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Escape Mechanism: 'Let's Talk (Q and A)'

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Escape Mechanism: 'Let's Talk (Q and A)'

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Escape Mechanism: 'Let's Talk (Q and A)'

Escape Mechanism: 'Let's Talk (Q and A)'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5168604/5168607" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Cast of Thousands with Escape Mechanism is a collection of sound collages recorded live. hide caption

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Escape Mechanism is Minneapolis-based sound collage artist Jonathan Nelson. Using fragments of audio from film reels, radio, television and LPs, Escape Mechanism is an experiment in recycled media.

Escape Mechanism's Jon Nelson hide caption

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Escape Mechanism's Jon Nelson

Although essentially a studio project, Escape Mechanism experimented briefly (a little more than two years) with live improvisation. Performing under the name Cast of Thousands with Escape Mechanism, the group worked exclusively with bits and pieces of the media environment and produced one, self-titled recording of various live performances.

Nelson tells NPR, "I've been interested in sound collage since I was a kid. I used to record radio DJs and snatches of dialogue from television and VHS, and collage them very roughly with my dual cassette deck at home. My first compositions were on cassette tape. In college I used reel to reel, and now I edit digitally using a Macintosh computer. I think an interest in surrealism is what has always been the driving motivation behind Escape Mechanism."

The featured track from Cast of Thousands with Escape Mechanism is "Let's Talk (Q and A)."