Redell Olsen

This playlist presents in diary-like form the listening of a lone figure adrift, one who may or may not be our protagonist: Who Sails The Ocean? The voyage drifts towards an interspecies opera of sorts where genre is permeable as the cracks in the hold. Sleepless connections proliferate in chaotic visions bent on an insect pastoral where violence and desire consume all in a toxic fountain too much like something salvaged of a future present of. Tracks made after 1985 reflect dreams us becoming all at sea with what is and is not now.

Deze afspeellijst presenteert in dagboek-achtige vorm het luisteren van een eenzame figuur op drift, iemand die al dan niet onze hoofdpersoon is: Who Sails The Ocean? De reis drijft af naar een soort interspecies opera waar genre doorlaatbaar is als de scheuren in het ruim. Slapeloze verbindingen woekeren voort in chaotische visioenen die gebogen zijn over een insectenpastoraal waar geweld en verlangen alles verteren in een giftige fontein die te veel lijkt op iets dat geborgen is uit een toekomstig heden. Tracks gemaakt na 1985 weerspiegelen onze dromen over wat er nu wel en niet is.

Who Sails The Ocean? (75.43 )


1. Daphne Oram - Electronic Sound Patterns - Melodic Group (1962)

2. Annea Lockwood - Water Jars (1968-70)

3. The Mekons and Kathy Acker - My Song At Night (1996)

4. Joanne Kyger - It is Lonely (1965)

5. Beth Anderson - Motion Mildew Mind (1980)

6. Peggy Ahwesh and Barbara Ess Radio Guitar (2001)

7. Redell Olsen -  Act I: Weather, Whether radar: Plume of the Volants (2021)

8. Barbara Guest - An Emphasis Falls on Reality (1995)

9. Ida Applebroog - Really is That a Fact? (1982)

10. Cathy Barbarian - Nymphs and Shepherds-The-Libertine

11. Redell Olsen - Act II: Weather, Whether radar: Plume of the Volants (2021)

12. Carole Caroompas - Target Practice (1982)

13. Annie Johnston - Bird Imitations (1951)

14. Gertrude Stein - I Write For Myself and Strangers (1935)

15. Johanna Went - Mosquito (1982)

16. Redell Olsen - From ‘Fragments From an Interspecies Opera:
Acis and Galatea Rewilded, or, a Serenata; or Pastoral Entertainment in the Age of Extinction (2021)

17. Kristin Oppenheim - Sail on Sailor (1994)

Playlist details:

1.    Day One / Track 1

Daphne Oram Electronic Sound Patterns, ‘Melodic Group, 1962

Daphne Oram - Electronic Sound Patterns
Label: His Master's Voice
Catalog#: 7EG 8762
Format: Vinyl, 7", Mono, 45 RPM
Country: UK
Released: 1962
Genre: Electronic, Non-Music
Style: Education, Musique Concrète
Credits: Arranged By, Electronics - Vera Gray
Composed By, Electronics - Daphne Oram
Notes: Composed and created by Daphne Oram.
Released as part of the Listen, move and dance series (Volume 3) and BBC programme to help children dance.

I read her book, An Individual Note: of music, sound and electronics (1972) in which she writes how, “We will be entering a strange world where composers will be mingling with capacitors, computers will be controlling crotchets and, maybe, memory, music and magnetism will lead us towards meta-physics”.

This is a strange world coming. I find myself puzzled as to why I also find a closeness to the my environment in her music: this despite the electronics. She might be drawing the sound, leaves and flowers, plants flicker across the paper and make new worlds. I remember what it is to dance.

2. Day Two / Track 2

Annea Lockwood, Water Jars, 1968-70
Produced by Mike Steyn and Annea Lockwood (1968-70).

At night the clanking of metal and water keeps me awake.

During the day I have been experimenting with making music with glass jars.

I dream of Annea Lockwood and wake to find I am all at sea.

3. Day 3 / Track 3

The Mekons and Kathy Acker, 1996, ‘My Song At Night’ 

Accordion, Vocals - Errol "Rico" Flynn*
Artwork By - S. Clay Wilson
Banjo [Cumbus] - Blind Lugh*
Bass - Sarah Corina
Drums - Steven Goulding*
Engineer - Long Jon Gillver of Dubbe Island*
Fiddle - Captain "Kidd" Honeyperson*
Guitar, Vocals - Jon Langford (2) , Tom The Cabin Boy*
Recorded By - Baron Von Trumfio* , Bosun Hagler*
Vocals - Master Sally Bates*
Voice - More-Than-Able Seaman Acker* (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11)
Written-By - Kathy Acker , Mekons, The

Recorded September 1995 at Kingsize Studios in Chicago, and July 1995 in Leeds at an unnamed location.
Released concurrently with Kathy Acker's novel of the same title.

