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Nam June Paik «Random Access Music»
Nam June Paik, «Random Access Music» Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, 1963
© Nam June Paik
Random Access Music, 1957/1978, 47 x 63 x 4 cm, private collection, Remake of 1978, plexiglass box with audiotapes, in the box Paiks original score "string quartet", Freiburg /Br., 1957 Photo: Dieter Daniels

 Nam June Paik
«Random Access Music: Exposition of Music – Electronic Television»

Since the early 1950s, avant-garde composers have been using magnetic tape to obtain a spectrum of sounds far exceeding the canon of conventional instruments. Obviously, musical notation was worthless in such cases, and Cage developed randomly determined, graphical scores allowing various noises to be assembled into complex tape compositions. In this tape installation, Paik went one step further: the visitor can use the sound head, which has been detached from the tape recorder, to interactively run through the tapes glued to the wall, and constantly vary the sound sequence according to location and speed. This random access to the musical raw material enabled visitors to produce compositions of their own.