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Tuesday, October 27 • 20:00 - 20:30
To Set the Object in Sound: Audible and Inaudible Content in the Age of Digitization

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The physical aspects of recorded sound media are the qualities that make them interesting but also problematic to preserve. The very features that made creation and manipulation of recordings magical are the features that ultimately fail, degrade and corrode. The possibilities and limitations of media that led content creators to make choices which affected the formal qualities of a recording are retraced by audio archivists when digitally capturing the content of recordings. Physical material is therefore meaningful, and consulting it can be fruitful to research.
I will elaborate on two experiences working with non-commercial analog audio, exposing unexpectedly overlooked conditions that could be left behind after digitization.
Encounters with the physical media of sound carriers evoke the creative practices of people working with recorded sound. Many of these practices are now obsolete, but definitely influenced the way people used audio: from everyday administrative tasks to the musical avant-garde.
While surveying archival collections of recordings many instances were presented to me where creative interventions to the media remain inaudible in the recording. Teaching undergraduate students with these primary source materials revealed how the conditions of the media format was meaningful content itself.
Discoveries from these experiences lead me to pose questions for consideration by this community of archivists, historians, teachers, musicians, and engineers:
How has medium dictated method? How has it informed our listening, composing, editing, and saving audio materials presently, and in the future?
What is missing from research if the object is not consulted, but only the digital recording?
How can archives and special collections libraries make these objects apparent or present to researchers?


Claus Peter Gallenmiller

http://www.phonomuseum.at/, cpg-schallarchiv@gmx.de


Lauren Walker

Head of Digital Projects, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas Austin
Lauren Walker is the Digital Projects Librarian at the Ransom Center. Previously she was an Audio Digitization Technician and the Project Archivist who surveyed the Center?s audio collections. She has a BFA from the SAIC and an MSIS from UT-Austin.

Tuesday October 27, 2020 20:00 - 20:30 GMT
c. Session 2