Thanks to Lesley Pearson for pointing me to Open Culture‘s recent links, which included this great interactive History of Modern Music. Dating from 1899 – 2011, the genres covered are Pop, Rock, RnB/HipHop, Indie, Dance, World/Folk, Jazz. Emanating from The Guardian, each icon links to a short piece from that paper on the topic. The articles range from the serious, such as Pete Seeger’s refusal to testify at McCarthy‘s House Un-American Activities Committee, to the frivolous, such as the then breaking news that the Modern Jazz Quartet were buying tuxedos.
There’s always something a little ghostly about hearing voices thought to belong to a distant past. Thanks to Open Culture for flagging up this recording of the voice of Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893), recorded in 1890:
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I remember being amazed at hearing the voice of Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910), recorded in the same year:
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What is thought to be the oldest known recording originates from 1860:
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I recall one of the best cases of corpsing on Radio 4’s Today when Charlotte Green found herself in the unfortunate position of having to follow coverage of this with an obituary. We’ve all been in situations where the inappropriateness of the laughter multiplies it to an uncontrollable level – you can hear this episode here.
Open Culture also posted (a while ago) a link to a recording of James Joyce reading from Finnegan’s Wake. In our world of silent reading, the importance of the voice – the exception being audio books – has diminished somewhat. Step 4 of these instructions on How To Read Ulysses explains the importance of reading aloud.
I recall once seeing a photograph of a man who had played with Mozart (1756 – 1791). This unlikely outcome simply requires that one live long enough. Domenico Dragonetti (1763 – 1846) lived to be 83.