cantaudio | sound works 2003-date | Alan Dunn


cantaudio begins one lunchtime in Liverpool, January 2003.

And it sounds like this.

I am bored with listening. I have reached the saturation point described so eloquently by Simon Reynolds in Retromania. With absolutely everything available to download, where's the thrill? The unknown? The hunt? I wander down Bold Street and recall a line from Pavel Büchler: "In record shops, always look for where nobody else is standing, there you'll find things of genuine interest." I try this out in HMV in Clayton Square and my eye is caught by the sleeve of Stockhausen's Helikopter-Streichquartett. In the next four hours before hearing it for the first time, I have created the soundtrack in my head, imagining the future.

Around 1982-3 I devour David Henderson's Wild Planet and Edwin Pouncey's reviews in Sounds to make crucial decisions as to what to send away for or buy. Anticipated sounds. I realise I now have the tools (Video Editing Software, shareware MP3s etc) to make my own version of what I think Helikopter-Streichquartett might, or should, sound like. Combat the excess of recorded sounds by making even more. But, make them yourself.

By the next evening in 60 Canning Street I sketch together a 31-minute mix, the same duration as the original. I design a DVD box and run off 31 copies, before finally listening to the original. Which one has opened up more doors?

I need a label name, and call it cantaudio: I can do that | can't vs can | cant as a secret language (cainnt) | a code | va-cant | can't as canny | knowing and shrewd.

I start creating envisaged versions of important pieces prior to hearing them - Gloomy Sunday/Sunday Morning, Amazing Grace, Love will tear us apart, Christine, Satisfaction, The End, Metal Machine Music and The Lord's Prayer. Each is produced as home-made CDRs in DVD boxes and fuelled over five years by listening to Guided By Voices' DIY output, Einstürzende Neubauten and John Oswald's Plunderphonics. These CDRs, catalogued here, are rarely heard and sent only to a handful of people, but cantaudio001-025, form the foundations for the 10xCD opus The sounds of ideas forming (2008-12) that branches out to curated collections of negotiated content around specific themes.



cantaudio catalogue | 001-025

cantaudio catalogue | 026-049

cantaudio catalogue | un-numbered





back