Old Sounds

I haven’t promoted it yet, but I added a new page to the links at the top of this blog called “PODCASTS.” It’s basically a list of all the podcasts I (try) to listen to sorted into a few broad categories. Some of the podcasts appear in multiple categories. I probably should also add a simple A-Z list as well as some synopses of each podcast. Anyhow, for now it’s what I listen too, and each is recommended for anyone interested in those topics.

I want to highlight three individual podcast episodes (all radio shows originally) that fall under the them of Old Sounds:

  1. Ultima Thule is an Australian radio show that plays ambient and atmospheric music. A recent episode, UT 702 featured Christian religious music of the past including liturgical chants from the Coptic, Maronite, Melkite and Old Roman traditions. If you’re like me and are familiar with Gregorian Chant, but have not heard these other traditions, you will find it ear-opening. The history of sacred music is rich and diverse.
  2. WNYC’s Radiolab recently did an episode about Orson Welle’s 1938 broadcast of “War of the Worlds“. They play segments from the actual broadcast, including the eerie moment where a report from the field goes silent. They also provide some historical context that helps explain the ensuing hysteria – the brewing war in Europe, radio coverage of the Hindenberg disaster, and the recent innovation of news bulletins interrupting radio programing. They also cover two other occasions in which radio performers perpetrated the same hoax with disastrous results.
  3. Finally, for the oldest sounds of them all, recordings that precede Edison courtesy of the Antique Phonograph Music Program on WFMU. These recordings were made in 1860 not to be played back but as visual representations, however scientists were able to convert the images into sound! This is the earliest known recording of sound. The Antique Phonograph Music Program is always awesome as they play old records on their original equipment, but this episode goes above and beyond as they explain this great discovery.