I’m sure it can’t have escaped your notice that Valentine’s Day is almost upon us again. As a rule I generally don’t give the remotest flying toss about the pink and fluffy notions surrounding February 14th. Indeed, if I were to conduct an impromptu audit of the net worth of each of my own dalliances with the fairer sex, it would boil down to little more than a woolly hat and a slightly battered copy of ‘Reggae Owes Me Money’ by The Ragga Twins. And this is rather a shame, because today I find myself forced to convince you, dear reader, to show some love to the highly-regarded but sadly endangered cultural institution that is Resonance 104.4FM.
The coming week brings Resonance’s annual fundraising marathon, where the hard-pressed staff of this volunteer-run, community arts radio station (and registered charity) try once again to raise enough cash to keep afloat for another year. Unfortunately it’s going to be harder than ever this time around as the Arts Council are demanding that each institution they deal with now have a sort-of ‘rainy day reserve’ of at least £50,000 in the kitty before they apply for further funding. I can’t personally imagine too many charities being in that enviable position, and Resonance is certainly not one of them, so the challenge this year looms larger than ever.
All is not lost, though, as various programme-makers, artists, supporters and friends of the station are putting on a whole host of fundraising events, including live music, comedy, cultural debate and ‘The Relatively Good Valentines Do’, all of which I would urge you to attend (further details here, the Café Oto event looks particularly magnificent). They’ll also be an auction of rare goods, desirable objects and unique experiences on the Resonance website in the coming week or two. Which makes this an appropriate moment to hereby unveil my own contribution to the 2014 Fundrasing Marathon:
HOWLROUND’S HOME HAUNTING!
A snappy title, what? Allow me to add some clarity by quoting the official press release in full:
Having gained widespread acclaim for their two site-specific LPs ‘The Ghosts Of Bush’ and ‘Secret Songs Of Savamala’, the tape loop manipulation duo Howlround are now offering one lucky Resonance FM listener a chance to discover some ghosts of their very own.
The duo use only acoustic field recordings of a particular building or structure, and create unique sonic portraits by weaving these sounds through a quartet of reel-to-reel tape machines with uncanny and beguiling results, a process that Record Collector magazine describes as ‘Aural Ectoplasm’. Now, to coincide with Resonance FM’s latest fund-raising campaign, the duo are offering the highest bidder something a little more bespoke: a unique hauntological composition created using recordings of their very own home, place of business or favourite local landmark; a sonic portrait created just for them and presented on an edition-of-one spool of quarter-inch tape (plus mp3/WAV files).
In short, it’s a far more interesting and slightly spookier version of those ‘aerial photograph of your house’ offers. It’s also a chance to own and help create a unique piece of sonic art and keep the greatest radio station in the world on the air. As an added bonus we’ll even throw in a very rare test pressing of the latest Howlround LP ‘Secret Songs Of Savamala’.(Quick Disclaimer: The personal visit part of the offer is only open to those living within a 50-mile radius of the Resonance FM Studio in Borough High Street. Everyone else is encouraged to enter, but will need to create their own recordings (with guidance) and send them to Howlround for processing. The chosen space does not have to be your place of residence, but no trespassing or breaking and entering will be undertaken in order to make the recordings.)
So, please do get bidding for a chance to own a Howlround edition of ONE and to help the radio station that has made this tape-loop quartet and so many other amazing projects possible. Most importantly, you’ll need to follow the auction instructions on the Resonance website in order to place your bid – please DO NOT try to do so by contacting me personally or they’ll just be a world of confusion!, Our item number is E21 which can be found along with many other delightful items up for grabs on the official auction spreadsheet HERE (it goes live at noon on Monday 10th). Bidding starts at £100, so let’s see some nice large offers, please! RESONANCE FM NEEDS YOU MORE THAN EVER!
In other Howlround news, we’re currently donating 100% of all vinyl sales of the ‘Secret Songs Of Savamala’ LP to the Resonance appeal until 16th February. And eagle-eared listeners may have heard closing track снежaнa (or Snow Woman) included on the most recent edition of Stuart Maconie’s Freakier Zone on 6Music, as part of an edition exploring imaginative use of field recordings. The programme is still available to download here and also contains recordings by Peter Cusack, Chris Watson and Lee Paterson. Huge thanks to guest host Peter Meanwell for including us amongst such auspicious company! We should also thank the Full Of Noises collective for putting us on at Cafe Oto last week, as part of an equally impressive line-up. And once these fund-raising shenanigans are over, rest assured we will!