Soundtapes (1982)


  • Duration: 6 minutes

    Year: 1982

    Original formats:

    3/4" U-Matic Lo Band

    Media types:


    Type of work:

    Single Screen


    First exhibited: LVA London 1982

    Technical details: Colour Videotape - Made at London College of Printing

    ‘Made in response to a cassette full of soundworks sent to me by David Cunningham sometime in 1981. The ones I used were titled “Voice”, “Body “, and “Rapid”. David went on to use them as different versions on his CD “GhostDance” and “voiceworks” and forgot about the versions he had sent to me-although he did use images from “The Sounds of These Words” for the front and back covers of “voiceworks”. “Voice” became “Idiolect” and a new version of the re-united works appears on our CD-ROM “This is a sentence”.’ Steve Partridge 1994

    “The logistics of structure are also key to the Partridge-Cunningham Soundtapes, 1982, but more abstractly so. Apart from its intriguing link back to procedural or systems film. These elegant pieces transform human voices into soundworks. Speech as metaphor for communication of Partridge’s earlier videos here becomes used as song and system. Soundtapes comprises three sections. In the first, a receding perspective of rail tracks is punningly cut and matched with changes on the vocalized soundtrack to create rhythms and variations. This piece is closest to the classical film. In the second section, perhaps echoing Duchamp’s famous painting of 1912, a woman endlessly ascends and descends a spiral staircase. The final section is a multiple close-up portrait, in which a woman’s face is duplicated and varied in the monitors beside or behind her. In this short trilogy, the classic genres of landscape, life-model and portrait are renewed by the devices of audiovisual sampling and montage. Cunningham’s score also echoes another tradition, in fusing music and the visual arts.” Al Rees from Stephen Partridge, cat, Univ of Dundee, 1998, MONITORING PARTRIDGE, Al Rees, ISBN 1 899837 29 9


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