Museum Tape Loop #3
The sound source for the third residency tape loop was a five inch postal record from the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum collection. Postal records were commonly dispatched by members of the armed forces and their loved ones during WW2; a maximum of 160 words could be recorded. Due to its light weight and thin shellac coating on card these curious sonic artefacts were dispatched as you would do a letter. The postal record utilised for this loop was intended for a solider named Alfred Swaby and the speaker is a lady named Rene. All 37 seconds of the record were transcribed onto cassette tape and audio software; small segments were time stretched and warped digitally creating a new and eerie composition which was one and a half minutes in length. The original recording was digitally enhanced and layered over the new composition crafting an intriguing sonic juxtaposition; it also enabled visitors to hear the record in its entirety.
Postal records are generally very lo-fi sounding so a written account by Rene was also provided which visitors followed whilst she spoke!
The single guide roller is a clear Perspex stand from the Costume & Textiles collection utilised for displaying accessories such has collars and hats. Its size and shape was perfect for the delicate magnetic tape to glide over and proved much more effective than the bobbins used previously!
Electromagnetic Field Box (Updated)
A slightly updated Electromagnetic Field Box was on display which again proved very popular with visitors. The changes are largely cosmetic and provided by Elizabeth Hindle whom painstakingly burnt a target design directly on the lid of the box (prior to this it was printed on card and mounted). As you can see her pyrographic skills are fantastic and really enhanced the aesthetics of the piece!
Clearer and more comprehensive instructions and information were provided giving visitors a better understanding what they were hearing when their electronic device was placed on the target. .
Lathe Cut Record Tester
A clear 7” x 7” square mono lathe cut record was displayed for visitors to pick up and inspect. As a majority of visitors weren’t familiar with the format many were intrigued when I explained how lathe cuts were manufactured and worked. One visitor commented it was the most beautiful record he had ever seen!
The Crank Wax Cylinder and Cassette
‘The Crank’ wax cylinder project created earlier in the year was on show for visitors; detailed information and images accompanied the cylinder explaining further about the format and recording itself. Ideally I would have loved to play the cylinder on an acoustic machine in the gallery but the fragility of the format and finding a functioning player meant it wasn’t possible this time! As a substitute the recording captured on an acoustic phonographic machine was available on cassette for visitors to play at their own leisure.
For further information and to hear the original please refer to these earlier posts on my site: