Tone Transmissions

‘Tone Transmission’ by Aura Satz (ink on black paper, 2020)

Drawing inspiration from a manual switchboard in the Science Museum’s collections for the ‘Crossed Lines’ project, Aura Satz‘s sound piece explores the longstanding relationship between telephony and electronic music. Using the dial tone to signal circuits of communication, ‘Tone Transmissions’ uses a compositional approach to sustained notes, interference patterns, wave transmissions, tuning and deep listening. 

Recorded during lockdown via telecommunication technologies, Aura Satz is joined by electronic music composer Éliane Radigue to weave together conversations with harpist Rhodri Davies and violist Julia Eckhardt. The piece addresses Radigue’s shift from electronic music to the recent acoustic works, and the transmission of music via conversation, mental images and living scores. Structured as a dialogic composition, the piece both documents and enacts a telephone conversation about transmission and the circuitry of musical communication.

‘Tone Transmissions’ features the voices of Éliane Radigue, Julia Eckhart and Rhodri Davies, with excerpts from Radigue’s electronic work Kyema (Intermediate States), and acoustic works Occam I and Occam IV performed by Davies and Eckhart. The sound mixing is by M.J. Harding and Radigue was recorded with the assistance of Sam Fakouhi.

Aura Satz works in film, sound, performance and sculpture in order to conceptualise a distributed, expanded and shared notion of voice. Her solo exhibitions and performances include Fridman Gallery, New York (2018); Dallas Contemporary, US (2016); John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK (2015); Gallery 44, Toronto (2014); Tate Modern, London (2012); and Wellcome Collection, London (2010). Her films have screened at multiple international film festivals and museums such as MoMA (NY), SFMOMA, (San Francisco), Tate Britain (London), and Whitechapel Gallery (London). In 2012, she was shortlisted for the Samsung Art+ Award and the Jarman Award. Satz has been a reader and tutor at the Royal College of Art since 2014.