Category Archives: Art

June 13: Spectres of Shortwave film screening and simulcast via German Shortwave Service

(Source: Amanda Dawn Christie)

Coming up this summer:

Spectres of Shortwave /
Ombres des ondes courtes

June 13 juin
Film Screening / Projection @ 7pm / 19 h
Cinémathèque Québécoise
Montréal, Québec

Radio Simulcast @ 23:00 UTC in Europe
German Shortwave Service – 3895 kHz

A film about radio waves, relationships, landscape, and loss.
This experimental documentary film about the Radio Canada International (RCI) shortwave radio towers, presents the site through four seasons, leading up to, and including, its demolition in winter of 2014. Images captured on 35mm film accompanied by personal stories from by people who lived with the site, interwoven with field recordings made by placing contact microphones onto the towers themselves.

Screenings of this film are accompanied by a radio simulcast, so that while viewers watch the film on a big screen in one part of the world, listeners can hear the sound track over radio waves in another part of the world. This Montreal screening is accompanied by a shortwave simulcast in Germany.

1 hour 53 minutes, colour, 5.1 sound
www.spectresofshortwave.net
http://www.amandadawnchristie.ca
Cinémathèque website and info
facebook event

Raspberry Pi Vintage Radio

This project was a winner in the Maker Share Mission May contest. While not strictly shortwave, of course, many of SWLing Blog readers enjoy, as I do, all things radio, and especially creative and new expressions of radio. Here is a brief excerpt from the MakerShare posting:

Vintage radios are fascinating. At one point the radio was the main method for mass communication of news and entertainment and was manufactured in a variety of styles to be prominently displayed in a home. Unfortunately, many vintage radios that have been physically preserved no longer function and it is impractical for them to be repaired. Described is the design and implementation of the Raspberry Pi Radio (RPiRadio), a device that bypasses the analog electronics of a vintage radio and digitally recreates the behavior of a vintage radio that is able to be tuned to vintage radio programming.

The whole posting may be found here, with extensive details on the building of the radio and how it was programmed for sound replicating the vintage radio era.

While I love tinkering with old radios and trying to bring them back to life, some radios are just beyond reasonable repair. This can bring old radios back to life in a way which seeks to honor their past – a very cool idea indeed!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.       Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

“Radio theater makes a comeback across Minnesota”

(Source: Star Tribune via Mike Hansgen)

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of … a sound effects man with a pair of coconut shells.

Radio theater, which was killed off by television, is being resurrected on the air — and the internet — across the country and across the state.

In International Falls, Icebox Radio Theater produces a twice monthly podcast about a tiny northern Minnesota town isolated by a meteorite strike. “Weird stuff keeps happening,” said playwright Jeff Adams of the fictional town of Icebox, Minn. “Comedy and science fiction and maybe some dark touches now and then.”

St. Cloud’s “Granite City Radio Theatre” serves up inside humor plus cameo appearances by the police chief and the university president. “Imagine ‘Prairie Home Companion’ was about your neighborhood,” said Jo McMullen-Boyer, station manager of KVSC, which has produced the skit-and-music show four times a year for six years. “It’s hyperlocal. It’s poking fun at ourselves, but also with pride.”

And in the Twin Cities, the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society embraces nostalgia by turning recordings of old radio shows into scripts, which it stages as live performances (including sound effects and commercials) before audiences at the James J. Hill Center in downtown St. Paul.[…]

Click here to read the full story at the Star Tribune.

Ulis spots a brilliant radio illustration in Archer

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ulis, who shares the screenshot above–from the FX series Archer–via Twitter and notes:

I agree!  Kudos to the Archer team! That’s a brilliant and intricate illustration for an animated series. Thank you for sharing, Ulis!

I’ll add this post to our growing archive of radios in film.

Our Galaxy Expressed as Jazz

Rather than take pictures of the Milky Way, astronomer Mark Heyer decided to capture it in a completely different art form.

This amazing video is part of an article from Interesting Engineering  depicting the motion of the Milky Way translated into a musical score.

While most astronomers love capturing unique and stunning images of the Milky Way, one astronomer wanted to capture the galaxy in a unique way. Astronomer Mark Heyer expressed how the galaxy moves in the musical composition “Milky Way Blues.”

This is no Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” as the music isn’t simply inspired by the galaxy’s sounds; it is the galaxy’s sounds. The University of Massachusetts Amherst professor created an algorithm that transformed the data into a series of notes.

“This musical expression lets you ‘hear’ the motions of our Milky Way galaxy,” he says. “The notes primarily reflect the velocities of the gas rotating around the center of our galaxy.”

Heyer assigned notes to the atomic, molecular and ionized gases that can be found between the stars in our galaxy. He then gave different pitches, tones and note count to the velocity and spectra of each gas phase. For example, atomic gases were given an acoustic bass sound, molecular gasses got woodblocks and piano, and ionized gases became saxophone notes.

“Astronomers make amazing pictures, but they’re a snapshot in time and therefore static. In fact, stars and interstellar gas are constantly moving through the galaxy but this motion is not conveyed in those images. The Milky Way galaxy and the universe are very dynamic, and putting that motion to music is one way to express that action.” He chose to compose this piece using a pentatonic scale – with five notes in the octave instead of seven – and in a minor key, because “when I heard the bass notes it sounded jazzy and blue,” he said.

You can read more about this incredible process here.

Watch the video here.

Enjoy!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.       Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.