What are the Benefits of Sound?

Six desktop cassette recorders are suspended from the ceiling, fairly widely separated in the space. From each cassette player is suspended a toy keyboard. The cassette players are loaded with ‘endless cassettes’ – tape loops made for answering machines. These are of varying length, from 1 to 3 minutes. The installation ran as a participatory performance, and lasted 15 minutes or so. Before commencing, the endless cassettes had been pre-recorded with single notes from their respective toy keyboards. These formed a shifting drone that the audience intervened into. They were encouraged to move around the space, to play the toy keyboards, or they could record their intervention into the loops by pressing stop, pressing record, depositing their sounds, and pressing play again. They wouldn’t be able to hear what they’d recorded until the loop came round again (it’s not possible to rewind endless cassettes). The invitation to play was enthusiastically accepted on the night.