ROAM Om: Sonic Spirit Quests for Armchair Bodhisattvas and Yogis-in-Training

The time has come to light the flame. The scent of sulphur from spent matches hangs in the air, mingling with that of fresh cut flowers. You can’t say how long the drummers have been drumming. You anticipate the commencement of the ritual with excitement and trepidation. Who will I be in the morning when the fire has exhausted itself? The figure crouching at your side, face obscured by a mask with exaggerated features, shakes a rattle, which sounds exactly like a swarm of insects. He motions at you. And you begin to dance as if for the first time in your life…

For this 12th installment of the ROAM audiozine series we invited contributors to explore the topics of spirituality and ritual in all of their many manifestations.

In order to place these metaphysical reflections into conversation with each other, the ROAM Staff devised an aural ritual all its own.

For ease of listening, the movements of this ritual in sound can be broken into three major events:

1. Setting the Fire

Sometimes the vacuum of skepticism provides the most profound opportunities for spiritual growth. And this is precisely where ROAM OM’s ritual begins. Incited by the sparking of the pyre, we pivot from a space of playful doubt (Katie Robertson) into a celebration of our spiritual heritages (Ben Coleman) that then gives way to a depiction of a private ritual (Will Mitchell). This first movement is punctuated by recordings of religious ceremonies documented in Haiti by a special pair of world-traveling truth-seekers (Orenda and Todd Fink).

2. The Fire Blazes

But perhaps we’ve let our guard down too soon, allowing spirituality’s grandiose promises of peace and prosperity to lull us into complacency? Our ritual’s midpoint is a confrontation with the darker sides of orthodoxy and the seductive power of religious rhetoric. Recasting the febrile speech of sanctified televangelizers, our sound artists (Aaron King and John Hannah) invite us to listen closely to these feverish exhortations. With the flame’s forked tongues lapping at the night sky, our sonic spiritual quest reaches its fever pitch with a satirical subversion of the fire-and-brimstone oration that preceded it (Mike Morgan).

3. The Flame Dissipates

With our palates now thoroughly cleansed our final movement commences. We’re able to re-enter the cathedral with open hearts and clear minds as an organ-steeped neo-hymn transports us into transcendent contemplative realms (Thayer Sarrano). For some the sheer act of listening is the most solemnly spiritual gesture of them all. As the fuel for our fire dwindles, we pause to absorb the “music” that our environments make irrespective of our wishes and intentions (Meta Gary). At the final leg of our journey we find not a conclusion but a return to our immediate surroundings and the notion that “religion” is not something we must seek after but is a phenomenon that always envelops us.

Many thanks to all of our yogis-in-training who made this episode of ROAM a third ear-opening experience. Catch y’all under the bodhi tree.

ROAM is for your ears to see.

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When In ROAM: Audio Postcards from the Four Corners of the Globe

Around the world in 20 minutes we go!

At ROAM we are no strangers to the intoxicating experiences of wanderlust. And that is why this month, as the summer bids farewell, we challenged contributors to create a piece of sound art that encapsulates a journey they have taken to distant lands where all is exotically unfamiliar.

When In ROAM is a portal jumping story in sound, an adventurous travelogue that captures the arc and sweep of the cumulative trip. Our ROAMers were asked to recreate the thrust and momentum, the dizzying highs and crushing lows that characterized their jetlagged experiences of wielding passports, crossing borders, and fumbling for that perfect verb conjugation. The resulting audio montage drives us from Cumberland Islands to China twice, flying across the hills of Tennessee and riding a camel o’er to lovely Toronto, Canada. Did I mention we’re taking the bus to India?

Pack your bags because we’re leaving now. No time to grab the compass or fanny pack. Grab your best headphones. You’ll need them for where you’re ROAMing. When in ROAM is the 11th installment in the ROAMtransmissions series, where our motto is ROAM is for your ears to see.

 A GIANT THANKS to all of our jet-setting sound scientists for taking us along on their summer excursions, it feels like we’re still there with you:

Paige Adair
Madeline Adams
Mike Albanese
Sarah Bohling
Daniel Clay
Sam Martin
Doc Matysiak
Graham Patrick Ulicny

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ROAM is the podcast that marries sonic collages once a month created by a crew of new sound scientists, all then meticulously arranged by the ROAM staff with an abstract theme in mind. Let your ears see more.

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ROAM, Me Worry?: A Gut-Busting Grab-bag of Sonic Sight Gags

Q: Knock, knock.
A: Who’s there?
Q: ROAM.
A: ROAM who?
Q: How the ROAM should I know!?… (cough)

For this month’s gut-busting episode the ROAM staff, in collaboration with legendarily off-color talk radio personality Cap’n Stan Beastin™, asked our group of sound comedians and comediennes to take a break from the harsh demands of the stand-up circuit and send us the funniest soundbites they’ve ever captured.

