Public Works Productions

Frequently Asked Questions

Unravel the Thicket of Riddles that is Us

Who/What are the Tape-beatles?

The Tape-beatles are a collaboration of varying membership that make music and audio art recordings, ‘expanded cinema’ performances, videos, printed publications, and works in other media. They work under the umbrella organization called Public Works Productions. Members of the Tape-beatles currently include as of this writing Lloyd Dunn and John Heck. Former or occasional members of the group include Chuck Hollister, Linda Morgan Brown, Paul Neff, and Ralph Johnson.

Who/What are Public Works?

A change in name from ‘The Tape-beatles ’ to ‘Public Works’, which came about in 1997, was motivated by a change in membership (three group members left), a refocusing of technique, and a refinement of interests. The Tape-beatles’ pre-1995 output was almost exclusively analog. By 1994, the members had begun exploring digital techniques of recording and manipulating sound. The CD Matter (1996) was released under the name Public Works because, at the time, it was not clear that the Tape-beatles still existed, since three members had either moved away or formally quit the group. In 1998, John Heck began collaborating with the group again, and it gradually became clear that the kind of work being made was more like Tape-beatle work than Public Works work, so it became clear that The Tape-beatles still existed.

Currently the ‘musical group’ Public Works consists in membership of Ralph Johnson (San Francisco) and Lloyd Dunn.

Where The Tape-beatles were proud to be ‘amateurs’ inspired by the do-it-yourself esthetic of punk and the 80s-90s zine movements, Public Works recognizes that years of dedication to a core set of ideas, attitudes and techniques cannot help but produce a noticeable level of ‘virtuosity’. Under the current incarnation, refinement of technique and subject matter is combined with earlier interests in montage, sound effects and collage, coupled with a more self-consciously ‘musical’ sensibility.

So you are ‘The Tape-beatles’ from now on?

The 1999 reversion to using the name The Tape-beatles should be understood to reflect the stylistic tendencies of work currently being produced. Either name, or as yet undetermined names, may be applied to any future release that may appear. That Public Works continues to be a going concern is demonstrated by their May 2001 release of Numbers.

How do I buy your CDs/videos/t-shirts/other?

You can get them by toll-free phone call, or you can use our secure online ordering service.

Visit our ordering page.

What are your performances like?

We have a series of pages devoted to describing what we do on stage, including technical requirements, pictures and diagrams.

• Our presentations described.

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