In Inventions For Radio, Wednesday August 27th at 23:00 CET, SoundFjord London presents a portrait of sound artist Danny McCarthy by Bernard Clarke: a wild mix of music(s) and voices, places real, remembered and fabricated; memories and fantasies, musings.
Relocating The Soundscape Danny McCarthy is quite simply the godfather of sound art in Ireland (he’s also her most pioneering performance artist) the man who has influenced generations of seekers in sound. I first met and chronicled Danny’s work in 2009 in what turned out to be new departure for Nova: the programme mirrored the artist in its making with hundreds of noises on and noises off. More short portraits and interviews followed plotting his work as project curator, artist, and pundit. However when I invited Danny to participate in another portrait programme on his work he stood things literally on their head: and that is what we have here in a wild mix of music(s) and voices, places real, remembered and fabricated; memories and fantasies, musings. They say the best place to start a journey is at the place where it began: but this place is silence and that ultimately is where Danny spends most of his time on the perimeters of noise and silence. But I must qualify “noise” and Danny McCarthy. Danny, to my knowledge, never uses noise with any kind of symbolism – nor does he use it as a signifier for chaos, energy, disorder, or uproar; it’s not strictly creative, nor is it overwhelmingly destructive. What is it? I don’t know but I’d guess it resides in the breath. Two recent works from him have even further advanced his questioning of the nature of sound, time, and space (the components usually thought central to “music”), and his findings confound many conventions usually assumed irrefutable. These insights pertain to repetition and monotony, reduction and density and are right at the heart of The Memory Room and Cassette(The Beat Groups Of Askeaton (or Sean Lynch Said “There Were No Beat Groups In Askeaton”). How to profile such advances through the vessel of radio? These are the challenges he sets us. Getting back to Relocating the Soudscape here: I imagine it to be a kind artists revenge on the media, a kind of radiophonic equivalent of “…past moments old dreams back again or fresh like those that pass or things things always and memories I say them as I hear them murmur them in the mud” (Beckett in How It Is) Bernard Clarke Bernard Clarke is an award-winning radio broadcaster with RTÉ lyric fm, Ireland. His new music programme, Nova, has won five consecutive PPI Radio Awards (National Irish Radio Awards) and one New York Festival’s award; he’s also won prizes for documentaries on Patrick Kavanagh, Glenn Gould, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. Clarke has also made the top three at the Prix Italia (Cagliari, 2008), the top five at the Prix Europa (Berlin, 2011), the shortlist for Prix Phonurgia Nova (Paris, 2012) and Black &White International Audio Festival (Porto, 2013); and has just won Best Audio at the Black &White International Audio Festival (Porto, 2014). Though he has extensive radio experience, his work in radio art is still fairly new with his radio art pieces being broadcast in Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, USA and Australia. He is a member of the EBU Ars Acustica Group and his interests include sound, sound, and sound. https://soundcloud.com/bernard-clarke | http://www.rte.ie/lyricfm/nova Danny McCarthy has pioneered both performance art and sound art in Ireland and continues to be a leading exponent exhibiting and performing both in his home land and abroad. He is a founding director of Triskel Arts Centre and of the National Sculpture Factory and is a director the Sirius Arts Centre Cobh as well as curating numerous exhibitions and projects including Sound Out (with David Toop), Bend It Like Beckett, Sonic Vigil, Just Listen plus many more. McCarthy is the recipient of numerous awards and bursaries from both the Irish Arts Council and Dept of Foreign Affairs, Culture Ireland and has represented Ireland abroad at various exhibitions. He is a First Prize winner in EV+A (selector Pierre Restany). In 2006 he founded The Quiet Club (with Mick O Shea) a floating membership sound (art and electronics) performance group and has performed and presented works all over Ireland and also Europe, China, Japan, USA and Canada.The Quiet Club are regarded as Ireland’s leading sound art/improve group. McCarthy’s exhibition/installation “The Memory (box) Room” installation/exhibition (curated by Anthony Kelly) was presented with critical success in SoundFjord Gallery London in June 2013 and is due to travel to The Room Gallery, Turin in 2014. His latest work “The Dead (flat) C Scrolls” was premiered in Skibbereen Arts Festival. The Quiet Club are currently working with composer Ian Wilson on an Arts Council funded experimental opera project entitled “The Last Sirens”. www.dannymccarthy.ie | www.soundoutin.blogspot.com His books and sound works are available from www.farpointrecordings.com SoundFjord is a creative venture specialising in the production, curation, exhibition and promotion of sound, trans-media art and related research and practice. In 2013, SoundFjord unshackled itself from its North London studio and became a fully-fledged nomadic concern. Unfettered by the specificity of a single space, location or architecture, SoundFjord’s work is now to be found online, on air and in situ in a variety of places. www.soundfjord.org Photo credit (c) 2013, SoundFjord/A Company of Enthusiasts. Danny McCarthy in Conversation, during Memory [Box] Room exhibition, SoundFjord, 2013.