august 31, 2008.
The strands of found tape you see in the clip above, swaying in a Brussels' late spring breeze, were filmed with my Canon Powershot A520 on the terrace in front of Recyclart, on the evening of thursday june 7th, 2007. That was just before the performance of that evening, outside, closing off my days of foundtaping in the Chapelle-Kapellekerk station neighborhood (and elsewhere in Brussels), hosted by Recyclart. In the trio we did with Jean-Jacques Duerinckx (sopranino sax) and Fabrizio Rota (electronics), I used tapes that I had picked the days before, as well as 'sound chronicles' recordings that I made during my stay.
The first four minutes of our performance became the soundtrack of the u-Tube above. It is called "Le chasseur". The title first of all refers to the text spoken in one of the recordings that I used. But it is doubly appropriate, as indeed when I walk city streets looking for cast-away tape, I do so like a hunter. Even though I'm not afraid to be ambushed, or attacked by some wild animal, and even though I am not looking to shoot one thing or another, I am on the alert all the time, looking for signs that might lead me to a strand, a tangle, a lump, a knot ... that typical reflection, that certain movement ... I actually think it might be the combination of the two that assures that somehow a bit of tape out that is out there never fails to catch my eye. Often to the amazed amusement of those that walk with me. For I can be fully engaged in conversation, when suddenly, in the corner of an eye, I spot a bit of trashed tape, sometimes from a distance of tens of meters, at the other side of the street. Maybe it is indeed as Rébus remarked when together with Jean-Jacques and Elena Dunkelman we crossed the pont de Sèvres on our way back from our placard performance at la nouvelle Générale on the evening of friday july 11th, and I spotted a strand caught along the bridge's railing: "... mais c'est une maladie mentale ... !"
Here is part of the text read on the last tape that I found during past year's stay in Brussels. It was very worn, wound around the foot of a metal pole on the pavement in the rue Blaes. I suppose it came from some sort of a cassette audio guide for Christian pilgrims : "It was not until he arrived at the foot of the altar, that his appearance suddenly changed," a male voice solemnly declares (in flemish). "I had seen this happen several times already, and as many others I was under the impression that he underwent a transfiguration. This was more than a mere 'looking like' Christ [... ] Because of the wounds in his feet and his high age he could not remain standing for very long. His wounds hurt an awful lot. 'I wished I could walk on my hands,' he said [ ... ]" ( * ) ...
It was my final 'pick-up' in a series of twenty. Together they are "Found in Brussels", the Found Tapes Exhibition's 83rd acquisition, and the fourth in the FTE-series "Found In ...", of 'limited editions on cassette' cassettes.
This Google satellite picture shows where in the belgian capital I picked up 'cast-away tapes' in june 2007:
To be honest, actually only nineteen of them were real 'cast aways'.
One of them was not. Let me explain you why ... When I walked around Brussels
june last year, I was surprised by the number of cars I passed that had
one of their side window smashed, surely by sneak thieves.
Among these there was a red Toyota, parked along one of the roads near Recyclart,
running under the railway viaduct. Inside the Toyota there lay a cassette,
in full view. Whoever had smashed that window, (s)he obviously had no interest
in cassettes ...
But I had.
I walked on. Then stopped, turned around, and walked back to the car.
I looked around if there was anybody else watching, and then again hesitated ...
Until finally I gave in to the temptation: I stuck in my arm, and took the tape.
As things go, it turned out to be by far the least interesting of the many that I picked up. It was a mix-tape, with lots of pretty much mainstream disco, funk and soul. Which is of course not the main reason that I will gladly return the tape to its owner: I should not have taken it in the first place. So, if you think that this tape is yours, write me an email mentioning your red Toyota's license number, and I'll make it up to you ...
The fourth found tapes montage in our series of 'limited cassette edition' cassettes, is the longest thus far: Found in Brussels lasts close to forty minutes. (It indeed makes a perfect fit for a 33rpm vinyl album!) ...
Found in Brussels includes a great many snippets of african, french, english, flemish and dutch songs, of classical and other musics; there is the spoken fragment cited above, from that flemish cassette guide for christian pilgrims. It of course also includes the "Sing laping, sing!" montage (which was the podcast accompanying the first part of this report on my residency at Recyclart), and several more curiosities, like the tape on which, following a recording of Mozart's Requiem someone is playing/practicing the piano, while someone else appears to be passing a vacuum cleaner ... All finds, as always, are fully documented on the acquisition's web page. A copy (see the cover picture above) of the limited cassette edition costs €15, p&p included (whatever the shipping address). (Use the Buy Now button to order and pay ...)
[ The Found in Brussels cassette and copies of the other "Found In ..." limited editions can also be bought in our Found Tapes Exhibition online store. ]
[ Earlier related SB-entry: "Sing laping, sing!" (foundtaping in brussels_i) ]
notes __ ::
(*) Here is the original, in belgian dutch: "[ ... ] Pas was hij aan de voet van het altaar, of hij veranderde van uitzicht. Ik heb dit meermalen gezien, en zoals velen kreeg ik de indruk dat hij een transfiguratie onderging. Dit was meer dan alleen maar op Christus gelijken [ ... ] Door de wonden in zijn voeten en zijn hoge ouderdom kon hij zo lang niet meer staan. De wonden deden hem verschrikkelijk pijn. 'Ik zou wel willen op mijn handen kunnen lopen,' zei hij [ ... ]" [ ^ ]
tags: found tapes, brussels, foundtaping
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