In 1982, self-taught composer Daniel Steven Crafts released an album with two tape compositions, Soap Opera Suite and Snake Oil Symphony, on the Berkeley-based Lutra label. It is a pioneering work of found sound, and it perfectly captures the essence of TV in purely aural form. Or so I am told. I found a thoroughly used (and abused) copy on the shelves of WCBN one day, and it became one of my favorite secret weapons for weird audio collage shows and general freeform madness. However, my time at WCBN eventually ended when I moved away from Michigan, and I had no physical or digital copy of this LP anymore. After a few months I really missed it, and a Google search revealed the amazing fact that Daniel himself is still selling this album. No fancy CDs or PayPal buttons or even contact email, you have to send an old-fashioned letter with a check or money order for $12 to D. S. Crafts, 7285 Spruce Mt. Lp., Rio Rancho, N.M. 87144, and he will send the good old vinyl back to you. Try it, it is easy.
I know that most young people nowadays don't know what turntables and letters are, so I asked Daniel if it would be OK to post it in digital form. Thankfully, he agreed, so here is the full album for free, in MP3 format.
Soap Opera Suite: I The Essence of Melodrama | II The Art of Hearing | Brief Interlude: The Woods | III Living in Fragments | IV The Conversation | Brief Interlude: The Telephone Call | V The "Human Condition"
Snake Oil Symphony: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII
A CD re-issue has been in the works for a while, but I haven't heard any news for more than a year. We can still hope...
Many thanks to Brodie for help with the digitizing.