Tape Music

Stereo version for a taste of the sound!

Instrumentation:  5.1 Surround Sound
Duration: 7:14
Premiere:  11/2/13
Third Practice Festival
Richmond, VA

Premiere Stereo Version: 5/20/13
Atlantic Center for the Arts
New Smyrna Beach, FL


Program Note:

Tape Music is a meditation on adhesive tape as a material that is emblematic of our throwaway culture and yet can be used to mend items that would otherwise be thrown away themselves. It is also a nostalgic tribute to the genre of tape music that developed when electronic music was encoded on magnetic tape and one whose name persists despite the ongoing changes in playback media. Whether used merely to pack other, more permanent objects, or to extend the life of items we care about, such as a favorite book, the found sounds of this humble material form the substance of this piece.

The initial spur for Tape Music came from an NPR broadcast about workers in China, 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.  Producer Mark Gresham and composer Scott Barton assisted in my recording at The Sound Studio in Charlottesville, VA, where I ripped, cut, squashed, and otherwise played with tape, as well as taping boxes and then slashing through the tape.  The premiere was at the innovative  Third Practice Festival at the University of Richmond. –JS

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