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found in maastricht

november 06, 2005.

[quick link: fotex37]

Late one saturday evening this summer in Maastricht my brother drove me, C. and the kids back from his home in Heer (on the south-east side of the city) to my mother's place in Malberg (on the north-west side) ... Find #206 When he turned up the John F. Kennedy bridge, to cross the river Maas, on the corner of Sibemaweg and Dokter Nevenstraat, in the light coming from the streetlights I noticed a but too familiar reflection on the pavement ... And indeed there was, ladies and gentlemen, a cast-away piece of cassette tape lying there ... I did not want to bother my brother at the time, who already was so kind as to drive us all the way to Malberg, and so, no, I did not 'force' him to stop and turn around, for me to pick up the tape ...

But I did make a mental note of the spot, and early next morning I set out to get it. Walking. As there was no car nor bicycle at hand, and public transport on sundays in Maastricht is sparse and starting late.

Started walking at 8h45. A bright sunshiny sunday morning it was.

FInd #206

I walked down the Via Regia, continued along the Ruttensingel, went left on the Tongerseweg, then took the Hertogsingel, and crossed the John F. Kennedy bridge.

Around 10h I reached the corner where the other night I had spotted the tape. And sure, it was still lying there, wrapped around the metal pole of a street sign.

On the way I had already picked up two other clods. One at the roundabout where the Via Regia crosses the Nobellaan and the Porseleinstraat, and a second one on the bridge, near the beginning of the Alfons Ariensstraat.

And there was lots more to come.

When I arrived back at my mother's house, at about 12h15, I carried along no less than fourteen plastic bags filled with tape salad... Half of them I found along the Cabergerweg and the Carl Smulderssingel, which lead from the center of town to Oud-Caberg and Malberg ...

I put the lot in a shoe box that I left in a bookcase at my mother's.

Last week I went back to Maastricht. Got the shoe box, and - on friday morning october 28th - I took it to the klankwerkplaats (the 'sound workroom') of the Stichting Intro | In situ, in de Capucijnenstraat. At Stichting Intro There, not far from where I had picked up many of the tapes some three months before (the Capucijnenstraat actually is the continuation of the Cabergerweg into the center of town) I sat down for a long day and evening to unknot, unravel, unwind all that cassetti-spaghetti, get it back into empty cassettes, play the tapes, listen to them and copy them onto my laptop's hard-drive ...

Wanting to 'treat' all fourteen 'Maastricht' finds within the span of - even that long - a single day soon proved to be far too ambitious ... oh! the madness of it all! ... Actually already the very first one (#204) - picked up at the Via Regia roundabout - took up a significant part of the working day ... But a fine 'n' curious one it was ! ... On it we hear a young man from Maastricht who is singing popular songs, while accompanying himself on his acoustic guitar. His repertoire consists in a large number of oldies ("Oh my darling Clementine", "House of the Rising Sun", "Love me tender") and classic pop hits we all know and love, like "Nights in white satin" (Moody Blues), "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (U2), "Venus" (Shocking Blue), "Streets of London" (Ralph McTell) ... (In view of this 'repertoire' I somehow suspect that our young man - who appears to go by the name of Kurt - at the time of this writing no longer is such a very young man.)

Special of course, by all means, to find such a 'home recorded songs' tape in the street. What makes this one even more curious, is the fact that apparently Kurt recorded it on a telephone answering machine - probably one of those with a 'memo' function - and that his singing and guitar playing is alternating with recorded telephone conversations in the local Maastricht dialect (which shares several properties with dialects in Belgium and Germany ... [read more about this Dutch dialect, pdf] ). Several of these conversations are with a friend, by the name of Gerrit. They make plans for the weekend, and discuss what and how much one should eat in order not to get too drunk too quickly, and avoid a hangover so bad that it becomes impossible to study the day after...

The two badly messed up and bulky clods that I picked from the roundabout at the Via Regia together constituted most of Kurt's original tape, so it really was a lot of work to disentangle all of it and wind it back onto a cassette to listen ... At Stichting Intro And by the time - late afternoon - that the band that would be performing that evening in the klankwerkplaats arrived to set up and sound check, I had not even finished treating half of my 'tape salad bags' ...

The band was french, actually, based in Rennes: La Société des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux (in english: "The Shy People's Club at the Birds' Parade" ...). The Audioscoop evening in Maastricht was the last stop on a short tour of this interesting ensemble, which, as I learned, has a rich history, and has been playing its RIO-related and collage-based 'post-punk experimental rock' for some 21 years now, since the mid 1980's. Besides the usual rock-tools STPO uses a vast collection of - standard and less standard - instruments and sound sources to weave an obstinate, rough and jagged sort of 'free rock' around the surreal/dada-ish stories that are sung, spoken and shouted by the band's vocalist and text writer, Pascal Godjikian.

At Stichting Intro

I enjoyed their evening performance while remaining seated at my 'tape-unravel' desk in Stichting Intro's klankwerkplaats, but taking an - I'd say - well deserved break from a long day of fiddling around with muddy and greasy strands of cassette tape ...
But, of course, over the weekend I continued the 'hard work', and thus finished what has meanwhile become fotex37, the 37th acquisition of the Found Tapes Exhibition.
To commemorate this 'public FT event' in Maastricht, I made a small edition of fotex37 on ... C30-cassette ... "Found / Gevonden in Maastricht" has been issued in 16 numbered copies. Most of these have gone to people that were there, on october 28th, in the Capucijnenstraat in Maastricht. If you are interested in acquiring one of the few copies left, do drop me an email ...

cassette cover


[ Hat tiphattip to Berto Aussems for suggesting Stichting Intro as the place for a 'Maastricht FT event'. Many thanks to Stichting Intro | in Situ for a warm welcome and for making this possible on such short notice; to Kim Laugs for agreeing to have me fumbling with dirty tapes in the klankwerkplaats on the very day of one in his series of 'Audioscoop' concerts; to Frans Bergers for the Found Tapes item broadcasted on monday october 31th as part of a Knooppunt Limburg emission, on L1, the Limburgian public radio ... Listen to fragments of a recording of La Société des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux's performance in Maastricht on friday october 28th in the current, 6th, edition of Raudio, as well as in the (17th) Raudio - Found in Maastricht - Podcast. To subscribe to the Raudio Podcasts, do get the feed's URI by clicking the green podcast button in the sidebar. Alternatively, you may preview the podcast feed, or simply download the mp3-file. ]

[ added july 24th, 2008 : Precisely three years after I picked up the fourteen castaway tapes in the streets of Maastricht, the "Voddebandjes Tenhoorstelling" article on the Maastricht audio website 'Maastricht Moet Je Horen', once again tells their story ... ]

Found in Maastricht

This Google satellite picture indicates the fourteen tape find spots in Maastricht, sunday july 24th, 2005 ...


[ Next related SB-entry: axiology for dummies :: earlier related SB-entry: tête-de-tettine / tête-de-cassette ]

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