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  • Writer's pictureThom Holmes

Phonographic Education—a Sound Collage

Updated: Mar 10

My blog for the Bob Moog Foundation.


For this episode, I’ve gathered and remixed many audio fragments from a selection of educational and instructional records found in my archive. This is, in part, an exercise in turntablism, but it is only partially recorded in real-time. I captured samples from vinyl recordings and then remixed them using Virtual DJ, creating several separate remixes that I then categorized into spoken word and musical tracks. I then remixed all of these to create this podcast. Some of the editing is planned and purposeful, but much of it is left to chance but can be surprisingly poignant, nonetheless. Most of the recordings are from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.


I placed the recordings into two separate categories. One for music and one for educational and spoken word. The playlist will include most of the albums used here but does not attempt to identify the tracks I used because, honestly, I was mostly focused on capturing momentary sound elements rather than entire tracks. With the exception of a few cases, none of the spoken word records contained music. That means when you hear music and spoken word at the same time, the relationship between the two was somewhat randomly selected.


Episode 119

Phonographic Education—a Sound Collage

Playlist

Because this episode is a collage of recorded sounds, there are no start times for individual selections. Enjoy the collisions, densities, and words combined with music.

Start time for collage: 03:55


Some of the musical selections heard in this collage:

  • The London Philharmonic Orchestra – A Sound Spectacular Stereo Space Odyssey (1973 Stereo Gold Award). UK disc. “A Speaker to Speaker Trip in Thrilling Spacial Stereo.” The London Philharmonic Orchestra with Pipe Organ and Electronic Synthesiser Effects.

  • Charles Albertine – McDonnell Douglas Physician Systems Company Presents In Concert Charles Albertine (1985 Concert). Piano, Synthesizer, Composed By, Producer, Charles Albertine. “Postage-paid card ("For information on how Concert systems can help you manage the business aspects of patient care") enclosed.”

  • Various – Rumanian Folk Songs And Dances (1958 Monitor). Song And Dance Ensemble ''The Lark.''

  • The Original Deutshmeisterband – The Most Beloved Marches From Austria (1978 Summit).

  • Soviet Army Chorus & Band Conducted By Boris Alexandrov – Soviet Army Chorus & Band (1956 Angel).

  • Jack Wilson – The Jazz Organs (1964 Vault). Bass, Leroy Vinnegar; Drums, Philly Joe Jones, Donald Bailey; Guitar, Gene Edwards, John Gray; Organ, Genghis Kyle, Henry Cain, Jack Wilson.

  • Trombones Unlimited – Holiday For Trombones (1967 Libertty). Trombones, Frank Rosolino, Mike Barone.

  • Костадин Варимезов – Bagpipe (1979 Балкантон). Bulgarian Bagpipe with orchestral accompaniment.

  • Lightning – Lightning (1970 P.I.P. Records). Additional String Arrangement ARP Synthesizer, Herb Pilhofer.

  • Enoch Light – 4 Channel Stereo (1971 Project 3 Total Sound). Compilation made specifically for Sylvania as a giveaway with their phonos.

  • Terry Snyder And The All Stars – Persuasive Percussion (1959 Command). Featuring, Artie Marotti, Dick Hyman, Dominic Cortese, Jack Lesberg, Stanley Webb, Teddy Sommer, Tony Mottola, Willie Rodriguez,Terry Snyder. Producer, Enoch Light.

Some of the spoken word educational recordings heard in this collage:

  • Parakeet Training Record (1951? Hartz Mountain Products). “Your parakeet can teach itself to talk!” Presented in a carefully tested, scientific manner.

  • Gertrude Behanna – God Isn't Dead! (1964 Word). “This is the story of my life . . . what occurred . . . and what life is now.”

  • Lee B. Steiner – Sounds Of Self-Hypnosis Through Relaxation (1959 Folkways). Voice, Liner Notes – Lee R. Steiner. Subtitled: "a documentary recording with Mrs. Lee B. Steiner, Certified Psychologist.” "The content and timing of this recording have been validated with novices who learned the method in the process of making this recording."

  • Improve Your Eyesight Without Glasses (1977 Wolf). “These techniques must be practiced daily until perfect vision is attained. The daily practice often becomes a tedious chore, thus defeating its goal: relaxation. The tedium is avoided by using this record album which combines contemporary music specially written for relaxation, with a narrative that takes the listener through the daily drills in a pleasant, relaxed way.”

