Birmingham Record Company releases 'Tape Piece'

Tape Piece

Birmingham Record Company, which is based in Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, has released ‘Tape Piece’ today (Friday 23 October), a performance on limited edition cassette recorded directly onto magnetic tape and duplicated using analogue reproduction techniques, completely bypassing digital technology.

‘Tape Piece’ evokes 20th Century avant-garde electronic music produced using magnetic audio tape. This performance playfully recasts those complex rhythms and sounds using entirely physical means, as PhD Researcher Maya Verlaak and RBC Vising Tutor Andy Ingamells use household tape to create an ever-changing choreographic musical work that integrates movement and sound.

Maya and Andy each take a roll of tape and simultaneously wrap it around both of their bodies. They pause to catch their breath, then try to break free from the tape.

Their dance creates purely acoustic sounds that are beautiful and compelling, yet could quite easily be replicated by the audience at home, encouraging mindfulness of everyday beauty in the listener.

‘Tape Piece’ has been performed around the world, from Florida, Arizona, Ohio and California, to London, Dublin, Paris, Bruges and Berlin in Europe.

It has been performed by contemporary music ensembles of the new generation such as soundinitiative, On Structure, Mocrep, Bastard Assignments, Kirkos, and An Assembly.


“Tape Piece achieved something meaningful for both ears and eyes as these two composers rolled around the floor, ripping sellotape off each other’s (clothed) bodies. The falsetto squeals of the sellotape launched fragmentary melodies into the air. The piece was witty and fun.” – Philip Clark, Frieze

“The unusual composition method left the audience stunned, giving each sound its own life and soul, a gripping physicality and energy.” – Nonclassical

Image courtesy of Birmingham International Dance Festival.

Watch the performance

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