This double o-ring card (ø ring) for cassettes is designed to be printed, folded, and glued from a single sheet of Letter paper (8.5″ x 11″ / 216 x 279 mm), the standard paper size for most printers. Although not difficult, cutting and assembling this ø-ring requires some care and crafting. The old advice of “measure twice, cut once” applies here. A straight-edge paper cutter is ideal; however, the presence of lines on the template should allow for a slow and careful cut with scissors if necessary.
Pictures of examples, template, and guide below. There is a download to a zip file containing the template and the guide at the base of this post. The guide shows instructions for when and where to cut on each line. Printing on cardstock is highly recommended. I have used 110lb (199 g/m^2) weight cardstock for these templates and it holds up well. Be aware that many printers will attempt to scale the image down to ~96% by default–print at 100% scaling to ensure that the dimensions are correct.
When setting up the artwork for a release, I recommend opening the template as a layer in GIMP or similar. Be aware that some (if not most) printers will not print all the way to the edge. Using a white background and insetting images from the edge is highly encouraged; but even more encouraged is that you experiment and find what works best for your needs. This design intentionally shows the guiding marks for the cuts and folds, to reveal the process and structure of its production visibly and transparently to the viewer.
These templates (CD-R and 3″ CD-R forthcoming) are designed to seize and gift the means of production directly to artists and audience. This template was designed for a (forthcoming) release project that requires the purchaser of the cassette to assemble the case themselves, as a way to alienate or disassociate the idea of a release as a product purchased in its final form; instead, requiring effort and care on the part of the buyer to engage with the production of the work to ‘complete’ it as a physical object.
There’s something alluring about a disciplined approach to sound and materials. At its best, this approach can uncover a hidden, microcosmic world through exploring an object’s resonant frequencies and physical topography. There’s a re-mystification of the everyday, a new way of ‘seeing’ an object and transforming our perspective about what that object ‘is’; what we know about it, and what it means to us. In the way that a sculptor’s chisel gives us a new understanding of marble, granite, and clay; or how a photographer’s lens lets us see our city in a different way. But the approach can also overindulge in academicism, leaning on an overwrought conceptual framework to overcome an otherwise uninteresting and lifeless sonic palette. Not this release. “Persimmon” takes its name from an American heartwood, and sounds are sourced from the timber itself. Sonically, the release wallows in the familiar and effective (if idiomatic) sonic territory of harsh noise wall, pulling out searing high frequencies from a thick and murky, distortion-heavy fog of sound in a relentless barrage. There is a constant dynamic motion in this churning, crumbling texture, with a long-form, barely-changing energy throughout each side that sustains interest while not overstaying its welcome. A notable break from the wall occurs at the beginning of side B, with field recordings of birdsong. Perfectly restrained at only a few seconds long, but this brief, recognizable sound greatly opens up the frame of reference for considering the work as a whole. While the sound world of “Persimmon” is heavily indebted to the distorted, contact-mic’d-metal tropes of the harsh noise idiom, the focus on nature, dead wood, and lumber is a welcome and overdue conceptual shift to ecological systems and our place within them. This monolithic wall of noise provides a clearing in the woods to sit and consider our world, the natural world, and the violence we do –to ourselves, to the earth– to subsist.
A part of Gathering Wool’s first group, released Fall 2020.
It’s hard to describe the incredible amount of detail and control that is present in this release. The bowed string instrument can be incredibly responsive and expressive, but there’s a world of difference between even the subtlest variation in bow pressure, speed, or placement between the fingerboard and near the bridge. On a level deeper than that, coaxing harmonics and subtle timbral changes out of an acoustic instrument is even more difficult, where certain harmonics ‘speak’ differently –or at all– depending on very precise and controlled thresholds of these variables.
Leila Bordreuil (cello) and Zach Rowden (double bass) showcase the rich vocabulary that comes from this kind of discipline, and “Hollow” is a virtuosic exploration in the limits of timbre and control. As a string player, this work essentially defines and encapsulates a lexicon of sounds, and pushes the boundaries of imagining what instruments can be capable of. At once radical and canonical.
Absolutely recommended for snooty academic spectral music buffs and dodgy harsh heads alike.