Caught by the River

The Caught by the River Music Book Reader

11th August 2011

Composing With Tape Recorders by Terence Dwyer. Oxford University Press, 1971.
Chosen by Chris Watson

‘The performer strokes across the strings with a wire brush, holding the pedal down at the same time.’

In my late teens, in the early seventies, this book introduced me to the prepared piano and several essential keys to working with sound.

I had for some time been recording and manipulating sounds using my National portable reel to reel tape recorder together with a growing aware ness of composers such as Pierre Schaeffer in Paris. This slim paperback was to guide me through the practical processes involved in creating Musique concrete and the techniques used to produce seminal works such as ‘Etude aux Chemins de Fer’. This book was also inspirational to me in realising the creative potential of tape recorders and learning to listen.

Best of all one image illustrates two people collaborating around a wonderful tape recorder from that period. They were clearly strange subversive people, and I wanted to join them.

Taken from the Caught by the River Music Book Reader, an ever growing guide to the most interesting books on the subject of music. Read it on-line or download it HERE.