What follows is a psychedelic spin on the classic talk radio formula in which master of ceremonies Beastin and his quasi-mute sidekick Steve unveil their exclusive collection of comic curiosities.

But rest assured: This ain’t your Aunt Wanda’s idea of a typical morning show…

Humor comes in many guises each with an ability to leave us splitting at the seams in its own unique way: The tall tale. The one-liner. The groaner. The classic zinger. Knee-slappers, funny-bone ticklers and guffaws of all sizes. And as one of this month’s contributors teaches us laughter can also be a form of spiritual discipline.

So listen up, all you crank-calling jokesters and former classroom cutups: A kaleidoscopic assortment of sonic sight gags awaits you as ROAM boldly attempts to split the difference between the age old schism dividing the funny-ha-ha from the funny-make-you-think.

If laughter is indeed the best medicine then this installment of ROAM is your 24-hour funny pharmacy and Stan Beastin is your attending physician.

A note from the ROAM staff: We asked the contributors to this podcast to refrain from using flatulation in their final submissions. Yes, farts are funny. We won’t disagree with you there. But if we didn’t draw a line, this whole flippin’ podcast would be brimful of “phits,” “phooms,” and a few stinky burps.

Rest up and ROAM hard!

A great big joy buzzer jolt to all of this month’s hilarious contributors:

Rebecca Blankenship
Ian Cone
Cristen Conger
Bradford Cox
DJ & Ice
Trey Duke
Korey Epps & Thomas Fine
Tobin Hines
Laraaji
Matt Magnuson
Michelle Murphy
Odin Smith
Dana Snyder & Lear Bunda
Thomas Stuart
Dana Swanson
Jared Swilley

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Curated by David Matysiak, engineered by Mason Brown, conceptualized by Devin Brown, and designed by Jordan Noel, ROAM is a monthly experimental podcast that marries individual audio collages based on a theme and a new cast of contributors. ROAM is all about sonically scoring moments for our collective digital time capsule. ROAM is for your ears to see.

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ROAM Vs. Wild: A Sound Safari through Uncharted Earscapes

On this episode of Roam vs. Wild, we asked our ROAMers to gather sounds from their ecosystems and mold new soundscapes, create new lifeforms. The creatures we hear on this transmission are sure to encourage your feral side to stretch wide.

We safari through the concrete jungle of Colombia, through the towering rain forests of the Congo. We hear creatures never heard on tape before! The ROAM staff collaged these aural samples together to paint a sonic portrait of indigenous wildlife in a wondrous new composite. The aural artifact that remains is exquisite in it’s ability to lure the listener across the suspension bridge of disbelief.

For this journey remember, your ears are the camera lens. Pack a dry pair of socks, your best headphones and the imagination you were born with and ROAM into the wild! Beware the pheromones of the curious boingo beetle, for his powers are still not yet completely known.

Rest up and roam hard!

A huge thank you to this month’s wild contributors:
Tera Buerkle
Adam Bruneau
Amy Cobden
Joe Dames
Josh Fowler
Matt Magnuson
Bob Nanna
Cyrus Shamir
Chris White

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Curated by David Matysiak, engineered by Mason Brown, conceptualized by Devin Brown, and designed by Jordan Noel, ROAM is a monthly experimental podcast that marries individual audio collages based on a theme and a new cast of contributors. ROAM is all about sonically scoring moments for our collective digital time capsule. ROAM is for your ears to see.

For More: roamtransmissions.tumblr.com/

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ROAM in the Family: A Scrapbook of Sonic Snapshots

Good afternoon extended family and friends,

In this month’s podcast, we asked our ROAMers to explore the theme of family by creating a new audio collage using archived materials or new recordings to engage the concept in all of its literal and figurative manifestations. The individual collages were then stitched together to create what you are hearing now, a candid soundscape that is equal parts inspiring and heartbreaking.

Metaphorically, ‘ROAM in the Family’ walks us through a giant old house, around the tall grass in the backyard, through the portals of time and space. We meet your father, who is coincidentally in the same room as my grandmother and your friend’s step-son. We meet the ghosts of those we have lost. We hear the sounds of those not yet old enough to express their words yet. We hear our collective, timeless family as if it were truly one organism.

This podcast, our most heartfelt transmission yet, reminds us of the gravity each moment holds, the spectrum each moment has the potential to stretch, reminding us of the wonderful people, places, pets and things we meet along time’s winding roads. We are family, roaming together.

A huge thank you to the amazing cast of participants this month who shared their families, their stories and their hearts with us all.

GO TO YOUR ROAM and listen right this minute on your headphones!

