Hear an electronic music tribute to poet Anne Sexton

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Greetings, all. This is the final set of SWWE for a few weeks. This has been a crazy experience to put together an hour-long show every week for around twenty episodes, and I need a little time off to regroup, record some new music, and write out a few other pieces. This final episode catches me up, personally, with posting a bunch of work, too.

Much of this show originated as a proposed album series on writers I love. It became a weekly show, partly out of Covid changing my focus and time. But there have been a number of writers I love included here from those earliest recordings: from David Berman, Henry Miller, Kathy Acker, e.e. cummings, Paul Krassner, and even performers like Mel Blanc or Belle Barth.

The final piece from those original set of music are two tracks I'm posting today. It's a tribute to Anne Sexton, and I suppose a subheading could be "Romancing our worst intentions". — I think about Anne Sexton a lot. I think about her from her work, which has an indelible effect on anyone who ever reads it, to the final beautiful book title, "The Awful Rowing Toward God", and to her poised and amazing speaking voice. Few poets speak their work as well as Anne Sexton, which I think you'll hear in the two tribute pieces in the playlist. Read the rest

Listen to an hour of unusual synthesizers going bonkers

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hi everyone, welcome back to the show. Pictured above this week is my studio, or the main corner of it. A lot of wonderful noise makers in the room, and the stress of this year has finally started to hit me. A room of equipment like this is very good for moments like this. So this week is about making as loud a noise as possible.

Jump in for a fun ride as we turn the studio into the tornado of sound, with leading contributions from Metasonix, Soma Labs Lyra-8 and Pulsar 23, Moog, and Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim's collaboration, the OB-6. Lead vocals by the Landscape HC-TT, a manually controlled tape player.

I purposely decided to make these beautiful instruments into as noisy and obnoxious a set of sounds as possible. I think you'll enjoy the stress relieving sound of a thousand oscillators out of tune with one another, going off like 700 springs clanging out of a mattress. Or at least that was the working idea. Really, just a head-cleaner. I call it: My Tribute to July, 2020.

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #19: Odd Times, Loud Noises

Connect with SWWE via Decibel Meter on Bandcamp, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Thanks as always, and be well. Stay proud and keep it loud! Read the rest

Often Feel Like You're Missing Eleven Days From Your Life? Blame the British Empire for The Calendar Act of 1750.

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hi, everyone - Welcome back to the show. This week, the topic is on Time Keeping, and asks: What's your favorite Riot? My favorite riot is mythically referred to as "The Calendar Riots". It was a reaction across the British Empire for a government theft of eleven days from September 1752. Specifically September 2nd would immediately be followed by September 14th, with September 3rd-13th deleted.

People stormed through villages demanding these stolen eleven days, and the possible loss of experiences, be returned. Some say the riots didn't happen, and I think that makes the riots even better. You can't control an invisible riot, and a riot that never happened is one that never stops.

As to why, The British were one of few standouts on shifting from the flawed Julian Calendar to the more accurate but less pagan Gregorian one. The solution on shifting to the Gregorian was sloppy. The Calendar Act is an interesting moment at controlling a population through decrees.

Jump into our Time Capsule and bounce back to 1752. Hear an actual Riot Act declared (reference audio), and consider The Calendar Act in modern times as a new effort for Time Made Great Again by the Trump Administration. "Clock, You're Up!"

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #18: The Calendar Act of 1750 & The Fake or Real Calendar RIOTS of 1752

In this era of Covid, "Give Us Our Eleven Days" sounds resonant. Read the rest

Sound Design: How to Make Your Home Into Eraserhead or 2001: A Space Odyssey

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hi, everyone - Welcome to back to the show. This week is all about noise. Noise in a home can be a disruption, like when an air conditioner cranks on suddenly; that's a common disruptive noise source. But noise in a sculpted sense can add a second layer to your home and help transport a space. Two of my favorite examples of this are the inventions of sound design found in Eraserhead and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Both of these films use noise as an core part to the world they present. So for this week's episode, I thought it'd be nice to use only the technology available to Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch at the time of their films to recreate those sonic atmospheres.

So this week you'll learn how to use noise to modify your home, including a tutorial on how to make your kitchen sound like a room from Eraserhead or turn your attic into a control center from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It turns out limiting the techniques and tools to those eras is not very restrictive. Both Kubrick and Lynch had some of the finest gear in history to work with. It's my guess that they both used noise generators along with a 907 or 914 Moog Fixed Filter Bank. We'll use an inductor based 907A FFB to replicate the steps involved in The Lady in the Radiator scene and get a nice space sound aboard Discover One on your trip to Jupiter. Read the rest

For triggers, gates, clocks, and sociopaths alike, "Master/Slave" faces retirement

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hello, everyone - Welcome back. Part of this week's show is on language. One great result of the recent protests is a reassessment of some of our worst phrases. "Master/Slave" is an ugly one, with a direct path to some of the world's most terrible history. Unfortunately, it's largely adopted into electronics as an example of one device maintaining control over countless other devices. It's been suggested a better phrase might be Leader/Follower, and in that way you realize "Master/Slave" also describes politics, too.

