The Traveler "clicks" through twenty three "stories"
set in sonic spaces that shape a virtual journey exploring consciousness,
life, art, language, the universe, and the whole ball of wax....
Composed of discrete yet linked vignettes, geographies,
inhabitants, information, instructions, conversations, and cross referencing
word plays, situated in real and imaginary time, real and virtual
space, that can be traveled through along any number of paths as we
explore how thought materializes in the world, how we perceive, understand,
and communicate the nature of our existence and what we define as
This solo piece evolved from a narrative
work, Going Between, by Helen Thorington, which became Going
Between\One Word At A Time\Docs**, a collaborative performance
duet with Helen Thorington at the On The Air Festival, Transit
Art/ORF, Austria, 1993.
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More Jacki Apple
Jacki Apple (Los Angeles,
CA) is a visual, performance, and media artist, writer, audio composer,
and producer whose internationally broadcast radio/audio works of orchestrated
texts and cinematic images, are set in a multi-dimensional sonic landscape.
In 1995 she released two CDs Thank You For Flying American/stories
& songs 1980-91, and ghost.dances \ on the event horizon.
The former producer/host of "Soundings", KPFK, L.A., she is currently
co-writing Breaking the Broadcast Barrier, a book on American
radio art since 1980 with Helen Thorington. She is on the faculty of
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA.
Redefining Democracy in America (1991-92)
Other Radio Works and Recordings
A six-part series confronting the deep schisms and contradictions in
an America in crisis.
The Garden Planet Revisited (1982/1992)
Past and present history resonate through ruins of the future as American
astronaut Captain Charlie, a paragon of late twentieth century technological
man, hurtles through time and space. Stranded on a station, abandoned
and alone, he is on a mission without end. Simultaneously, the Inhabitants
of an unnamed place search amongst the architectural remains, gather
stories, rumors, myths from Messengers and Witnesses, as they try
to reconstruct what happened in the time before "the cities shifted
and the Earth turned." Is it a memory, a dream, a hallucination, a
prophecy? Originally presented as a thirteen scene, hour-long multimedia
performance written by Apple with music by trombonist Bruce Fowler.
The audio was edited and remastered by Apple as a twenty-eight minute
work for radio in 1992.
The Culture of Disappearance (1991)
A radio "opera" about extinction, and the conditions of loss and denial
endemic to industrial and post-industrial society. It is a dirge for
the exterminated species of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
a grieving. It raises questions about the terms of human survival in
a social order that defines us as "separate", and reveals how those
values are manifested in our socio-economic and political relations
-- i.e., conquest vs. cohabitation, consumption without regeneration.
We eradicate cultural memory just as we eliminate species. The sung
"mass" of names of the dead from insects to languages is sometimes obliterated
by the relentless pounding of machinery. Embedded in the litany are
anecdotes of annihilation.
Voices in the Dark (1991)
A radio work for outer and inner space, in four sections. The cosmos
is an audio archive of information broadcast to the stars, a repository
of human (and perhaps other) histories in which time melts and language
dissolves into signals. All those "voices" traversing the universe looking
for a pick-up! Imagine gridlock in the big data bank in outer space.
Voices in The Dark is about interstellar conversations, radio
waves, and sonic archaeology. Is there anyone listening and how do they
interpret what they hear? How do we/they distinguish between real events
and people and media generated fictions? Are we the "they"? We say we
want to make contact with the Other, when in fact what we search for
is a mirror of ourselves. This composition combines a narrative text
with various musical, vocal, and sound components snatched from the
airwaves, overdubbed, sampled, remixed, and electronically orchestrated.
Frenzy in the Night (1990)
is about growing up black and male in America, finding your own voice
and becoming an artist, the pain of racism, and the dream of freedom.
It is a spiritual quest for cultural and personal affirmation. A poetic
suite in three parts, it traverses the American landscape from the "banks
of the muddy Mississippi" of Mason's St. Louis boyhood, through a mythical
"free state of Illinois," to his artistic coming of age in the "boom
box of L.A." Mason's provocative, emotionally charged text is set in
Apple's lush cinematic sonic landscape of West African tribal drums
and wailing jazz saxophones, riverboats, police sirens, street rappers,
birds, all caught in the ebb and flow of the river that is replaced
by the freeway, as it travels from a bittersweet blues in the night
to an urban frenzy. A collaborative work written and performed by Keith
Antar Mason, sound designed and produced by Jacki Apple.
Commissioned by NEW AMERICAN RADIO.
Swan Lake (1989)
A satiric, ironic film noir "ballet" for radio, the original Swan
Lake narrative is recast and resituated amidst the glittering surfaces
and dark underside of late eighties Los Angeles where dreams are manufactured
in medialand, art and entertainment tongue kiss, the third world coexists
in a parallel realm, and the weather is unnatural. Using radio as
a cinematic medium, Apple's remake employs various pop genres including
Raymond Chandler's detective novels, TV fashion commercials, and a
sensational murder trial. This filmic version is about seduction,
voyeurism, and the consumption of images, with the Swan playing the
part of Art. The lush romanticism of Tchaikovsky's original ballet
music is juxtaposed against a percussive, techno-eclectic, edgy film
score by L.A. composers Joseph Berardi and Kira Vollman.
Commissioned by NEW AMERICAN RADIO.
Fluctuations of the Field (1989)
Drawing upon texts by leading theoretical physicists, this piece is
a hypnotic incantation that transforms scientific theory into a poetic
cosmic narrative, a fluctuating field of sonic waves and textual particles
in which form and content, matter and mind are interchangeable. With
music by Ruben Garcia, and Harold Lott's Spirits of the Drum.
The site specific performance work commissioned
by the Santa Monica Arts Commission.
Palisade: A Cliffhanger in Five Acts (1987)
Set in the precarious emotional terrain between the thought (the disembodied
voice) and the act (the vocal body), a fractured "narrative" traverses
male-female relationships on the edge of a cliff. Accounts assemble
and reassemble as remembered, as imagined, as desired, as perceived,
as experienced. In riveting vocal and musical performances Jacki Apple,
Jeff McMahon, and David Moss create a quick cutting montage of cinematic
images counterpointing evocative interior texts set in a dissonant
Produced and directed by Jacki Apple as
a site-specific performance spectacle commissioned by the 1987 Santa
Monica Arts Commission for the SMARTS Performance Festival, Santa
The Amazon (1985) (13:08)
from The Amazon, The Mekong, The Missouri and The Nile, a four-part
work exploring language and colonization. This collaboration between
audio/performance artist Jacki Apple and composer Bruce Fowler is rich
mix of "animal" vocalizations, human incantations, Brazilian instrumentation,
and Fowler's haunting trombone. A powerful evocation of the destruction
of nature and culture.