This month’s family:

Devin Brown
Stefanie Drootin
Dereck Higgins [ROAM Testimonial]
Julie Hines
Meredith Kooi
Ingrid Magnuson
Jordan Noel
Katie Robertson & family
Wil Wright [ROAM Testimonial]

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Curated by David Matysiak, engineered by Mason Brown, conceptualized by Devin Brown, and designed by Jordan Noel, ROAM is a monthly experimental podcast that marries individual audio collages based on a theme and a new cast of contributors. ROAM is all about sonically scoring moments for our collective digital time capsule. ROAM is for your ears to see.

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I Just Had the Weirdest ROAM…: A Somnambulatory Romp through the Collective Unconscious

 Dearest Dream ROAMers,

We’ve all done it: You have the most insane dream where your Dad is an alien viking, working at a hotdog stand in the mall. But the mall is actually a UFO dealership on Pluto! And HOLY CRAP! Your dog just walked up, bought a footlong hotdog with extra crab sauce and said, “Dog on dog, dawg,” and with a shrug walked off, but not before morphing into some weird reptilian dog-faced creature that’s part dog and part salamander and part God knows what else…

Yeah, we’ve all had that one. And we’ve all experienced the difficulty of translating our dreams, turning them into stories or fables in order to make them understandable to ourselves and others.

For this dreamiest of ROAM podcasts we asked our contributors to focus on a single dream–a vision they had while swaddled in the deepest of REM cycles, an idealistic aspiration, a projection of a version of themselves or of the world that could only be captured in the loftiest of languages–and translate that vision into a single sonic artifact.  

The resulting pieces, which were sequenced and further manipulated by the ROAM Transmissions staff, function as windows overlooking the vistas of all that is larger and stranger than our waking minds can readily comprehend.

They provide access to psychic forces we only fool ourselves into thinking we can subdue or rationalize away. Just as dreams collapse Space and Time these pieces also conflate the two. Because in dreams all is subject to mutation and nothing is solid these little aural jaunts into the dreamverse are also malleable and plastic.

We’ve heard it said that the recounting of a dream can only ever meet the needs of the dreamer, that narrating your dreams is always a self-serving enterprise because the world of the dream is far too impenetrable and hermetic to transform successfully into the logic of the waking workaday world.

But perhaps this is not the fault of the dream but rather of the methods through which the dream takes shape outside of the dreamer’s mind.

For this 7th installment of the ROAM podcast series we challenged our incredible collection of contributors to compose a piece of sound art that is the encapsulation of a dream, a vision, a nightmare that is so compelling and concretely manifested as to render obsolete this cliche about the pointlessness of narrating our dreams.            

As always, thank you for listening. And remember: Sleep tight and don’t let them bedbugs bite.

Contributors:

Madeline Adams
Shitty Bedford
Mason Brown
Patrick Fadely
Orenda Fink
David Matysiak
Ross Politi
Valentina Tapia [ROAM testimonial]
Allen Taylor

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Roam is a new monthly podcast series curated by David Matysiak, engineered by Mason Brown, conceptualized by Devin Brown, and designed by Jordan Noel.
***

ROAM: roamtransmissions.tumblr.com/

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To ROAM with L*ve: A Collaborative Found Sound Collage for the Cyrano De Bergerac in Us All

Dearly Beloved Listeners:

Do you remember the last time you received a love letter? The last time you wrote one?

There is a fear in this print-weary Information Age of ours that letters of all sorts, but perhaps especially love letters, will join the dinos and the dodos as an extinct genre of expression.

Who will carry on the traditions of such formidable romantic scribblers as F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald or of Abelard and Heloise who arguably exchanged the greatest erotic correspondences in all of Western history?

At ROAM we believe the love letter is not a dying breed. Rather it is in desperate need of formal mutation. That is why we charged the contributors to the latest in this ongoing podcast series to create a sound piece that centers upon the topic of Love in all its many manifestations.

Each contribution to this month’s lovelorn installment of ROAM is addressed explicitly or implicitly to a specific person, place, pet, process, product, or concept that weakens our contributors’ knees, that makes their hearts race and their palms sweat when they think of it, him, or her.

But because all is fair on the battlefield of love we issued a challenge to each of our contributors:

Since “love” means so very many things to so many people it occupies a strange and indeterminate space in our lexicon. Due to this problem with love’s legibility we asked our contributors to use synonyms, analogues, placeholders, and silences in their submissions where they might otherwise have used the word “love.”

In our podcast dedicated to Eros our contributors therefore launch their love barbs like little Cupids-in-training without once uttering the “L” word.

Having received our cache of perfume-redolent, secret admirer-style, and missed connections-esque audio correspondences, the curators at ROAM then lovingly sequenced our contributors’ submissions, punctuating each sonic epistle with found sounds appropriated from soap operas, telenovelas, and the dating game shows of yesteryear.   

