Buon esito ha avuto, a detta dei protagonisti, la conferenza-concerto tenuta la scorsa settimana da Chris Cutler, Yumi Hara e Guy Harries per il ciclo Practice as Research per gli studenti dell'University of East London, anche per merito degli studenti stessi, coinvolti in prima persona nelle più cruciali fasi dell'allestimento tecnico audio e video dell'evento. Cutler ha parlato estesamente della serie di podcast Probes, da lui prodotta negli ultimi cinque anni per il Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Barcellona e correntemente diffusa da Radio Web MACBA. A questa serie è dedicato anche uno speciale apparso in questi giorni sul web in Perfect Sound Forever a cura di Jonas Vognsen.
Beginning in 2012, Ràdio Web MACBA – the online "non-profit research and transmission project" of The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art – has been hosting Probes, a series of podcasts curated by Chris Cutler, founder of ReR Megacorp and drummer of Henry Cow and Art Bears. The program delivers a comprehensive history of new musical developments over the last more than 100 years. As such, it deals not only with changes in technology and material circumstances, but is also a study in the life and spread of ideas.
Using part of Marshall McLuhans's conceptual framework as a starting point, the series has to date described various movements in the music of the industrialized world where composers and musicians shifted from a focus on pitch to more broad experimentation with timbre. Topics explored include prepared instruments, extended techniques, the use of ancient, folk and exotic instruments, portamenti and noise, as well as in-depth looks at the human voice, harpsichords, gamelan and exotica – with new instruments, non-musical objects, amplification and electrification coming up on the horizon. Probes is a unique resource, not to be missed by anyone interested in our contemporary world of music – and how we got here.