wow was first piece I created for my cassette players. None of the players I used for the piece are up to standard or sound the same as they did when they were produced, I presume. To hear the imperfections it is best to use comparison so I decided to compare my cassette players using sine waves for the most audible pitch differences.
The piece is a five-minute long, eight-channel fixed-media composition made using eight different cassette players. Each channel and corresponding speaker represents a single player. All the players were recorded on the computer while playing a similar but slightly different cassette. On the cassettes there are 3 sine tones that were chosen arbitrarily.
457Hz 761Hz 319Hz
The piece manages to bring to light the lack of transparency in my cassette players and the different personalities they possess. The combination of the audible failures of the machines to play the same note and the interruptions of the past makes them feel human and nostalgic.
I often think of my cassette players as unreliable performers. I give them the material I want them to play but they never play it the same. This, for me, is part of their unique personalities.
The piece was premiered at ZKM’s next_generation festival in Karlsruhe in 2019.