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Dub Plants + Estuary Acoustic Radio 2022 Joe Namy

Focal Point Gallery
Part of Receiver

Listen here to a new audio work by Joe Namy as part of Receiver, a free exhibition at Focal Point Gallery, Southend’s free art gallery, located just off Southend High Street until Friday 23rd December.

Joe Namy explores the historically connected kinship between radio culture and agriculture. The project, titled Dub Plants + Estuary Acoustic Radio dips into radio waves first transmitted across the Estuary in 1920, where the first live entertainment broadcast was streamed from Marconi’s Chelmsford workshop. This technology was later pirated in 1944, when one of the earliest works of electronic music was created using radio technology to dub a transmutated zaar healing ceremony by the visionary composer and creative ethnomusicologist Halim El Dabh in a radio studio in Cairo. Radio waves planting new sounds and dreams for growth and healing.

For Receiver, Namy expands this idea into an immersive installation at Focal Point Gallery containing bamboo plants and sounds for growth and regeneration. Plant biodata is translated into bass lines and amplified along with sonic frequencies scientifically calculated to promote plant growth, mixed with a playlist developed from workshops with Southend’s Project 49 group for adults with learning disabilities and Dagenham’s Ab Phab’ youth club, creating intros for dream shows. These sounds broadcast here online and at Focal Point Gallery serve as a reminder of the Estuary’s association with pioneering broadcast technology.

Receiver brings together four artists, Appau Jr Boayke-Yiadom, Frazer Merrick, Joe Namy, Nastassja Simensky to consider sound in relation to innovative technologies, and our understanding of place. It explores Essex’s historic and current relationship with broadcasting pioneering audio technologies, the movement of people and cultures, and the unique soundscapes of its coastline and estuaries. Receiver is on until Sunday 23 December.

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