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this is what 60 sounds like

by Hal McGee

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Penny Bugs 09:29
Alonzo Bugs 09:38
Elmo Bugs 06:15
Alfonso Bugs 10:03
Emma Bugs 07:04
Stanley Bugs 17:26
Jay Bugs 18:24


Hal McGee
this is what 60 sounds like
dictaphone assemblage audio folk art

I strongly recommend WAV audio file download for CD-quality sound!

Please visit this page on my website for additional documentation

recorded January 2018
during my 60th birthday month
in Gainesville and Lakeland, Florida
using four Sony ICD-PX470 digital stereo dictaphones
and a Sony M-470 micro cassette recorder
mixed February 1, 2018
via chance procedure through a Xenix 1002B mixer
directly to Audacity

sounds from my daily life
including family and co-workers
participants at Stipulation Fest on January 13th
and at my Twin Peaks Party on the 27th
circuit bent Casio SK-1 and abandoned piano
and spoken words extracted from books I read
co-starring Stanley The Paperanian

with special guest appearances via phone messages:
Jay Peele, John M. Bennett, Chris Phinney, Arvo Zylo
Dave Fuglewicz, K.r. Seward, Ryan J. Boyd
Frank Audiffret, Lasse Jensen, Jiblit Dupree
Charles Rice Goff III, Rafael González, Jonas Juuso
Elias Ulvestad, Felix Ziska, and Penny Grune-Fae

On January 19, 2018 I celebrated my 60th Birthday and I must say that I consider myself fortunate to have survived this long. Aside from high blood pressure and prostate issues (both effectively controlled with daily medications), and of course my moderately severe hearing loss, I consider myself to be in excellent health for a 60 year old. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke anything any more, so that ought to help! I do love coffee and they’ll have to pry my coffee cup from my cold dead hand before I will be convinced to give up coffee! I hope and plan to continue existing in this corporeal human form for several more decades, making as much art mischief as I can.

Notes on Supplemental Materials:

On Saturday, January 13th my brother Mark and I traveled to Lakeland, Florida for Stipulation Fest, an improvisation event co-curated by Dylan Houser and myself, and hosted by Dylan in his home (aka Nullis Prettii ov Lakeland). 12 solo improvisers were required to play through small 10-watt amps or acoustically, with minimal plug-n-play gear set-ups, and a nine-minute time limit on performances enforced with a darkroom timer clock.

The 12 performers were: Penny Grune-Fae, Trotsky’s Watercolor (Dan Reaves), Watchable Wildlife (Mullarkey), Vallam, Jiblit Dupree (Danny McGuire), Hal McGee, Orphling (Jeremiah Paddock), Fiver’s Stereo (Jay Peele), Vasectomy Party (Hal Harmon), Shawn Blackburn, Jonas Van den Bossche, and Hell Garbage (Dylan Houser).

In the audio assemblages you might hear the voices of these performers, as well as other attendees of the event.

Included in the materials here are several photos that I took during the event, plus additional photos by Danny McGuire and Dylan. I was not able to take photos of all of the performers because my hands were busy holding the video camera!

I recorded all of the performances on video and published them on YouTube. You can view a playlist of all 12 videos here:

A few days before Stipulation Fest, Ryan Patrick
O’ Doud published an interview with me about the background of Stipulation Fest, my previous improvisation events, and my philosophy of improvisation in the 13th issue of his online zine, Issues:
Included here is a jpeg of that interview page.

A personal note:

I do not listen to music or noise for pleasure any more, due to continuing moderately severe hearing loss. Most of my audioworks these days are highly personal dictaphone diary assemblages, such as this one. Construction of this audio art form requires minimal listening and mixing and therefore the risk of further damage to my hearing is minimal. I might eventually stop making new audio art and just do zines and mail art.
I will continue to create these dictaphone assemblages for as long as I can for close friends and for those people who care to listen to them, and for the pure love and joy of it. These recordings are my way of trying to bring happiness, joy, and love to a world that desperately needs as much fun as possible to counteract all of the hate and anger and violence. These are personal folk art offerings, done with love and care for those people who want them. They are humbly, modestly offered as gifts from my life.


released February 1, 2018




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