ELKA BONG, Staying With The Trouble

July 25, 2021

[1] String Figures 10:07
[2] Tentacular Thinking 10:05
[3] Symbiogenesis 10:02
[4] Making Kin 10:13

Al Margolis – viola [1,2], violin [3,4], contact mics
Walter Wright – Board Weevil, contact mics, objects, drums & percussion

Mixed by Walter Wright in Audacity.

“Chthonic ones are beings of the earth, both ancient and up-to-the-minute. I imagine chthonic ones as replete with tentacles, feelers, digits, cords, whiptails, spider legs, and very unruly hair. Chthonic ones romp in multicritter humus but have no truck with sky-gazing Homo. Chthonic ones are monsters in the best sense; they demonstrate and perform the material meaningfulness of earth processes and critters. They also demonstrate and perform consequences. Chthonic ones are not safe; they have no truck with ideologues; they belong to no one; they writhe and luxuriate in manifold forms and manifold names in all the airs, waters, and places of earth. They make and unmake; they are made and unmade. They are who are. No wonder the world’s great monotheisms in both religious and secular guises have tried again and again to exterminate the chthonic ones. The scandals of times called the Anthropocene and the Capitalocene are the latest and most dangerous of these exterminating forces.”
~ Donna J Haraway, Staying With The Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthlucene.

Donna J Haraway is an American Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States.

Haraway majored in Zoology, with minors in Philosophy and English at the Colorado College, on the full-tuition Boettcher Scholarship. Haraway moved to Paris and studied evolutionary philosophy and theology at the Fondation Teilhard de Chardin on a Fulbright scholarship. She completed her Ph.D. in Biology at Yale in 1972 writing a dissertation about the use of metaphor in shaping experiments in experimental biology.

Speculative fabulation is a concept which is included in many of Haraway’s works. It includes all of the wild facts that won’t hold stil. In She defines speculative fabulation as “a mode of attention, theory of history, and a practice of worlding,” and she finds it an integral part of scholarly writing and everyday life. In Haraway’s work she addresses a feminist speculative fabulation and its focusing on making kin.

Track titles are the titles of the first four chapters of the book.

ELKA BONG, Philo Farnsworth

June 13, 2021

[1] Nipkow Disks 10:27
[2] Iconoscopy 10:31
[3] Projected Oscillite 10:14
[4] Cold Cathode Dissector 10:23

Al Margolis – snare drum [1]; rusted tool box [2]; kalimba [3]; piano [4]
Walter Wright – amplified drum kit
Nico – homemade bowed strings with distortion, acoustic guitar [1,2]; circuit bent toy with effects [3]; trombone and vocals [4]

Philo Farnsworth worked out the principle of the image dissector in the summer of 1921, not long before his 15th birthday, and demonstrated the first working version on September 7, 1927, having just turned 21. A farm boy from Indiana, his inspiration for scanning an image as series of lines came from the back-and-forth motion used to plow a field.

In the course of a patent interference suit brought by the Radio Corporation of America in 1934 and decided in February 1935, his high school chemistry teacher produced a sketch Farnsworth had shown him in Spring 1922. Farnsworth won the suit. Farnsworth received royalties from RCA, but he never became wealthy. The video camera tube that evolved from the combined work of Farnsworth, Zworykin, and others was used in all television cameras until the late 20th century,

Farnsworth also developed the “image oscillite”, a cathode ray tube that displayed the images captured by the image dissector. He called his device an image dissector because it converted individual elements of the image into electricity one at a time. He replaced the spinning disks with caesium, an element that emits electrons when exposed to light.

In 1984, Farnsworth was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
~ Wikipedia


May 21, 2021

Video by Dimitri Devyatkin and Walter Wright, 1972.

w2 recorded May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021


[1] mix 1+5 10:22
[2] mix 2+6 10:32
[3] mix 3+7 10:15
[4] mix 4+8 10:29

Tracks 1-4 recorded on my Ieaskul F Mobenthey Synth; and tracks 5-8 on my amplified drum kit. Mixed in Audaciiy.

w2 recorded April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

[1] 10:14
[2] 10:30
[3] 10:11
[4] 10:29

[1+2] 10:30
[3+4] 10:29
[1+3] 10:14
[2+4] 10:30
[1+2+3+4] 15:00

For the final mix I created envelopes for tracks 1-4, weaving them together. It was missing bass, so I chose a 2 min section from track 4, placed it in track 5, and stretched to 15 minutes. Here’s the mix –

