HAUNTING ME, HAUNTING YOU: ghostly, resonant, creepy, and echoing

EARS HAVE EYES // Episode 9
Airing Wednesday, October 12 at 8 pm
on CJSW 90.9 FM


Arash Akbaki
Eileen Mc Loughlin
Håkan Jonsson
Johannes Gerard
Lauren Wong
Nohemi Zavala
Rafael Diogo
Stephen Lilly

Hosted by Wayne Garrett & Caitlind Brown.

On All Hallows Eve, the threshold between one side of the veil and the other is purportedly thinnest – a time for ghostly visitations, resonant sounds, creepy feelings, and echoing experiments. The compositions on this month’s program range from theatrical to autobiographical, encompassing sounds from cemeteries and hospitals, wild narratives and internal voices. Tune in to our October episode for a spooky sound experience.

Thanks to the participating artists and our friends at CJSW!

Arash Akbari

Arash Akbari is a transdisciplinary artist, based in Tehran, Iran. His interest in dynamic art systems, human perception, nonlinear narrative, and the co-existence between physical and digital worlds compelled him to explore the fields of generative systems, interaction design, and real-time processing. He examines the ways that computational processes, interactive cybernetic systems, and their emergent behaviors can evoke concepts, ideas, and questions as well as social and emotional responses and impacts. Akbari directs his experimental practices into audio-visual performances and installations, interactive applications, and multisensory experiences.

His compositions investigate experimental approaches to sound generation, field recordings, acoustic instrumentation, digital synthesis, DSP, and noise to create immersive sonic environments that explore the agency of autonomous systems, indeterminacy, memory, and the perception of time and space.

Zār is the term for a demon or spirit assumed to possess individuals, mostly women, and to cause discomfort or illness. The so-called zār ritual or zār cult is the practice of exorcising such spirits from the possessed individual. The piece is composed using generated audio samples from an AI sampleRNN model which is trained on a dataset of musical performances of Zār gatherings in the south of Iran. The samples were then post-processed and edited to create the final composition.

Eileen Mc Loughlin a.k.a. misindigo

misindigo (Eileen Mc Loughlin) is a composer/sound artist from Dublin, Ireland. misindigo’s style is ambient, atmospheric, experimental, avant-garde and cinematic.

Transcending Realms is an experimental, dark ambient, atmospheric sound art piece with an avant-garde feel. It is about transcending our human realm, connecting and communicating with the spiritual world. This experience evokes fear and uncertainty as one moves into the unknown.

Håkan Jonsson

Håkan Jonsson is sound artist in Berlin doing synthetic works, installations, performances and field recordings. His love for field recordings comes from their connection to sensors and senses, allowing us to access and hear sounds from worlds we normally don’t and their affordance to sharing personal listening experiences.

About Dead Silence:We may not be able to raise the dead, but we can help them raise their voices. “Dead silence”, is an attempt at calling the dead in Leise Park, a former cemetery turned park, to be our allies in habitation, their tombstones to be upright objects in sympathetic imitation of our own upright stance (see Charles Moore, foreword to In Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki). The piece is a field recording composition where the first part is a visit to the park, while the second is a recording from one of the tombstones in the park, using a contact microphone. It was exhibited as an installation at Errant Sounds, Berlin, using a tombstone from the cemetery, through which the recording was played back using transducers (see photo). The method of using contact microphones to listen to the tombstones was inspired by a dream Håkan had after participating in a voodoo ritual, in which he received explicit instructions on how to communicate with the dead.

About Stains: “I was hospitalized for several months after an accident. I had to do multiple surgeries and got multiple infections. As patients, we were immobilized. We never saw or knew each other, we only heard each other’s cries and screams through the corridors and open windows. We haunted each other through sleepless nights. To save my sanity I started doing field recordings with my phone. This piece is intended to give all those patients a voice outside those corridors, containing only field recordings made during this period. It was recorded during a live performance.”

Johannes Gerard

Johannes Gerard is an interdisciplinary and multimedia artist currently based in The Hague, Netherlands. Most recent Sound Project in 2022 participation NEW EMERGENCES, curator Anne Wellmer, The Hague, Netherlands.

