Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Discovering My Musical Influences

Day Five.

Oh, BOY.

I've been listening to the tapes I held onto yesterday.
I didn't expect to find such a huge range of sonic treasures! Well, OK, not treasures exactly, but such a variety of different worlds for my ears to dip into. I've only listened to the beginnings of each side, as my object is to find home-recordings of my own songs over the years (and I always recorded my songs at the beginning of tapes so that I had some chance of finding them. I never marked the tapes. That would have been as despicable as scribbling in books).

Bloody hell, though, doesn't it take a LONG TIME to rewind an entire 90-minute cassette?! And then the names on the recordable tapes took me back:
Memorex, Ferrick, TDK AD-X 60, Philips FE-I, CP II 90, Sony Hi-Fi, Maxwell UE, Sky FX. All "High Fidelity for Music and Voice" no doubt.

The one that made me laugh out loud was BBC Normal Bias. :S

Here are some of the things I encountered, so in some ways you could probably define them as my INFLUENCES:

Popular bands: Nirvana, Pink Floyd, REM, Jewel, Johnny Cash, UB40.
Festival bands: Kangaroo Moon, Space Goats, FOS Brothers.
Classical: Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
World music: Indian flute and drums.
Mediaeval music and Dead Can Dance.
Eighties pop: Neneh Cherry and plenty of nameless radio bands.
Loads of trance music.
Some of my old songs, YAY!

University lectures recorded on a dictaphone:
"the history of tragedy"
"it's like looking at someone looking"
"this may not surprise you, but it may interest you: very often your marks for the essays are in direct proportion to the lectures you attended" *

A song called 'Shut Up' written and recorded by my Slovenian friend Matevz, about his father.
A spine tingling musical/poetic take on Apartheid.
Elvis singing "Maybe I didn't love you quite as often as I should..."
Machine gun fire - for literally 5 minutes. I don't know how or why I ended up with that.
Ultra-slowed-down singing, only after deciphering the lyrics did I realise that it was ME, recorded on a 4-track.

Result: Many more tapes for the bin. I've discovered a brief history of my musical tastes. AND, I have found some of my earliest songs, horray!

Good night :)

PS - Kellee, thanks for your offer to turn the tapes into art, but I simply must get them out of the house before I start regretting getting rid of them! Maybe you have some of your own you can create something beautiful out of? Failing that, Imogen's got BAGS of them! :)

* This was the module on Shakespeare's Drama. I missed a few lectures but sent a mate in with a dictaphone. When the time came for me to take notes from the recording, I ended up writing out the lecture word for word. My essay was the lecture minus the anecdotes. I got a first.


  1. Bloody teachers.

    Teaching bloody themselves.

    oh, boy.

  2. I love those super slow 4-track tapes. One day I'll work out how to get them working normal speed, albeit without a 4track. There must be a way... (am rubbish with cubase etc...)

  3. bloody egotistical lecturers awarding their own work first class honours! ;-)

  4. Eee, thanks all. Popboy - the problem with the 4-track tapes is that when they are recorded, the information is laid down on BOTH SIDES of the actual tape. So you would need a 4-track player to get it all straight. I have a 4-track recorder still, but I'm not clued up as to how to get the song from theer onto a computer...? Any thoughts?

    Carole! So glad YOU'VE turned up! Hope all is well!


  5. actually, I lied. I got rid of my tapes last year except one small bag of very special ones which I know I won't listen to but they will be Ianto's heirlooms - i have to leave him something!