Self-described collector of sounds and artist John Kannenberg
records the sounds that echo through museums (usually thought of as spaces where silence is enforced) and creating works that "investigate the psychogeography of museums and archives, the processes of making and observing art, the psychology of collection, and the human experience of time." [more inside]
Marc Anderson, the winner of the Beautiful Now sound competition
has a site called Nature Soundmap
where you can listen to sounds from around the world. [more inside]
First, you might want to listen to the Beach Boys song Sloop John B
, just to refresh your memory. Then a look and listen to the video Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B
will give you some nice insight into the recording and arranging process and open a window onto the keen production expertise of a young Brian Wilson, directing a roomful of seasoned session pros (none other than the Wrecking Crew
). It's how they used to make records, kids!
"If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's fucking up." Take a moment to read the letter
that Steve Albini sent to Nirvana prior to the recording of 1993's In Utero
. It puts everything in context, encapsulates the spirit of the album, and makes a case for it better than a thousand 20th anniversary encomiums could. [more inside]
Phish has consistently been one of the most popular and lucrative touring acts in America, generating well over a quarter billion dollars in ticket sales. Yet, by other measures, the band isn’t popular at all... Phish doesn’t make money by selling music. They make money by selling live music, and that, it turns out, is a more durable business model.
) [more inside]
Ever heard of the Voice-O-Graph
? Just STEP IN
and RECORD YOUR OWN VOICE
! RECORDING PLAYED BACK AND DELIVERED TO YOU WITHIN TWO MINUTES
! And now, thanks to benevolent rock god Jack White, you can do it TODAY
The National Recording Preservation Board was mandated
by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, but it didn't have a preservation plan in place to address saving everything from the oldest tin foil recordings (prev)
to recent "born digital
" creations. That changed with the National Recording Preservation Plan
(full 89 page PDF
). Except, "the recording preservation provisions under current law are so restrictive
you literally can't make — legally — a digital copy of an older analog recording without permissions which are very hard to get" (NPR). [more inside]
The Okeh Laughing Record
, a novelty recording
, was first released in 1923 and rose to #8 on the Billboard charts, becoming the highest ranking anonymous
* recording ever. It's history and provenance
is completely unknown**. It has since appeared as the soundtrack to cartoons
, on Dr. Demento and on Jean Shepard's radio show. [more inside]
Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings
is a discographic website charting the recording of Sephardic secular and liturgical songs. It includes great sections on 78 rpm recordings
, early repertory
, and modern recordings
. Samples of songs are littered throughout, but many can be found in the Appendix section on 78 labels
(at the bottom of the page) and the Songs
section of the Appendix. There are many other parts of the site to explore, but the Bibiliography
deserves a special mention, as does this page providing samples of 125! different recordings of the popular song A la una over the past 100 years
Whoever let the tape roll on at a Beatles recording session at Abbey Road studio, 47 years ago, deserves our gratitude for several reasons. For reminding us that these exalted and almost absurdly famous musicians could sound like rank amateurs trying to teach themselves their newest song. For giving non-musicians a window onto the utterly mundane reality of the recording process, i.e. the endless waiting around for the engineer to get the tape cued up into the right spot. For giving us an audio glimpse of Lennon and McCartney's continual nutty banter, which can be quite entertaining. All that and more to be heard in The Beatles in Studio - Rubber Soul (1965)
and Rubber Soul (Think For Yourself) 1965 Session
Four of the five songs nominated for the 2013 Grammy for Best Dance Recording
are international hits. The fifth is so obscure it has raised questions about how it got there. I Can't Live Without You
by Al Walser
is one of the five nominees for Best Dance Recording. Walser's lack of popularity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
when the nominations were announced, along with his previously claims to be a voting member of the Recording Acedemy, has led to accusations of foul play or vote manipulation
. The music press is now asking, "Who the hell is Al Walser?"
The oldest known recording of American voice has been restored and replayed for the first time in over 100 years.
Dating to June 22, 1878, the recording was made for an early Edison phonograph on tin foil which had become too fragile and torn to play back. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory optically scanned
the foil and developed a program to replay it digitally. [more inside]
Sound on Sound magazine's "Classic Tracks"
series provides technical and personal details behind the recording of, uh, classic tracks. [Not to be confused with Mix magazine's own "Classic Tracks" series, which was featured previously.] [more inside]
, "a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials", have released upwards of 30 professionally performed and recorded classical works
into the public domain. The new recordings are on their site listed under Goldberg Variations
, Musopen Symphony Orchestra
and Musopen String Quartet
. [more inside]
The Psychologically Ultimate Seashore
was the first in the Environments series
of records, an early entry in the field of white-noise nature sound albums. One interesting aspect of the albums was that most were designed to be played on a loop at any speed; another was that selections were included on the Voyager Golden Record
as "Sounds of the Earth". [more inside]
Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and run by Brian Eno, who also produced the albums (credited as executive producer in one instance). Ten albums were issued in the series. All ten are available for your listening pleasure at Ubuweb
As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.
