Discrepant / CREP 102 LP / DL
“This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.”
(Don Draper, Mad Men)
Call Back Carousel is an audio time-travelogue, a slideshow of the mind’s eye – projecting Kodachrome memories directly into the listeners’ mind by means of sound alone. It is a way of travelling without ever having to leave the home. A vicarious vacation for the imagination. Pure audio escapism.
Each episode is based on a found tape of a pre-recorded slideshow commentary. Most of these tapes were made by amateur tape recording enthusiasts and hobbyist photographers of the 60s and 70s. Their recorded commentaries would at one time have been used in conjunction with a sequence of 35mm slides but only the taped voices now remain. The recordings themselves come from my own archive of found reel-to-reel tapes that I have collected over the past twenty years.
Using these found slideshow commentaries as a framework, a series of musical soundscapes have been created to bring the absent images to life, activating the listeners’ imagination in the classic tradition of ‘cinema for the ears’. It’s a little like looking through a family photo album where only the hand written captions and mounting corners remain; the photographs themselves have all been removed. The evocative rattle and clack of the projector shuffles through different slides as the fragile voices of our tour guides accompany us on a sonic journey that fractures time – and through the cracks, the past bleeds through into our present.
With special thanks to Manja Ristić, Barry Burns, Gonçalo F Cardoso and Bill and Marjory Howard.
Produced with the support of the Creative Scotland and the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund.
“Call Back Carousel helps us to recall the charm of an antiquated mode of presentation. By restoring dignity to the slide show, Vernon makes the practice worthy of re-evaluation …a disorienting, time travelling montage.”
Richard Allen, A Closer Listen (June 2023)
“…rich soundscapes that tell of a quaint, eccentric Britain that’s almost faded completely from view …realised in stereo, with all the humour and quiet familiarity you’d hope for.”
Boomkat (June 2023)
“Vernon treats the audio with the kind of care and respect reserved for ancient fossils as he restores them through wonderfully descriptive soundscapes and vivid foley design. And gradually, through sound, a picture begins to develop.”
Bandcamp Daily, Acid Test, Miles Bowe (August 2023)
“Call Back Carousel is a nostalgic, whimsical, demented and quite melancholic sound journey through historical sites, famous landmarks, tourists spots and must-see places around the globe during a bygone era… It’s strange and intriguing, creepy and alluring, bittersweet and playful, haunting and amusing… and also creatively adventurous, which makes for a delightful and fulfilling listening experience.”
Audio Crackle (August 2023)