Wednesday, January 26, 2011

a box of old audio tapes, part one

As part of my ongoing efforts to completely streamline my media, my archives, my ephemera, and my life, I pulled out a zippered case filled with old microcasette tapes waiting patiently for my administrative care. I hadn't gone through them in years.

Without having to look at the labels, I immediately remembered several of them: Jeremy Butterfield speaking (in a vast echoey room, a church I believe) at a conference on consciousness held in 1996 at Jesus College in Cambridge; why I taped his talk and not any of the others is now a mystery, but it might have been because of his gorgeous, perfect British accent. I knew I'd find taped interviews with my old friends Alan Worsley and Stephen LaBerge, informal sessions which were always vaguely intended to become articles. Many of the tapes were (are) various of my dream accounts, including nights I spent at a lucid dreaming retreat, and even in the psych department sleep lab at Stanford where I was enclosed in a black-walled little chamber, my head dotted with wired electrodes.

And so I began to go through these tiny plastic casettes, rewinding, playing them, writing long overdue labels as best as I could. Many were completely unmarked, several were nearly unintelligible for various reasons. Two were tapes of people now gone: my old friend Scott Gibbs, and my paternal grandmother, Beatrice Cox.

* * *

to be continued

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