cantaudio | catalogue | 026-050

Below is a list of the second 25 cantaudio works, all of which are free of charge with postage to be paid for where possible.
Email for details.

cantaudio026 begins the The sounds of ideas forming with seven CDs that constitute my PhD by Publication. For those seven CDs, permissions are gained for all content, opening up new communications and unearthing surprising connections. Funds are also raised to cover professional manufacture of limited editions. In total, the seven CDs cost £15,000 with approximately 5k from Arts Council, 5k from University Research funds and 5k from personal savings and crowd-funding.

February 2008
CD, edition 433

Soundtrack for a Mersey Tunnel
The sounds of ideas forming - taking the 433 bus through the Mersey Tunnel each day to work at FACT, I watch people listening to their iPods and phones and wonder about a single soundtrack for the journey. And of course about Cage's 4'33". Each track on Soundtrack for a Mersey Tunnel lasts the 2'33" it takes to travel the Tunnel and 200 copies are given to Mersey Travel to distribute at will over the next few years, at 4.33pm one day for example.

August 2008
CD, edition 12

I am invited to give a talk at Mello Mello on the sound art projects and, unbeknowns to those present, the event is taped. These recordings are sent to a flat in Duisburg, where Gottfried Michael König obliterates the talk with uses of the phrases can't talk and don't talk from the annals of pop music. The results form The CANTTALK Tapes which are never released. Or maybe not.

June 2008
CD, edition 12

With each disc accompanied by a postcard from the collection, this is the fifth hypothetical compilation around 'revolution', featuring 22 tracks each with an example of the word used in film or television (Willy Wonka, Alice in Wonderland, Casino Royale and A fistful of dynamite). This approach is developed for the version presented in Sharjah in 2014.

September 2008
2 x CD, edition 1000

Music for the Williamson Tunnels - a collection of the sound of dripping water
The sounds of ideas forming - developed with Jeff Young as part of the Edgecentrics project curated by Jolanta Jagiello for The Williamson Tunnels in Liverpool, the folly structures in which you can often hear the sound of dripping water without seeing it. This is the first major exercise in securing permissions, on John Cage material in particular and the George Brecht work, with huge input from some of the original Fluxus community. Brecht, it transpires, taught in Leeds in the late-1960's, a lineage I now fit into.

"In the late 1950s, former chemist George Brecht attended John Cage's classes on chance and wrote on a piece of card: DRIP MUSIC (FOR DRIP EVENT) for single or multiple performance. A source of dripping water and an empty vessel arranged so that the water falls into the vessel.' Higgins wrote that 'Brecht is a complete recluse: he sees no one, answers no mail' yet I wanted to get closer to him. Allen Bukoff at the Fluxus website mailed: 'I think he is still alive.' I contacted the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, organisers of a Brecht retrospective, to pass on my request to include Drip Music on my CD. Within four days, Kasper König's secretary Margit d'Errico-Reks replied: 'I have forwarded your email to Hertha and George Brecht. Both are in a nursing home. They will surely speak with Dr. Fischer about the matter, and he will then get in touch with you.' A few weeks later I received an email from the Ludwig Museum's Dr. Fischer stating that 'I just received over the telephone word from George Brecht's wife (for George Brecht) that you can use his drip piece for your project. She told me to inform you of George's approval, so you can consider this email as the official confirmation.' I pictured an elderly Brecht recalling his classes with Cage and writing Drip Music and being invited by Robin Page to teach at Leeds in H Block." (p33)

June 2009
2 x CD, edition 1000

Artists' uses of the word revolution
The sounds of ideas forming - this is the work that has to happen, over three years in the making. It begins with a prearranged phonecall to Douglas Gordon in New York. He is out but his answering machine plays The Internationale and invites us to leave a message. There follows 66 tracks on revolution, whispered, screamed and cried in punk, reggae, metal and folk. The research brings me in contact with the Marcuse and Huxley families and that of Paul Revere & The Raiders. I try to include Crass but run out of time as negotiations spiral. The design by student Lisa Novak, shows a former art school in Central Park, Wallasey. Neglected by the local Council, it suffers neglect and is finally arsoned. Only then do the Council light the rubbish at night. Artists' uses of the word revolution will go on to be presented at around 20 international festivals and events.

