Featured Articles

Paul Walde The column of light is beamed directly into the sky. As if intended to summon some celestial visitor, the beam of photons is emitted from a circle of glowing discs, placed in the most unassuming place imaginable—a farmer’s field (don’t ET’s always land there?). This,[...] Read more

Featured Article Jonathan Bunce Issue 109

Luke Nickel Transmits a Living Score Luke Nickel has written me a piece.   No, wait.   That’s not quite right.   Luke Nickel has left me a series of sometimes vague, sometimes specific instructions via audio recordings of his voice, which I am only allowed to listen to[...] Read more

Featured Article Heather Roche Issue 132

The Ratchet Orchestra In 1961, a virtually unknown African-American band was stranded in Montreal before going on to more promising territory. During their months in Montreal they would build up a local following, mostly musicians, who could hear that something different was going on. It’s a slight and[...] Read more

Profile Stuart Broomer Issue 115

Trauma of My Mouth In the spring of 2018, Chinese archeologists announced that they’d unearthed a four-thousand-year-old collection of jaw harps (kouxian in Chinese) at the Shimao ruins, a prehistoric site in Shenmu City in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.   These artifacts,[...] Read more

Featured Article Darcy Spidle Issue 132

Andrew Staniland accelerates toward the next idea IN 2013, NASA CONFIRMED THAT the  Voyager 1 probe had become the first manmade object to cross the heliopause, leaving the bounds of our solar system and entering interstellar space. In addition to its scientific instruments, Voyager 1 was famously carrying a Golden Record entitled[...] Read more

Profile Jonathan Bunce Issue 122

Hans-Joachim Roedelius floats against the current On an unseasonably warm night in October, Toronto’s Monarch Tavern was packed to the rafters for a living legend. German electronic and ambient music pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius—best known as a cofounder of 1970s experimental groups Cluster and Harmonia, renowned for their[...] Read more

Featured Article Jesse Locke Issue 129

Vanese "VJ" Smith is Right on Time Vanese (pronounced va-NIECE) “VJ” Smith and I are on the Spadina streetcar, chatting like old friends. Just minutes earlier we met for the first time. I arrived from up North (aka Thornhill) in a state of winter-blues petulance, but when I saw her bright smile and waving arm from[...] Read more

Profile Chaka V. Grier Issue 130

The Mystical Instruments of Walter Smetak In March 2014, I found myself facing the late Walter Smetak’s Pindorama, a seven-foot-two-inch-tall instrument installation comprising seven calabash gourds arranged in a diamond-like formation and resting on a bamboo pedestal. Dozens of clear plastic tubes with flute mouthpieces fixed[...] Read more

Featured Article Neil Leonard Issue 121

The Radical Transcriptions of sfSound PERHAPS NO OTHER AMERICAN METROPOLIS is more associated with important countercultural movements than the San Francisco Bay Area. From the Beats of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s to the radical punks of the ’70s and ’80s, the “city by the Bay” has long[...] Read more

Featured Article Dan Joseph Issue 122

Debashis Sinha “La montaña. El cuervo. Cada mota de polvo elevada por mis pasos alberga incontables palabras,” intones the deeply resonant voice, as the rhythmic sound of footsteps fades up and a single gong-stroke repeats slowly.   This is Kailash, a radiophonic work by[...] Read more

In the Works Micheline Roi Issue 106

The Warp and Weft of Kelly Ruth In the history of musical instruments, the questions asked are pretty standard: Who played it? What did they play? How did it evolve? Kelly Ruth’s instrument, the weaving loom, carries an entirely different kind of history. It brings to mind mythology, solitary artisans, beautiful[...] Read more

Featured Article Ian Crutchley Issue 130

Erdem Helvacioglu FULL-TEXT AVAILABLE IN PRINT EDITION ONLY   When you’re caught up in the thick of it, all those cute, clichéd little epithets about turning life’s lemons into lemonade, spinning grave fuck-ups into rapturous inspiration, and the like, hardly seem to hold any[...] Read more

Featured Article Nick Storring Issue 115