Wednesday at 11:30 pm

From Ark to Microchip

Logo - From Ark to Microchip

The provocative “From Ark to Microchip” mixes commentary, dramatic re-enactment, original music, historic voices, audio art and sound effects in a pan-historical, pan-cultural milieu. Programs in The From Ark to Microchip series have received a Golden Reel Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, an Audio Works Special Selection, a Peabody Award (as part of Lost & Found Sounds) and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Featured Ark luminaries—

  • Charles Darwin, Philip K. Dick, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Diamanda Galas, Elvis Presley, Mary Shelley, Erik Satie, Sun Ra, Emanuel Swedenborg, Harry S. Truman, Orson Welles, among others

Featured Ark performers—

  • Thomas Aber, Tony Allard, Liz Amsbry, Cliff Baldwin, Black Crack Revue, Hafiza Capehart, Don Cherry, Patrick Clancy, William Easton, Betse Ellis, Rich Fish, Rhondda Francis, Rodney Franks, Chuck Haddix, Michael Henry, Ed Herrmann, Kristin Miltner, Charlie Morrow, newEar, Bruce Prince-Joseph, Warren Rosser, Yoshiko Sato, Joey Skidmore, Raymond Starzmann, Gerald Trimble, Jeffrey Ruckman, Ellen Zweig, among others
Upcoming episodes

Out of Time March 29, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“...a 30-minute dramatization of a woman isolated in a damp, echoing cave. Removed from all time cues, she becomes obsessive-compulsive, brushing her teeth, free-associating words on a piece of paper. Soprano Patricia Johnson gave a stunning portrayal of Our Subject (as she is called), dispatching the most disjunct vocal lines with pinpoint tuning and ringing tone...In addition to the live dramatization, with lab-coated “scientists” observing, there were interactions with prerecorded audio tapes and live and recorded video projections.”

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Elaine Lee’s TransMars Tango April 5, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“TransMars Tango provides a fresh and original take on transgender issues.” --Radio Drama Starring Phil Proctor (Firesign Theatre) & Robin Miles (Maya’s Soul), directed by Brian Price with music by Patrick Conway, Julia Thro and Dwight Frizzell.

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Tony Brewer’s The Last Broadcast April 12, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Winner--HEAR NOW Best of Fest Award 2016.
An original drama about zombies, a community radio station, and more zombies! Written & directed by Tony Brewer for the National Audio Theater Festivals. Starring Bill Oakley & Barbara Rosenblat (Orange is the New Black).

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Apocalypse Untold April 19, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Turning the apocalyptic mindset on its head, this maniacal BCR mashup attempts to unravel doomsday anxieties in favor of a danceable collective intelligence.

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KCAI’s Visual Music April 26, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Collective grooves from visual artists at the Kansas City Art Institute—Emma Daffin, Matt Johnson, Lila Ferber, Cory Ferriera, Dwight Frizzell, Sebastian Thomas, Ian Turpin and Joey Watson. Areas represented: Painting, Filmmaking, Sculpture, Interactive Arts, Illustration, Fiber, Ceramics, Artspace and Social Practice.

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Harry’s Shadow May 3, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“‘Harry’s Shadow’ explores, in a style that can be solemn but more often veers into the
absurd, what it was like growing up as Harry Truman’s neighbor. “‐‐Aaron Barnhart,
The Kansas City Star

“…a bittersweet goodbye by a famous man to his boyhood home.”‐‐Francis Ford Coppola, Lost & Found Sound. Received Peabody Award as part of Lost & Found Sound.

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The Other Side of Orson May 10, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Orson Welles’s lesser known projects such as It’s All True, Othello and The Other Side of the Wind are re-staged in radiophonic space. With Bill Dye as Orson Welles.

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New Ring Around Saturn: The Legacy of Sun Ra, part 1 May 17, 2017 | 11:30 pm

A musical and metaphysical history of the cosmo-jazz master Sun Ra from his mythical origins in Ancient Egypt through his childhood in depression-era Birmingham, Alabama, to his Afro-spiritual quest with Fletcher Henderson in 1950s Chicago. Featured commentary by Chuck Haddix (author “Kansas City Jazz”) & Patrick Neas.

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New Ring Around Saturn: The Legacy of Sun Ra, part 2 May 24, 2017 | 11:30 pm

The life and times of Sun Ra from his experiments with new electronic keyboards in the ‘50s to the stellar performances in 1960’s New York City.

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New Ring Around Saturn: The Legacy of Sun Ra, part 3 May 31, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“The real aim of music is to coordinate the minds of the people into an intelligent reach for a better world and an intelligent approach to the living future.” – Sun Ra

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Thus Spake Ra June 7, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Narrated by cosmo‐jazz master Sun Ra himself from 1979‐1992 interviews. Music, songs and space‐chants are provided by Sun Ra and his Astro‐Infinity Arkestra with June Tyson, John Gilmore & Marshall Allen. Portions of this program were recorded with Sun Ra in Kansas City.

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In Praise of the Midland Sun June 14, 2017 | 11:30 pm

We are the children of the Midwest Sun; Its light has weight, measured in musical tones. Composer Ed Herrmann transforms solar energy into radiant sound.

