Indiana Daily Student

Wax cylinder recordings to be discussed today

The IU Archives of Traditional Music will present a demonstration of the earliest form of sound recording from noon to 1:30 p.m. today in the Hoagy Carmichael Room, Room 006, in Morrison Hall.\nIn the 1890s and early 1900s, before discs emerged, wax cylinder recording was the preferred technique of recording sound. \nThe wax cylinder was also used in field recording through the 1920s, said the organization's Coordinator of Recording Services Mike Casey. \nGraduate student Patrick Feaster and Tennessee native wax cylinder enthusiast Martin Fisher will present the program. Feaster will present a talk on the acoustic recording process. \nFeaster became interested in early recording while attending auctions and antique shows with his parents. While his parents were searching for their interests, he latched on to early recordings. Feaster's dissertation discusses early sound recording, as well. \n"I've been eating, breathing and sleeping this for the past few years," Feaster said, laughing.\nAfter Feaster's talk, Fisher will present a practical demonstration of the process of wax cylinder recording, including recording and playing back sounds created on a variety of instruments. Musicians are encouraged to bring a variety of instruments to the program to be recorded. \nFeaster said Fisher has also been interested in early sound recording since childhood. He attends numerous music festivals and records various instruments, including banjos and fiddles. Fisher also conducts annual wax cylinder recording sessions in Tennessee at the "Breakin' Up Winter" Festival at Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Lebanon, Tenn., east of Nashville. \nFeaster said he is excited about the program, especially the practical demonstration. \n"I hope people bring as many interesting (instruments) as possible," he said. "Hopefully there will be some surprises." \nCasey believes people will enjoy the wax cylinder demonstration. \n"It's like stepping back into the 1900s," he said. "They are going to recreate the listening experience of a person listening to a wax cylinder phonograph."\n-- Contact staff writer Jenny Kobiela at

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