The Singing Arc

from by Electroscope

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    Live recordings made at City Halls, Glasgow for the Sound Lab series of events, also featuring guest appearances from Una Maglone and Drew Mulholland

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Also featuring Drew Mulholland of Mount Vernon Arts Lab on guitar
Recorded 14th November 2012 at the Sound Lab, City Halls, Glasgow

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from At the Sound Lab, released June 2, 2013
Written by Cavanagh / Brogan
Imagine the scene: it's the 1920s and a woman is passing an apparently empty field when she hears the ethereal sound of a church choir. Many natural phenomena have been confused with “religious experiences” across time and it's hardly surprising that this incident was one of those.
The happening occurred, we believe, in Daventry, the site of one of the earliest high-powered radio transmitters in the U.K. Whilst the very idea of transmitters conjures up images of towering masts atop hills for maximum coverage of their surrounding areas, an important aspect of radio transmission involves long runs of wire, suspended low over the ground, leading to such masts. With the right atmosphere of conductive moisture in the air, allied to damp soil, the electricity in such wires can make a partial connection to earth and, under these conditions, the wires will begin to oscillate and produce whatever sound is being borne by them. This is the phenomenon known as the Singing Arc and the woman who heard the disembodied church choir was experiencing something truly new!
With Electroscope's ongoing fondness for old valve devices, radio interstation sounds and intriguing strangeness of many sorts, this story proved an ideal inspiration for Electroscope's piece, performed at a Sound Lab show in Glasgow's City Halls on 14th November 2012. Gayle & John were joined for the occasion by Drew Mulholland (Mount Vernon Arts Lab), who played Rickenbacker bass.

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Electroscope Glasgow, UK

Following a decade recording solo as Pefkin and Phosphene, Gayle Brogan and John Cavanagh are back playing pin matrix games for May, combining the sounds of a VCS3 synthesizer, a 1950s radio microphone and vortex of vocals.

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