About The Voices in my Head: “It is a new work belonging to the portfolio Dialogues. The sound piece focuses on an unseen but real situation. The theme and sounds are based and relate to the voices and sounds I’ve been hearing in my head almost constantly for many years. Caused by medical and mental issues. It’s a simple attempt of a field trip into my head and to approach sound and noise from another level and place.”

Lauren Wong

Lauren Wong is a sound engineer who lives in Hong Kong and likes experimental sound.

About Halloween Mixtape: “This is a mixtape of some soundtracks that I made for a haunted house in a local theme park a few years ago. Before starting my sound design, I had watched some horror movies for reference. And I thought of some of my favorite contemporary music pieces. I found that their tone was quite similar to a certain extent. I had fun when I was making those soundtracks.”

Nohemi Zavala

About Nohemi Zavala: “I am from Monterrey, México. In 2009 I started making musical and sound backgrounds for live performances at poetry festivals. Since then, recording, mixing and exploring became a way to connect my inner to my outer world.”

About Objeto Uno: “This was recorded about a decade ago and mixed recently. I tried to embody the experience of an object laying still or being pushed around while everything else, including emotions, revolved around it.”

Rafael Diogo

Rafael Diogo is an ambient composer and sound designer based in London, whose works move across experimental paths and natural investigations into everyday sounds, focused on the manipulation and mixture between organic materials, synthesis and acoustic instruments to convey experience. I create soundscapes in a variety of moods and shapes but mainly I favour the sound of stories embedded into objects and places, a feeling of great immediacy, the phenomenological sense of place and time, the despair for that loss, a memory. The practice of traveling enabled me to embrace the boundless possibilities of perceiving the world from many distinct angles. My body of work maintains both an ecologic focus that emphasizes nature’s challenges and fragilities and a wide-eyed spirit of exploration, creating unforeseen liminal soundscapes that can reveal hidden information about a place or a moment that no longer exists.

Nostalgia is part of the album Deep Dive Sound “Disintegrated Nature” and attempts to create an urban soundscape of Lisbon through the ears of a sound artist. The sounds and vocal manifestos were inspired by the poems of the writer Fernando Pessoa and reflect a society that tends to neglect the individual in order for a capitalist culture. Although major cities like Lisbon or London are inhabited by millions of people, the feeling of living in an urban environment can be very isolating. Nostalgia also suggests that society does not seem ready for an alteration of consciousness and portrays humans as entirely anonymous beings. The not dissolution of the ego has robbed us of life’s meaning and made us enemies of the planet and the experience of culture,

This composition is an attempt to explore and attenuate any barriers between natural sounds, experimental and non-classical. The sound design attempts to create granular textures that resemble the human touch. That approach attempts to focus on the middle-frequency content, which tends to work with anxiety and alertness, such as traffic. It relies on certain non-musical elements that travel throughout the track, almost as characters. For example, the tonal qualities of a Lisbon tram recording offer me many different pitches. This recording gave the inspiration to create non-classical textures that become a limitless sound source in the development of the piece. Nostalgia has a significant amount of spoken word which is conditioned by the context in which it’s settled, the city of Lisbon.  

Culture plays a crucial role in actually making language possible because languages do not originate in individual brains; they emerge only in culture. They are negotiated, like treaties, and are assimilated by individuals”. Nowadays, there is an absence of a sense of community; therefore, this musical piece attempts to direct the listener to past events in history. This act triggers a sentiment of nostalgia, a sense of remembering times when human touch and social memories were shared between individuals.

Stephen Lilly

Stephen Lilly is a DC-based composer, performer, audio engineer, and amateur poet. His music can be microtonally abstract or theatrically satiric; he composes chamber music for friends and friends of friends as well as fixed media works for nobody in particular.

Chronostalgia was inspired by an artwork of the same name by Zofie King. Both works weave the imagery of crows and sparrows into the architecture of a grandfather clock. In the composition, the recorded sounds have been transformed by layers of digital processing in an attempt to emulate the distorting effect of recollection. The resulting piece is gothic in the sense that it represents the remains of a dark memory whose events have been wholly replaced by the ominous symbols and setting the mind has either retained or fabricated.

Thank you to the artists & listeners! Special thanks to CJSW.

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