“Found-Sound” internet resources
July 8, 2011
— education, installation art, music education, sound art
In Samuel Beckett’s play “Krapp’s Last Tape”, Krapp, a failed writer, records his impressions of the previous year on his birthday, then records the items in a ledger. Part of our installation will involve my students mining their own family histories for recorded media. Because I cannot guarantee that everyone has such resources, I have discovered interesting repositories of such recordings for use when personal options are unavailable.
According to the host,
This site is an archive of one of a kind cassette tape recordings and other odd sounds that I have discovered throughout my years searching thrift stores and garage sales. I hope you find them as fascinating as I do. Enjoy!
From oddball commercial recordings to the remnants of children’s playtime with a tape deck, there are hours of ephemera saved here. Searching through the archive is a lot like visiting a thrift store. Finding things of value is serendipitous.
A homemade recording of a broken-down carousel calliope by its retiring-operator is an example of the arcane treasures found here!
“found-sound” is a Tumblr blog that archives audio detritus in much the same way that Tape-Findings does. An embedded mp3 hovers over a picture of each cassette. Interspersed between the cassettes are some of the authors sound-art installations and links to those projects.
The Internet Archive hosts and catalogs over 200,000 recordings for streaming or download. The recordings are often clearly marked with their respective Creative Commons licenses. There are often many file types to pick from when downloading is appropriate. This gives my students many options, but it can also be dizzying to be presented with so many options. It also requires some fairly sophisticated knowledge about the file types and compatibility between the many pieces of software we will use.