In a surprising letter sent on Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department also strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
On January 13 and 14, 1972, Aretha Franklin sang
during services at the Reverend James Cleveland's New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. The audio recordings released as Amazing Grace
remain the largest-selling gospel album in history. However, of the 20 hours of 16mm film footage by Sydney Pollack - intended as a concert movie for tandem release - only a few snippets
have ever been seen. (previously: 1, 2)
Flannery O'Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find
aloud at Vanderbilt University in 1959. [more inside]
On Saturday, March 1, 1947, at the Hi-De-Ho nightclub in Los Angeles, in a booth near the bandstand, Dean Benedetti
switched on a Wells-Gardner disc cutter - starting what would become the most legendary jazz recordings in history
. (400 KB PDF) [more inside]
Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell
in at their Volta Laboratory
in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison
worked from his Menlo Park facilities
, and Emile Berliner
worked in his independent laboratory
in his home
. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile
, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners
, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders
, respectively. [more inside]
Le Blues De Memphis
— behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues
, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv
. [sacré bleu]
A decade after the death of renowned folklorist Alan Lomax, his vision of a "global jukebox" is being realized: his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February. NYT article here
- In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
Even people who would normally never care about something Judy Garland-related marvel at the incredible pathos and dark insanity of these tapes, which come off like Garland performing in a one-woman show written by Samuel Beckett.
Classic album covers, now with kittens!
It's a ring-tone! It's place-based community art!
Well, you don't have to choose any more. In Locally Toned
, artist T. Foley
sources sound in the wild to create hundreds of unique ringtones.
The French romantic thriller “Diva” dashes along with a pellmell gracefulness, and it doesn’t take long to see that the images and visual gags and homages all fit together and reverberate back and forth. It’s a glittering toy of a movie... This one is by a new director, Jean-Jacques Beineix... who understands the pleasures to be had from a picture that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Every shot seems designed to delight the audience.
- Pauline Kael, 1982 [more inside]
What then happens is an unbelievable series of Kafkaesque email threads, out-of-office messages, invented holidays, bizarre threats, secret handshakes. If you’re lucky, and very very persistent, you might end up with a CD of it, along with a note saying that “this never happened” and “don’t tell anybody you have this.”
Nico Muhly on the difficulty of listening to one's own work
The annotated scores for [*and Filmtracks.com's reviews of]
Howard Shore's soundtracks to The Fellowship of the Ring*
, The Two Towers*
, and The Return of the King*
The Phonograph Doll
was the first attempt at making a talking doll, invented by Thomas Edison. The doll utilized a miniature phonograph to talk, and was possibly the first audio recordings for commercial purposes. An example of the (now 123 year-old) talking doll was found in 1967 in Edison's New Jersey workshop, which is now a National Historic Park and museum
. Recently, the warped metal cylinder was optically scanned and re-created
, providing a 12-second clip
of the oldest known recording of a woman's voice. [more inside]
People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest
is a 65 minute compilation of stage banter by Paul Stanley of KISS. Paul repeatedly reminds the Army that they’re getting their money’s worth... , that the next tune is the first time they’ve played it on tour, that he was talking backstage to someone... about what kind of alcohol that people in the area like to drink, that they’re just getting started, and that he’s got an “uzi of ooze” in his pants.
"You want how to make a million in the studio business? Start with two million." Abbey Road
is safe, but with Olympic
, The Hit Factory
all overtaken in recent years by the developments in digital recording
, what's to be done with all that history?"A museum? A doctor's surgery? A Wedding venue? Flats?
Or chop them into little pieces and sell them to your fans
? (video in Spanish, scroll down for English text)
The veteran recording engineer and seven-time grammy winner Roger Nichols
lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away April 9th at age 66
. Though not a household name, you've undoubtedly heard at least one album he did the sound for. Some of the artists he engineered recordings for were Stevie Wonder, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Frank Zappa, Donald Fagen, John Denver, the Beach Boys, Crosby Stills & Nash, Al Di Meola, Roy Orbison, Andy Laverne, Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, and Toots Thielemans, among others. He also invented the first functional drum sampling machine WENDL
(.pdf file), first used on the 1979 "Gaucho" album.
He is likely best known for the amazing pristine sound he achieved for every album done by Mssrs. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, aka Steely Dan.
He was a giant in his field, a real innovator,
and it is a sad loss for the industry.
Lauri Warsta put a tape recorder inside a box, set it recording, sealed up the box, sent it from London to Finland through the post, then animated the captured audio. Previously
Carrie: The Musical
, is legendary for closing after 5 performances
and being perhaps the biggest instant flop in Broadway history. It has also achieved cult status, with fans demanding the performance rights be released
(they've been held back since its Broadway closing). [more inside]
Isolated Keith Moon drum tracks for Won't Get Fooled Again
and Who Are You? (via)