On the day that I collected the finished copies of my Music for Seven Metal Machines cassette from the factory, I received a cheque in the mail from the Australia Council. This was a first use fee payment for the work “Searching high and low”, performed by a quartet on 22 July 1990 at the Linden Arts Centre, St. Kilda. With this money, and the advice of a sound engineer colleague, I purchased two good quality cardioid microphones suited to the percussive timbres I was working with.
Now my little four-track cassette based home studio was complete. I set to work.
Previous cassette releases had featured one long piece per side. I now deliberately chose the ‘many small tracks’ format. I think the figure thirty came fairly early in the process. I remember getting the recording done for most of Side 1 and a couple of tracks on Side 2 by the end of 1990, but it became obvious that a finished thirty-track product was not going to appear any time soon (as it turned out, I wasn’t able to resume this project until the second half of 1992). I had to content myself instead with the release of For Two on Blue/Saturday Stories (both recorded in 1987) in October 1990.
An edition of 100 cassettes was finally released in December 1992. I made 100 little collages (each with a background, a ‘stripe’, and some floating objects) for the covers. I sold a few, swapped a few, gave away more as promo, and the rest languished. In 2009, Shame File Music sent a couple to Vox Cyclops in Newcastle, NSW. This kindled a renewed interest, and the last copies sold out in mere months. My gratitude is extended.