Tonic Train

Dinner for Two
or: the 100th Birthday
by Tonic Train

The grande dame of media, radio, is turning a hundred years old, and is celebrating its birthday. Unfortunately, all her friends and contemporaries are long dead. Thus, a group of young transistor radios replace them, and listen to the stories of the old days of the radio that still used to hiss, click, and whistle.

On the event of radio’s 100th anniversary, Tonic Train are playing a concert for a dozen transistor radios and their owners, which is broadcast on four micro-transmitters.

Tonic Train’s improvised live performances oscillate between subtle and intense sonic dreams. They invite the listeners to join a journey along a micro-sound-stream. At the end of the performance, everyone has an individual response to the total sound pattern. A reactive structuring of the materials unfolds: sub-bass waves, uncontrollable beeps, rhythms, and ingratiating spacial effects. Sometimes the sounds cause a physical impact on the space, and the listeners, like vibrations or psycho-acoustic artefacts that produce effects within the listeners ears or brains.

The duo Tonic Train with Knut Aufermann and Sarah Washington was founded in 2000. Two trends in electronic music, feedback and circuit bending, are united here. Knut’s instruments are a feedback-mix of the mixing console, microphones, and radios, extended and conducted by the interaction taking place between these different systems. Sarah works with uncontrollable self-made electronic instruments, designed by adapting the circuits of children’s toys, tape recorders, radio transmitters, and a bat detector.