Ever, At All

By Christopher Evan Young

My father was born in Quakertown, Pennsylvania in 1954.  As he grew older he developed a passion for the guitar.  It wasn’t long before he was regularly touring the bars and clubs on the East Coast playing music.  While in his early 20s he was called to New York City to Polygram Records (The Who, Rush, Cream, Black Sabbath, Jon Bon Jovi) to discuss the possibility of a career in the music industry.  He left New York that day never to pursue the opportunity further.

This work explores the relationship between the past and the present, in a continuous battle for precedence.  As my father’s memories come flooding back during the retelling of his story, they are built and layered upon using forgotten technology.  As each memory is formed and added to the next in a tangled assortment of experience, they slowly fade into and are consumed by the present.

The untouched audio of an interview with my father, recounting this story, is fed into one reel-to-reel player, it is there recorded to tape and then transferred to a second player.  When the second reel-to-reel plays what was just recorded, that audio is fed back to the first reel-to-reel machine.  Microphones are positioned to pick up ambient noise and add it to the loop.  This creates not only a repeating loop, but one that is organic and grows differently with each cycle.  Speakers placed on the floor project sound upward allowing it to reverberate off the walls of the space.  The acoustics of the room play a large factor in the sound that is produced, transforming it into that of an instrument. This allows the room to become an active participant in the final sound that is heard.


Growing up and fully experiencing the transition from analog to digital during my development, I equate many obsolete technologies with my childhood.  I explore the relationship of these forgotten devices with the present in order to better understand where we came from and where we are going.