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JOSHUA FRIED

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I am a composer/performer. I have collaborated in dance, film/video and performance, won grants and awards, had many concerts, etc. But my latest project is my main focus as of 2007. It is a solo performance, called Radio Wonderland. And here is it's description:

RADIO WONDERLAND turns live commercial FM radio into recombinant funk. All the sounds originate from an old boombox, playing radio LIVE. Nothing is pre-recorded; so naturally every performance is different and I have to be on my toes. Anything picked up during the performance is fair game until the end. All the transformations are live digital audio processing, programmed by me in the Max/MSP environment.

But I hardly touch the laptop. My controllers are a vintage Buick steering wheel, old shoes I hit with sticks, and some gizmos. I aim to turn live radio bits into TRULY danceable grooves, that are yet still recognizable as collage; to be able to UN-wind any of the processed bits back to the original source; to take the audience with me every step of the way; and to expose the commercial stream as something to be fucked with, by everyone, not just gear heads or theorists.

So my transformations need to be simple and clear--mostly framing, repeating and changing pitch (although when everything is put together the whole is indeed complex.) My controllers are simple: the wheel merely a knob to make things go up and down (frequency, tempo) or play radio loops like a turntable, the shoes merely drum pads I whack softer or louder. The surreal quality of these ordinary objects underscores the absurd disconnect usually found between digital controller and corresponding sound, as well as the congenial nature of the aural transformations themselves. So, too, my riffs must be vernacular and not elite. (We need the funk.)

Unlike Cage who challenged us to open our ears so that all sound is heard as music, I might be more conventional: I take any sound, frame it, and hand it to the listener in such a form that makes it easy to hear how amazing and musical just any bit of sound can be.

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