What we’re going to do right here is go back, way back, back into time…

Tapes spider diagramLoving the retro experience of playing with tape again.

Been listening to Blondie and the sound quality is awful. I think we forget how bad it was. But I love the whirring sound of the machine, the number counter, the tedious process of ‘fast’ forward and rewinding to the exact spot, the sound of the record button clunking on and off caught forever on tape.

When I came to play with it I remembered that you either needed to leave the ‘pips’ in or cover the hole up with cellotape so you can record over it and I don’t have any cellotape with me but luckily there is a tape with Coldplay (BLEUGH!!!) that still has the pips in so I can still play…

It’s doing exactly what it is supposed to do and is taking me back to my childhood. Mum still has the tape I made when, aged 6, she was decorating our flat and to keep me occupied she told me to record myself reading stories and singing songs including such classics as Tiger Tiger and The Bear Went Over the Mountain. Then there were the many, many, MANY Sunday afternoons in my teens spent glued to the charts trying to catch the songs JUST RIGHT to avoid getting too much of the DJ’s voice, and finally the anguished taped love letters sent to my boyfriend back home when I went to work for a touring theatre company aged 18.

It’s pretty evocative stuff and I hope it will find it’s way in to the show somehow…

There is something here about the layering of sound, the imperfection of it, the direct address, of the ‘liveness’ of a recorded voice in a pre-Skype era and the disembodied voice reaching out to connect over distance.

(Big thanks to Third Angel for the equipment!)

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