Test Signal

For many years I have collected found tapes; primarily voice recordings – audio letters, home karaoke and recordings made by amateur tape recording enthusiasts. I particularly enjoy the unselfconscious and accidental moments within these recordings when the equipment is being tested or the operator is unaware that they are still recording. The majority of these recordings begin with the ubiquitous: “testing, testing, 1,2,3”. This recurring phrase appears in my collection time and time again in an array of different voices, accents and languages. The piece I have created from these incidents is literally a test signal – a collage of recordings of microphone tests compiled from my own archives.

Produced by Mark Vernon. Commissioned by Pixel Palace for Basic FM, Newcastle upon Tyne.

This piece was first broadcast on a continuous loop for a month as Basic FM’s inaugural webcast. It has since been aired on Radiophrenia, Radio Revolten and Resonance 104.4 FM as part of the series ‘Data for the Doubtful’.