Mark Vernon "Magneto Mori: Vienna"
CD album - Canto 32
A fragmented sound portrait of Vienna constructed from found sounds, buried tapes and field recordings. In Magneto Mori sounds from Vienna’s past and present are conjoined in a stew of semi-degraded audiotape. Using a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder sounds from around the city were recorded direct to tape over a two-day period. This tape was then cut into fragments and buried in a hole in the ground with a number of souvenir fridge magnets that erased the portions of the tape that they came into contact with. After several days steeped in the muddy earth of a Viennese garden the remaining audio fragments were exhumed, washed, dried and spliced back together in random order. The deliberate distressing and erosion of these present-day recordings results in artificially degraded sounds that fast-forward the effects of time, disrupting the perceived chronology of this audio matter.
During the tapes interment, old cassette, Dictaphone and reel-to-reel tapes were gathered from local flea markets and additional field recordings were made around the city. The addition of these found sounds stretches the timescale from just the short period spent making location recordings to as far back as fifty years into the past. All of these elements provided the raw materials for a radiophonic composition that represents a portrait of Vienna in both place and time; an archaeological excavation of found sounds, lost fragments, buried memories and magnetic traces. Presented here are the sounds that endured…
Magneto Mori: Vienna was originally commissioned by Kunstradio for broadcast on ORF Ö1, Austria.
This is a reworked version created specifically for this release.
All recordings made or found in Vienna between October and November, 2018.
Produced with the support of Creative Scotland’s Open Project Funding Programme.
Special thanks to Elisabeth Zimmermann, Angélica Castelló, Jérôme Noetinger, Lindsay Perth, Barry Burns, Ian Middleton and Andreas Zaunseder.
Layout by Vito Battista
Mark Vernon is a Glasgow-based artist whose work exists on the fringes of sound art, music and broadcasting. At the core of his practice lies a fascination with the intimacy of the radio voice, environmental sound, obsolete media and the re-appropriation of found recordings. He incorporates these diverse elements into radiophonic compositions for broadcast, fixed media and live performances.
A keen advocate of radio as an art form, he was a founding member of Glasgow’s Radio Tuesday collective and has gone on to set up several other RSL art radio projects in the UK including Hair Waves, Nowhere Island Radio and most recently, Glasgow’s Radiophrenia. He has produced programmes internationally for stations including Resonance FM, VPRO, Sound Art Radio, Radio Revolten, Deutschland Radio Kultur, Radio Cona, Kunstradio, Wavefarm, RADIA and the BBC.
Since 2011 he has co-run Lights Out Listening Group – a bi-monthly listening event focused on creative uses of sound and radio that takes place in complete darkness.
His solo and collaborative music projects have been published through labels including Kye, Staalplaat, Ultra Eczema, Entr’acte, 3Leaves, Staubgold and Gagarin Records, as well as a series of small CDR and LP editions on his own meagre resource imprint.
supported by 8 fans who also own “Magneto Mori: Vienna”
There's a lovely subtlety at play here, where I can't tell what's looping and what's not. Despite the titles not offering much in the way of explanation, I think there's humor, nostalgia, and great care in this collection. Ned Milligan