Circuits Channel Airs

Digital album / PAN 042

Includes download in MP3 format.
  • 1. Circuits Channel Airs, 1: Control Room B. Players
  • 2. Circuits Channel Airs, 2: Control Room B. Righthand
  • 3. Circuits Channel Airs, 3: Control Room B. Discards
  • 4. Circuits Channel Airs, 4: Main Floor. Stereo Box Airs
  • 5. Circuits Channel Airs, 5: Basement. Electronics
  • 6. Circuits Channel Airs, 6: Basement. Airs

A conceptual audio map of Vancouver’s Co-op Radio Facility.

Composer Notes:

“The goal of this project was to produce an audio map of the Co-op Radio Facility — of the building itself and what lives, physically and non-physically, within it. I used Co-op Radio’s portable DAT to record every space I could access and every piece of gear, old and new, that had a plug or switch. The intent was to collect only non-human sounds, so I used a very “hands off” approach. If I ever touched a piece of gear while recording, it was with the most minimal assertion - moving a switch or nob one piece at a time, with as little intention or energy behind the movement as possible. The majority of the “air” segments were recorded without myself or anyone else present. I kept my mind as empty as possible throughout the entire recording process.

The editing process was kept very low-impact, to preserve the life and sounds in the recording, so as not to colour or influence them. No equalization, no effects, no looping or manipulation of any sort was imposed. All audio occurs in the order that it was recorded, with segments deleted for either their redundancy or for not being interesting. The only other edits made were volume changes and two or three broad pan sweeps.

What some may call “glitches” or “digital hiccups” were preserved. It is my belief that these sounds, as well as other audio events recorded throughout this project, may be direct or indirect signs of life beyond the human realm. Two pieces of evidence support this claim:

  1. While recording track 3, my hands were completely to themselves (I wasn’t touching anything) during, and prior to, the sound that occurs at 0:42. I had just plugged in and started to record this discarded reverb unit that was sitting in the back of Control Room B. Of course, I did begin slowly to adjust one knob at a time after the feeling of what had happened settled a bit.
  2. While preparing to record the Circuit Test Generator on the main floor, just outside of Studio B, the light directly overhead turned a different colour and began to flash and flicker. Danjel, the studio technician, looked up and commented, “I’ve seen that light turn a different colour before, but I’ve never seen it do that… and definitely not that colour.”

This project is the product of my time spent as the artist in residence at CFRO during March and April of 2006. Much thanks to the Media Arts Committee, CFRO Co-op Radio, and Canada Council for the Arts.” — Michael Red, aka Souns

Map Details: (included in ZIP file)

  1. Control Room B. Players
    a) 0:00 - air
    b) 0:35 - players [Denon CD-player, Tascam MD-391 MKII, Denon stereo cassette deck, Citizen mini-television, JVC Hi-Fi VCR
  2. Control Room B. Righthand
    [Yamaha 01V digital mixing console, Lexicon digital effects processor, DBX 1066 compressor/limiter/gate, patch bay]
  3. Control Room B. Discards
    0:00 - Panasonic VCR
    0:10 - Mark of the Unicorn MIDI Timepiece
    0:27 - Yamaha Rev-7 Digital Reverb
    5:54 - Sony Tapecoder
    6:14 - Tascam Reel to Reel
    7:12 - Studio B air
    7:24 - Tascam Digital Audio Tape Recorder DA-P1
  4. Main Floor. Stereo Box Airs
    c) 0:00 - bathroom
    d) 0:13 - kitchen
    e) 0:18 - Control Room A
    f) 0:40 - Studio
    g) 0:41 - Control Room C
    h) 0:42 - Panasonic portable stereo system
    i) 1:11 - upstairs
    j) 1:12 - upstairs fan
    k) 1:16 - upstairs hole in the wall
    l) 1:17 - Membership Outreach Office
    m) 1:19 - Studio Tech Office
    n) 1:20 - alleyway
    o) 2:08 - Circuit Test Generator
  5. Basement. Electronics
    p) [Akai stereo cassette deck, ICC Electronics stereo cassette deck, Yamaha Natural Sound stereo double cassette deck, Dual S06 electronic direct drive turntable, Richmond Sound Design portable stereo mixing console, solid state reel to reel tape recorder]
    q) [Sears Electronics stereo sound system, Heathkit stereo “Peter Grant” hi-fi amplifier]
  6. 6. Basement. Airs
    r) 0:00 - large room, deep
    s) 0:22 - large room, shallow
    t) 0:51 - Rheem-Ruud commercial storage tank
    u) 1:29 - Teledyne Laars Mighty Therm
    v) 2:20 - boiler room deep
    w) 2:48 - boiler room cylinder
    x) 3:12 - boiler room shallow
    y) 3:37 - small room
    z) 3:56 - small room ceiling
    aa) 4:12 - stairwell

“Come over noise fans, whole lotta static going on. The new record Circuits Channel Airs by Souns (aka Michael Red) is a tour of every corner of every room and of every noise-emitting device at a Co-op Radio Facility in Vancouver. It’s a ghost’s tour, with Red/Souns having done his best to remove himself from the premises. As he writes in a lengthy liner note, “The intent was to collect only non-human sounds, so I used a very ‘hands off’ approach. If I ever touched a piece of gear while recording, it was with the most minimal assertion — moving a switch or nob one piece at a time, with as little intention or energy behind the movement as possible.” The record consists of six tracks, which in the detailed liner notes are annotated, to the second, listing where and what is being recorded. The letters are each associated with points along a map provided as part of the release.”
Marc Weidenbaum, Disquiet

  • Date available: 2009-12-09