Lomax is coming

Marc Sanchez Jan 31, 2012

American folklorist and ethnomusicologist, Alan Lomax is coming to your house. Your phone and  tablet too.

The guy is going to be everywhere, because his entire recorded collection is being digitized in a project called the Global Jukebox. The New York Times puts it into perspective: “5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online.” Roughly 17,000 music tracks are set to start streaming by the end of February, and all for free. Lomax died in 2002, he had always wanted his recordings to be available on a large-scale like this. Again from the Times: “‘This project has evolved as the technology has evolved,’ said Lomax’s daughter, Anna Lomax Wood, who is president of the Association for Cultural Equity.”

Today Global Jukebox will release a 16 song sampler from the collection. Don’t blame me, if you head over to the site for a couple minutes this morning, then realize you’ve missed your kid’s soccer game that starts at 6 p.m.

Speaking of recording, how about some of the earliest sounds ever put to wax (literally)? Recently discovered wax cylinder recordings were found and have been digitized for all the Interwebs to hear. One is the only known recording of German Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck, while another is of an 89 year-old Helmuth von Multke – born in 1800, which makes his one of the oldest recorded voice in history.

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