5 Fingers was an audio art band consisting of Marian Halloway, Scott Campbell, and Randy Magnus.
Other musicians at times included Martin Corgiat, Tamara Yoneda, Mr. Speedo and many others.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

5 Fingers - How It Started

I was doing these experimental multi-layering live radio shows on KPFA in Berkeley, CA with Don Joyce, Negativeland, Fake Stone Age, and Helen Holt. This was in the very early eighties, and my high school friend David Graver went on to Cornell University for his masters and PhD in comparative literature and after his BA in philosophy at UC Berkeley.

This is the time I coined the Audio Art Phone-In concept, allowing sound pieces to be phoned into a radio station and to be broadcast live. Later I did a weekly layering, live mixing program for a while on KCSS at Stan State University in Turlock, "Art Radio" (using radio as a creative art medium, taught a class on it.)

Leonard's Shoe Repair Shop in early 1983 became available for me to use as an art studio and occasional gallery, crossed out shoe repair on the sign, added artspace, and Leonard's Artspace was born.
Began doing these live Altered Audio performances for friends and interested people. It was a collage of the various recordings I had found or made with a little percussion and effects, creating interesting soundscape experiences.
Amon at an Altered Audio event.

Brent Cook of punk-band Problem Fish, wanted us to do something together, and 5 Fingers was born. We got Joy for the first female vocalist. David had been sending me these stream of consciousness postcards that I made into songs, and accompanied with a layering of sounds with percussion, synthesizer, guitar, and voice.

Brent wanted to make more regular sounding songs, Scott Campbell came along with a more electronic music background, and raised in a Scottish Bagpipe family band, replaced Brent for a more experimental art appeal.

A layering of sounds controlled and altered in the tape machines during the live playback, live instruments, live hip drumming, and the lyrics spoken to the beat like beat poetry, loosely scripted, listening to one another, and improvised at and for the moment. The bottom line was always listen to the drummer, and take your cues from him (which was me).

Lolly was suppose to replace college bound Joy, but Lolly didn't want to do it and Marion stepped in on the evening of the show, moments before we began. I explained the parameters to her, gave Marion the lyric sheets, and away we went.

Randy Magnus