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International Radio Solstice June 21, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Artists take over the world satellite network—for a half-hour it is subverted to promote peace through music-making. Features Abbey Lincoln, Don Cherry, Charlie Morrow, and Alvin Curran.

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Dreamland Diaries: Space Alien Parade June 28, 2017 | 11:30 pm

A paradoxical 1997 journey to Roswell, New Mexico for the 50th anniversary of the saucer crash—complete with Space Alien parade, in-person interview with Glenn Dennis (who saw the crash debris), and music by Star-Trek composer Michael Henry.

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Dreamland Diaries: The Day After Roswell July 5, 2017 | 11:30 pm

More eruptions of the irrational, detrimental robots from the inner Earth, and Col. Philip Corso himself telling the story of how he parceled crash wreckage from Roswell to the defense-industry who back-engineered the mangled spacecraft creating integrated circuits for computers, fiber optics, and other optical-digital technologies.

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Big Scary UFO Show July 12, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Curious acausal time‐links connect the Children’s Crusade of 1212 AD Europe, a Killer Clown infestation in 1970’s Kansas City, and the 1897 airship flap in Aurora, Texas.

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Laika or Not? July 19, 2017 | 11:30 pm

The space dog Laika, of humble origin, blessed with only a Christian name, bred and housebroken on the amber steppes of Mother Russia, was a simple unpretentious canine that would soon be world famous for her daring exploits and globe‐spanning heartbeat telecasts.

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Big Scary Momo Show July 26, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Cryptozoological roundup featuring Sasquatches, Burmese Monkey Men, and a “blue” Momo (Missouri Monster)—with legendary rocker Joey Skidmore, composer Michael Henry, and the voices of Rhondda Francis and Beth Enloe.

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Recent episodes

Truman on Energy March 22, 2017 | 11:30 pm

From plowing Grandview fields with a bull‐tongue, to crafting the Rural Electrification Act, to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…Harry S. Truman re‐enactor Raymond Starzmann explores energy policy from the past with implications for our future.

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The Irish Wilderness March 15, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“Part composition, part hörspiel...The Irish Wilderness uses field recordings of the ‘wondrous springs’ of Ripley and Oregon counties, Missouri, interleaved with ‘traditional tunes known to the Irish Catholics (circa 1859)’ to document the tragic history of the Irish settlers...”

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H for Thermonuclear Device and Remote Ensemble March 8, 2017 | 11:30 pm

The short and long term effects of the B62a‐mod 11 nuclear bomb (stockpiled at Whiteman Air Force Base) are mapped to the newEar contemporary chamber ensemble…shock waves, atmospheric effects, electromagnetic pulse waves, biological effects.

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Sonic Force March 1, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“Co‐composer Dwight Frizzell captured the full range of motion and two fully operational US Air Force attack planes from their flights to their subtle shutdown sounds. Orchestrator Michael Henry then wrote a score, using traditional (military band) instruments to echo the flaring motors and snorting exhaust. The (National Audio Theatre) plays the piece with stunt‐pilot daring, blurring the lines between music and machine.”

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Solar Flare: Sun Ra Riffs The Blues Kansas City Style February 22, 2017 | 11:30 pm

If jazz is happiness, as Sun Ra contends, then the blues is a vehicle for transformation—the pathway to rise above the unenlightened savagery of the terrestrial sphere.

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Astro_Blackness: Sun Ra’s Message from Space February 15, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“It’s after the end of the world. Don’t you know that yet?” Sun Ra with June Tyson and the Cosmo‐Myth Arkestra visit a post‐Apocalypse Earth.

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Star Seed February 8, 2017 | 11:30 pm

A Stella Music Box (courtesy the Marr Sound Archives) playing a star-field disk (created by Daniel Warneke), time-stretching technology, cosmo-minded newEar musicians and an Hathorian priestess make cosmic music.

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Slippages February 1, 2017 | 11:30 pm

“A musical interpretation of Kansas City Art Institute faculty member Warren Rosser’s large-scale paintings…orchestrated for clarinet, bass clarinet and a pair of ‘zwooms,’ physically imposing instruments that resemble wide-mouthed hoses with woodwind mouthpieces attached at one end.”

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Building the Earth January 25, 2017 | 11:30 pm

Featuring Bruce Prince-Joseph as Pierre Teilhard with the newEar chamber ensemble.

“Dwight Frizzell...pitches a reading of Jesuit theological philosophy into a simmering stew of prepared sounds and live instruments, and suggests Birtwistle trying to score ET.” --The London Sunday Times

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WorldMix Nagoya January 18, 2017 | 11:30 pm

The sonic ecology of Nagoya, Japan, reaches into galactic space in this time capsule created for the International Symposium on Electronic Art in Nagoya, Japan.

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Dwight Frizzell

Dwight Frizzell is an internationally recognized artist whose interdisciplinary work combines video, performance, installation, music, audio art and writing. He has been producing the “From Ark to Microchip” series with Jay Mandeville since 1984.

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Jay Mandeville | Email me

Jay Mandeville, host of "From Ark to Microchip," is a poet, essayist, editor, voice actor, and erstwhile
jazz crooner, is a native Kansas Citian, and currently resituated in
Independence, Missouri.

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