Breton Cassette will with happieness announce release # 008
THE NEED TO TELL YOU (ARECIBO REVISITED) by Eirik Melstrøm
The following sound piece contains a binary radio message, translated into a sixteen note chromatic scale and performed on a piano.
The message is an updated version of the so-called Arecibo Message, a radio signal sent into deep space in 1974, being the first interstellar transmission from Earth containing information about humanity and our environments. Although adventurous in spirit, the message is arguably more self-reflective than outreaching. More than the prospect of someday receiving an answer in return, it expresses the human need to communicate - the need to tell even to an unidentified receiver about who we are. The message thus reflects as much how we perceive ourselves, as how we would like to be perceived by the outer-worldly other.
The updated message addresses key issues in the original by including information largely left out that one might argue to be fundamental to the human condition on Earth. These include companion species, the process of evolution, human subjectivity and selected emotions, the ecological and atmospheric effects of climate change, our efforts to become a multi-planetary species by colonizing Mars, and so on.
It also reveals a fundamental linguistic problem. How can we really say or tell anything at all? Inherent in the message and the need to tell it lies a benign anthropocentric arrogance connected to our belief of making ourselves understood by using a specific and thus limited language system. Are there alternatives? Can sound function better as a Universal language?
Performed by Eirin Øgård Kinn
Recorded at Skarmyra Allaktivitetshus Moss - October 13th 2019
Mastered by Adam Badí Donoval
Eirik Melstrøm (f.1987) is a visual artist, musician and composer living and working in Oslo,Norway. He holds an MFA from Oslo National Academy of Fine Art (KHiO), with previous education concluded at Bergen Art Academy (KMD), University of Applied Arts in Vienna, as well as a BA in historical studies at the University of Oslo. Melstrøm runs an interdisciplinaryartistic practice, and tries to work fluently in between normative understandings of fields and terms like visual art, music and text. His musical practice is centered on his role as guitarist and composer in the group The Good the Bad and the Zugly over the last decade, in addition to the projects Kosmik Boogie Tribe and Upstrokes. This includes extensive performance-, concert- and touring activity, and also continuous release of musical publications. The majority of these publications have been released by the independent Oslo based label Fysisk Format. Melstrøm is also the founder of The B-Flat Society, an initiative dedicated to the encouragement, promotion and distribution of the note B-Flat, including
the scales B-Flat Major and B-Flat Minor. Lately the society have focused on publishing sound works by other artists and composers, in addition to Melstrøms own work. He has had solo exhibitions at Bærum Kunsthall and Isotop Projectroom in Bergen, and participated in numerous group exhibitions domestically and abroad. This includes Østlandsutstillingen 2020 and Kunstverein Edel Extra in Nüremberg, Germany. Melstrøm is recipient of the 2021/22 FKDS Studio Grant at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo.