Tape Music

Instrumentation: Stereo electronics; 5.1 Surround Sound; Quad Surround Sound.

Duration Electronic Version: 7:14
Duration, Participant Version: 5:00


Stereo: Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL

Surround sound and Participant Versions: Third Practice Festival, Richmond, VA

SEAMUS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the US)
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Program Note:

Tape Music is a meditation on tape as a collection of materials that are emblematic of our throwaway culture and yet can be used to mend items that would otherwise themselves be consigned to the trash heap. It is also a nostalgic tribute to the genre of tape music that persists despite the ongoing changes in playback media. The initial spur for Tape Music came from an NPR broadcast about workers who spent their days packing products for shipment. As I heard the sounds of boxes being taped up, I immediately decided to compose Tape Music. Assisted by sound engineer Mark Graham, I made recordings of myself ripping, cutting, squashing, and otherwise messing with a wide variety of types of tape, as well as taping, and then slashing, boxes. Various mics were used and isolated on different tracks to maximize the sonic potential. The original verison of Tape Music is for 5.1 surround-sound, while it also exists in quad and stereo versions. In addition, a different piece, Tape Music∞ is scored for any number of participants (each with a roll of tape, a cardboard box and a blunt pencil) and stereo playback. Both the purely electronic and participant versions were premiered at the Third Practice Festival in Richmond, VA, on 11/12/13.


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