on Burroughs and Burrows ...

from Tate Talks (www.tate.org.uk) January, 2005:

"In the early '70's I spent an inordinate amount of time constructing some miniature tape pieces, which I call 'Burrows', based on texts as read by Bill Burroughs. My first attempt at audio publishing, in 1975, was not vinyl or cassette but a set of 10 of these Burrows on reel-to-reel.                                                                                 
Many of the Burrows pieces have an odd characteristic - they are reversible compositions, incorporating things like acoustic palindromes (when you play Bill Burroughs saying "I GOT" backwards it still, amazingly sounds like "I GOT"). I realize now I could have made cassette tapes which you could flip over at any point and hear the piece backwards, but at the time I was technically quite literal, and I dubbed full-track (one mono track that is the full width of the tape) reel-to-reel tapes, and edited leader between the pieces (this is the reel-to-reel form of indexing) which, when played on any reel-to-reel playback machine in either direction would give the desired results, as long as it was played at the right speed. There was also a bonus tape loop that came in the box.

       I made a few of these dubs but I never managed to sell one and I don't remember giving any away, so as a publishing venture it was a bust."