Sadik Kwaish Alfraji - Happiness is a kind of sorrow

Circuits±Waves by Jonny Farrow is a 53 minute mix of various shortwave radio recordings, along with other recordings, made since the artist arrived in the UAE. The work is location specific, but also outward reaching, with shortwave signals travelling long distances, bouncing off the ionosphere to defy the curvature of the earth.

‘What is interesting to me about shortwave are the textures of sound you can hear and make when tuning. The aliveness of tapping into the ether in this way is always exciting and I am just as much interested in what is between broadcasts as the broadcasts themselves. The sounds, too, are always suggestive, giving a feeling of connecting to something on a global/cosmic scale (the electromagnetic spectrum), while the radio’s circuitry actually receives and translates the signals and noise that travel in this space into audible sound waves that we can perceive.’

Circuits±Waves begins with manipulated recordings of albatross mixed with the sounds of satellite telemetry, then moves slowly toward the shortwave spectrum. As the shifts occur between the sections of the work and then between locations on the dial, subtle textures emerge. One could compare them to a sonic ocean or a sonic desert. Sometimes something like a wind or a whistle is heard. In all cases the noise is evocative, hinting at the natural world and our very direct manipulation of and interaction with invisible forces.