The Musical Shoes

by Joshua Fried

For the first work of the Jazz, Rock, and Improvised Music concert, Joshua Fried presented his work "Radio Wonderland." Before Fried entered the stage, the audience had the opportunity to ponder his sonic devices, the Musical Shoes, a collection of four shoes mounted upside down on stands, which were to be used to trigger electronics when struck by drumsticks. Occasionally manipulating a mixer to control how the snippets of a portable radio's output were edited, Fried proceeded to explore the sonic world of triggering and recombining these samples into a collage.

The Musical Shoes then did their "dance of samples" as Fried hammered away with his drumsticks, sometimes gently and sometimes aggressively, and at times acting surprised at the results. The work moved through different recontextualizations of the various samples by throwing them out at the audience in different collections. The visual and dramatic element of watching Fried trigger his samples in the visceral manner of hitting shoes added another facet to the juxtaposition of various vocal and musical snippets.

Report written by Jonathan Lee

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Video excerpt from

Musical Shoes

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