top: installation view in Brooklyn
middle: antenna view

Whispering Spectres

FM radio installation/
multi-channel audio installation
2008 - 2011

This installation consists of filtered FM radio stations, sent back out into the spectrum as a microradio broadcast. These signals are being passed through many "band pass filters", a type of equalizer that allows a small range of frequencies through while attenuating frequencies outside of this range. In effect, most of the audio signal is "erased" except for a narrow stratum of frequency material. This work highlights small, hidden musical moments that are occurring on FM radio, but are usually rendered inaudible by other elements in the sound.

The basic gesture is reactionary. Radio is designed to penetrate our homes, offices, etc. delivering hyper-compressed audio at maximum loudness. This work is a reclamation of acoustic space as well as a détournement of existing FM radio. This piece filters the cacophony of multiple stations targeted at relatively diverse demographic populations in various geographic regions into singularized, aestheticized, unified, quiet moments. Although the content centers on socio-political aspects of radio, the work is historically linked with compositional methods in contemporary art music, as the process itself is inherently based on spectralism and algorithmic composition.

Whispering Spectres was supported in part by The Experimental Television Center's Finishing Funds program which is supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program at the New York State Council on the Arts

A web version called Spectral Quartet, was commissioned and hosted by Turbulence.

Link: Whispering Spectres audio excerpt (German radio version) on PennSound