April 5th, 2012 | Published in Blog
Bang the Bore XIII: The Space Left By People
Featuring: Twelve Tapes
11am – 4pm, Saturday 12th May 2012
John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Sonically reflecting the Hansard Gallery’s Quarantania exhibition – dealing with “the duality between the isolated individual and the shared awareness of the group” – Bang The Bore XIII will present a performance of Twelve Tapes: an international collaborative project, assembled and composed through group discussion and efforts.
Click HERE to listen to the first performance of Twelve Tapes.
Composed, assembled and performed by Bang the Bore
Twelve Tapes was inspired by a fortuitous charity shop discovery – an empty black plastic tape case with room for twelve cassettes.
If you were to fill that space, what would you fill it with?
I asked that question of the contributors to the Bang the Bore Forum. We put forward our ideas, disagreed, debated and decided together. This is the result:
Twelve C60 cassette tapes, each containing performances based around the note B, recorded live in enclosed, multi-storey and underground car parks. In performance, any number of these tapes may be played in any combination alongside any number of musicians playing any instrumentation.
Why car parks? In truth, we just like them. At a superficial level, they’re the null space in every city: one single dreary non-place manifesting itself in multiple locations, like an airport or a public toilet. You pass through them, you use them, and you tend not to linger in them. But at a deeper level no two are alike. Each contains a multitude of sonic environments; each changes in character utterly depending on the time you visit. And maybe we were reminded of Wayne Coyne’s car park experiments with multiple in-car tape decks in the lead up to the Flaming Lips album, Zaireeka, and thought it was a good idea that could be pushed a little further.
Why B? It could have been any note. Cassette players all play at slightly different speeds; this composition aims to explore the notions of pitch standardization and imperfect reproduction implicit in the medium, inspired, in part, by the composition experiments of John Wynne. Moreover, tuning together across time and space appealed to our sense of whimsy.
Through Twelve Tapes we’re exploring the blurring of temporal and spatial boundaries between superficially similar locations; asking questions about our intrusion into our environment in the act of field recording; commenting on the consensus of standardisation and reproduction that supports much of our musicotheological infrastructure; posing problems for the performer by allowing them the freedom to use the materials as they see fit; and imagining other possible ways of collaborating and composing in a group or collective.
We’re enjoying the process of composing and assembling Twelve Tapes. We hope you enjoy listening to it and making your own contribution.