Tuesday, 9 April 2019

found sounds

Digging through the cast-offs at the Recycling Centre—which is often used as a disposal point for surplus office equipment as much as a place to trade up or declutter—I found a vintage Phillips  dictation machine that’s really robust and solidly-built.
I like especially how the microphone feels and can pretend that I’m recording a podcast. Once I figured out the controls, fortunately it was reboxed with the instruction manual, I started listening to the mini-cassettes, not wanting to inadvertently erase a bit of history. So far, I’ve only made it through one tape—it’s interesting to note how the emphasis was on storage and not necessarily fidelity—and so far encountered an interesting sonic collage of a German woman taping a phone conversation and a man intoning a lesson on Arab vocabulary. “Sadiq means friend.” We’ll see what the rest hold. As always, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.