun blasts the ice now.

Catching a glimpse of the sun on a frozen lake

December 8th, 2013

October 26th, 2013

Summer has come and gone. I think a drawing Alison McCreesh did of Penny sleeping on the dock perfectly sums up my summer in Yellowknife.

A quiet night on the lake

April 19th, 2013

Man, I sure do love where I live. Take tonight, for instance. I decide to go for a walk on the lake to pick up some fresh white fish from a local fisherman. The lake is still solid and I start to walk with the little white dog. About five minutes into the walk, I hear someone calling and three dogs running towards us. Alison and Summer were by the remants of the snow castle, skating on the last patches of sleek ice and letting their dogs run. We chatted, the dogs romped, and then I carried on.

Shawn, the fisherman, was home and sold me fresh, beautiful white fish filets. He was hosting a dinner in a little houseboat for some youth he took out on the land earlier that day so I didn’t stick around.

On the walk home, I bumped into Wade who was biking home on the lake. We had a brief, funny conversation about meeting up with old friends, the pressure to have children and stolen bicycles.

I got home and cooked it up on my little stove with olive oil, a wee bit of balsamic vinegar and a dash of maple syrup. Heavenly. Just as I finished eating, I heard the loud rumblings of a bomboardier outside my door. I looked out and it was Shawn and Mike getting ready to hook up my neighbour’s little shack and haul it down the lake to a nearby island.

Now, I’m sitting back with a glass of red wine. It’s ten o’clock and it’s not dark yet. The lake is still solid except for where the current rips through next to JY’s place (yesterday Vince hauled a canoe out there and tried fishing). Life is good.

Frozen In

December 19th, 2012

December in Yellowknife. The lake is a massive playground for people and dogs. The livin’ is easy.

Old Town Soundwalk Launches

August 12th, 2012

Click on the map to see it full size

Last weekend I launched the Old Town Soundwalk on 107.5 fm.

The hardy souls who braved the rain were woven through Old Town with the help of a transistor radio. The 2-watt transmission was courtesy of the transmitter technicians at CBC North (obsolete equipment re-tuned for the soundwalk) and the mayor, Gordon Van Tighem, and his wife, Carol, kindly allowed me to mount the antenna on their clothes line.

The walk starts in Willow Flats and ends at the Wild Cat Cafe. Total soundwalk time is about an hour and twenty minutes.

The radio station will be running sporadically throughout the summer but is only available in Old Town, Yellowknife.
To sample the soundwalk anytime, or to take a walk from the comfort of your own home, the pieces are all available for downloading or streaming HERE..