Webstarr suggested decay and we both thought of the same area of Hull when discussing it for the artwork! Some abandoned factories in East Hull over the river, when I lived there I thought that area was really cool, especially as they were just left there as empty space.
I’ve been wanting to do a theme to play a lot of the darker stuff I listen to so this was perfect for it. I really like sounds that are uncomfortable to listen to and unpleasant and make your ears hurt a bit. I guess I’ve always been into intense music and this is another expression of it.
I start with a recording of the sound of decaying fruit (link to video here). This was taken from a blog I came across when researching the theme here.
Here’s how they describe it on the blog:
Originally designed for radiological biological experiments, the LINAC is activated by natural radiation from the atomic decay of potassium in the organic material. The accelerator electromagnetically resonates in response to the subatomic emissions, via amplified signals from a Geiger-Muller particle detector.
Through amplification, resonance and decay, the installation experimentally and expressively probes relationships between living and non-living matter, technology and biology, the macroscopic and subatomic. The subatomic decay of the potassium is hidden within, yet mirrored by, the macroscopic decay of the fruit.
I’ve always been fascinated by the decomposition of the body (how amazing is it that we break down and then give back nutrients to the planet?!) and so I’ve included this throughout the show. Like that really intense and awful tune at 10 mins in (by an artist called Korpses Katatonic).
The tune at 26mins is one that was made using the Radioactive Orchestra, which uses the sound of decaying radioactive waves from nuclear bombs etc. Explained in more depth:
Sequences of sounds (”melodies”) are created when the Radioactive Orchestra simulates what happens in an atomic nucleus as it decays from its excited states down toward its ground state. This decay happens in steps between the different energy levels in the nucleus. Each transition corresponds to the emission of a photon, a “gamma ray” which is a characteristic energy equalling the difference in energy between the levels.
Every nuclide has its own unique set of excited states and decay patterns, creating its own musical fingerprint. Since the microcosmic world is ruled by quantum mechanics, even each decay sequence is unique. It is a stochastic, random process, which leads to virtually infinite variations.
The tune after that is an old fave of mine, from when I thought I was decaying a bit inside.
Finally for my last half hour I start with Michael Nyman – 1 – 100, which was built and made around the concept of musical decay and was played at half of the speed it was recorded.
And then just loads of other stuff that remind me of decay, including a clip of ‘what happens when you die’ 1hour20 mins in at and some other hard nasty shit. Thanks to Webstarr for coming down and for the mix!
I’m fascinated by both the concept & realization of decay, in particular nature
reclaiming man-made structures that no longer serve a purpose. Such places have
often have a sense of errieness about them, forgotten by society and left to
rot away. Decaying spaces encapsulate broken dreams & forgotten ideas from bygone
The selections for this show were inspired by a walk along the river hull on a
dreary afternoon. It’s a former industrial area where rusting containers mingle
with overgrown weeds and once ornate buildings, now disused, are shadows of their
former selves. Such sights are fairly typical in the post-industrual north but
have a certain poignancy about them.