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

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

Landfill Harmonic

GHOEnvironment, Music


On the outskirts of Asunción, the capital city of Paraguay, sits a small community called Cateura. Situated in a vast floodplain deemed mostly unlivable, it is also home to one of South America’s largest landfills. The 2,500 families of Cateura make their meager livings scavenging through mountains of garbage and reselling anything of value they can find. Favio Chávez first … Read More

5 Great Vocal Songs on Otherwise Instrumental Records


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A great instrumental record is not just a collection of songs without lyrics, but a story told without words. It can be a difficult task, and instrumental albums are a tough sell for most audiences. By and large, people like lyrics in their songs and often skip the instrumental track(s) on a traditional rock/pop record. This list is meant to … Read More

Cutting Up Copyright

GHOCopyright, Music

Kutiman Thru You Too

Late in September 2014, Israeli musician/composer Kutiman released his newest album, Thru You Too, which is comprised entirely of unrelated YouTube clips. The visual quality of the clips varies greatly, which can be jarring, but the overall effect is impressive. Below is track 4, “Give It Up.” Sampling is tricky business, and can easily become tedious or unintentionally comedic. But … Read More