Working on Tape Releases

I had the idea years ago. The C60 The Last Day on Earth had to become the follow-up of The Four Corners of the Night. I asked four artists. Each artist got a different score. The score was either a short story or a kind of poem. I never got four satisfying contributions in return. Two pieces were in line with the concept. I thought that I could use those two compositions, some fragments from the others and create an audio-book. My ambition was obstructed by reality. I put the release on hold for a long time. Midori and Kris were incredibly patient.

I had to think again of his contribution when I listened to Kris’ release begin_if_(3). I liked his cinematic approach very much. Desolation and optimism, a burning landscape, industrial wasteland on a blackened horizon, two people who probably didn’t know anything about their fate, all these elements were present. I listened to Midori’s work. I encountered the quality I needed. She was absent in her piece. The piano talked. The notes floated gently. There was a hint of happy sadness that defines life once youthful years start withdrawing in objects. There was silence in between those notes, like there can be silence, when a distant feeling of calm pushes emotional ties aside.

The two pieces made me think. Burn Midori’s piece to ashes, the remains would sound like Kris’ composition. Treat Midori’s piano work with x-ray and what you will see is Kris’ work. I found the similarity striking and decided to pick up the original concept and make it a C30.

A long process started. My first concern was the look of the tape. Once that problem was solved, partly by coincidence, the idea for the artwork came. I knew it had to be a plastic bottle. It was impossible to do the sixties pop-art thing I had in mind. Maybe I will use this concept once I start creating artworks that measure at least one square meter. I think, though, that Geert-Jan Hobijn’s work in progress -plastic souls- pushed me to the plastic bottles.

The Last Day on Earth, with works by Midori Hirano and Kris Limbach is a C30 of chrome quality. It was duplicated at home, in real time, using a Marantz CP430. The inlay is an A4 with the complete texts of both scores and the credits.

You can buy this tape directly from the artists, at the staalplaat shop in Berlin, or from me. Price is 8.50€ ex shipping.

The Last Day on Earth is released in a small edition of 26 copies. I will make a new edition once the first one has sold out completely.



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Polish Journal

I started to record observations, thoughts, descriptions directly on tape. I use a Sony Walkman of very modest quality, that still is able to capture sounds of a more delicate nature as passing cars or screaming children produce.

I recorded the first tape in Wroclaw, in April 2017. I describe the neighborhood where I stayed with its prison and school with bullet holes, walk the old streets and reflect on the pre-war nature of it, when the city was German and called Breslau.

I watch the neighbours in the courtyard, the destruction of a cupboard, but poets reading their poems in an anarchist bar, or an avant-rock combo playing were also captured.

Radio On will broadcast the one hour journal.

 

Polish Journal might be released as a limited edition of twelve cassettes .

The second tape of the Polish Journal is well on its way.

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Sold Out

Early Piano Works volume 2, The American Recitals, my C40 release on Coherent States has definitely sold out. If you missed it, and want a physical copy, you need to organize a march to the Coherent States Headquarters. Bang on the door, bring fireworks and boomboxes, hold up banners, wave flags, burn digital downloads. Sign a petition if Athens is too far away, or set up a crowdfunding: ‘Early Piano Works for more democracy, Now!’ Someone will hear you, sometime.

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From the Book of Doom

doom

I met her in front of the old church. It was an anonymous autumn day. People walked fast, hidden in their coats. “Here,” she said. She took a book out of her handbag. It looked lost and weary, the edges eaten by mice. “You should have it.” I opened it.

Read carefully, dear friend. And don’t go looking for the missing pages. It won’t help you. Yours, X

“Kreutzer Sonata,” she said. She looked nervously at the entrance of the church. “I need to go now.” She kissed me on the cheek, lightly. Her lips were cold. The book lay heavy in my hand, as I watched her disappear between the people on the square.

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Done Before/Histoire d’un Pomme de Terre

After a rest of a couple of years, I got back in touch with a part of my cassette collection. To my surprise I discovered some master tapes, I had forgotten about.

They had spoken word parts on it, older testimonies, strange musical segments. I could clearly envision the time, when I made these recordings. I recognized voices of friends; I also remembered why the year 1999 was of such significance.

A neutral listener will hear a different story. None of the exact information will give insights. What remains of those recordings is a sense of listening to, somehow eavesdropping on a moment in somebody’s life.

The other me which I heard on these recordings was at a long distance of the me, that I am at this moment. I realize, that time has blocked many ways that are leading back to the recordings. What I hear, is no longer accessible in life. The two pieces are like found tapes, simply because the other me is almost a stranger.

I could have released the tape as a conceptual work of art. I could have faked the found tape idea, or fuck it. I decided to fuck it.

Done Before/L’Histoire d’un Pomme de Terre is a C60 tape, dubbed from a Sony Walkman WM-D6C on a Marantz CP430. I wrote the information with a typewriter on paper, that had been stored for years and years. The tape comes with an adhesive strip, that you have to remove before playing. This act is the last part of the art work process.

You can get the tape at the staalplaat shop or at one of my concerts. Price 6.50 plus shipping.

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