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The sample is derived from a short-wave radio transmission captured by slowly spanning the wavelength between 17.5 and 17.7 MHz. Coincidentally and simultaneously, three consecutive stations were broadcasting American pastors preaching fervently on the theme of the end time: the tribulations and destruction of the unrepentant, and the blessings and ingathering of the redeemed. The appropriately doom-laden guitar accompaniment consists of three consecutive, sustained notes. The content of, and transitions between, the three sermons are precisely as they were recorded at the time of the broadcasts.

Preacher 1: Calamity upon calamity, tragedy on tragedy, evil upon evil, and destruction upon destruction.

Preacher 2: ‘Therefore’, saith the Lord God, ‘this is now the time that I have spoken’. And it shall come to pass, Lord God, when throughout all the world there will be terror, there will be curse, and (…), and earthquakes, and fires, and (…) on every side. You have chose to chose Satan. So, therefore, at the hand of Satan, you shall enjoy his benefits: of sin and destruction, and death and dying. (…) O God (…). And Satan comes only to kill, and to destroy them all. And, so shall it be. No longer! No Longer, shall it be prolonged!

Preacher 3: Only ungodly. Those who know not, obey not, the gospel of Christ. He’s gonna destroy the wicked with the (…). And he’s gonna cast the wicked one in the pit. Peace and joy in the Holy Ghost! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! We’ll be with the Saviour. Hallelujah! I believe it like that. That’s how I believe.

Personnel: Anonymous preachers and John Harvey.

Instrumentation: Adobe Audition CS6, Apple MacBook Pro OS X 10.8, Avid Pro Tools 10, Eventide TimeFactor pedal, Eventide PitchFactor pedal, Eventide Space pedal, Electro Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer pedal, Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar, Lehle Julian Parametric Booster pedal, Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone compression pedal, Roberts R9962 Compact Shortwave Radio, Tascam DR-2d digital recorder, Zvex Box of Metal fuzz pedal.

Source: Recording of a Christian radio broadcast in the USA, July 1, 2013.


from The Bible in Translation (disc 2) [album], released September 1, 2016


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Emeritus Professor of Art at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK. My research field is the sonic and visual culture of religion. I explore the sonic articulations of the Christian religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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