Thanks to George Brock-Nannestad for his kind review of our work. As a
modern pioneer in the study of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, George’s
good words mean much to us.
As ARSC members know, our website is only one of several ways in which First
Sounds works to facilitate the preservation of and access to the world’s
earliest sound recordings. For instance, this week I’m meeting with
colleagues at the Paris institutions with which we’ve worked over the last
two years. I have the pleasure of delivering to each electronic images that
will remain for some time their best form of digital preservation, and their
best avenue of access to, their own Scott materials.
On Friday we commemorate the 150th anniversary of Au Clair de la Lune by
Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville – the earliest audibly recognizable
recording of the human voice yet recovered. Although this anniversary will
go essentially unnoticed everywhere else, I would expect my colleagues in
the ARSCisphere to note the occasion in their own special ways.
On Friday I’ll join the Scott de Martinville family in a celebration and
homage. We’ll patronize establishments that Édouard-Léon himself might have
frequented for conversation, libation, and a good meal. And we’ll visit
places he used to live and work and institutions he aspired to enter.
Celebrate with us! On Friday (preferably by the light of the moon) raise a
glass in the direction of Paris and toast an inventor whose experiment with
sound writing itself – made 150 years ago to the day – succeeded far beyond
his own expectations. We'll raise our glasses back at you.
And in a more sober moment, check out the primary documents George reviewed
yesterday that trace the inception, development, and maturation of Scott’s
phonautographic work. They’re all at FirstSounds.org.
- David Giovannoni