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WANTED: Music To Play In The Dark
Luke Turner , September 21st, 2012 11:52

Join Wire, Carter Tutti, Richard X, Blancmange, Factory Floor & more in having your music broadcast to thee wilderness

News reached the Quietus this week of an interesting music and art event called The Dark - Outside that's happening up in the wilds of southern Scotland. Organised by Stuart Mclean (who we know as @Frenchbloke) on Twitter, it sees music being transmitted into the wilderness at the dead of night, with nobody around... for miles. Location photo above.

You are invited (if you dare) to come to a local car park and tune in to a certain frequency to be among the tiny audience for this one-off event (find out more at this website. Frenchbloke put out a call for musicians to contribute tracks to play to the back of beyond. It's fair to say that he's managed to put together one of the festivals of the autumn - and only the (red) squirrels get to hear it.

This is who is contributing so far: Scanner and Stephen Vitiello, TVO, JD Twitch, Kontour, Severed Heads, DJ Food, Pye Corner Audio, Erstlaub, Freelance Hellraiser, Ebrat, The Eccentronic Research Council, Gareth Jones, Martyn Ware, Mary Hill, Konx Om Pax, Naum Gabo, Guy Veale, Gabe of Factory Floor, Antoni Maiovvi, The Herbaliser, Dave Graham,The Outer Church, Cnut, Jeff Noon, Gentlemans Union, Uschi No Mischi, Security, Brend,Dayton Madison, Jim Jarmo, Heate Rson, Unknown Clothing, Love Without Sound, John Chantler, Regolith, Anton caligula Maiof, Juxtagon, Tara Busch/I Speak Machhine, SDFKT, Wrong Island, The Strangest Pet on Earth, Laica23, The Dead Heavys. The Darkening Scale, Colin Newman/Wire, Blancmange, Sommet, Datassette, Eva Perouk, Wig, Art School Orchestra of Leeds, Dave Walklett, George Hinchliffe, Diz Willis Sons & Daughters, by way of an unreleased Wrong Island remix, Autodespair, Christopher Umney, Imogen Heap, by way of an unreleased mix by Adi Carter, Jesse Hackett, Laica, Soundhog, Dave Clark, Carter Tutti, Exotic Pylon & Jonny Mugwump... Richard X. UPDATE 27 September 2012... latest artist added... Nicola 'Girls Aloud' Roberts!

Says Frenchbloke: "I would not like to be alone in a car, in forest, at night with some of these on."

So how did this all come about?

Frenchbloke: The project (The Dark - Outside) is part of a collaboration between Frenchbloke and artists, Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges, who are the first artists in Residence in the Dumfries and Galloway Dark Skies Park. I (frenchbloke) was askd to come up with a piece of music celebrating the Voyager Space Probes and the Blind Willie Johnson track that is contained on the Golden Record it carries. I had a few other suggestions for radio such as transmitting tweets sent to a specific account converted into Morse Code and broadcast for a specific length of time. Then I had the idea to broadcast peoples music that nobody has ever heard to a forest where possibly nobody will hear it.

What's the connection between space and a remote Scottish forest?

The area has been designated as a dark skies park because of the lack of light pollution and subsequent clear view of the stars. There are only a couple of dark skies parks in Europe.

What sort of music are you looking for? Does anything go?

Anything goes. We've had people making something especially for it which is far better than we could have hoped for. Some tracks will never have been aired publicly before.

Do you get afraid of the dark?

I don't - It gets dark here often. You can walk from the village (Wigtown) to the next one (Bladnoch) at night and it's like sensory deprivation. No street lights, you know there's a pavement on one side and a slight ditch where there's a hedge on the other but you can't see them at all. It's even darker in the forest. Can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face dark. On a clear night the sky is stunning. I'd never seen skies like it before moving here. You can make out the Milky Way, all the visible planets and the ISS is quite something as it flies overhead.

And will you be afraid if some nutter does turn up with a tape recorder?

One nutter has volunteered already. (Hello Guy)