2 posts

  • avatar
    148 sounds
    110 posts
    Simpson Ferrograph

    BBC Radio 3 programme available online.

    Early in 2013 record producer Dan Carey bought a vintage tape machine at a charity shop in Streatham, South London. The Ferrograph recorder came with a box of 7-inch tapes containing an audio documentation of the previous owner's social life as a young man in the 1950s at a time when reel to reel tape recorders were state of the art audio technology. Among the recordings was a poetry reading event featuring an unusual selection of texts, from obscure comic verse to sections from the King James Bible and a Ministry of Transport pedestrian advice leaflet. Alan Dein goes in search of the recordist Barrie Simpson and surviving members of his circle, in this evocative and poignant story of suburban life and the Baptist church in South London over half a century ago.

    This is as much social history as about the technicalities of recording. Interesting that reel-to-reel was being used by amateurs as early as the 1950s.

    If you don't listen to the radio prog, the gallery here is worth a look:

  • avatar
    328 sounds
    2812 posts

    Hey, was just browsing the board and came across this a bit late.

    Thanks for sharing this gem, I am currently listening to the programme. It is definitely my cup of tea!

    You mentioned amateurs using tape machines in the 1950s and I instantly thought of Karlheinz Stockhausen, that man is a massive inspiration. A visionary and pioneer for the use of tape manipulation.

    This is worth a watch if you have time (this was from 2000 but KS used much of the same Musique Concrete techniques that he was using in the preceding decades):

    Its a short film produced by the Quay Brothers for the BBC, with Stockhausen as the composer for the score. More details on the film:

    Warning, because the film is very sinister and may cause some light nightmarish sleeps. smile

    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    2 posts