CANTaudio was founded in Liverpool UK in 2003 by artist Alan
Each CANTaudio production is home-produced and distributed free of charge
in limited edition CDs or downloads.
CANTaudio exists to co-opt key audio works
of the Twentieth Century into a much broader family of sound by placing them
next to, around or within new neighbours and bedfellows. Words are removed,
various cover versions combined and historical and personal material is called
upon in the DIY process of extending tracks beyond their natural duration into
where they may have come from and where they may be heading.
New audio homes
are found for old sounds and new recordings are housed within existing material.
Dunn on CANTaudio productions (Liverpool UK 4 May 2004):
The notion of CANTaudio began exactly on 15 January 2003. Between purchasing
Stockhausen's helikopter-streichquartett CD and hearing it for the first time
was a gap of three hours. In this period, a sound was formed in my head based
on expectation, of what I hoped it would sound like. That first audio work
was entitled “everything you hope from...” and it is that anticipated
sound, using clips from helikopter-streichquartett alongside new field and
helicopter recordings and excerpts from Guided by Voices, Birthday Party, Jesus & Mary
Chain and (early) Human League. I realised that I already had the tools at
my disposal to produce and duplicate small runs of audio CDs and CANTaudio
began in this manner.
These discs were simply mailed out to people who I thought
would be interested in hearing this kind of DIY material.”
will tear us apart began as the soundtrack to a short film produced at Agora
Capacete in Rio de Janeiro in 2001. From numerous versions of Joy Division’s
Love Will Tear Us Apart, the word love is carefully edited out. Part three
(available to download from link below) uses New Order's first ever version
of the song in 1983, reversed, slowed to 72% its original speed and peppered
with verses from Springsteen's My Father's House.
lichth(of) fire was originally pieced together for an exhibition at Der Lichthof
der VHS in Cologne in 1998 using only the pause button on a tape-to-tape cassette
player. That original 3 minute tape version had a really raw energy that nomatter
how I tried I couldn’t recapture digitally. But having round the clock
access to some of this new technology – all of CANTaudio is produced
in FinalCutPro and a lot of source material is downloaded – I was able
to take some of the ideas in a different direction. lichth(of) fire was basically
a suite of Nirvana songs carefully spliced to force Kurt Cobain to sing about
the Loch Ness Monster. It had something to do with the plethora of conspiracy
theories at the time. In The Rose (below), some original Cobain audio collages
that were available online are preceded and followed by sounds that in a sense
influenced him and were influenced by him.
One Saturday in November last year a major UK newspaper carried a free leaflet
for an organisation called “Sight Savers International”. The front
cover showed a young boy with a Frankie Says-style t-shirt with the text BORN
TO BE BLIND. It was an extraordinary confusion of imagery and made me think
about the idea of saving sight, of recovering vision. The audio work entitled ‘faith:drunk:leap:rage’ began
as a thirty-minute remix of Amazing Grace (“was blind but now I see”)
and crystallized into four distinct fields. faith is a collection of dark one-minute
Graces (Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, Aretha Franklin, The Cramps).
drunk was produced drunk on strong Lithuanian brew with references to Amazing
Grace in relation to 9:11. leap is simply the sublime ‘such a good thing’ (new
order) with a new ending and rage (download below) is every mention of footballer
Wayne Rooney during an England-Denmark BBC Radio 5 commentary, layered over
Melt Banana's long version of I hate it.
The most recent work is entitled Hungary is a six-part expansion of Gloomy
Sunday, rightly or wrongly known as ‘the Hungarian suicide song’.
It is set to a backdrop of Sunday suicide bombers in Iraq and reports in my
local newspaper of the track’s ongoing legacy even after 80 years. Versions
worked with include Artie Shaw, Gitane Demone, Christian Death, Diamanda Galas,
Billie Holiday and Iva Bittova. A figure called Chistine is introduced early
in the piece (Luscious Jackson) as a lonely character (‘she sang into
the shadows to be free, looking for something beautiful to sing to’)
and later revisited (Butthole Surfers) from the viewpoint of a lightly unhinged
admirer. The Hungarian national anthem is solemnly reversed in a de-crescending
movement and towards the conclusion excerpts from the film inspired by Gloomy
Sunday ‘Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod’ appear. Almost lost in the
middle of hungary is also a collection of thirteen new one-second compositions
made up solely of the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ from Twentieth
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