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Classical Notes

A Symphony of Tape Decks

Posted at 10:34 AM on December 5, 2012 by Emily Reese (4 Comments)

Artist Stephen Cornford has an exhibit in Germany I'd love to experience in person.

Cornford's piece, Binatone Galaxy, features 28 tape decks of varying models, from different decades, connected to each other such that each deck amplifies the sound of the machine to which it's connected.

Perhaps better to see and hear, than to explain:

When the five-odd minute video finished, I was disappointed it was over. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the sounds and rhythms.

[Hat tip: American Composer's Forum via Co.Design]

Comments (4)

OK, it's interesting and all, but that's not what I came to this page to do. To get rid of the distraction, I wish the video had a button to pause or stop it. My only recourse was to mute the computer's entire audio output, which leaves other functions disabled until it's restored.

Posted by Stan | December 8, 2012 7:51 AM

I could swear I tried mousing over the screen with no buttons appearing, but now they are there, so forget the last comment.

Posted by Stan | December 8, 2012 7:53 AM

Well, it's still annoying that every time you return to this page it starts off again automatically. I would prefer to have a Play button and default to NOT playing.

Posted by Stan | December 8, 2012 7:56 AM


Electronically it looks pretty intricate. Someone had to solder up all those circuits and place them in cassette shells and wire up the audio network. Sonically it is very interesting.

Back in the late seventies I attended a concert where one of the pieces consisted of about 20 people, each with a cassette player with one long sustained note (from a synthesizer perhaps) playing on it. The audience sat in chairs that formed a circle and the performers would run around the outside of the audience. The effect was interesting. The different tones would weave in and out. One could hear the Doppler effect as they would approach and then pass (not to mention the polyphony of it ).Quite an aural experience.

Posted by Pete | December 14, 2012 11:32 PM