Academic papers regarding tape loops and colour/music therapy

Hi all,
I hope it’s the right thread to ask this question.
I’m a third year student, currently researching for a dissertation based around tape loops performance (using both digital recreations, analogue tech and anything that could fit in this context), with visuals focused on the colours also with looping idea in mind.
Has anyone on here done or knows any academic papers based around a similar concepts? Any reading recommendations?
Thanks in advance


In academia there is a niche for everything, and academics (me included) are professionals in carving niches. I would love this niche too to exist! I hope you’ll find references and if you might relay them here that would be beautiful.

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I’m writing my dissertation too, which includes a phenomenology (analysis of the listening experience) of destruction loops. I focused on dlp 1.1 from Basinski’s Disentegration Loops. In a different chapter, I also did a phenomenology of generation loss. I approached these from a philosophical perspective though, so the phenomenology is geared towards developing concepts to build an ontology instead of describing the experience for a study of performance—like your fascinating topic :slight_smile:

My work is just about to be submitted to my supervisor, so nothing published or finished that I can share yet.

While I was doing my own research, I did a couple quick searches on Basinski’s album and saw that there’s definitely some papers on his, but I didn’t eventually read or use it since much of it comes from a different methodological background. So I can’t recommend any in particular, but I know there’s some out there that a few quick searches will reveal.

I agree with @xmacex, please do report back if you find some :slight_smile:


Thank you for this insight! I started looking into Basinski’s work and I might actually employ some analysis of his pieces, but to apply it into my own concept.
Most of my work will be based of autoethnography and reflective writing anyway, but I’m still trying to do as much research as possible on even remotely similar topics, so I’ll do my best to share if I find anything worth mentioning.

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For something like this, which falls at the intersection of multiple disciplines, what techniques are you - and anyone else on here - using to find relevant work?

I find spelunking Google Scholar ( a great way to trawl up work from disciplines I hadn’t considered (or in some cases even heard of). Key things I like about Google Scholar:

  • Seems to index very broadly across disciplines.
  • Includes non-academic books and articles that have been cited by academic ones.
  • Cited By link for each article. Sometimes this takes you from a good find to a great one.
  • “Search within citing articles” on the Cited By page. Enable this to zero in on stuff that both cites that highly relevant work and contains some of your key search terms.
  • Related Articles and “All n Versions” link for each article. Best to look at both of these too on any really promising results, since they can reveal additional things to Cited By.
  • Sort by Relevance or Date published. Both can be good if there are a lot of results.
  • If you star results you find relevant and return to the homepage or My Library “the algorithm” will often make high quality recommendations.

Sorry if all this is old hat, but I often meet researchers who overlook some of these features of Scholar. I’ve tried Papers, Zotero, EndNote, Mendeley etc because it would be great to have the machine do some of the work for me - filtering out duplicates etc. But so far I’ve not found the lock-in on any of them worth it. No one seems to match Google for breadth of material or quality of recommendations.

For the problem at hand, searching on “tape loop” performance color brings up over 1000 results (gulp). But just on the first page there’s a paper on auditory-visual interference induced by tape loops, two accounts of performances involving tape loops, a link to the full text of a book about Brian Eno and “the vertical color of sound” (that must have the term “tape loop” in it at least once) and a link to a paper in a journal called The Drama Review titled “The Art of the Loop: Analogy, Aurality, History, Performance”.

Cited By on “The Art of the Loop” seems to head a bit too far out to sea (although “the cyber-guitar system” does sound intriguing). But Related Articles has some interesting stuff - there was a feature about this on BBC Radio 4 in 2014. And it has a link to the full text of “The Art of the Loop”… which opens with Basinski’s account of the incident that led him to create The Disintegration Loops. The paper is 23 pages long and Basinski is mentioned thoughout, but mostly at the beginning. Other artists and a lot of theories are mentioned and there are 2 pages of references.

Happy spelunking and as everyone else has asked, please do circle back to tell us what you find. Or even better, post a bibliography or survey and/or your finished dissertation online so that it can show up in and influence future scholarly search results.


Thank you for pointing out those features of Google Scholar. I wasn’t aware about most of them. I especially didn’t realize it also brings up non-academic work cited by academic work. That’s great. Might be time to use Google to supplement my University’s system.

Thanks again!

Very interesting article, maybe not strictly related to the topic, but some informations could be extracted.

thank you so much for the recommendations and also this method!