The Art of Field Recording


The April 28th issue of the New Yorker carried an article entitled “The Last Verse: Is there any folk music still out there?” by Burkhardt Bilger. It can be read here, and I recommend that everyone in this class read it.

The article describes a company called “Dust to Digital” that—inspired in part by Harry Smith’s Anthology—finds collections of old 78 RPM records (mostly blues and gospel) and reissues them as CDs. The article also tells about the efforts of Art Rosenbaum, artist, banjo picker and ethnomusicologist (folklorist who specializes in music), who has made his own collection of field recordings of traditional folk musicians over the past 50 years. Dust to Digital has just released the first album (4 CDs) of Rosenbaum’s collection, called “The Art of Field Recording, Volume 1.” I was so inspired that I ordered it. I was not disappointed and I’ll be happy to share some of it with the class.

Meanwhile, read the article, look at the pictures and listen to some of the audio that comes with it.

2 Responses to “The Art of Field Recording”

  1. Don Bashline Says:

    The Rosenbaum set is great – they’ve also issued a multi-CD set of gospel music, Goodbye Babylon, which is magnificent – I’m adding a link to their website over on the right hand side of the page. Please visit them and support their work.

  2. Week 10 Music Notes « Harry’s Music Says:

    […] appears on the stunning 6-CD set, Goodbye, Babylon, issued by Dust-to-Digital, about whom Dan Watt posted way back in August. Dust-to-Digital also did the I Belong to This Band […]

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