old fires catch old buildings draws its title from Burroughs’ writing on recording in The Invisible Generation. Rather than play with the text of Burroughs’ original writing, the piece instead engages with physical recordings (namely cassette tapes) of each of the ensemble members. The flexibility of language combined with the idiosyncrasies and manipulability of recording and playback devices pair forges intriguing interdependencies between the musicians as well as their stored voices. As Burroughs notes, “it is the height of rudeness not to record when addressed directly by another tape recorder…”
Commissioned by Loadbang, the piece is written for the four acoustic performers (trumpet, baritone, bass clarinet, trombone) as well as four separate tape parts to be played back on cassette recorders and a fixed media part. Architectures between live an recorded media emerge, as performers voices overlap with themselves.
old fires catch old buildings was released on Loadbang’s album by the same title on New Focus Recordings.