Joshua Fried - Radio Wonderland
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  • New York, NY
  • United States
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Joshua Fried - Radio Wonderland's Friends

  • Culturehub
  • Gabrielle
  • the A.O. Movement Collective
  • Reels 4 Artists
  • Karen Bernard
  • marlon barrios solano

Joshua Fried - Radio Wonderland's Page

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I'm a composer and performer, and I've done dance-techy stuff with Douglas Dunn, Amy Cox, LEMUR, and others. But nowadays my main focus is on making YOU dance.

Can I tell you about my solo project?

RADIO WONDERLAND is me, Joshua Fried, performing solo live sound processing by drumming on old shoes (I'm a drummer) and manipulating a steering wheel (I'm a, er, wheel player). RADIO WONDERLAND turns live commercial FM radio into recombinant funk.

All the sounds originate from an old boombox, playing radio LIVE. Nothing is pre-recorded; anything picked up during the performance is fair game until the end. All the processing is by custom software I wrote in the MaxMSP programming environment. But I hardly touch the laptop. My controllers really are a vintage Buick steering wheel, old shoes mounted on stands, and some gizmos. You'll hear me build grooves, step by step, out of recognizable radio, and even UN-wind my grooves back to the original radio source.

I walk on with a boom box, playing FM radio LIVE. Once onstage, I plug it into my system and start slicing up radio. I arrange those slices both rhythmically, and, by playing them at different speeds, melodically as well, all according to what I hear. I call this process the RE-SHUFFLER. With another algorithm, which I call my RE-ESSER, (studio nerds will recognize this as a joke on de-esser), I isolate the sibilance, so I can compose on the spot with those S, T, K, Sh, etc. sounds, just like programming a drum machine. The ANYTHING-KICK morphs a bit of radio in the direction of a kick drum.

The sum total is dance music. I ham it up like mad, using the theatricality of the objects. It's great fun, and more musical than the video suggests. Every show is rather different, naturally, because the source material is entirely different each time.

So what's it all about? What is the art-speak that goes with RADIO WONDERLAND? I want to show that we ALL can interrupt and interrogate the never-ending flow of commercial media. So my transformations, taken individually, must be clear and simple—mostly framing, repeating and changing pitch—although when everything is put together the whole is indeed complex. My controllers are simple too: the wheel merely a knob to take things up and down (frequency, tempo) or play radio loops like a turntable, the shoes just pads I hit softer or louder. The surreal quality of using such ordinary objects underscores the absurd disconnect between digital controller and sound, as well as the congenial nature of the aural transformations themselves. So, too, my riffs must be vernacular and not elite. (We need the funk.)
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English is the main language of this site, but let us know which language you would use in this network besides English:
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marlon barrios solano/producer

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At 8:30pm on October 6, 2009, Culturehub said…
hey joshua,

thanks for checking out the site. we are in the process of setting up a telepresence studio at la mama e.t.c. the basic idea being: to use technology to collaborate on international artistic projects. we are looking for collaborators whose work intersects art, technology and science. i actually think i may have seen you perform at la mama once. was that you or some other guy playing the steering wheel? i will try to catch one of your up-coming shows. all the
At 1:31pm on September 22, 2008, Amina said…
Wow, now that's very original. If I make to New York, I'd love to check out your show?

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