Category Archives: releases
Now that Spring arrives fast, I face the first stage of activities. Mostly I have watched the landscape and the sea, especially the sea with its uncountable appearances. There is no way to describe, or even to understand why the apparent sameness is in fact an ungraspable manifold that changes so fast that it leaves you weightless, and maybe even more, it makes you become a part of a timeless world. My thoughts sink into, grow on the futility of things; moments that become gestures because of a changing light. Parts of the day when the sea becomes dark, clouds even darker and the thunder rolls over my head, I simply have to look and listen. When the Sun warms all and everyone I think of getting a chair out, do nothing and feel comfortable. Nature is, and I try to find out what is me, when me is as everything around and above.
But that was after I worked on Don’t Talk at the Disco. It took me a month. Every one or two days break was deliberate, a technique developed when I was still writing: stop in the middle of a flow and allow the next or over-next day to bring a little change, or a new idea.
The piece takes thirty minutes. I have found six titles to define the seperate episodes. I used commercial cassettes and my own recordings. Preslav gave me his blue Tascam fourtrack, and that’s where I discovered how he got that epic, melancholy stadium rock sound; so I used it as well. I kept the mistakes, because I start to get a big aversion against the supposedly perfect crispless sounds and images delivered upon us by means of the latest digital techniques. I treated or mistreated my several walkmans to get the hickuping, stuttering sequences so typical for the medium. You get hiss, that changes into wind, changes into the rolling sea.
And that’s not all. There are true pop songs on it. Unexpectedly so, but it is the way I liked to cut and loop some of the tapes. Once it is finished, you get it out and play the other side.
The other side has sounds directly recorded on that very tape, which makes it unique. Some tapes have a guest appearance, where I added a song or a fragment from cassette releases that started to arrive at the post office from the village. The post officer now welcomes me with a smile, and feels extremely satisfied when he can hand over the packets.
Another part of side B has recordings made at a small farm: a Saturday with sun, birds, chicken, a rooster and a man baking bread. Every tape gets different fragments from it.
At a time I first realised that I was a mere beginner in this land, who should shut up and listen and look, I came upon a small path I decided to follow, not to understanding, but towards being here. That would be enough. I had to find a regular rhythm, and I should do something that was completely futile. That’s how I got to make the artwork for the tape. It doesn’t make any sense to do so, in fact the very intelectual act of ‘making sense’ or the word ‘sense’ in itself are not meant to be used in a process towards understanding, they are tools in a discourse that decides over the hierarchy of things. Today, in an economically defined society, most things make sense when they make money.
I will not make money with this tape. No-one will buy it, no-one will get the chance to buy it. On the market, it is, at shops and concerts, tapes cost anything between three and eight euro. To sell it for that price would mean to work for one euro per hour. If you bear in mind a minimum wage of ten euro, the tape should cost seventy euro. Only drawback is that I don’t work for someone else, I work for myself, like a plumber or a dentist. They reckon at least fourty euro per hour. In that optic the tape would cost you twohundred and eighty euro. Let’s laugh at the possibility that this tape, its content and the collage from fifties magazines artwork, all handmade, is a work of art. It is not. There is no context whatsoever to define Don’t Talk at the Disco a work of art.
So where does this tape go? I send it out to friends who send me a tape in return, or to friends who will recognise themselves or a part of their lives when they listen to the sounds. I take care of the details when I wrap the whole thing up, that’s it.
The first packet arrived in this letter box somewhere in Kansas.
The last sound piece I worked on in Berlin is called New Jerusalem. I started it early Oktober and finished halfway December. Stories, recordings from various locations in Berlin, melo-dramatic action painting with words and Heimatklänge came together on this release. I called it New Jerusalem, because I suddenly envisioned the fair city of Berlin as such.
The mini cassette is part of Hal McGee’s wonderful online museum called The Museum of Microcassette Art.
New Jerusalem is the 120th microcassette in the Museum. Take a tour, look, listen and marvel.