Links and News

Posted by on February 8th, 2011 § 0

We ain’t dead!  In fact, the Listening Project is on board with another neat Humanities Center project, which we’ve spent the last few weeks getting off the ground.  At the end of the month, on Friday, February 25, the HHC is hosting a conference called “In/Visible: Disability and the Arts.”  In addition to simply participating in the conference, members of the Listening Project are producing an additional event/experience revolving around access on campus.  We’ve still got a few kinks to work out, so I’ll keep this hush-hush/on the DL/etc. for the moment, but just know that if you’re itching to get involved, we’d be happy to interview you and there’s also a student reading group happening this week and next!

Also: here’s a cool cassette tape gif.

Awesome tapes from Africa!

Posted by on January 7th, 2011 § 0

Believe it or not, the title of this entry does not spring from my (misplaced?) enthusiasm for cassette tapes.  Not directly, anyway.

Meet Brian Shimkovitz, recently spotlighted in the Fader for his blog called (what else) Awesome Tapes from Africa.  In some ways, it would appear that Mr. Shimkovitz (Brian?) and I are brethren in our efforts simultaneously to preserve the cassette tape as a medium and to digitally disperse the contents of cassettes.  His project differs from the Listening Project superficially, of course: he collects music from all over Africa, which he then digitizes and shares on his blog.  He also draws opinion in different ways.  By sharing the contents of his tapes, Shimkovitz provides a new forum for the voices of these artists, but also makes his own point about recording media, the music industry, and access.  As the music works its magic on his readers (and listeners, I suppose), Shimkovitz’s project begs for comments; in the Fader video, he speaks specifically of the different opinions and voices that have entered into conversation on his blog.  No need to take my word for it, though… that’s what links are for.

Incidentally, it sounds a little bit like the sound for the video might have been recorded on a cassette tape, but perhaps my ears betray me.

Looking Ahead…

Posted by on January 2nd, 2011 § 0

Well, it is most certainly 2011.  With the impending date change hovering over my head, I spent the last few days of 2010 tying up loose ends and accomplishing tasks that might imply some kind of resolution.  To wit: I signed up for a “trial membership” at a nearby yoga studio; I submitted an application to teach English in France; I purchased snow boots.  A lighthearted New Years Eve gave way to a heavy-headed New Years Day, but here I am… and with cassettes in tow!  A friend somehow managed to snag a decorative cassette tape off the bathroom wall in the fine establishment that hosted our revelry.  I can honestly say that under no other circumstances would I be more grateful for a tape of Nashville Pussy’s classic tunes.  Happy New Year to all!

While I’m rather doubtful that I will ever listen to this trophy tape, I am pleased to announce that the Listening Project has already acquired several more tapes (as yet unheard) whose recordings we will likely unveil next semester.  Although the LP was originally commissioned for just one semester, I think it’s clear that we still have work to do.  We have alumni voices to share now (and more who want to record).  I should also mention that one Stephen G. Emerson took a turn behind the tape recorder at our reception.  The following night, we ordered enough pizza for forty people and, by golly, all of it was consumed at the Broadcast Party.  Afterward, I received many emails from people interested in recording and peers who were interested in getting a copy of the broadcast.

Unfortunately, the broadcast mp3 is too large to share via WordPress, but this brings me to my next point.  Even if I were able to share the broadcast, it still wouldn’t do the recordings justice.  Whittling down seventeen tapes’ worth of material for a thirty minute broadcast meant leaving out entire interviews for the sake of continuity.  This coming semester, the LP hopes both to begin the process of archiving the tapes in the library and to create a series of brief themed podcasts to share on the blog.  We may also reopen community recording in some small scale way.  Keep your eyes on the blog, because 2011 has a lot in store for the LP.

Big thanks to Thy for keeping up with the blog over the holidays!

(This entry sponsored in part by The Passive Voice.)

Thank you!

Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 § 0

Yesterday was the last day of Listening Project recording, and now I’ve got about 15 cassette tapes!  I knew my fears were unfounded, but as a friend of mine said today, “it’s the curse of academia.”  You never know if you (or anyone else) will make the deadline.  I have clandestinely kept a photobooth diary of my feelings: every time I received something for the Listening Project (tapes, tape recorders, recordings…), I’d snap a little photo of myself with said item(s).  So, for your viewing pleasure, a triptych of emotion:

In other news, I’ve already received some emails and notes from people who didn’t make the deadline but still want to participate.  SO, to accommodate you slackers (it’s a term of endearment), I’ve decided to leave the Humanities Center tape recorder out for a little bit longer. All the materials you need are available in the office (and I may create some kind of basket outside the office to make the process even more convenient)… don’t forget to sign the recording release form!

And of course, a BIG thank you to everyone who has already participated.  I cannot wait to hear what you have to say.

Audacity and Audaciousness

Posted by on November 11th, 2010 § 1

I’ve had this one up my sleeve for a little while, so I think it’s about time I shared it with you.  When I describe the Listening Project, I’ve come to anticipate the question, “Why cassette tapes?” and the inevitable follow ups, “Why not go digital?” and “How are you going to convert to digital?”  I usually just reply that I have my ways and it isn’t that hard.

Now I have proof: Testing!

Behold!  A little while ago I made a quick recording to test out the tape recorders when they arrived.  As you can hear, I was a little over excited and started speaking too early (always wait at least five seconds), but you’d better believe that this digital recording was once (and actually, still is) on a cassette tape.  You’ll also probably notice that I am the most interesting and loquacious person alive.  You’re probably expecting me to say that I did this by magic… especially given my tendency to attribute most things to magic (see earlier posts).  I aim to surprise, though, and I will tell you the secrets: (1) male-male audio cables, (2) a free Audacity download, and (3) Digital Bits.

This post was sponsored in part by parentheses.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with cassette tapes at the Listening Project.