PADUCAH, KY (11/02/2018) The beginnings of radio began in the late 19th century with Guglielmo Marconi's coded transmitted signals that traveled just a few miles. While radio has grown exponentially since then, it's also changed and adapted for new types of audiences, delivery methods and innovations. This includes an idea for sound artist, composer and teacher Jay Needham, who has taken radio transmission to a new and unique level.
Needham, who teaches at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, will showcase his sound art work with Radio Piano in West Kentucky Community and Technical College's Clemens Fine Art Center November 10 at 7:30 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Needham's Radio Piano is a composition for extended piano and concert hall that involves the use of discrete FM transmissions from within and around a grand piano. Each performance is unique as the composition is created by gathering live radio signals and remixing their energies and content for transmission to the audience.
"Radio Piano is part of our Exposure Series that makes it possible for audiences and artists to join together for exploring ideas about our world with an interdisciplinary and more education-based approach. Jay creates a visionary performance and brings the audience and artist together on the stage where he combines the analog and digital worlds to create sounds that disperse into the ether," said Clemens Fine Arts Center Director Todd Birdsong. "Most people know what a piano is and what a radio is and how they both work. Jay redefines your understanding of these two things and introduces us to a new and unique way of seeing and experiencing these everyday objects."
Needham works across multiple creative platforms, striving to affect positive change and to bridge the gap between the arts and the sciences. His sound art, works for radio and visual art have appeared at museums, festivals and on the airwaves worldwide.
His works have appeared at critically acclaimed festivals such as Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt Gremany; Pixel Ache, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; International Festival of Antarctic Arts and Culture in Buenos Aires, Argentina; dLux Media Arts, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia; and the Rapid Pulse International Festival of Performance Art in Chicago.
He is a member of the boards of the World Forum of Acoustic Ecology, the Institute for Neotropical Conservation and serves as president of Carbondale Community Arts. He received a master's of fine arts degree the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts.