The tapes

Ducktapes: where more-than-humans meet intra-actions
Each tape winds around a more-than-human, such as fish (Vol. 2) and an intra-action, for example mourning (Vol. 4, tbc). Each tape harbours songs in all major and minor keys as well as thoughts and motions inspired by people dear to me. Each tape makes room for the sounds of the universe, gathered through field recordings.

Mallards at Lake Kaltern, South Tyrol on my birthday in 2010

Ducktape Vol. 1 (53:24 minutes, here)

Welcome to ducktapes, advanced mucking for mallards and friends. Tonight we’ll be raising our tailfeathers to the art of waiting. We will meet the ever-enduring Penelope, wait for a train carrying the equally patient Charles Bronson, take a long walk with Esther Phillips, and dabble in some “entranced waiting” courtesy of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

From Jane Guyer, Marginal Gains; Monetary Transactions in Atlantic Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2004):

“The lines had already formed when we arrived. a few cars and pickups lined the station lot, and large numbers of motorcycles were ranged opposite them. In a sweeping curve was a long queue of lorry boys and other young men with 50-litre plastic kegs lined up side by side. some people had come from as far as 25 miles away (…). In a style one often sees in cases of an anticipated long wait – that is, when people will have to move around – it was the kegs that formed the neat and rigidly maintained line, while their owners milled around (…). The scene was, as one might expect, crowded, tense, hot, unpredictable on almost every score: the time anyone would start pumping, how much petrol there really was, or whether and how the 5 police and two soldiers would maintain order. (…) The police left early in the day after making their presence felt, leaving the soldiers basically stranded, to manage the crowds without a getaway strategy in case of serious trouble. (…) Management was left implicitly to the skill of the station owner, in this case, a woman. minor violence did break out a few times, largely exacerbated by the military presence rather than resolved by it. (…) It was largely the quiet and methodical work of the station owner who supervised the entire distribution that kept the situation orderly.”

Ducktape Vol. 2 (53:57 minutes, here)
Welcome to ducktapes advanced mucking for mallards and friends. Tonight we’ll be putting our fins in the air to celebrate the board of fishdom, sea creatures and all included in aquatic membership. To that end we’ll be shaking scales to among others Franz Schubert, the little poet of rio and The Beach Boys. Our radiophonic aquarium will see visitations from Henry David Thoreau, Isabel Waidner, Jacques Cousteau and Ervin Goffman. We’ll also be tipping our tentacles to mix-ups, listen to Bette Middler and Lily Tomlin showing us how it’s done and commence some revolutionary motions in the oceans.

From Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861 (New York Review Books, 2009)
“How many young finny contemporaries of various character and destiny, form and habits, we have even in this water! And it will not be forgotten by some memory that we were contemporaries. It is of some import. we shall be some time friends. I trust, and know each other better. Distrust is too prevalent now. We are so much alike! have so many faculties in common! I have not yet met with the philosopher who could, in a quite conclusive, undoubtful way, show me the, and, if not the, then any, difference between man and a fish. We are so much alike! How much could a really tolerant, patient, humane, and truly great and natural man make of them, if he should try? For they are to be understood, surely, as all things else, by no other method than that of sympathy. It is easy to say that they are not to us, i.e. what we are not to them; but what we might and ought to be is another affair.”

From Isabel Waidner Frantisek Flounders (8fold, 2011)
Excerpt one: “Admittedly Frantisek was angling when the flounder descended on her. That isn’t to say that she caught the flounder, pulled the petal or plucked the blossom; she’d categorically speaking lost her pluck, she’d been without pluck for the longest time, and still didn’t catch on, didn’t catch on the day, couldn’t have pulled a petal nor plucked a blossom and certainly not one of the magnitude; Said blossom must have been preying on her – pining petal, a looming bloom – no other approach gets to the bottom of it, it was the flounder personally, who caught Frantisek out. Giving credit where credit is due, vupti!, the flounder leapt into her lap.”

Excerpt two: “God knows how Frantisek manoeuvred the flounder onto the handcart, or where, for that matter, the handcart had come from. She picked up its unwieldy handle, and chauffeured her fish elsewhere, perhaps to establish a status quo.”

Excerpt three: “They stuck their head together – temple tapped temple and lobe tingled lobe – and stooped to face the flounder. a prolonged period of scrupulous observation ensued, which came to an end when upheaval was caused by an errant flicker in the vicinity of the fish’s gill (…). At this juncture however the ogling twos both startled. for comfort, perhaps, they turned to each other. Was that or was that not a smile lit up on the flounder’s expression?!”

Excerpt four: “Sitting next to Frantisek, Tove Oplatek begins casting shadow figures onto the walls: “Slight tweaks however of plaited fingers plus minor repositioning in relation to the light source and – oho! – the first in a sequence of…winged things?…flapped as shadow amongst the eddies. a magpie?, wondered frantisek, engulfed in turquoise?! Pinions, no – fins!, Frantisek squinted, paddled not flaped, and forms morphed from one into another, as she – what’s that, a thrush?, a swallow?, no, fishes! – understood they were fishes, not birds flying. fishes. A carp. A sole, A flou..?”

Excerpt five: “She assumed that at least one was going to flounder any minute now, fall flat into her face, cause hadn’t she angled? (…) She sang all that, persistently kept up that song, as retort proved elusive at this stage.
For once, they were soaring,
and so was her song.
They better don’t plummet, she thought to herself, as old as she was
they would smother her
or else she would sing for an aeon,
she squinted.

Fishes, she said,
they are fishes.
They are flying,

Ducktape Vol. 3 (53:05 minutes, here)

Wodka am  AmmerseeA very fine evening and welcome to Ducktape Volume 3. We are very glad that you could join us for some more in-flight entertainment. Tonight we shall enthuse about the goose. Under the watchful eyes of some true geese, we’ll shuffle around WH Auden’s attic and raise our wings to Swedish goose laureate Selma Lagerloef. our ears will be greased by, among others, Judy Henske, Odetta, Tenor Saw and Richard Wagner.


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