Now that our melody-holders of choice are CDs and MP3s, cassette tapes are clunky relics that serve little purpose other than treating us to an occasional hint of nostalgia. Luckily, internationally-exhibiting conceptual artist Alyce Santoro has come up with a way to transform the jumbly mess of tape that resides in old cassette tapes into beautiful and durable fabric! Called Sonic Fabric, Ms. Santoro’s invention has been spun into shimmery dresses, sparkly umbrellas and sleek ties. And Sonic Fabric isn’t just lovely to look at – it makes music too! Check out a video of the cloth actually being “played” after the jump.

Sonic Fabric emits a garbled, underwater-like sound when you run a tape head over it, and has even been “played” by Phish percussionist John Fishman during a concert in Las Vegas (see the video above)! Woven from 50% recycled cassette tape and 50% polyester thread, the resulting cloth has the same rich sheen as raw silk or sateen.

Ms. Santoro invented the musical muslin for use in her own work (good-vibe emitting shaman-superhero mini dresses and sets of sailboat sails) and she recently launched a line of neckties available at Supermarket. Sonic Fabric is also available by the yard for interior, fashion, and accessories designers who are interested in incorporating this very unique upcycled material into their own projects, which is definitely music to our ears!

+ Sonic Fabric