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Jul 082012

Here’s podcast 85: Catharsirator, featuring DaveX, Tom Denney, Jacob Riley via phone call-in, myself, and probably some other people I can’t remember. We recorded Catharsirator way back in 1999 at my college radio station WIDB on the campus of Southern Illinois University. It was somewhere around the 15th episode of the original incarnation of Theatre Intangible, ~Ore~ Prefab Audio Extrapolations. I remember this as one of my favorite episodes, but listening back now, I’m not exactly sure why. Memory plays tricks.

Keep listening near the end for Dave’s ticked off rant to the audience where he announced he was, “sick of playing with ameobas and light and shit.” He went on to say this episode was our creative peak, but given the context, I think he may have meant creative plateau.

All the same, there are a few nice moments. I did the live mixing back in 1999 and the mastering and (admittedly heavy) editing last week. Enjoy this little nugget from 1999.

Update: DaveX gives his thoughts on the episode and his infamous rant:

Yeah, I did get a chance to listen. We had some interesting sounds going at times, despite (or perhaps because of) what I detect as my earnest, constant efforts to throw everyone off-kilter. Overall, Catharsirator is better than I remembered. I’ll chalk it up to your editing, I’m guessing there’s about 20 minutes you left on the cutting room floor? (Tony’s note: More like 30 minutes, including some bad rapping by Jacob and me.)

I did want to explain my statements at the end, though– oddly enough, I remember (mostly) what I was thinking. Basically, I was frustrated with the limitations of the show, at least in terms of our audience. I didn’t expect too many people to ever be tuning in, but it was important to me that our ongoing experiments into listening and sound-making were more than just entertainment, or exercises in providing passive experiences for listeners to consume. You might recall that I was always trying to figure out ways to involve people on the “other end” of the show, whether it was encouraging them to come in and join us, or move around, listen in different ways, etc. But of course, this really never materialized. By the Catharsirator episode, I was more than a little into the feeling that we were kicking a dead horse. When I mentioned “amoebas and lights” I was referring to science experiments I probably read about in a textbook somewhere– describing phototropic response in amoebas. So yeah, I basically called the audience out as single-celled lifeforms, which wasn’t very kind of me. In retrospect (as it is with so many things) I wish I’d known how to phrase things more diplomatically. There might have been room to grow without all that condemnation in the air! My belated apologies to anyone who DID tune in that evening are definitely in order, haha. Still, it would be misleading if I said that confrontation and reaction wasn’t a fairly large element of those early ~Ore~ broadcasts, not to mention the experimental nature of the show. Experiments don’t necessarily go where you point them! It’s interesting to hear all that frustration, though– that’s definitely one kind of push that got me interested in new ways of making music and creating sounds, as well as new ideas about sharing them.