April 2010
CD, edition 1000

Grey is the colour of hope
The sounds of ideas forming - the day after the revolution, all is grey. This is less of a compliation and more of a five-part cloud, bookended by two new Bill Drummond spoken word pieces. The work is loosely based on a grey Turner painting with only the splash of The Boo Radleys' Wake up, Boo! breaking the grey smog. The cover, by Chris Bloor, is Summer of Love San Francisco in grey. I track down ex-footballer Rodney Marsh to record his famous line about grey and invite artists to read the words of Henry Miller and Gerhard Richter. And finally, I gain the blessing from Russian poet Irina Ratushinskaya, to include readings from her prison diaries that give this work its title and also first drew me to grey as a Glasgow School of Art student in the mid-80s.

October 2010
CD, edition 1000

Soundtrack to a catastrophic world
The sounds of ideas forming - emerging from the grey, it all starts to fall apart. The Stalker leads the writer and academic through the grey zone of dripping water and revolution. Since time in memoriam, artists have visualised that moment when life collapses, when order ends, when our presence on this earth is brought into insignificance and we are asked to consider sizes, lengths of time and concepts that are almost beyond us. This work is co-developed with Ben Parry and premiered at Premiered at MANIF D’ART, the Quebec Biennial as part of the sound installation at Le Cerle.

March 2011
CD, edition 1000

A history of background
The sounds of ideas forming - spiralling backwards through time and space, back towards the Big Bang. This is a cantaudio classic of negotiation, black humour and vast temporal ranges. The collection starts with a Big Bang, recorded by a student in Leeds as we leave one building for another, fresh from learning how to listen and how to record with Chris Watson. Research brings me to Yoko Ono who permits me to include one of her recordings that has The Beatles rehearsing Revolution in the background. Representatives of The Beatles refuse permission. The Warhol Foundation grant me permission to use his 1972 recording about background on the basis that I secure permissions from all those sat around that restaurant table in Paris. I accept this challenge and do so, contacting someone in the process who came from Leeds. A history of background seemlessly merges student recordings with new works by artists and archival material, each exploring the concept of background, Muzak, soundtracks, sick buildings and outtakes. Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Brian Eno, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, David Bowie and a cover image with permission from NASA - the Arts Council decline my funding application, adding "we foresee there being limited interest in this project."

"The CD concluded with a rare recording by David Bowie, a backing track from Space Oddity that consisted of four minutes of near silence, a flute refrain and a countdown. David Bowie was 22 when he created Space Oddity and Rob Swift a year younger when he recorded the Big Bang. My research drew lines between them to question the gulf between them as recordings. Swift made the Big Bang in H Block perhaps unaware of the true significance of his act. It is possible to speculate that what drove him was simply the fact that creating good quality recordings was possible economically and technically ... Swift, a quiet student, primarily wanted to make a noise, capture it and listen back to it. His Big Bang was 24 seconds long and my research added value to it by contextualising it against ideas of space and time. I suggested an imaginary line from it to Bowie, via 49 other tracks that involved the idea of background." (p33)

March 2012
2 x CD, edition 1000

Adventures in numb4rland
The sounds of ideas forming - floating further and further away from the explosion of revolution, through grey and catastrophe, deeper into background until it all fragments into only .... a BBC Horizon programme suggests that when we strip away reality we will likely be left with numbers, and specifically 8 or, more likely, 4. Inspired by Alex Bellos' book Adventures in numberland, this double-CD set does the obvious and traces numbers, specifically 4, through a rich musical history. It ends with the electric shock of Alva Noto's u_04 and then the gallows, Diamanda Galas (remember gallas?) counting down from 25 minutes before the body writhes, life seeps out and we are left pondering .........

June 2013
CD, edition 100

Was blind, now I see. I close my eyes after the sounds of ideas forming, after the PhD, and work on this screen-printed and hand-made edition. Douglas offers a blind Greta for the cover and the kindness of Swans, Bikini Kill and Melt Banana provide standout tracks. I have to pay a little for the Etta James track, operating within a Limited Manufacture License for educational use. It's worth it. The Vital Link blog hates it, laughing at the lack of text anywhere on the packaging and asking "Just what is the point of all this?"

April 2013

Grey library for a closed airport
What is the point indeed? I am contacted by KLF-fan Joaquin Ronco and we collaborate on this free download, based on outtakes from Grey is the colour of hope, library recordings made for David Jacques' film Por convencion ferrer (see un-numbered) and recordings made by Joaquin at Quixote Airport (Cuidad Real Centrale) - opened in 2010 and closed in 2012. This is the most ambient that cantaudio gets.

