Direct mp3 download or play:  The Poppy Seed Tape
Coffee desserts(small)
Poppy Seed Tape(small)
This is the original recording, which was transcribed and used as an insert for the first Negativland release “Negativland” in 1980. Keep in mind it was not recorded and only presented as printed material. Also the recording actually starts after the dotted line and then goes to bottom of the page, then jumps to the top of the page and ends with “Ehh-hemm,” which is my grandmother clearing her throat. At the time, we felt the text would look better if it was rearranged. If you would like to follow the text with the recording click on the text to get a larger, clearer image. The other side of the same insert has the “Coffee Desserts” recipe.
I made this recording in the early 1970s on my Norelco 1530 cassette recorder, most likely using the dynamic microphone supplied with this machine. The quality is somewhat poor, mainly because of something this recorder was doing before I realized it was happening. Quite often I would set the controls in ‘record’ and ‘pause’ at the same time to check the record level without rolling the tape, and I would do this anywhere on the tape including parts I had already recorded. Little did I know, doing that would make a noise where the record head was resting on the tape. I realize now the record head was operating and recording even when the tape was not moving.