28. John Duncan


Black Moon by John Duncan

Black Moon is composed of shortwave radio signals, recorded via the online receiver website of the Technical University of Enschede. Each signal was chosen for the resonance it evokes in the listener, later interwoven with other signals recorded from the same source for several days. The selection of sounds is done according to properties that lie outside the predictable controllable parameters in order to arrive at a complex multidimensional listening experience. By compactly interweaving the frequencies, a different image is created for the listener at each listening session because of the psycho-acoustic selections that take place at the level of the listener. The record can thus be considered as a potential composition, which is performed by the listener themselves through the aforementioned process.


John Duncan has been active for decades at the cutting edge of performances, video, experimental music, installation, pirate radio and television. He has played a central role in the development of performing arts in Los Angeles, experimental music as a member of LAFMS, Japanese noise and pirate radio in Tokyo. Duncan's work has a lasting influence on experimental music because his art is generally still refined and refined, and he regularly collaborates with young artists. He is currently a sound designer at the Art Academy of Bologna, Italy. Since the beginning of his practice, he has made extensive use of recorded sound. His music consists mainly of recordings of shortwave radio, field recordings and voice. In the mid-1980s Duncan began pirate radio and television broadcasting with his own custom-built portable channels, operating illegally from the roofs of apartment buildings in central Tokyo and from an abandoned American military hospital near Sagamihara. He also made periodic broadcasts from his own home. The medium of radio still plays a role in arriving at compositions. The publication 'Black Moon' (DOB 096) is composed of shortwave radio signals, recorded via the online receiver website of the Technical University of Enschede.


John Duncan took part in our event on 5 Oct 2018. His background in performance and his multimedia and confrontational approach gives him full credits to be part of the DE PLAYER programme. When we met we had discussions about several professional subjects and decided to realise a publication. The fact that the sound on the record is an ever-changing piecebecause of the psycho acoustic effectstransposes it more into a tool than a static recording. This approach can also be seen in the Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) of Friedrich Jürgenson, a researcher who claimed to have detected voices of the dead hidden in radio static. Duncan also often works with Carl Michael Hausswolff, who is an expert in EVP.

a b o u t t h i s a r c h i v e
l i s t o f i t e m s
G e n e r a t e s c o r e !