more on found tape montage

november 07, 2002.

Recently I have been rewinding and listening to my steadily growing collection of found tape again (see earlier entry). When I find a clod, first thing I do is disentangle it, and wind the bit of tape around a little piece of cardboard. This I put in an envelope on which I note the details of the find. The envelopes go into a shoebox, for later use.

found tape storage

Every now and then, when I have the time, I take a couple of these envelopes, in the chronological order of finding, and mount the tape-fragments back onto a cassette. I do this in series of five, except when there happens to be a single day on which I have found more than five tapes. In such a case (until now this happenend only once) I chose to put all the tapes of that day together.

I use old cassettes for this, from which I remove the tape, except the bits of leadertape at the end and the beginning of the cassette, to which I attach the found tape bits, in order of finding. (And indeed I do throw away the removed tape. Not out of the window, though, mind you. I put them in the dustbin. But of course they just might end up somewhere out there. Now wouldn't it be something if I actually, some day, would find back one of my own tapes ... ?)

I move the bits manually along the head of a cassette-player, in order to determine the coated side of the tape. I currently do not have an easy way to avoid splicing them in the wrong direction, and indeed some of the tape bits end up playing backwards. Of course I could correct this afterwards, but for the moment I do not, simply because at the moment I have only this small amount of splicing tape, which I do not want to use if not strictly necessary ...

For this project it surely would be wonderful if I had a cassette player that would enable me to play cassettes in both directions, backwards and forwards. But as I have not, I use ProTools to reverse fragments that ended up in the wrong direction on the 'compilation cassettes' ... Indeed, capturing the finished compilation in ProTools is the last but one step.

The last step consists in selecting parts of the found fragments, and compiling these, again strictly in chronological order, into a 'found tape montage', lasting a couple of minutes, which I then export as an mp3 file.

I have three of them now. Here are the two new ones:



"Magmig102002" contains fragments from five found tapes, the first three found in Les Mureaux on september 17 (see 'detour'), the fourth in Paris on september 18, the fifth in Vincennes on september 21.
The first fragment is a tiny bit of classical piano music, at the end it sounds like there's strings setting in, but I'm not quite sure.
The second fragment is from a Lionel Richie song, 'Running with the night', from his 1983 Motown album 'Can't slow down'.
The third fragment comes from the French rap group '113'. One hears the end of 'Les Bronzés', the beginning of '113 Fout la merde', both from their 2002 album of the same title (Small Records). I haven't yet been able to identify the fourth (Anglophonic soft pop, girl singer) and the fifth (French songs) fragment.

map Les Mureaux

"Magmig112002" compiles fragments from seven tapes found, all on the same day, september 24, in a walk of somewhat over thirty minutes, in the Parisian suburb Les Mureaux, from the rue Albert Thomas, passing in front of the Collège Jules Verne (in the surroundings of which I found, besides two cassette tape bits, a couple of VHS tape fragments ... but let me keep those for a different project... ...), down the rue Louis Blériot (three more tapes), and along the D43, here called avenue Paul Raoult (two more), to the train station.
The first fragment is instrumental, it might be the intro to something in a rap/hip-hop idiom. The second is (French) rap. Third: zouk, I'd say. Fourth, fifth and sixth: more French rap. The last find contained a couple of quite different types of music. In the montage we hear again, as in the second montage the end of 'Les Bronzés' by the French rap group '113', followed by a fragment of a song by an English/American woman singer, something else (male singer - saying "Awright" - violin, fingerdrums ... ) and another fragment from the same song by the woman singer ("Take me, I'm yours," she says).
If you can identify some of this, please let me know!

[ The 'Found Tapes'-project is inspired by Zoë Irvine's Magnetic Migration Music. Next related SB-entry: what fascinates me ]

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