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Found Sound




When I see a birds nest of audio tape at the side of the road I am

intrigued to know what is recorded on it.  A speech 

by a disgraced politician ? A live recording of Captain Beefheart ? Or 

more likely the auto tuned warblings of the latest popster.


The tape harvested from 4 main roads 

The Great West Rd, Western Ave A40, A406 North Circular

and the Uxbridge Rd. I also added a broken tape found on the pavement

walking down Wyndham Rd W13. 

The idea was to make a 5 or 6 minute piece of audio by editing together 

tape that was as undamaged as possible. Between the good parts I 

intercut some of the roughest tape. I wanted the juxstaposition of rough

and smooth. 


At times the tape was quite fresh and in reasonably good condition. A lot 

of it was like the stuff attached to the stick (see photo), this tape was abraded 

and torn, with cuts to the edges and covered in grime and filth. This had to be 

carefully washed with a liitle water and washing up liquid and then air dried.

I cut sections that were the least creased or damaged so in most cases the 

edits were made for me. As the sections were edited they were fed back into a 

donor cassette which already had some tape in  it. I was not aware until I played 

the whole thing back that there was some audio already on it. The recording was

of Buddy Rich lambasting his fellow musos, raving in a faintly 

psychotic bullying way, seemingly no ryhme or reason to his ranting. 

This recording was re-discovered rather than found, but the synchronicity

of a drummer on the road, and myself  a drummer looking for music on the road  

was an interesting coda to the recording.


The music found,  covered quite a geographical spread, from North  to South America,

South Asia, to Europe. I am really pleased with the eclectic nature of the music and 

sound. Some of the tape had no music and sounded like the run out groove of a vinyl 


This project would be virtually impossible to make now, cassettes have almost totally 

disappeared. I do not see nests of tape in the gutter anymore. The film could be seen

as a requiem to the medium. 


Think of the soundtrack as the main focus,  and play loud, the visuals are backgound,  

though there are significant moments in there - the end shots suggest a whole new film.


 0.20  ‘Vamos A Guaracher' 1956 

 Celia Cruz & La Sonora Matancera   

 2.10 ‘Sheesha Ho Ya Dil Ho” Lata Mangeshka   

 4.09 Gairon Pe Karam Lata Mangeshka   

 4.48 ‘Jane Kyon Log’ Lata Mangeshka   

 5.16 ‘Vallon Valerde’ Celia Cruz & La Sonora Matancera   

 6.00 ‘Pepe Antonio’ Cela Cruz & La Sonora Matancera

 6.26 Buddy rich on tour bus.






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