One of the reasons that I started to organize Das Kleine Field Recordings Festival was to offer a space to musicians other then the numerous websites where the results of their work got published in what ever format. Through the years I learned from discussions the multiple ways that existed to mould recordings into a composition. A variety of artists performed at my little no budget festival; all of them found a generous audience who listened to their performance with remarkable attention.
A few years later my vision on field recordings has become a bit more radical. Of course there are other ways to define this genre then is done by wikipedia. That’s why I stick to a negation to make my point clear. Field Recordings are not Studio Recordings. My difficulty comes with the use of computer in the process of composing. The modern computer is much better equipped then the studio’s of the days when artists went out to record their music. I want imperfection to be heard. I want the human presence to be heard. I am not interested in a musical composition. I want to hear recordings used to tell a story.
Another experience that shifted my view is the development of my personal career, and the encounters I have made. Apart from Berlin where I live, the major inspiration comes from my visits and sonic encounters in Paris. I am very much enchanted by the thrift store style I found. A style that doesn’t limit itself to producing sound, but also adds the childhood fantasy to it: the one where objects get animated and start to live. Indeed this is how stories come into being.
My main instruments are tapes. On these tapes are my recordings. I look with special interest to colleagues who use the same medium. The Tales for Tapes series by Anton Mobin inspired me to organize the same event also in Berlin. The title speaks for it self. The first evening in Berlin with Aki Onda was a major success. An artist who strives for perfection, he managed to create an acoustic space where sound was almost liquid: it was everywhere. The audience listened attentively, but also experienced the warm bath of sound. And they saw someone actually perform and create a composition by handling his tapes and cassette players.
On 3. August, Tales for Tapes volume 5 will take place at Altes Finanzamt in Berlin. Prior to that evening there are three days of recording sessions in the basement of the Staalplaat Store. More D.I.Y and cassette culture then field recordings, every one who joins cannot escape form the fact that his/her recordings are not made in a studio and that he/she will stumble upon the imperfection of the medium. You don’t have to be an alchemist to understand the importance of imperfection.
The evening in Altes Finanzamt will start at seven o’clock with a presentation of the Blind Tape Quartets, read the result of the recordings sessions the week before. Participants and an interested audience alike can come and use or get informed on the use of a four track recorder. The recordings will be mixed on one tape, and maybe another one, and this or these tapes are a release of Blind Tape. Any instructive or anecdotic talk on the use of magnetic tape can be understood as a first attempt to set up a Tape Academy.
The concerts will start at 21.45. with a duo performance by me ( Rinus van Alebeek) and Lukatoyboy, the label owner of Blind Tape. Luka Ivanovic is from Belgrade. He is young enough to have missed the rise and fall of the cassette as a major medium to reproduce music. I am not. What this will sound like when we play together is unclear until you are there to witness it.
The second guest of the evening is Adam Thomas (aka Preslav literary School ) who made everyone stop talking in the background ever since he gave his first concert in Berlin. Often enough eulogised by me, I cannot stop to emphasize how original and delicate his soundings are. Enough to witness, his hands always travelling over two square meters filled with all kinds of (mini-) cassette players, he captures again and again his audience in an opera that travels beyond the realms of literature and music; what you hear might be the sound track of one of your dearer dreams.
The Tales for Tapes series will continue in Paris and in Berlin. As for now I see it as an extension of Das Kleine Field Recordings Festival. Though I have received requests from overseas visitors to perform at the DKFRF, I couldn’t find the one good reason to set up another regular episode. Maybe it will happen in the future, once I have found a way to go on.
Tales for Tapes volume 5
Blind Tape Quartets (BTQ)
Preslav Literary School
Lukatoyboy vs Rinus van Alebeek
BTQ from 19.00 to 21.00
Concerts start at 21.45
Schönstedt strasse 7 ( entrance via courtyard)
U7 Rathaus Neukölln (exit Schönstedtstrasse)