Tuesday 27 April 2010

Hollingsville TX3/12 ‘Machines’

History and Hardware

When Thomas Edison first screamed ‘Hullo!’ into the mute, expectant mouthpiece of his latest invention, the ‘phonograph’, in July 1877, a shift of seismic proportions took place. Before even the faintest echo of a tune had registered upon a rotating cylinder, an entire culture lost its mind. New communication technologies had come into existence that were not obliged to operate through the medium of symbols but could store physical traces of the world as sound waves and light. As Nietzsche, using his brand new Malling Hansen Writing Ball, wrote in the late 1880s: ‘are these people or thinking, talking and writing machines?’ And have we mentioned music yet? Even the ‘first mechanized philosopher’ did not foresee the singing and dancing machines of today. As we further lose ourselves in digitally streamed sound and vision, are we in danger of losing touch with our machines as well?

Welcome to the third episode in my new series ‘Hollingville’, scheduled to go out, live and unscripted, at 7.00 pm on Thursday April 29 on Resonance 104.4 FM. My studio guests will be musician and composer Bruce Woolley, friend to all robots everywhere, and James Bridle, author, designer of probably the universe’s largest calculating machine to be made entirely out of matchboxes and beans. Expect live and unscripted ruminations on music-making machines: ‘the other kind of instruments’, typewriters, early movie cameras, factory assembly lines, opera houses and concert halls. Specially commissioned musical interludes will be by Radiophonic, with additional moods by the ‘Hollingsville’ composer in residence, Graham Massey, plus ins and outs by Indigo Octagon. Now press play.

A World’s Fair of the airwaves, each episode of ‘Hollingsville’ will chart a different aspect our historical relationship with technology. From architecture to bodies, computers to phantoms, machines to monsters, my guests and I will be exploring the digital regime. Join us, won’t you? Every Thursday between 7 and 8 pm (repeated every Tuesday at 11.00pm with the podcast available by noon the following day) on Resonance 104.4 FM or streamed from their website.

See also:
Hollingsville Posts

Pictured above: Roll Picture, Roll Sound

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