Blog topic: Sound recordings

Abraham Tewolde

Archive of Recorded Sound intern Abraham Tewolde

It is my pleasure to introduce Abraham Tewolde, a new intern at the Archive of Recorded Sound who is taking part in Stanford University Libraries 1st-generation summer intern program this summer.  During his time here Abraham will be learning how a sound archive functions and operates, including work on finding aids, digitization, inventory control, accessioning, and research skills.

Abraham will also be a guest blogger during his time here. Please enjoy below the first of a series of posts Abraham will be offering over the summer. 

Celebrating 100 years of "The Rite"

May 29, 2013

Today marks 100 years to the day since the infamous first performance of Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) at the Théâtre des Champs‐Elysées in Paris on 29 May 1913. The 31-year-old composer's two-part ballet score, coupled with 24-year-old Vaclav Nijinsky's choreography, provoked a riot on the opening night that according to most accounts rendered the music inaudible for most of the performance. The protests were so loud that Ballet Russes Director, Serge Diaghilev, was supposedly forced to shout instructions to his dancers onstage while flashing the auditorium's house lights in an attempt to quell the enraged audience. 

Betty Grover Eisner audiotape

Psychedelic therapy: Betty Grover Eisner and LSD

April 29, 2013
by Geoff Willard

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab recently completed reformatting the audio tapes contained in the Betty Grover Eisner papers, held by University Archives. Eisner was at the vanguard of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs in her psychotherapy research during the 1950s and 60s. The majority of the tapes document long, multi-hour therapy sessions, with patients on mind alterting substances.

Edison Home Phonograph (detail)

New services at the Archive of Recorded Sound

The beginning of 2013 has seen a number of significant developments at Stanford's Archive of Recorded Sound, especially in the area of patron services, both at the Archive itself and online.  

Information relating to these improved services can be found on the Archive's new website. This detailed resource also includes information on the Archive's extensive collections, guidelines for planning a research trip to the Archive, and finally recommendations for notable sound recording research tools, both online and in print.

The Dichterliebe, recorded by Thom Denijs in 1928 (HMV 092026)

Spotlight on: Schumann's Dichterliebe

April 4, 2013

Schumann’s Dichterliebe, op. 48, from 1840 weds music and text into one of the most memorable song cycles of the Romantic period. The cycle consists of sixteen songs on poems from Heinrich Heine’s Lyrisches Intermezzo. The earliest recordings of the entire cycle were by Dutch baritone, Thom Denijs (1877-1935), who recorded the cycle twice in London with his wife, Emmy Denijs-Kruyt (1878-1964), as pianist, first in an acoustic recording on 5 April 1923 and later as an electrical recording in three sessions in January and July 1928.

Fred Ross Sr. audio digitization completed

April 3, 2013
by Geoff Willard

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab has recently finished reformatting the 440 audiocassettes in the Fred Ross papers, an immense body of audio documenting the training meetings held by labor organizer Fred Ross Sr. Housed in Special Collections, the digitized audio focuses extensively on house meetings in the 1970s and 80s, an organizing technique Ross developed and taught. A small portion of the tapes include Cesar Chavez, who Ross hired and trained in the early 50s. Chavez later went on to form the National Farm Workers Association, but Ross always remained a mentor and strong influence. "As time went on, Fred became sort of my hero," Chavez said. "I saw him organize and I wanted to learn." 

The opening phrase of the fifth symphony, in Beethoven's hand

Beethoven mania!

January 11, 2013
by Ray Heigemeir

"The Beethoven Project is a large-scale celebration acknowledging Bing Concert Hall as the new home of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia Orchestra. These ensembles, under the baton of Jindong Cai, will devote the season to the performance of all nine Beethoven symphonies, as well as all five of the composer’s piano concerti featuring Van Cliburn Gold Medal–winning pianist and Stanford alumnus Jon Nakamatsu.

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