  • Domineau – Détente Avec Domineau (no date, no label). Concept By [Conception], Producer [Réalisation] – Domineau. Relaxation by a levitation expert.

  • Michio Kushi – Spirals of Everlasting Change (1975             Inyo International). Lecture by macrobiotic expert.

  • Jimmy Nelson With Comments By Danny O'Day And Farfel – Jimmy Nelson's "Instant Ventriloquism" And "Ventriloquism For The Beginner" (1964 Juro Celebrity).

  • Professor J. J. Higgins, S.J., M.A., S.T.L. – Study Techniques: Relax & Concentrate (1964 Saint Louis University).

  • Richard Carl Spurney – Bowl-A-Record (1961 Life Records). Relaxation And Successful Bowling Attitudes.

  • Joe Wilman – Joe Wilman Shows You How To Bowl Your Best (1960 Epic).

  • Park Richards – A Double-Barrel Blast (1962 Cook). “Unrehearsed Phone Conversation With Undertaker On Subject Of How Much It Costs To Get (Deceased) Uncle Willie Buried.”

  • Steno Booster: Dictation Speed and Accuracy Training Course (1961 Conversa-Phone). Sample letters to dictate at various speed.

  • Les Journalistes De R.T.L. / Jean-Pierre Farkas – Les Journées De Mai 68 (1968 Philips). Made in France. Recorded adaptation of a print publication highlights major events of the year.

  • Adventures In Negro History Vol. 1 (1963 Highlight Radio Productions). Produced By Pepsi-Cola Co.

  • John Charles Daly – The Space Age: The Age Of Reliability (1962 Raybestos-Manhattan).

  • Is There A Place For Respiratory Stimulants In Anesthesiology? (1965 Excerta Medica Foundation). Professional Seminar: Advanced Investigations In Anesthesiology.

  • Stephen Ettinger, D.V.M. – Canine Heart Sounds (1970? EVSCO Pharmaceutical Corp.)

  • J. B. Barlow & W. A. Pocock – Auscultation Of The Heart (1966 London Records).

  • Colette Maher – Détente (Le Sommeil Éveillé - Yoga Nidra) (1973 Select). French Canadian release.

  • Russ Farnsworth – Revolutionary New Word Method To Learn Radio Code (1959 Epsilon Records).

  • Russ Farnsworth – Learn Code With The AMECO Code Course (1965? AMECO Publishing Corp.)

  • Dr. John P. Sykes – Sleep-Relaxation (1972 Folkways).

  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – The Master Speaks (1967 World Pacific Recods). Narrator, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

  • Instrument Flight (1960 Jeppesen & Co.)

  • Daniel Akers, Phillip Masline – Listening & Concentration (1978 Automated Learning).

  • Norman Singere – Instant Memory Power (1975 Automated Learning).

  • Arthur Ashe, Learn Tennis (For Beginners & Advanced Players) (1974 Manhattan Recording Company). Vinyl, 12 ." Arthur Ashe teaches you Tennis. Comes with 8-page black/white instructional booklet.

  • John Newcombe, Tennis With John Newcombe (1974 K-Tel). Limited Collectors Edition. Vinyl, 12 ." Narrator, unidentified. 12-Page Tennis tips Booklet Enclosed. Promotional item for Rawlings tennis products.

  • Art by Telephone, complete transcript, Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago (1969). An exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art under the sponsorship of the American National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago. November 1 to December 14, 1969. I have excerpted 10 minutes of the artist proposals. I couldn’t help but notice that the only contributors to the exhibit were male artists, so I apologize in advance for this slice of chauvinism from the late 1960s. Still, the conversations are interesting.

  • Excerpt from an 1940s recording of the radio horror drama, Lights Out, "The Coffin in Studio B," in which actors rehearsing an episode of Lights Out are interrupted by a mysterious coffin salesman peddling his wares. I have a test pressing of the program.


Opening and closing sequences voiced by Anne Benkovitz.

Additional opening, closing, and other incidental music by Thom Holmes.

See my companion blog that I write for the Bob Moog Foundation.

61 views2 comments

2 Comments


Thom Holmes
Thom Holmes
Mar 09

So glad that this episode had resonance! Many thanks for listening.

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thomholmes
Mar 09

Well this is right up my alley! Once I got sampling tech, and wrote some audio scrambling software, every educational and ephemeral record became food for my algorithms!

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Electronic and Experimental Music

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