Suss Müsik on CKRL 89.1 [Translated]

Roughly translated from French, broadcast from Quebec on Sunday 16 October 2022.

[opening track plays]

So hello everyone! Welcome to the ear hook1. Glad to see you again this evening, from the Sickert2 studios and CKRL 89.1 in Quebec, the radio that loves sound. La Croche Oreille is a program of sound art, unclassifiable music, and experimentation specially designed for listening or simply said.

For the pleasure of your ears, I present to you this evening two sound universes. In the first part of the show, I am pleased to welcome the sound creations of the American artist Kel Smith, who broadcasts his work under the title Suss Müsik. In the second part of the show, we listen together to some of the new sound creations by the artist Yann Marte, which I had the opportunity to present to you in the winter of 2019, an artist whose artistic work is particularly innovative.

But first, to launch the show, I suggest that we listen without delay to a sound creation by Kel Smith, an artist who lives and works in a neighborhood in North Philadelphia. Graduated from art school, but with a mind haunted by numbers, Kel Smith is fascinated by how science and art cross. I open the quotes; he says, “I like working with obsolete technologies, broken machines, good at recycling. I got into sound in 2016 because working with audio material seemed like a natural follow-on to this do-it-yourself aesthetic that inspires me.”

So here we go, we’re going to listen to a first track that’s taken from an album called Dotbox, a track called “Edification” to put yourself in the spirit that animates the works of Kel Smith: “works created around strange electronic sounds, produced with strange electronic machines.”

[track plays]

So, we listened to this first title “Edification,” a very beautiful piece by which Smith dissolved, music edification, a piece that illustrates these happy accidents of creation so dear to many artists. So Kel puts on a creation using handmade electroacoustic instruments and custom midi devices.

As I mentioned, Kel maintains a very fruitful passion for these links that unite art and science. Among his first albums, we find among others the one entitled Paraphasia, an album which illustrates this passion. Paraphasia, per Kel Smith, is a neurological speech disturbance resulting from a brain injury in which words are mixed up. Sentences are rendered meaningless. It also happens [when] the syllables of a word are omitted or even mixed up.

That’s what Suss Müsik was inspired by in this project, focusing on “sound fragments of audio detritus created by faulty systems or even inspired by affects or, even better, states of mind manifested in the form of tonality,” says Smith. “It’s music to stay waiting for something to happen.”

So we listen to a piece entitled “Henkogning” was taken from the album Paraphasia by Kel Smith, Suss Müsik.

[track plays]

A very beautiful piece by Suss Müsik taken from the album Paraphasia. [I] found elsewhere on the web some video publications of Suss Müsik which illustrates the electronic do-it-yourself spirit of some written works that Kel also published. A very interesting book entitled Digital Outcasts, in which he documents many technological innovations inspired in particular by people with disabilities. “It has to do with our intrinsic need to build, to create, “says Kel Smith. You will find the reference links on the La Croche Oreille website for publications.

So to complete this first half, I suggest that we listen this time to two titles from a very beautiful album entitled SixesOverEights. A tribute to life as a prototype, it is based on the theme of adaptation, the subject of his book. Moreover, we find an instrumentation composed of a prepared piano, kalimba with amplification, homemade synth; distressed fake marimba, playing with a flashlight, depersonalized voices. In short, we listen to the tracks “SOE1” and “SOE4” of the album entitled SixesOverEights.

[first track plays]
[second track plays]

So that’s what completes the first half of the show in the company of Kel Smith Suss Müsik whose links you will find references to [his] books on the site, the ear hook3 on the web, you’ll find it easily. So here we are. I come back after a brief promo [break] and to complete this half, we listen to a title taken from the very last album of Kel Smith. An album entitled New Hopes. We listen to a piece called “Pafko Oils.” Very nice piece. So there you go. So that’s what completes the show for tonight.

[closing track plays]

1From context, “ear hook” probably translates either as “podcast” or “radio show recording.”

2Possibly named after Walter Sickert, the British artist? Perhaps someone from Quebec can confirm.

3Same as 1