As language is finally being addressed on this shameful history of semantics, I offer one final discussion on "Master/Slave" as an EXPLANATION for how people are still following and supporting Trump. Electronic control can be their only defense. In sympathy, I call for us all to love Trump Supporters and seek to emancipate them from this mental prison.

Mind Control is an interesting subject. There's been an ongoing effort to control minds with technology, and some consider this to be happening right now. Today's episode discusses triggers in drum machines as an explanation for how Trump's very sharp signal clock controls his followers. He's a perfect drum sequencer. He keeps his messages monosyllabic and sharp. That's the best signal for opening up a drum to follow a controller. And the term for this in synthesis is, regrettably, "Master/Slave", in that the Master is the sequencer and the slave is the follower. Read the rest

In Praise of THE SPAMP! And SPIT-COIN: A Proposal to Convert All Money to Saliva

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the show. This week we sing the praises of portable headphone amplifiers, specifically The SPAMP and the ROCKMAN — This leads to a discussion on the good work of Tom Scholz, who designed and built the entire sound of the band Boston in a home studio in the basement of his apartment in Watertown MA, and the likelihood that many of you were conceived to More Than A Feeling. With grief, the sad ending of Brad Delp's life is also briefly discussed .

Tom Scholz went to MIT and was offered a good job at Polaroid right out of school. This earned him a salary that funded much of Boston's burgeoning sound. So this episode also discusses how to spend money. Lots of people are very boring about how they spend their money, and the chance that you might not be born if Tom Scholz had opted to cash out and not build a home studio is explored. Good guy, that Tom. But why did Scholz need money in the first place to pursue this great dream? Money is a problem.

Track two for this week solves money entirely. Presenting SPIT-COIN, A new economic platform based on points and saliva. You can opt to transfer your money to a shared resource for every human, or you can have your cash liquidated into saliva that you carry in your mouth perpetually, your choice. Read the rest

Space Aliens are no longer visiting Earth due to an allergy to our cell phones

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Headline: Space Aliens no longer visit Earth because our technology now drives them crazy. They are allergic to our EMF Radiation.

Welcome back to Spoken Word with Electronics. Episode fourteen greets us with some real news. Important stuff. Humans have long benefited from help from alien lifeforms. They taught us how to make fire, possibly introduced the virus that gave us the consciousness, and even invented Febreeze. These are all alien gifts to us.

Recently, however, we haven't been seeing much proof of alien life. Our race of humans have insisted on making our own technology. Like any kid in the kitchen, we've made quite a mess, too. Our bodies don't have the development to perceive our mess, but Space Aliens sure sense it. It's EMF Radiation, or Electromagnetic Fields, and our planet is now covered in it. It's gotten so noisy Aliens don't ever visit. They are allergic to our progress.

Jump into our spacecraft and spin around the planet for an hour as we discuss this phenomenon, including a basic primer on alien allergies, the flaws of human hubris, and how insects are much more advanced as creatures than any human (or any human technology, for that matter).

This episode includes ACTUAL EMF RADIATION, as captured by a Soma Labs Ether. All sounds of static, feedback, glitchy clicking and comfortable washes of noise have been received from the air around us through this wonderful Russian device. Read the rest

Behold, Massospora! The Insect Pandemic That Turns Cicadas Into Uncontrollable Sex Addicts

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week, being in the human world is getting too painful, so we're taking a trip into the wonderful world of insects. Our civic responsibility to comment on the craziness of the world isn't ignored, however, so if insects aren't your bag, jump to the final track, advocating for a Police Reform Act to be enacted by Congress.

Cicadas are the focus this week. If you're in a part of the world that doesn't have these incredible creatures, they are insects that emit a warm droning tone. The drone itself is a kind of clicking chirp, with hollers and other singing, and they fill trees happily during the summer. All cicadas in a tree syncopate with one another into doing this harmonic noise, and talk to other trees filled with cicadas, often pausing their drone while the other tree is talking. I love cicadas. Learn about red wasps truly terrible behavior turning cicadas into brain food, and you might be interested in some Cicada Facts, including Read the rest

The Facebook Community Standards Roast!

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #12

David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) is the most essential punk artist of the last century. In this Covid era, he's even more vital.

