March 16, 2017

‘Records in the Archives: An Afternoon of Sound’ set at library

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A screening of the first stereo sound film, a record-cutting demonstration and musical performance are among the highlights of an event at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library next week.

“Records in the Archives: An Afternoon of Sound,” is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., March 24, in the library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Kelly Caringer, a doctoral student in mass communications, will present a lecture, along with a screening of the 1932 film, “Move the Orchestra.” There will also be a special 78 rpm record-cutting demonstration featuring musical guest, Mantar Matinee, a band comprised of SIU Carbondale international students.

The recording that will be produced will be given to the Southern Illinois Music Archives, Jay Needham, a professor in the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media, and interim director of the Global Media Research Center (GMRC), said.

Matt Gorzalski, university archivist, will discuss the importance of historic sound preservation and mention examples in the library’s Special Collections Research Center.

“Sound recordings, in companion with print, photographic, and moving image materials, contribute to a more complete historic record of societies, cultures, and events,” Gorzalski said. “Sometimes information may only exist in recorded sound, such as recollections and experiences documented in an oral history interview.  Sometimes recorded sound provide insights that cannot be captured in print such as voice fluctuations or regional dialects in oral histories; or traditional folk music, where you can hear how a song has been performed and interpreted historically that might not be as evident in the sheet music alone.

“In this case of ‘Move the Orchestra,’ there is technological significance in that it was the first film with a stereo soundtrack.  Recoding technologies and the audio quality they produce is of interest to audiophiles as well,” Gorzalski said.

The GMRC and Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center are hosting the event.