February 2016
Cassette, edition 25

Two 9-minute excerpts from the TAPE BRITAIN project commissioned as part of Marion Harrison and Harold Offeh's RADIO CITY at Tate Britain, 2015. The project is a cover version of Static/Clinic's THE PRODUCTION LINE (2012). Microphones are hidden around Tate Britain. Cables bring live sounds back to the Learning Gallery. Ten portable cassette recorders are used to mix the sounds coming from the speakers by visiting children, families, tourists, TV stars and artists.

July 2016
7", edition 300

Two new mixes of LONDON ROAD tracks in collaboration with Jeff Young and Martin Heslop. In 2009, The Guardian's Top Ten Secret Public Artworks of Britain includes the familiar names of Moore, Hepworth, Cragg, Mach, Muñoz and Goldsworthy. Number five however is a work called RAY + JULIE. In 1995 I create RAY + JULIE with Brigitte Jurack for London Road in Liverpool. Named after a piece of graffiti on the back wall, the two facing and sinking chairs are to be installed for six months until the road is redeveloped. Over twenty years later, RAY + JULIE remain and have inspired a body of poems, CD covers, photographs, theatre pieces, short stories, soundworks and billboards. In 1971, Roxy Music perform Sea Breezes at St. George's Hall, a stone's throw from RAY + JULIE and in 1966 Bob Dylan plays at the since-demolished Odeon Cinema opposite the chairs. Every city has a London Road. Two minutes from the central train station and left behind as the city regenerates. As for London Road's two infamous residents, nobody knows who RAY + JULIE are, but artist Jeff Young has come closest to bringing them to life. And it sounds like this.

August 2017
12", edition 2

This ten-minute track is part of an evolving audio artwork that began life as Martyn Rainford's contribution to A History of Background. Since 2012 BasementArtsProject has been working with Dunn and Rainford to re-make and re-stage this work through ever-changing formats, including a remix by Scanner and a live presentation by Reg [Jula] at SCOPE PLUS. This is PART EIGHT, featuring Laure Ferraris' vocals over a ten-minute excerpt from Reg [Jula]'s PART SEVEN mix. PART EIGHT has been pressed onto 12" dublates and only two copies of these single-sided vinyls exist. Laure has one and the second one will be passed on to someone to create PART NINE of the project.

CD, edition 1000

The Lighthouse Invites the Storm
Audio document from the 2017 commission marking New Brighton born writer Malcolm Lowry. Original project is here and details of CD here.

10" dubplate, edition 1

Children of the revolution
Single 10" clear dubplate with remix of If a revolution comes to my country in over-printed Radiohead 10" sleeve. Produced for the group show Artists who make Music/Musicians who make Art, curated by Ross Sinclair, Queens Park Railway Club, Glasgow. More to follow.

January 2018

The sounds of 433 Hell
Download included on the IFAR Musique Concrète Radio Frequencies compilation, ten years on from Soundtrack for a Mersey Tunnel.

February 2018
Single-sided C30 cassette, edition 50

under under under
15-minute audio work in collaboration with Claire Potter, produced for the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Beckett University event Circles of recognition.

April 2018

Honeychain Air Con Loop + Evel [Queen Elizabeth Opens Mersey Tunnel] Knievel
The 1'11" dream in which Throwing Muses infiltrated the air conditioning unit inside the Mersey Tunnel as Evel jumped it.

May 2018
Tannoy broadcast and download

60-minute audio work as part of May 1968 Time Tunnel, programmed by John Hyatt, Fabric District, Liverpool.

September 2018
12" edition 2

Everybody, Look Surprised by Shimmer Twin
Part 10 of a 10-part series presented at JRM, Paris. Written and recorded by Joe Mckechnie, developed by Alan Dunn, Martyn Rainford & BasementArtsProject, with thanks to Dinah Bird.

October 2018
CD edition 250

(drowned out by traffic noise): a, A Novel
Compilation by Alan Dunn & Derek Beaulieu in response to a, A Novel.

December 2018
Broadcast and download

Little White Flowers
12-minute montage cover version of Gloomy Sunday broadcast as part of RADIA OPEN, Pollini Auditorium, Padova, Italy.

April 2019

60-second montage of Liverpool FC's results before Chelsea at home, with The Bobby Firmino Song.

March 2021
5 x dubplates

10-minute montage in collaboration with Eleni Poulou, details here.

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cantaudio catalogue | 001-025

cantaudio catalogue | un-numbered