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For all the ships at sea

by Matt Rogalsky

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    Live-processing treatment of a recording of the BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast made on October 10 1996. The download is a recording of a live performance at Experimental Intermedia in New York City in early November 1996. The piece was performed on various occasions in 1996-97, always using the same source material on cassette tape.
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I moved to England in late 1995 and many things there were still a novelty to me when I made this piece, including the Shipping Forecast, which is a BBC Radio classic. Not knowing many of the place names (see detail of my error-ridden transcript), the Forecast was kind of like soothing wee-hours sound poetry to me. At the same time, I knew that the information being conveyed to ships all around the UK was sometimes a matter of life and death, so it had a gravity to it and I imagined perhaps being out in a stormy sea, trying to tune in. My treatment of the Forecast includes manipulation with pitch shifters, delays, noise gates, and the interjection of sound samples of rough seas.

The piece begins, as does the Shipping Forecast every night, with "Sailing By", composed by Ronald Binge. In this case it sort of bubbles up from the depths.


released October 10, 1996


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Matt Rogalsky Kingston, Ontario

Matt Rogalsky is a sound-based artist who teaches at Queen's University.

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