Overview

Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine (1983-1993) used the popular audio cassette medium to document and promote experimental music, audio art, poetry, drama, and performance being produced in New York downtown lofts, basements, etc. as opposed to the more conventional and established uptown venues. Twenty-seven issues were distributed, the last three on compact disc. TellusTools, a double LP record (TE-LP01), issued in 2001, included selections from previous issues. Tellus was available only by subscription. Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine is significant because the contents of each issue were tightly focused, well researched, and aptly curated. Each issue illustrated how sound might create and carry narrative.


Issues

Totals

Total issues: 27
Surviving issues: 27

Exemplary Episodes

Bird Calls
Episode 05-66, 1984
Louise Lawler
Special Double Audio Visual issue

Groove
Episode 08, 1985
Christian Marclay
USA/Germany issue

The Bridge
Episode 10, 1985
Lee Ranaldo
All Guitars! issue

Cityphony
Episode 11, 1985
Barrett Golding
The Sound of Radio issue
Golding's voiceover provides introductions to various sounds one might hear in a large city. An early 8-bit videogame-like soundtrack, this pop-infused soundscape ties the several sound samples together and seems to imply progression through the aurally imagined aspects of the city.

Nivea Cream Piece
Episode 24, 1990
Allson Knowles
FluxTellus issue
As performed, the first performer comes on stage with a jar of Nivea cream. The performer massages hands in front of the microphone. Other performers enter one at the time. They make a mass of massaging hands and leave one at a time following the first performer.

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Connections

MusicWorks Journal cassette series
Toronto, Canada, January 1978-present
Offered companion cassette tapes beginning with issue #23

ROIR (Reach Out International Records)
New York. Founded 1979, same year as introduction of the Sony Walkman, the world's first portable cassette tape player. Offered cassette only releases of various musical styles beginning in 1981.

Master Cactus Audio Cassette Magazine
Dedicated to audio experimentation on tape. Offerings include field recordings, sound collage, interviews, articles, found sound, improvisations, conversations, monologues, noise, radio shows, performance art, characters, dramatic readings, comedic readings, psychic readings, theatrical excerpts, poetry, short stories. Learn more.

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Resources

Tellus cassettography at the Ubuweb website. All issues. All contents. Soup to nuts.

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