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chris cutler podcast series 'Probes' on Radio Web MACBA



Downloadable programmes and transcripts with playlists

PROBES 1 20.08.2012 (45' )

The first programme sets the scene and investigates early reconsiderations of pitch: probes that postulate new scales to be constructed through the ever-greater subdivision of the inherited intervals of equal temperament. Link to Probes 1 

PROBES AUXILIARY 1.2 18.10.2012 (30' 14'')
The Auxiliaries - all music, no talk - collect materials related to each episode and try to give a broader - and more immediate - impression of the field. For these you need to download the playlist too, to know what's what.   Link to Probes 1.2

PROBES 2 03.12.2012 (46' 10'')
Continues to explore probes into pitch, this time through its effective obliteration through ceaseless movement, sliding tones, and radical portamenti which defy all quantisation. Link to Probes 2

PROBES AUXILIARY 2.2 23.01.2013 (33' 16'')

In this music selection we look further at alternative tuning systems based on the naturally occurring harmonic series, opening up a potentially infinite series of customised Just Intonation scales.

Link to Probes 2.2

PROBES 3 25.02.2013 (54' 03'')
This is where pitch becomes weightless and all that is solid melts into air: futurism, noise, electricity, ecstasy and uncertainty. We look at the lure and power of sliding tones. Link to Probes 3

PROBES AUXILIARY 3.2 09.05.2013 (32' 22'')
In this music selection we look further at probes into pitch, this time through its effective obliteration through ceaseless movement, sliding tones, and radical portamenti which defy all quantisation. Link to Probes 3.2

PROBES 4 25.06.2013 (57' 50'')
This fourth programme looks at another dimension of portamenti, and moves on into early twentieth century ideas of colour, timbre and the contested territory of noise. Link to Probes 4

PROBES 4.2 22.07.2013 (35' 38'')

The fourth auxiliary continues to look sliding pitches, concentrating this time on their use in popular music, before moving on to wholly unpitched probes that begin to map the many aspects of differentiated noise. Link to Probes 4.2

PROBES 5 27.08.2013 (56' 01'')
This fifth episode looks at timbre and the many routes to its extension, and then explores the somewhat exotic range of modifications, preparations and ways of subverting pianos that have been tried to date. Link to Probes 5

PROBES 5.2 30.09.2013 (30' 11'')
This fifth auxiliary investigates further ways of piano preparations: is the torture never going to end? Link to Probes 5.2

PROBES 6 21.11.2013 (57' 22'')
There's no end of things that have been laid on, tied to, screwed into or otherwise attached to alter the sound of conventional instruments. This sixth programme draws a map and explores some of the outer reaches of string and wind preparations. Link to Probes 6

PROBES 6.2 19.12.2013 (29' 57'')
This music selection investigates further preparations of stringed and brass instruments, in the quest for novel sounds. Link to Probes 6.2

PROBES 7 05.03.2014 (57' 38'')
PROBES #7 examines some of the preparations applied to percussion and voice before beginning to look at the recovery and invention of extended performance techniques; starting with the piano. Link to Probes 7

PROBES 7.2 24.04.2014 (29' 27'')
This auxiliary investigates preparations for percussion and extended techniques for piano. Link to Probes 7.2

PROBES 8 14.07.2014 (62' 33'')
In this eighth instalment, Chris Cutler presents modifications of string instruments that seek to move away from tonality while maintaining coherence. Link to Probes 8

PROBES 8.2 30.09.2014 (48' 21'')
This auxiliary explores extended techniques for strings. Link to Probes 8.2

PROBES 9 30.09.2014 (48' 21'')
In this ninth instalment, Chris Cutler investigates some extraordinary extended techniques for wind instruments and percussion and how they have been used. Link to Probes 9

PROBES 9.2 06.11.2014 (30' 29'')
This auxiliary explores extended techniques for percussion and winds. Link to Probes 9.2

PROBES 10 15.12.2014 (57' 24'')
The first of two programmes that trace probes into the limits and extended uses of the human voice. Link to Probes 10

PROBES 10.2 27.01.2015 (28' 32'')
More vocal probes. Link to Probes 10.2

PROBES 11 11.03.2015 (61' 03'')
The extended voice, part 2. Link to Probes 11

PROBES 11.2 10.04.2015 (30' 58'')
Yet more vocal probes. Link to Probes 11.2

PROBES 12 30.04.2015 (52' 17'')
The incorporation of ancient instruments, part 1: The Harpsichord. Link to Probes 12

PROBES 12.2 25.05.2015 (30' 32'')
More harpsichords. Link to Probes 12.2

PROBES 13 09.06.2015 (53' 22'')
Tracks the recovery and reassignment of ancient and folk instruments in unfamiliar contexts. Link to Probes 13

PROBES 13.2 10.08.2015 (29' 49'')
Digs into new sounds made with long-forgotten instruments. Link to Probes 13.2

PROBES 14 15.09.2015 (44' 37'')

We take a detour to show how a collision of folk mechanisms, social upheaval, sound recording and electrification underpinned the growth of a new polyglot musical language, and a new aesthetic constituency. Link to Probes 14

<there is no 14.2>

PROBES 15 19.10.2015 (49' 48'')
Looks at experimental uses of the more intractable folk instruments: bagpipes, hurdy gurdy and harmonica. Is nothing sacred? Link to Probes 15

PROBES 15.2 (03.12.2015)

bagpipes, zithers, harmonicas and hurdy-gurdys do things they aren’t supposed to do in contexts in which they aren’t supposed to do them... rather brillantly.

Link to Probes 15.2

PROBES 16 14.01.2016 (49' 22'')
banjos, mandolins, balalaikas and the jew’s harp are made to do unaccustomed and groundbreaking things. Link to Probes 16

PROBES 16.2 01.02.2016 (29' 26'')
we wonder how far you can go with banjos, mandolins, balalaikas, jew’s harps and ensembles of folk instruments. And it’s pretty far. Link to Probes 16.2

PROBES 17 26.02.2016 (48' 04'')
we trace how the gamelan collided with western notions of music and exotic percussion spread like a virus into every field. Link to Probes 17

PROBES 17.2  08.03.2016 (28' 20'')
This new auxiliary wallows in the gamelan, trips into stretched percussion and then slides helplessly into exotic byways. Link to Probes 17.2

PROBES 18 29.04.2016 (57' 02'')
lowly percussion is raised high and we enter in the hyperreal world of hi-fi stereo, pure listening and exotica. Link to Probes 18



And here you can find the complete series of PROBES



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