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axiology for dummies

january 13, 2006.

The man is driving in a car with a gps.

He listens to the news on France Info ... the announcer tells how twelve very valuable statues were stolen, in the night from monday on tuesday, from the church of Camblain-Châtelain in Pas-de-Calais.
Every now and then his gps emits instructions ...

"... à deux cent mètres ... tournez à gauche ... puis ... tournez à gauche ...".

The car stops.

The man gets out.

There's a phone call on his handy.
He says that he is (or will be) in a certain cafe.
We then hear the man entering what must be that cafe.
Rumble, noise, voices and music.
The man says 'hello', and goes to the lavatory. He comes out again, orders a drink, and installs himself.

There is chamber music playing.

A lady arrives.
She talks to the man.
Her speech is not very clear.
The man's is.
But first the man listens.
Then, when he speaks, he does so calmly and composed ...

he:- "I entrusted you with an envelope, with three thousand and seven hundred euros ..."

And again:

he:- "I entrusted you with an envelope, with three thousand and seven hundred euros ... I gave you an envelope in which ... in it there were three thousand and seven hundred euros ... The next day, you come up to see me, and you say: 'That envelope, yeah, I've got it!' ... You tell me that it's in your ... car ... And then later you tell me that you keep it at your place ... that you hid it under your bed ... "

she:- "I'm not talking about that ... I'm talking about you and me ... "

he:- "... I ... I ... there's an envelope with three thousand and seven hundred euros that I entrusted you with ... which wasn't my money ... and now that money has disappeared ...
...
and the very least to do in such a case ... when a such thing is ... happening ... is ... that then you come to me ... and you explain to me what happened to the envelope ... 'that envelope, it was stolen from me! ...' ... or: 'I spent all that was in the envelope ...!' ... Whatever ... For that is what respect demands ... That is what values are about ... And you ... you did not respect these values ...

she:- "You mean I don't have no values ? ... "

he:- "No! No! You do not respect the values ... You told me that envelope was in your car ... but that envelope ... maybe it was stolen from you ... maybe ... what do I know ... but that envelope ... you do not have it any longer ... And now I'm in trouble ... with my friends ... with the business that I deal with ... and that is what matters ... those are the values ...
...
And the least of things ... when ... when the man you are with ... you have an envelope of his, with three thousand and seven hundred euros ... and then ... you ... the least you could do is give him an explanation ! ...
...
If you have it, and you spent the money ... well ... good for you! ... we each go our way ... you will be able to pay the rent ... "

she:- "Ah no! I ain't got no money ... I'm living on credit ..."

he:- "So it was stolen from you? ... You've got nothing at all? ... OK ... You mean I didn't even give it to you in the first place ... ? ... I Never gave you an envelope, did I? ... OK ...! ...."

FT #242Then there's no more voices, just some noises.
This is where the tape ends.
I found it (#242) october last year, late one sunday afternoon, wrapped around a metal pole on the pavement near the entrance of the parking garage opposite the Montreuil flea market.
It came from a micro cassette, and must have been recorded on a small pocket dictaphone.
The theft of the statues in the church of Camblain-Châtelain took place in the night of september 20th, 2004. So (most of) the recording probably was made in that same week ...

The recording lasts some 10 minutes, about five of which are included in the 42nd acquisition of our Found Tapes Exhibition. The corresponding montage has been included as this SoundBlog entry's podcast ...

Mix Ape CDr cover...

ITDE's DaveX ( hattip ) recently drew my attention to a CDr released by Free Matter For The Blind (based in Providence, Rhode Island), 'a no-music label for those who would rather not'. It is titled Found in the Street Tapes and Features (see picture), by Mix Ape, and entirely based upon 100+ tapes and tape bits found between somewhere in the 1990's and 2004 in the streets of Olneyville, a neighborhood in Providence. The first two of the thirteen tracks on the disc are the respective 'A' and 'B' side of a random splice of about 88 pieces, each 1 foot long (that's 30.48 centimeters, so about 6.5 seconds for standard cassette tape recordings). The other eleven tracks contain a selection of music (full length songs) and other recordings taken from the tapes found in Olneyville.

Interesting to notice the differences in the details (due, obviously, to the fact that Olneyville ain't neither Paris nor Maastricht or Amsterdam), as well as how similar nevertheless 'in general feel' (ah! now that's a nice'n'vague way to put it :-) the Olneyville collection is to mine ... the 'over all' composition of the collection seems to be pretty much the same: bulk of it being popular music, and then there are the 'religion' tapes, the 'marke- or something' tapes, the language lessons, and the occasional home recorded gem, like the one of track #13 on the CDr, where a bunch of pre-adolescent (judging from the sound of their voices) boys indulge in a recording of near hysteric 'sexual boasting' ...

I'm pretty grateful to all that sent me pointers to other's work with 'found-in-the-streets-tapes'. So here's to Julian Hughes, Åsa Ståhl, and Michael Peters (who drew my attention to John Smith's Lost Sound video (1998-2001), made in collaboration with Graeme Miller). However small and limited in absolute terms, together all of this starts to make for an interesting and still growing context.
Until, that is, the world runs out of magnetic tape ... and out of cassette players, to be more precise. Which is what's happening here and now.
This is what the Mix Ape (aka Matt B.) wrote me in an email (january 10th, 2006):

"well i dont know if its
like this where you are, but [here] tapes in the
street have all but disappeard [...]
i have moved
on to cds, which are not as interesting? [...]
right now i think im at about 500
found cds, which of only about 100 i can
get sound out of, but they are beautiful
smashed things ..."

Mix Ape's Olneyville collection actually is the first non-European found cassettes collection that I know of, and of course I was curious to know what made him start collecting 'street tapes' in the first place, and whence the '199?' ... Matt wrote (email january 11th, 2006):

"yes 199?, because icant remember
when i started picking them up ,
first of all im a ' tape collector'
in the normal sense (not smashed)
and [...] the found tapes were
mutilated, muddy and the guts of
tapes and reminded me of another
structure of music and sound,
slowly they were bagged
and numbered, then in a fit of fury
after years spliced together to see
what was on them , but the spliced whole
was enough, except for some that stood
out. [...]
but i still have everything.
[...]
one day i will put it all on the web hopefully/
the only other american i can figure on
is someone i saw advertised 10+ years ago
in a noise zine wanting people from all over
to mail in tape they find to be all spliced
back and then made into a tape and sent
to everyone, maybe it was a mail art zine.
[...] "

[ Next related SB entry: ride, buggy, ride ...! :: previous related SB entry: found in maastricht ]

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