The Msheireb Arts Centre houses a archive project composed of materials and items collected from several city blocks of Old Doha which have been demolished for a future urban center. These items are contained within a former girls academy, which itself is a relic of Doha’s past, having closed its doors in the late nineties with all the classroom materials still inside. From this collection I have used 4 P.A. system tape players to play and record and assemblage of handmade cassette tape loops created from tapes found and collected in Doha, Qatar.
Cassette tape is a unique material in its ability to record over existing material, a method I usually employ in my music projects to control the sounds that I create and then layer. In interest in collaborating with the Msheireb Arts Centre project of archiving and documenting, I created the loops from several found tapes from around the city of Doha. The handmade loops were then played through the former school’s worn out tape players, in a chorus of several different sources, to evoke the layers of history that this area holds. As the Msheireb area is developed into a futuristic urban center, I point to the simple technological developments that changed the culture of Qatar only several decades ago. The ephemeral quality of cassettes, the distorted nature of the loop tapes, birds chirping and general the ambient sound of the open-air corridors of the school, work together to capture a nostalgic and fragmented picture of this site’s sonic past.