31 Mar SMK117 | A box of 78s recording – Bingo
Dinah Bird’s LP, ‘A Box of 78s’ is a record that is designed to evoke memory through sound. The recordings used on the LP are taken from the old 78 records owned by Dinah Bird’s grandmother in the 1910s and 1920s. To quote the sleeve notes: “This piece is about rekindling lost, and perhaps forgotten, sounds. Are they so very different to those my grandmother heard? It is a personal response to the people and places of Salt Spring Island.” The record is also one that – contrary to the current obsession with owning vinyl – should be handed in after completing what is called a “relay run”; an exercise where the owner listens to the LP in a series of places. Once a listening log is completed, the record and log should be sent back to Dinah, and exhibited “before being laid to rest”.
Taking up the spirit of the challenge, and (in true Smikkelbaard fashion) trying to subvert Dinah’s plans in the most genial of ways, we decided to create new memories of our lives, using the LP’s recorded sounds. We would record ‘A Box of 78s’ in four different places in The Netherlands and see what would happen to the original recording if played in a new place. What we recorded may sound like a confusing set of found sounds; other voices to add to those from 100 years ago, with seemingly nothing anchored to anything at all. Maybe our recordings don’t even evoke the place this experiment was recorded in. It may sound like something and nothing. It may be very boring. And who knows whether what we heard sounded different to what Dinah’s grandmother heard a century ago. But maybe not knowing is the point.
This is the last in the series: a BINGO MASTERS BREAK OUT of considerably tipsy proportions at legendary post-punk hang, WW Leiden. The occasion, a birthday party for Kleine Koos, with Dowzer & Captain Slow in attendance. Hard rock sounds ruled on the night and brought a weirdly up-for-it bingo crowd. So thrill as you hear mummery and cheap tricks; wince as you hear affirmative howls and screams when winning a 1990s throwover – who would have thought bingo could be so, well, horny?
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