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Posts from the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound

Listening to the Silencing of the Bird Cliffs: Listening to Coexistence with Kinokophonography

Guest post by Elin Øyen Vister.Read More ›

Turn Left at Greenland: The Beatles Meet the Press

The Beatles were not only wonderful songwriters and singers, but they were experts at peppering their press conferences with wit—and avoiding real answers to meaningful questions.Read More ›

Kinokophonography Night at the Library for the Performing Arts: Hearing is Believing

There is something very unique about a listening program. It is not always typical to sit and listen without explanation or visual stimulation. On the evening of February 6th, about 50 people gathered in Bruno Walter Auditorium for New York's first Kinokophonography Night here at LPA, where we asked the audience to do just that: sit and listen.Read More ›

"She Loves You" b/w "I'll Get You" by The Beatles, Swan S-4152

Recorded July 1, 1963 in London, UK.Read More ›

The Most Significant Drum Head in Popular Music, Part 2

Upon taking physical possession of the piece, my mind was set on two objectives. The first was to prove to myself that the drum head really was what it appeared to be. And number two, proving to the collecting world in general that this was, in fact, the Sullivan show drum head. Read More ›

Kinokophonography: Discovery of Listening

Below is a guest post by Coryn Smethurst, a composer, film maker, philosopher, sound recordist, and longtime friend of the Kinokophone Collective. Mr. Smethurst is also the Co-founder and Administrator of the Sonic Arts Forum. In this post he shares an experience that changed the way he listens to the world. Read More ›

The Holy Grail of the Percussion World, Part 1

William F. Ludwig himself put it best when he said, “On February 9th, 1964, a new musical event burst from the TV screens across America. The Beatles had arrived, featuring Ringo Starr and his Ludwig Black Oyster drums. Literally overnight everyone wanted a drum set like Ringo’s. The drum boom was born!”Read More ›

Kinokophonography: A Closer Relationship With Listening...

Are you curious about The Library for the Performing Arts upcoming Kinokophonography Night, February 6, 6:30 p.m.? Below is a guest post by renowned sound artist Jez Riley French. Mr. French has submitted a work of recorded sound that is featured on our Kinokophonography Night program. He writes about his motivation, his work, and his process.Read More ›

Kinokophonography Night at the Library for the Peforming Arts

It was March of this year when I first heard from Amanda Belantera, who had begun her initial search for a New York City home for Kinokophonography Night. Amanda, along with the Kinokophone Collective, has produced Kinokophonography events throughout the UK and in Japan. Kinokophone organized the event as a place for recordists, phonographers, and listeners to gather and share in a night of sounds from all over the world. (Some favorites of the past have included a snail eating a peach, and the juxtaposition of underground 

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Those Mysterious Shadowy Dancers

This post answers a question about the image that the Library’s web page has been using when it highlights the Vandamm exhibition, Pioneering Poet of Light. I was thrilled when the web editors selected it, since it illustrates the title so well. So, here’s an extended caption, with musical accompaniment.

Three’s a Crowd was a revue, presented in the 1930-1931 season. Like The Band Wagon in last week's post, it was choreographed by the brilliantly innovative Albertina Rasch and paired a young Broadway/vaudeville veteran with a European ballet 

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Review of "Exploring The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records" LIVE at NYPL

The line formed early outside of Edna Barnes Salomon Reading Room as this particular event in the Live from the NYPL series was the hottest ticket in town on a cold fall night. Who would have thought that a round table discussion regarding the collapse of quirky record 

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Florence Vandamm

Perhaps the most widely published and least understood visual record of 20th century performing arts, the output of the Vandamm Studio has largely been utilized only as illustrative backdrop for the retelling of Broadway history. The prints, contact sheets, and negatives of theater, music and dance in London (1908–1923) and New York (1924–1963) are among the Library for the Performing Arts's most requested treasures.

Few are aware that the visionary photographer and portraitist who lent her talent and name to the studio was a woman and one who opened her 

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A Note on the Upcoming Record Sale at the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound

1984 Record Sale FlyerOn a rainy spring morning in 1984, over 800 visitors swarmed the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and purchased over 20,000 78s and LPs at the first Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound Duplicate Record Sale. The event raised $14,750 to support the activities of the archive, which began collecting recordings of all types as far back as 1930. Perhaps more importantly, the sale realized space critical to expand the archive, an archive which has since grown to become one of the world's largest, rarest, and most 

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Choral Notes: Happy 70th Anniversary to Oklahoma! (The Musical and the Song)

OOOOOOOOOO! KLAHOMA!

As a native Oklahoman and former "Sylvie" in my high school's production of Oklahoma!, there is no sweeter sound than the joyous shouts and celestial harmonies of the massive hit 8-part chorus number during the second act of Rodgers and Hammerstein's first smash musical. As a confirmed choir nerd, arranger Robert Russell Bennett is the star of my heart. Here's why...

How the number came to be

Less than three weeks before the show's Broadway debut, the musical was still called Away We Go! This was a Colonial Theatre program 

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RHA Cylinder Collection Exhibit

The Collection and Exhibit

The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at the New York Library for the Performing Arts currently houses a collection of more than 3,000 wax and celluloid cylinders. These cylinders range from very early, non-commercial, white and brown wax cylinders, to commercial moulded black wax cylinders, to Indestructible moulded celluloid cylinders and, finally, to the later Edison Blue Amberol celluloid cylinders.

The collection is 

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Historic Presidential Speeches in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound

In honor of President Obama's upcoming inauguration, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound would like to present a compilation of historic presidential speeches selected from our collections.

The list consists of commercial and archival recordings which contain campaign, election, inaugural, resignation, congressional speeches, radio broadcasts, and various other important presidential profiles which address historic and cultural milestones in American 

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"It's Great! But Why is it Here?" Musical Revue Research Guide, Part 2

In the Research Guide, Part I, I advised that the easiest way to find information at LPA is by name or title. I advised that the research can benefit by compiling a list of every person in or involved in a production and serendipity can come your way. That third dancer from the left can become a star and/or obsessive collector or just happen to have the right piece of information in a clipping file. Sometimes, however, you can do your research prep and be looking in a 

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Soul Music Tracks from the Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Collection: "I Want You" and "Musical Massage"

I listen to many interesting things in my job, and I love it. As an AV cataloger at NYPL (Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound), I have listened to many archival recordings at the library for the past 8 years. Some of my highlights:

    Sound effects tapes from plays in the New York Shakespeare Festival collection Choral 
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Interviews with the Rich and Famous: The Brant Mewborn Interview Collection

The Brant Mewborn collection of interviews was recently processed, preserved, and cataloged.  This collection is a treasure trove of original interviews — conducted by Mewborn for his background research for various Rolling Stone articles, and for freelance pieces — with personalities of the 1970s and 1980s.

Brant Mewborn (1951-1990), a staff reporter and chief editor at Rolling Stone, conducted numerous interviews during this period 

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Collection Therapy: Hospice Series

My professional adventures are rooted in my own fascination with and questions about who we are as humans (how we identify ourselves, how we are layers of each version of our selves over time, how we become trapped in our elderly bodies, how we relate, how we die, how we cope, how we mourn). These questions have been constantly honed in my work — asked and answered over and over within the context of audio/visual materials. I hopped from grant to grant to build new programs for years, describing, preserving and providing access to artworks, dance, oral histories, home movies, and 

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