Sound of surf. Awoken in midst of seascape dream of a future world in which a girl called Kathy rescues some pirates and is becoming one even as she is a girl.

4. Day 4 / Track 4

Joanne Kyger, ‘It is Lonely’ 

Berkley Poetry Conference, June 1965. PennSound.

I think of champagne and water that is not the sea for drinking, copiously. I draw the shapes of some large black butterflies that arrive to investigate me out on the deck. I am lonely but I am not quite alone here.

5. Day 5 / Track 5

Beth Anderson Motion Mildew Mind (1980) 

Ocean. Motion. Potion. Mildew. Mind.

A spell for rescue.

6. Day 6 / Track 6

Peggy Ahwesh and Barbara Ess, Radio Guitar. 

"Radio Guitar was recorded in Barbara's studio, NYC on audio cassette over a period of 3 days" (2001).

I am making a pinhole camera in memory of Barbara Ess. Instead of light there will be sound.

It is possible there is not distinction between outside and this.

And I would read aloud to myself long into the night, operas and plays mostly. Some poetry by way of light entertainment.

7. Track 7

Redell Olsen, Weather, Whether radar: Plume of the Volants Act 1 

7. Day 7 / Track 8

Barbara Guest, An Emphasis Falls on Reality (2:45)

The natural world spins in green…The darkened copies of all trees.

8. Day 8 / Track 9

Ida Applebroog - ‘Really is That a Fact?’

From Revolutions Per Minute (The Art Record), (1982) 2xLP, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc/The Charing Hill Company, 1982

Really is that a fact… of so many remembered conversations?

9. Day 9 / Track 10

Cathy Berberian

Seeking a way to get through this pastoral. Missing nymphs and shepherds. Come Away!

Track 11

Redell Olsen, Act II, Weather, Whether radar: Plume of the Volants 2021. 

10. Day 10 / Track 12

Carole Caroompas Target Practice, 1982. 

Target practice against obvious narrative connections.

11. Day 11 / Track 13

Annie Johnston, Bird Imitations 

Recording made by Alan Lomax on Barra in 1951.

I tell stories in the voices of birds. The crow sings to the crab, ‘Come out while I shape a red coat for you’.

12. Day 12/ Track 14

Gertrude Stein, ‘I Write For Myself and Strangers’ (1935) 

The strangers are also the others here: birds, insects.

Track 15

Johanna Went, ‘Mosquito’ (1982) 

How I wear my faces covered with a bright net..

13. Day 13 / Track 16

From ‘Fragments From an Interspecies Opera:  Acis and Galatea Rewilded, or, a Serenata; or Pastoral Entertainment in the Age of Extinction 2021. 

Performed by Opera North, Matthew Stiff, ‘bass-baritone', David Cowan, piano. Lyrics by Redell Olsen in the form of a new text to Handel’s Opera, Acis and Galatea. 

14. Day 14 / Track 17

Sail on Sailor - Kristin Oppenheim

Who Sails The Ocean?

Bonus Feature:

Germaine Dulac - L'invitation au voyage (1927)


Redell Olsen is a writer and visual artist whose work includes poetry, performance and film. Her books include Weather, Whether Radar: Plume of the Volants (2021), Film Poems (Les Figues, 2014), 'Punk Faun: a bar rock pastel' (Subpress, 2012) and 'Secure Portable Space' (Reality Street, 2004). In 2018, her film, Now Circa (1918) was shortlisted for the AHRC Research in Film Awards. In 2020-21 she was the recipient of the DARE Art prize.

Redell Olsen is een schrijver en beeldend kunstenaar wiens werk poëzie, performance en film omvat. Haar boeken zijn onder andere Weather, Whether Radar:Plume of the Volants (2021), Film Poems (Les Figues, 2014), 'Punk Faun: a bar rock pastel' (Subpress, 2012) en 'Secure Portable Space' (Reality Street,2004). In 2018 werd haar film, Now Circa (1918) shortlist voor de AHRC Research in Film Awards. In 2020-21 was ze de ontvanger van de DARE Art prijs.