ELKA BONG, Submarine Telegraphy

April 21, 2021

[1] Beacons and Pigeons 10:07
[2] Big Bugs 10:19
[3] Token Rings 11:20
[4] Thermionic Valves 10:20

Al Margolis- snarebone (snare drum with trombone mouthpiece) [1]; transformed snare drum [2]; violin, contact mic, objects [3]; trombone [4]
Walter Wright – IFMSynth
Birgit Goldbourne – saxophone [Kassel, Germany]

Transatlantic telegraph cables were undersea cables running under the Atlantic Ocean used for telegraph communications. Telegraphy is now an obsolete form of communication and the cables have long since been decommissioned, but telephone and data are still carried on other transatlantic telecommunications cables.

The first cable was laid in the 1850s across the floor of the Atlantic from Valentia in western Ireland to Bay of Bulls, Trinity Bay Newfoundland. The first communications occurred August 16, 1858 but the line speed was poor and efforts to improve it caused this cable to fail after three weeks. A second cable was laid in 1865 with much-improved material. The cable was laid by the ship SS Great Eastern. More than halfway across, the cable broke and after many rescue attempts, they had to give up. In July 1866, a third cable was laid and on July 27th 1866 the cable was put into service.

This cable altered for all time personal, commercial and political relations between people across the Atlantic. Before the first transatlantic cable, communications between Europe and the Americas took place only by ship. Sometimes, however, severe winter storms delayed ships for weeks. The transatlantic cable reduced communication time considerably, allowing a message and a response in the same day.
~ Wikipedia

w2 recorded April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

IFMSynth tracks [1-4] recorded on March 11 mixed with Amplified drum kit tracks [5-8] recorded on April 8, 2021.

[1+5] 10:20
[2+6] 10:13
[3+7] 10:18
[4+8] 11:24
[1+3+5+7] 15:00
[2+4+6+8] 15:00

The first four mixes, [1+5] through [4+8], are made by pairing IFM and amplified drum kit tracks. Nothing special here, simple level adjustments. I reduce the IFM tracks -3db and the drum tracks -9db.

Mix five, [1+3+5+7], is a different matter, here I’m mixing four tracks, two IFM tracks and two drum tracks. I start by swapping stereo channels on the second drum track, moving the bass drums on the two drum tracks to separate channels. Then I set the two IFM tracks to 10:00 min, and stretch the drum tracks out to 15:00 min. I move the second IFM track along the timeline so that it starts at 5:00 min. I create envelopes for each track. Finally, I add reverb to the drum tracks, creating ‘space’ in the mix.
Here’s the mixing chart –


Mix six, [2+4+6+8], is similar. As above I move the bass drums to separate channels, adjust the timing for each track. Note, track is set at 11:00 min. In this mix track one is moved along the timeline to start at 5:00 min. Lastly, I add reverb to the drum tracks. Here’s the mixing chart –

w2 recorded April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021


[1] 10:20
[2] 10:12
[3] 10:14
[4] 10:23

[1+2] 10:20
[3+4] 10:23
[1+3] 10:20
[2+4] 10:23
[1+2+3+4] 15:00

For the final mix, in Audacity, I start by swapping stereo channels on tracks 2 & 4, moving the bass drum from the left channel to the right. Then I change the speed for all four tracks – tracks 1 & 2 are set to 10:00 min and tracks 3 & 4 stretched to 15:00 min.  On the timeline I start track 1 at 05:00 min, and tracks 2, 3 & 4 at 00:00 min/sec. I adjust the overall sound levels, and create envelopes for each track. For this mix I decide to reverse track 3. Lastly, I add reverb to tracks 3 & 4. Here’s the mixing chart –


ELKA BONG, Detrimental Calculus

March 9, 2021


I recorded these tracks either right before or right after moving my studio. Sent them to Al who transformed, added to, subtracted from my material.

[1] Lapse 10:25
[2] Plus 10:29
[3] Minus 11:22
[4] Relapse 10:34

Al Margolis – transformations [1], [4]; ARP 2600 [2]; voice [3]
Walter Wright – AVSynth

Mixed by Al.

w2 recorded March 3, 2021

March 3, 2021

[1] 9:59
[2] 10:09
[3] 10:57
[4] 9:09

[1+2] 9:09
[3+4] 10:57
[1+3] 10:57
[2+4] 10:09
[1+2+3+4] 15:00