A Journey by Telephone

A Journey by Telephone, 1995, 25mins

A Journey By Telephone explored the early history of the telephone which, like radio, was imagined as a possible technology for communicating with the dead, a call which never got through among other missed calls, confessions, journeys and dead ends. The lines and receivers themselves were the instruments through which an analogue network was sounded out to gather these ghosts.

The Wireless Telephone Ensemble was convened in Sydney to devise and perform this project for national FM broadcast throughout Australia.

Members of the ensemble performed live in the studio following a score for the telephones as instruments and interacting with other performers around sydney, around australia and around the world, as well as with numerous automatic telephone systems. We also included a variety of scripted and improvised material and prerecorded answering machine messages gathered during devising workshops of the preceeding months and embedded in a mix of telemetry sounds.

Composed & directed by Sophea Lerner
Assistant producer, John Tebbutt
Artistic live mix: Micheal Bates
Tape Composition (telemetry): Charlotte Whittingham
Journey Texts: Gretchen Miller
Spirit Medium: Judy Silver
Devising workshop participants:
Joy Harley, Patrick Gibson, Micheal Felstead, Judy Silver
Studio performers:
Charlotte Whitingham, Gretchen Miller, Joy Harley, Patrick Gibson, Micheal Felstead, Judy Silver & Luke Parker
Remote messages and performances:
Anne-Marie Roworth, Pheobe Jeebe, Deborah Abela, Chris Scott, Megan Heyward, Margaret McCarthy, Leesa Willan, May Ting, Christina Papengelis, David Bartolo, Julia Tressider, Justine Langford (Darwin), Zoë Bouras (South Wales, U.K.), Peter Markham (Perth)
Additional text fragments from "The Telephone Book" by Avital Ronnel

Performed and broadcast 9pm August 21st, 1995
live from the Eugene Goosens Hall, ABC Ultimo, Sydney on ABC Classic FM, The Listening Room as part of An Ear Full, Eventspace produced in collaboration with The Performance Space.