The Automatic Confessional

I contributed anonymously, via phone, to one of a number of tapes of voicemail messages on the Automatic Confessional Project initiated by Hal McGee.
Because of the lo-fi quality of the finished product, I can't really tell where my contribution is – probably on one of these compilations. See if you can find it amongst the lo-fi weirdness there!, if you can recognize it from this original that was recorded at EMS at the same time, during live playing in the phone call:

Hal's invitation:

by Hal McGee on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 8:33am

Call The Automatic Confessional and leave a one minute message of any words and sounds that you want.
Anyone and everyone are invited to participate!
Tell all of your friends!

The messages will be transferred to microcassette and will be published online.

You can leave a message of any sort, of any sounds, or words, or thoughts that you choose, with absolutely no restrictions on content.

State your name in the message if you want people to know who it is and want to be credited for the message.

You may leave a message ANONYMOUSLY, of course.

You can leave as many messages as you want and there are no restrictions on how often you leave a message, but try to show restraint and do not overdo it. The idea is to get as many different people involved as possible.


I will not edit or restrict or censor the messages in any way. I want you to understand the full implications of what this means. I will allow any form of expression, no matter how offensive, objectionable, or tasteless -- this includes hate speech, racism, sexism, ageism, etc. This does not mean that I personally condone or approve of or agree with any content of any of the messages.

The answering machine tapes will be published online and will be available to the public. You are entirely responsible for the content of your messages. Think twice before you leave a message which may be personally embarrassing or compromising to you or someone else or which is slanderous, libelous, inflammatory, or hateful. Once I publish the tapes on the Internet the sounds you make in your message will be able to be heard by anyone forever. I will not remove your message from the tape - do not ask me to do so. You have been warned. Any regrets will be yours -- not mine.

I am looking for a lot of variety in the messages, style-, content-, and mood-wise, a big grab bag audio trash heap collage.

Here are some keywords, suggestions, possibilities and random thoughts about what you could contribute:

lo-fi (duh), tape collage, rants, weird little sound effects, cryptic voice messages, funny, sexy, surreal, paranoid, confessions, word cut-ups, short sermons, speeches and essays, buskers, street musicians, recordings from your answering machine, hate messages, haiku, circuit bent sounds, conspiracy talk, tell the machine your hopes and fears, pranks, jokes, static, buzzing, feedback of various sorts, dream recollections, confess your sins, lo tech electronic sounds, political statements, little poems and stories, just any random thoughts that come to your mind, commentary about the Automatic Confessional project, miniature instrumentals, stream of consciousness, you could make no sound if you wish, fortune cookie fortunes, field recordings as they happen through your cell phone, drug addicts, fistfights, sporting events, insane lunatic ravings, drunken ramblings, conversations, college class lectures, arguments, aphorisms, love-making sounds, sounds of urination and defecation, belching, farting, coughing, sneezing, hiccuping, stomach-rumbling, sounds of children and pets, machine sounds of all sorts, automobile sounds, public transportation sounds, subway, trains, buses, taxis, tunnels, interstate highways, industrial and factory sounds, advertisements, sounds from markets and shops and stores and restaurants and slaughterhouses, political protests, riots, demonstrations, townhall meetings, carnivals, circus, street preachers, drug and weapons deals going down, police raids, emergency and police sirens, telephones ringing, ringtones, alarms, clocks, doorbells, windmills, oil derricks, underpasses, abandoned ruined buildings, haunted houses, UFO sightings, other paranormal phenomena including EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena), avatars, ghosts, seances, baptisms, table-tapping, church services, television and radio sounds, talk shows, video game sounds, rainstorms, thunder, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, sounds of war, sounds of death and dying and conception and birth, folk songs, anthems, toys, banjo and guitar picking and strumming, trumpet, flugelhorn, shruti box, harmonium, drums, beating on boxes and metal and found objects, your own little raps and jam sessions, jug-blowing music, kazoos, whistles, harmonicas, flutes, tell me what you think of me, sarcastic remarks, business meetings, conferences, prisons and jails, Hare Krishna chanting, seagulls, tugboats, paddlewheel boats, cruise ships, motorboats, sounds of fishing, clamming, and oystering, hunting sounds, guns, rifle ranges, helicopters, elevators, 78 RPM records, wire recordings, discarded tapes and CDs found on the street, dumpster-diving sounds, sounds of landfills and dumps, sounds from ancient Troy, sounds of surgery, amputations, guillotinings, beheadings, drawing and quartering, torture sounds, sounds of deviant practices, rubber bands, sex toys, the most boring sound ever, the most exciting sound ever, the most annoying sound ever, recite your grocery list, sounds of model trains, sounds of hammers, saws, crowbars, and other tools, crows, owls, birdsongs, cats, dogs, elephants, lions, coyotes, bears, wolves, cockfights, turkey gobbling, pigs grunting, mass suicides, archaeological digs, beer-drinking songs, sea shanties, kung fu fighting, karate chops, samurai swords clanging, graveyard sounds, skulls and bones rattling, interviews with vampires, Goths, Metal Kids, politicians, nursing home residents, street vendors, prophets, mystics, gurus, shamans, etc.

This project is in no way connected or affiliated with the Catholic Church or any other religious or political institution, such as the Masons or the U.S. government.


This is the bumped, renewed, revived version of the Automatic Confessional Project.

The Automatic Confessional was originally created and curated by Hal McGee from August 19, 2009 through March 2, 2010. Anyone and everyone was invited to leave a one minute message of any sounds, content or sort on Hal McGee's microcassette answering machine.

TO BE CLEAR: Unlike the first phase of the project from 2009-1010, this time I am not using a microcassette answering machine to record your messages. You will leave your messages on the voicemail of my cell phone. I will transfer these messages to microcassette via playback through my cell phone's earpiece. Then I will transfer the microcassette tapes to Audacity and then publish a tape online every time that I receive enough messages to fill up a 60 minute tape.
Same basic concept, though!

Automatic Confessional Tape 22

Automatic Confessional Tape 23

Automatic Confessional Tape 24

The Welcome page
Updated the 13th of March, 2015.