What Gets Preserved?

GHODigitization, Music, Preservation


In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the National Recording Preservation Act which, according to James Billington, Librarian of Congress, “affirmed the nation’s collective interest in preserving sound recordings for posterity…[and] established the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board.” Along with its sister organization, the National Recording Preservation Foundation, each year the NRPB selects 25 recordings that are at least … Read More

Preserving the Big Bang

GHODigitization, Music, Preservation


In 1953 at the age of 18, an unknown Elvis Presley walked into Sun Records in Memphis, TN and recorded two songs to acetate disc for the whopping total of $4. Not long after, he received a Sun Records contract which was, in turn, sold to RCA for $40,000. In today’s market that would be upwards of $300,000. That acetate … Read More

Altered Books

GHOArt, Books

Wildenboer_Webster's Dictionary

Books are many things. They contain variegated meanings and activate our imagination. For me at least, they occupy a sacred space, as though they are semi-conscious objects. Books are the only items besides my record collection and a few family heirlooms that have traveled with me my entire life. I would be heartbroken if they were destroyed. It’s interesting, then, … Read More

Music of Trees

GHOAudio, Environment, Sound Art


I used to work for a man who was passionate about poetry. He liked the musicality of language, the interplay of sound and meaning, and we would discuss the similarities between literature and music (I worked at a bookstore). He was playful, ebullient, and had a buzz saw wit. It caught me by surprise, one day, when he told me … Read More

Pictures of Sound

GHOAudio, Books, Digitization, Music


A definition of recorded sound seems fairly straightforward: a capture of sound waves over a period of time that can be played back and listened to. In his 2012 book, Pictures of Sound: One Thousand Years of Educed Audio: 980-1980, Patrick Feaster challenges this definition, arguing that the only necessary condition for a document to be a sound recording is … Read More