Labelle, Brandon


Phantom Music: radio, memory, and narratives from auditory life

Organised Sound: Vol. 11, No. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 19-25.


Language(s): English


Listening Experience Perception


Radio and memory form a radical coupling, stitching together musical cultures with personal psychologies. I pursue such relations in Phantom Music by focusing on, and unpacking a project I developed for exhibition in 2005. The project, Phantom Radio, is based on forming a library of radio memory. Collecting stories from 105 individuals from around the world, the library consists of written statements and CDs of all the songs mentioned. Through the project, questions of broadcast technology, and the work of memory, are brought forward. To pursue such questions, the following article maps out the territory explored in the project. Reflecting on various threads, from habits of listening to the effects of music on individual lives, leads to a tracing out of the ‘phantasmic’ and the ‘social’ aspects of radio. And further, how music supplies a form of shared ground to the individual instances of unexpected experiences.