My (slightly sappy) mixed tape memory: When I first met my husband, he burned a couple of albums for me that made me weak in the knees. In return, I made a mixed CD that I think I spent at least two weeks perfecting. It is probably my greatest musical accomplishment (the smooth transitions! the range of genres!). Not knowing his tastes well at the time, each selection was a thrilling risk…. like moving in for a first kiss and not knowing if you will be rejected or embraced. Only new love feels quite like that and in my memory it plays like a mixtape. –Mary Caton

I have an embarrassing mixtape memory I’m happy to share. As a child of the 1980s, the first album I ever owned was a cassette tape of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Fast forward a few years to elementary school, maybe around 1993, when I used a walkman to pass the time during long bus rides. I would often make my own tapes. (This is where it gets embarrassing.) At some point, I made an entire “mix” tape with a single Michael Jackson song on it—yes, font and back with the same song over and over. (To add to the embarrassment, I think it was “Will You Be There.”) I listened to the hell out that tape, too, until some of the other kids found out. That didn’t go well. Anyway, when I think back to the this moment, I am bewildered that I took the time to record the same song to an entire tape! I’m comforted slightly by the fact that most digital forms of music playbacks (iPods and the like) feature a repeat button. I catch myself looking at that button sometimes, thinking about Michael Jackson. –Darren Mueller

A major shout out to Whitney Trettien, Darren Mueller, and Mary Caton Lingold, collectively known as “Soundbox,” on the launch of their new web collection PROVOKE! The online space, “creates a home for creative-critical projects by makers, documentary artists, and sound scholars whose work presses at the boundaries of scholarship.” Of course, we love the mixtape inspired logo (at least that’s what it looks like to us) but more importantly we appreciate the trio’s ambition to create a platform that not only caters to sound projects which “fall outside of the purview of traditional academic publishing” but encourages change in the way scholars and artists communicate. See the current projects in the Provoke! Collection.

Leave a Reply