Jon Ciliberto’s Radio Works is composed of five pieces: Radio Ethnographer; Radio Trio; Two Circles of FM Feedback, Related; Radio Centipede; and Three Part Frequency. The first uses radio as a method of ethnographic encounter, while the remaining four utilize short-range FM transmitters and radios as instruments.
I. Radio Ethnographer (21:49) Video
Radio is often public in other ways. For instance, when radio inside a car is often audible from outside the car. This ethnographic survey uses this overlap between public and private radio to discover the radio culture of a particular time and place. For an hour during rush hour in Atlanta, GA, Ciliberto took an audio survey of the radio escaping from the private cars of myriad drivers. Many drivers willingly let him get close to their radios and capture them quite intimately; in other instances, the radio spills from cars and intermixes with ambient noise.
II. Radio Trio (04:54)
A simple exploration of the sonic possibilities of short range FM transmission.
- One handheld radio’s audio output is sent to a short range FM transmitter.
- A second radio is tuned to the transmitter’s FM frequency. Video
- Moving the first radio nearer or closer to the second creates FM radio effects. Video
- A stereo in the room picks up the transmission; audible through room speakers.
III. Two Circles of FM Feedback, Related (06:17) Video
- Two wireless FM intercoms (left and right), are placed near enough to feedback with one another.
- First radio (left) is tuned to 108.0 MHz; short range FM transmitter is plugged into its audio out, transmitting at 108.0 MHz.
- Second radio (right) is tuned to 108.0.
- Right FM intercom also picks up second radio’s sound and transmits it to left intercom.
- Variations are created by tuning the radio dials, adjusting the intercoms’ volumes, and moving the devices physically.
IV. Radio Centipede (06:47)
For Radio Centipede, Ciliberto created feedback by tuning a radio to a frequency, then plugging a short-range FM transmitter set to that same frequency into the radio’s audio output. Here, this arrangement is repeated three times, with the resulting audio recorded from the last radio in the chain. In this recording each radio is tuned very lightly throughout, moving around the transmission/reception frequency.
V. Three Part Frequency (14:04)
- Three instruments, each transmitting to the same FM frequency. Resulting recording is from one radio.
- Three instruments, each transmitting to a different FM frequency. Resulting recording is from three separate radios.
Korg Microkorg >> 87.7 MHz >> Sony ICF 7601
Roland Juno 60 >> 107.9 MHz >> Panasonic RC-X220
Casio SK-1 >> 102.0 MHz >> Degen DE1125
Jon Ciliberto is a musician, visual artist, and writer. He was born in New Jersey (1968), moved to Tennessee in 1979 and then Georgia in 1984, attended Vanderbilt University (1991), the University of Hawai‘i (1994), and Georgia State University College of Law (2015). Some recent works for radio include Sonata for Sweep Dial Radios (2015) and Down the Dial (2014).