The RCI Sackville towers. A landmark for decades, at night the myriad of red aircraft warning lights on the 13 towers would dot the night sky

The RCI Sackville towers. A landmark for decades around Sackville New Brunswick. At night the myriad of red aircraft warning lights on the 13 towers would dot the night sky.
Photo Credit: Amanda Christie

Requiem for Radio: How the loss of RCI shortwave inspires an artist

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The shortwave towers and broadcasts of RCI are but a memory, but for a New Brunswick based artist, they have become the source for a myriad of artistic efforts.

March 2014, The destruction of tower *O* © Amanda Christie
The artist Amanda Dawn Christie © supplied

From documentary film of the tower’s destruction, to an upcoming project to have a requiem sung by performers in several existing shortwave stations broadcast toward the long gone RCI transmitters on the Tantramar marsh of New Brunswick. The shortwave stations will also call out to RCI and ask “RCI where are you?”

As artist Amanda Dawn Christie explains, it’s “As if the other shortwave stations are having a lament for their fallen sister station”

It’s the culmination of a project with several aspects.

The interactive installation. The model towers are laid out in a similar fashion to there original positioning on the marsh. © Amanda Christie

One of those aspects is a project called Pulse Delay. These are recordings she made of the inoperative towers as the wind passed through them creating vibrating harmonics that she captured on contact microphones.  As she says each tower had its own “character” and sound.

Outdoor interactive public installation of radio towers-Nocture Halifax. The towers are positioned as they would have been on the marsh. © Amanda Christie

In a moment, my conversation with Amanda Christie but first a sample of Requiem for Radio: Pulse Decay.


Several of the elements she has presented before and mentioned above, will be incorporated into an hour long performance featuring the other elements and called “Requiem for Radio: Full Quiet Flutter”.

Recording vibrations of the towers using contact microphones while the towers were no longer broadcasting and before they were destroyed in March 2014 ©

This will take place May 26, and 27 at 20:OO h Atlantic Time in Moncton, New Brunswick. If you are in Moncton, the performance takes place in the Salle Bernard LeBlanc (3rd floor) at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, 140, Botsford Street

One of the performances combining audio and video .part of the Requiem for Radio series © Amanda Christie

The installation is open to the public to interact with:  May 28 – May 31:  12-1700h  and Amanda Christie will give a talk on the piece on May 30th at 1700h.

Amanda Christie website

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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