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Welcome back to Spoken Word with Electronics. This week we're in a good David Wojnarowicz mood. Which I mean to say David is a strong energy force for when you are upset and want to focus it into making work. In this Covid era, David's message about government neglect and illness is especially profound. He died of AIDS in 1992, which is awful. And he was one of the coolest people to have ever walked the planet, which is wonderful.

In this tribute episode, hear a discussion of his art, specifically a focus on his music, both the band 3 Teens Kill 4 and his amazing collaboration with Ben Neill, ITSOFOMO. A review of the book A Definitive History of Five or Six Years on the Lower East Side is also provided. Along the ride we discuss the late evening drive in highschool when our car was haunted by David Bowie's Suffragette City and play a track from The Cicadas.

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #11: A Tribute to David Wojnarowicz

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I’m sure we’ve posted this pic before, but it’s just too good. Happy belated bday to our dear friend Donovan Pierce. Thanks for all your help over the years at sb ❤️

A post shared by Sacred Bones (@sacredbones) on Mar 24, 2020 at 1:28pm PDT

Like what you're hearing? Tell others about the show. Read the rest

SWWE Broadcast #10: "Jules Vern was a Copycat, How to Prank a Bird, Ice Cream on TV is Often Mashed Potatoes, and It’s Been 3 Years Since I’ve Had a Drink."

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hello, everyone: Welcome back to the show. A lot of lightning in the air as we proceeded with recording this episode, so in full bomb prepper mode, we pulled out an MRE for dinner and got down to recording via battery power. This was made possible by a Six Channel Sony MX-650 Microphone Mixer, which not only runs on batteries, but was meant for commercial broadcasts on the field for radio and TV.

Vintage SONY gear is often as good as it gets. To provide someone like Walter Cronkite the opportunity to complete an entire segment in his news van, it supports six concurrent turntable connections, has six wonderful microphone pre-amps (with and without attenuation for signal), line connections in both 1/4" jack and RCA phono plug, and LOVELY switchable A,B,AB stereo routing. Pretty sturdy tank. You can still get them at a reasonable price and if the original owner never ran them off line power (meaning ran power through the batteries and they didn't let the batteries leak) there's a chance it still sounds great. This week we discuss cancelling Jules Verne (let's all do this!) and explore alcohol as a dead but valued friend in my life. Also some good jokes on Potatoes and Oystercatchers. Let's roll the tape:

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #10: Fun Facts, Reptile Republican Audio, and Jules Verne Was a Copycat

The backing track on Side A is an organ piece intended for a segment on Anne Sexton, which will be posted a few broadcasts from now. Read the rest

Those weird dirty records in our parents' basement: Belle Barth's Scary 'Adults Only' LP — and SMURF HEIST: "That Day, at Age 6, When I Broke Into a Friend's House to Steal a Gargamel Figurine"

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Greetings, all — I hope you're doing well. This week, the episode discusses smut and theft, as perceived by my own mind at age five and six. Enjoy a time warp back in the late 1970s as you find a Belle Barth album, are given a tour of Aurora, Colorado, and break into a friend's house to get that Gargamel toy.

RIP Jerry Stiller. A great comedian. He played the Borscht Belt in many of the same clubs as Belle Barth, incidentally. Here's this week's show:

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #9: Belle Barth's Dirty Jewish Jokes and THE 1980 SMURF HEIST

You can now follow Spoken Word with Electronics on Apple Podcasts.

Talk with you next week. Keep your Belle Barth albums close, and your Gargamels closer! — Ethan Read the rest

FAKE NEWS NOW. FAKE NEWS FOREVER. FAKE NEWS MUST NEVER DIE! (A Final Audio Tribute to Paul Krassner)

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Welcome back, everyone. This week this series concludes the six part tribute to Paul Krassner. You'll find all the previous tracks in episodes 2,3,4, and 5. I will be collecting all of these tracks into an album later on Bandcamp. A link to that, if interested.

Paul was a terrific human. In lieu of flowers, I recommend donating to his GoFundMe for his wife Nancy and other family.

This episode is on the importance of dishonesty, distortion, and rumor spreading as personal freedoms to challenge authority, and the fun involved in such practices. So, LET'S GET FAKE!

Spoken Word with Electronics · SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #8: Fake News Now

Spoken Word with Electronics · Episode 8, Introduction: "FAKE NEWS NOW"

Spoken Word with Electronics · Episode 8, Side A: Paul Krassner on "The Parts Left Out Of The 1967 LBJ Story"

Spoken Word with Electronics · Episode 8, Side B: "Optimism" (Everybody You Meet is Relevant) — A Good Bye to Paul

May all the change you want in the world be the kind where you fake it til you make it.

