my first recorder was a present from my mum, for my 12th birthday. A small portable cassette recorder (sanyo) that I still have. My first recordings were mostly attempts to capture radio sessions late at night by placing the built in microphone next to a portable radio. I remember listening back and hearing the transformative effect of tape and how placing the recorder too close to the recorder would sometimes result in small vibrations of plastic on plastic during peaks in the music. 

My first 'field recordings' were in the back garden, accidently at first, followed by trying to record sounds around the house; the sound of the washing line vibrating in the wind coming through the wall to which it was connected (a faint sound that could only be really heard, or part imagined, by placing my ear on my bedroom wall above the lines anchor point), or the creaking of the house heating up and cooling down. 

Later I bought 2 reel to reel machines, second hand from people selling them in the local papers classified ads. I began experimenting with collage, speed and different ways to record the sound of the machines themselves. Later still the arrival of the recording walkman, and its various non-Sony alternatives, meant even more freedom to record without anyone realising and for longer. I still have all of these machines - some still work, others sit waiting to be repaired (by who though !).

Every now and then I look at the shelves that contain the reels and the cassettes and I think that I really must transfer it all to digital at some point. I then, of course, don't make a start and more dust gathers.

I still use portable cassette recorders and players - both in live performance and to make new work. Most recently on a series of collaborations with my daughter, the artist Pheobe riley Law, titled 'interference of objects'. Some of these pieces will be released in 2019. We also collaborated on some pieces using found 16mm footage, both for visual and audio-strip collage.


texture tape.mp3

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