The resulting 20-minute journey through love’s winding passageways is the type of many-faceted gemstone you might like to plunk on the ring finger of your beloved. Or else it’s the kind of thing that’ll inspire you to pull a Lloyd Dobler, hoisting blaring boomboxes to the heavens in hopes of finally getting your sweetheart’s attention.                      

Contributors:

Madeline Adams
Bowen Betts
Mason Brown
Will Fussell
Tim Kasher
Josh McKay
David Matysiak
Bob Nanna
Jordan Noel
Chris White

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Roam is a new monthly podcast series curated by David Matysiak, engineered by Mason Brown, conceptualized by Devin Brown, and designed by Jordan Noel.
***

ROAM: roamtransmissions.tumblr.com/

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Sick Birds Die Easy coming to Atlanta

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CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
*One Night Only!

JUST ANNOUNCED: Following the screening Nik Fackler, director of Sick Birds Die Easy, will be in appearance for a special Q&A. Limited ticket availability.

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Sick Birds Die Easy: A New American Film by Nik Fackler

Exploring the worlds of white privilege, magical realism and the apocalypse, Director Nik Fackler takes a drug addled conspiracy theorist, an entitled love drunk musician, and an American film crew deep into the jungles of Western Africa, searching for Iboga, an extremely potent psychedelic plant said to have the ability to heal drug addiction. What initially begins as a trip towards enlightenment, becomes a desperate attempt at maintaining sanity.

With a mad mix of compellingly hilarious characters, experimental drug use and an array of expertly wielded lo-fi and hi-fi cameras. Fackler capably explodes the fiction / non-fiction divide with an alarming self consciousness and ever more surprising degree of sincerity. Delving into mysticism, politics, colonialism and human nature, Sick Birds Die Easy is a mind bending, fantastical social experiment that will leave you laughing and questioning your own understanding of reality.
Winner of the New Horizon Polish Film Festival and one of the most controversial, unique and drug filled films of the year.

WATCH THE OFFICIAL TRAILER:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  *  TWITTER  *  FACEBOOK  *  VINE

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Roam 4 The Holidaze 5

CCA 2013 Holidaze Cover 5

On New Year’s Day 2014 Roam–a new monthly podcast series curated by David Matysiak, engineered by Mason Brown, and conceptualized by Devin Brown–will present its annual winter audio compilation Roam 4 the Holidaze. The fifth installment in an ongoing series that began in winter 2009, Roam 4 the Holidaze 5 features recordings by 26 musicians, artists, and everyday field recordists who hail from parts as near as Metro Atlanta and as geographically far afield as Israel and India.

Unlike in years past, Matysiak challenged contributors to isolate “found sounds” captured in 2013 and to use this documentary material to craft their sonic submissions. Matysiak’s intention was to create an aural time capsule of sorts, a document of idiosyncratic and highly personal moments from the past year that listeners can train their attentions to as they look forward to what awaits them in 2014.

But these new criteria for submissions are not the only new additions to this year’s Roam 4 the Holidaze compilation. Instead of presenting the collection as a series of discrete tracks as they have done in the past, Matysiak and Mason Brown have instead carefully sequenced and segued all of the submissions into a single, continuous listening experience.

Clocking in at just under one hour, Roam 4 the Holidaze 5 invites listeners to explore the time-bound environments, moods, and textures that each of its contributors have captured and manipulated while emphasizing also the ways in which these experiences are themselves interconnected as reflections of a tightly-webbed community of artists, musicians, documentarians, and friends.

Roam 4 the Holidaze 5 also inaugurates the new Roam podcast series, which will release a theme-driven audio journey ten times per year on the first Monday of every month. (A summer installment of Roam will be released in July/August and Roam for the Holidaze will return in its sixth iteration in January of 2015.)

Roam’s next podcast, “To Roam with Love,” will tackle the topics of romance, fidelity, and the variably long and short shelf lives of romantic relationships. It will be released here on February 3rd.

 Thank you thank you thank you to all of the amazingly talented and über inspiring collaborators this year:

Cole Alexander
Brandon Betts
Devin Brown
Mason Brown
Frank Broyles
Adam Bruneau
Ian Cone
Nik Fackler
Todd Fink
Dereck Higgins
Jack Hines
Ingrid Magnuson
Heather Kemp
Zopi Kristjanson
David Matysiak
Colin Mee
Andrew Nicholson
Jordan Noel
Lockett Pundt
Katie & Wayne Robertson
Zumi Rosow
Cyrus Shamir
Everett Steele
Thomas Stuart
Dana Swanson
Chelsea Weyler

Read more from Pitchfork and Death and Taxes. 

Roam on.

 

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HOLIDAY DOWNLOAD: New Dereck Higgins tracks

 

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2 brand new songs for your ears to sip on, a Holiday present from Dereck Higgins.

Look for his new album in early 2014.

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