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Graham Holliday

drawn to… A Piece for Tape Recorder – Vladimir Ussachevsky

A Piece for Tape Recorder is an amazing piece of music. It was recorded in 1956 and it still sounds like a transmission from the future. To make it, Vladimir Ussachevsky used “a gong, a piano, a single stroke on a cymbal, a single note on a kettledrum, the noise of a jet plane, a few chords on an organ” and “four pure tones, produced on an oscillator, a tremolo produced by the stabilized reverberation of a click from a switch on a tape recorder”.

This if the fifth in my drawn to… series and to draw to… A Piece for Tape Recorder by Vladimir Ussachevsky, I used primitive kit while listening over and over to the 5:36 track: a Marco 9001 sharpened pencil, sharpener, shavings, a Steadler Pigment liner 0.05, and a bit of rubbing and scratching on 10cm X 10cm 250g acid-free Clairefontaine paper.

To learn more about Vladimir Ussachevsky’s music, visit the Cycles and Bells blog.

Graham Holliday is an editor, writer and media trainer with twenty years experience working on editorial, educational and digital projects for the BBC and others.