Trench Songs and Pirate Interviews
A project by Phil Hession for Radio Relay
Phil Hession’s initial point of inspiration was REM Island – an artificial island built in Cork and towed off the Dutch coast in 1964 as the broadcasting base of Radio and TV Noordzee. Phil met with Hans Knot, a Dutch broadcast historian and expert to interview him about REM island and the history of offshore radio in Europe.
Phil has also recorded his own interpretations of WW1 Trench Songs using his custom built record cutting lathe. The lathe is a manually operated recording device that produces recordings similar in sound to the wax cylinders of old. The resulting recordings have a haunting quality transporting the listener to a bygone era. Both the interview and lathe recordings will be played for the first time on the Mona boat.
Radio Relay is a schedule of new artworks co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast. From the world’s first radio broadcast during the Easter Rising to the first trench-radio experiments in the Battle of the Somme, radio technology has played an important role. From 17th to 20th June 2016, Radio Relay tunes into the magic of radio with new commissions from Graham Fagen, Paddy Bloomer, Colm Clarke, Philip Hession, Gareth Moore, Sara Morrison and Mhairi Sutherland. Join us at one of the Radio Relay sites, tune in at home or experience extracts at www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk.
About the artist:
Phil Hession is a visual artist based in Belfast and Rotterdam who works in performance and video. He exhibits and performs internationally. He is represented by Golden Thread Gallery.
Phil would like to thank Hans Knot both for his interview and for providing material from his extensive offshore radio archive.
Phil would also like to thank Martin Carter and Paddy Bloomer of Lawrence Street Workshops, Belfast for their help in the design and construction of the lathe.
1pm, Sunday 19th June 2016,The Mona, Lagan Weir, Belfast