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Re: Scratch - the movie

At 12:04 AM -0800 3/6/02, Andre LaFosse wrote:
>A big part of my current view on using the EDP actually comes from what
>I'd call a post-DJ mentality.

I suppose you might say that my approach stems from a pre-DJ 
mentality, although I'm now interested in checking out what the DJs 
have been doing.

I consider a lot of what I do to be "sound collage" and I've been 
doing it in various contexts since 1969. I started thinking seriously 
about this kind of sound art after hearing recordings of John Cage, 
David Tudor, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, et al. in the late 
'60s (my inclusion of some of their music, along with my other early 
influences such as the Who, was a deliberate homage in my Loopstock 

Cage's Variations IV, with its environmental audio collage of 
recorded, broadcast, and live sound sources, was a particular 
inspiration, and it was after attending two Merce Cunnigham dance 
performances with music by Cage, Tudor, and Gordon Mumma that I was 
inspired to do my own first multimedia piece with indeterminate 
multichannel surround sound. I prepared four tapes, to be played back 
simultaneously on a quartet of tape decks, each with its own 
autonomous operator. My production tools were two tape decks, a Nagra 
for playback and a Tandberg for recording. Each had a particular 
transport quirk that allowed a certain range of playback or record 

The Nagra had a clutch lever that could be pulled out while the tape 
was playing. Pulled out a little bit set it into fast forward; 
pulling out all the way put it into reverse. I developed a technique 
for continuously "scrub" the tape back and forth, very much like 
vinyl scratching.

The Tandberg had a small lever that would pinch the tape and prevent 
it from moving. This was no doubt designed for cueing during 
playback, but I used it while in record mode as a way to punch in. An 
interesting artifact was produced during the brief interval while the 
record tape was coming up to speed. This would produce an effect on 
playback of a sharp attack with a quick downward glissando. In 
several passages punched in repeatedly over the same section of tape, 
creating a sort of stutter effect.

Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202