what fascinates me

november 08, 2002.

What I find fascinating about Zoë Irvine's Magnetic Migration Music project is not so much the idea that the bits of cassette tape that one finds here and there out in the streets and in the fields might have been blown about by the wind for some time, or might have travelled quite some distance by whatever other means, before you pick them up.
Especially in the case of 'big city finds' I continue to think that this is rather unlikely. More often than not city finds will be 'local throw aways'. But that is just as well, for as such the 'picking up' provides a fascinating way to randomly 'sample' local casette music listening!
Were one able to diligently continue this collecting and assemble the finds over a longer period of time (years!), just try to imagine the picture that will emerge, of sounds and musics gradually changing over time ...

A second point of fascination for me lies in the fact that given the continuing advent of digitally stored music (CD, mp3, MD), the use of cassettes for collecting and listening to music is, maybe not so much becoming obsolete, as quickly narrowing down more and more to certain population groups. To those listening to audio cassettes because they do not have the means to access music through the newer (more expensive) digital toys (portable CD players, mp3 players, mini disc players). Meaning: young people (teens), members of minority groups, 'lower' social classes ...

And over the coming years cassettes might just get pretty rare. (Collecting thrown away, broken CD's and MD's instead will prove to be pretty frustrating, I guess, as it is, as far as I know, near to impossible to recover the data from such carriers if damaged ... )
Who knows how often one still will stumble upon a tape clod in a gutter in the streets of Paris, London, NY, five, ten, years from now ...?

So let us pick them up now, while we still can ...

[ Earlier related SB entry: more on found tape montage; next related SB entry: exhibit #4 ]

found cover

double dutch

november 07, 2002.

Dat "muziek niks zeggen wil" niet verwarren met dat "muziek niks wil zeggen".

[ On the train from Les Mureaux back to Paris, wrestling through the last couple of hundreds of pages of Pierre Schaeffer's Traité des objets musicaux. It is more related to my recent reading of Vladimir Jankélévitch's La musique et l'ineffable, though. I guess even most of my fellow native Dutch speakers would have a hard time 'feeling' the intended subtle shift in the two phrases. I cannot think of an English translation that keeps the symmetry. "Niks zeggen wil" would - for me - translate as "does not want to say anything", while "niks wil zeggen" invites a translation as "does not mean anything". ]

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