Tonic Train is the experimental electronics duo of Sarah Washington and Knut Aufermann. The combination of Sarah’s homemade, circuit bent instruments and Knut’s feedback electronics creates a spectrum of fundamental electronic noises.
It connects two methods of early electronic music practice: the appropriation of electronic circuits to make them sound and the improper use of electronic equipment to make it feed back. Tonic Train’s artistic influence comes from electronic music pioneers such as David Tudor and Gordon Mumma. Over time, the Tonic Train duo has become part of many diverse musical projects and performances including a feedback ensemble featuring Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos, Nicolas Collins, Toshimaru Nakamura, Billy Roisz and Otomo Yoshihide. For the last four years Sarah and Knut have also been producing experimental radio programmes together for London’s unique radio art station Resonance104.4 FM. This work continues in their current project Mobile Radio, which aims to bring artistic radio production outside the sterile studio environment.
Knut Aufermann (born 1972 in Hagen, Germany) studied chemistry, audio engineering, and sonic arts at Middlesex University, London. From 2002-2005 he was the station manager of Resonance 104.4 FM in London. Now active internationally as a radio artist, musician, organizer, curator, consultant, and workshop leader, he plays improvised electronic music using various forms of audible feedback. Aufermann and Sarah Washington run the project Mobile Radio, investigating alternative means of radio production. Their works have been broadcast on more than 50 radio stations across the globe as well as in gallery contexts, including the 30th São Paulo Biennial in 2012. Aufermann is a co-founder of the international Radia network of independent cultural radio stations. He is the artistic director of Radio Revolten - International Radio Art Festival in Halle (Saale).
Sarah Washington is a British improvising musician and electronic instrument builder, who lectures and gives workshops in circuit bending. She plays with the international groups Responge, P Sing Cho, Feedback People and The Owl Service as well as the duo Tonic Train and performing solo. Sarah is also a radio artist, who has produced hundreds of hours of live and recorded programmes for Resonance 104.4FM, London’s art radio station which she helped to create. She now acts on behalf of the station, forming new radio art projects with other independent radio stations across Europe, and produces itinerant broadcasts with Tonic Train’s new venture – Mobile Radio.