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Mo’ Better Mo-Tapemosphere (#9) / Chase away my fear

tapemosphere 9

(picture by Michael Peters)

“I was there early april, and watched them build it …

Saw Euclid’s children in the Köllner Moltkerei struggle with a wooden approximation of an octogone, to get the projections right, and mark the spots on the floor and on the ceiling where to put the screws to hold the nylon wires that would keep the cassette machines up floating in the air as if on a slightly inclined plane … See how transparent, how very fragile, how shaky! A something that’s almost not there. It looks as if made out of thin glass, about to shiver at the slightest of touch … And when set in motion, by plugging the plugs, it does so hesitatingly. The long looped strands of tape quiver, the little motors and wheels slightly squeal. Here and there one of the B-boyz’s has to lend the machine a hand, re-adjusting the placement of the tapes along the nylon wires that guide it, help them find their proper track … It is as if it is coming to life, willy-nilly, and not quite decided whether that is the right thing to do.
Much of its beauty is due to this hesitation, this frailty caused by the installation’s mechanical and analog imperfections …

The tapemosphere website has a short sound recording of the tapemosphere #9 installation.

If you listen carefully you’ll hear a singer sing ‘Chase away all my fear’ …It is part of one of the looped tunes composed for the tapemosphere by Block Barley. It is like a plea, or a prayer; it might be the statement of a fact; but it is also a command, and a charm, and a spell. In fact, it is all of these together. And because it is all of these together it is magic. A tune that lingers; a mantra playing on – insistingly – inside your head. An earworm if ever I got one …

‘Chase away all my fear’ was this ninth tapemosphere’s soundtrack, endlessly looping from Block’s laptop in the mornings, and twirling from a cassette playing in a portable player during the installation of the loop-sphere in the Moltkerei, at times dangling from the steering wheel of a bicycle while we were going here or there, or standing on the pavement while we were late in the evening drinking beers on the steps of a shop’s porch in the Aachener Straße, with Béla making chalk drawings of cassettes, and rushing up and down the street on his skateboard, handing out flyers to passers-by … ”

[ Read more in the soundblog … ]