Talk with you next week, Continued Best - Ethan (Bandcamp/Soundcloud) Read the rest

How "Marijuana, the Devil's Flower" may have sounded like in 1951, as heard on Shortwave Radio, inside a Bomb Shelter

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Welcome back. A few years ago, in 2010, the radio station WFMU posted a wonderful set of songs on its incredible blog.

Both songs had the identical title, "Marijuana, the Devil's Flower", or "MTDF" for short. I fell in love with both of these tracks and have pined for an opportunity to do something fun with them. For this week's program, hear MTDF turned into a shortwave radio broadcast signal, using an RF Nomad and an AModulator. Then hear MTDF looped oddly through a set of samplers. Here's a set of soundcloud links:

Ethan Persoff · SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #7: Marijuana, The Devil's Flower

Ethan Persoff · Episode 7, Introduction: "Setting Up Your Own Home Bomb Bunker"

Ethan Persoff · Episode 7, Side A: "MARIJUANA" (The Shortwave Flower)

Ethan Persoff · Episode 7, Second Segment: "I Have a Lot of Cereal to Share"

Ethan Persoff · Episode 7, Side B: "MARIJUANA" (The Devil's Remix)

I was going to call this one "The Bong Bunker" but thought better of it.

Back next week and may all marijuana temptations only be heard, never consumed! - Ethan (Bandcamp/Soundcloud) Read the rest

Hear Mel Blanc Scream "She's a Food Hoarder!" 2,000 Times

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Greetings, all. To make this more like a proper series, I've expanded these posts into a more traditional radio segment format. You'll find a completely audio version in the playlist.

In 1942, Mel Blanc screamed about food hoarding in a Warner Brothers animated short, "Foney Fables". I was pleased to see the cartoon is in the public domain – Meaning you can do whatever you'd like with much of it.

THIS WEEK: Episode 6, "Food Hoarding with Mel Blanc"

I'll post the download links for the "Food Hoarder" sample in the comments.

Back next week. Have a happy hoarding, Ethan (Bandcamp/Soundcloud) Read the rest

Paul Krassner's Underground Abortion Referral Service, Kathy Acker's Don Quixote, and "Nightwalks During the Pandemic"

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

THIS WEEK:

Episode #5: Audio Politics

Hello, everyone - I hope all things are continuing to be comfortable and well. This installment begins with the fourth part of an interview conducted with Paul Krassner. You can hear the entire interview here as one playlist - There will be two more installments added to this playlist in the next few weeks.

The 60s offered a dystopian reality for many women. This installment focuses on an awful moment in US history (still at risk to return) where a satire magazine would be among the only places found to provide sanity and safety.

When I interviewed Paul in 2017 for a comedy magazine I couldn't help but veer into the serious business of Paul running an underground abortion referral service. This wasn't being an abortion provider, merely indicating where such services could be found. I'll let Paul describe this best, but as an introduction, consider that there was ZERO public information on getting an abortion: no phone book, certainly no Internet (or social media, Google search, or any network), no public record. It had to be word of mouth, leading to many distortions, blackmail, and worse.

Below is probably the most concise he's ever been describing his role of running an underground referral service. Paul did this for a decade, earning him a sizable chapter in his FBI file. Paul is a hero to me for a lot of reasons, but this most of all. Read the rest

Hear E.E. Cummings Read "anyone lived in a pretty how town" and Paul Krassner Recalls: "The Day I Met Lenny Bruce!"

 

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

 

THIS WEEK:



Episode #4: "To Forget to Remember"

Welcome back to Spoken Word with Electronics. I hope this week has gone well for you, all things considered. Here's some audio theater:

This week we lead off with an uncommon recording of E.E.Cummings. One of my favorite poems of his is anyone lived in a pretty how town. It was first published in 1940 and has some interesting resonance today. He has a beautiful speaking voice, which surprised me, a blend of Oscar Wilde with Truman Capote, just with no capital letters. (E.E.'s name was often capitalized, unlike his poems)

Here's the track:

Side A: E.E. Cummings Reads 'anyone lived in a pretty how town' — with a Yamaha Loop and a Metasonix R55 VCO

Music for this track is a blend of a few things, but primarily a loop from a Yamaha Reface CP (GREAT FUN) along with other yamaha-based loops recorded over the last few years, and a Metasonix Voltage Controlled Oscillator, specifically the R55. The R55 (and its current version, the RK7) is based on a very unpredictable thyratron tube and is a wonderfully unpredictable source of noise and completely unique. It's not unlike a tesla coil with sound. You can hear it floating through this isolated track at a gentle dissipating scrape about halfway through. Plugging an LFO into its VCA can produce a wonderful snoring sound; this is audible in the ending third of the track. Read the rest

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