Originally released in 2009 by Paris-based Elephant and Castles as a CD-R with hand-drawn representations of ascii art, full disc print and notes on the album's process. www.elephantandcastles.com
"Beautiful Was The Time is the result of two years of listening. The sounds are almost exclusively taken from 100 cassettes and microcassettes found, borrowed or bought in that period, with each having had their own journey before coming into my possession.
Early in 2009, in a Berlin apartment, I began playing back the cassettes. Over one week, sets of coincidences emerged from the tapes' contents that identified themselves as structures previously hidden. Using simple equalisation I began to uncover more ghosts, sounds from old recordings by others and patterns within the tape hiss. Using a four-track tape recorder, a microphone and a Casio PT-80 (owned since I was three years old), I began to enter my own sounds directly onto the tapes, into the mechanism of retrieval. Before long I could not remember which were my sounds and which belonged to the original tapes. The resulting album is an archive of sounds that should have been lost."
P.L.S. Berlin, May 2009
"Not unlike William Basinski with his Disintegration Loops, Preslav Literary School focuses on creating something new and personal out of found sounds and dull, everyday happenings. A sense of wonder and amazement is conveyed through the sounds, and a sense of otherworldly significance is given to the simplest of actions. Thomas succeeds in making something fragile and exquisite out of tedium and monotony. This time truly is beautiful." Sputnik Music
"Preslav Literary School salvages tapes and reconstructs them. Pre-recorded sound is given life and vice-versa... optimistic, idealistic and dreamy, he desperately clings on to the new elements which arrive fully formed, escaped from his guidance, and persuades them to stay." By Chance Upon Waking
"A haunting, subtle piece of sound art that sounds like it could have been emitted from some archaic dream-capturing device." When We Were Younger And Better