When Parisians discovered the Phonograph

Parisians discovering Edison's phonograph at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. Source: Collection Jaquet de gravures extraites de périodiques et de journaux illustrés du XIXe siècle - Gallica.

Gorgeous illustrations from the 1930’s issues of French Vogue

In the early 1930's, the French edition of Vogue included a column on newly published records featuring great illustrations by Swiss and French artists Herbert Libiszewski, aka Libis (1897-1985) and Raymond de Lavererie (1901-1956). Here is a small selection. Source: Gallica. November 1931 - http://c.bnf.fr/fMv May 1930 - http://c.bnf.fr/fMH June 1933 - http://c.bnf.fr/fME June 1930 - … Continue reading Gorgeous illustrations from the 1930’s issues of French Vogue

In the footsteps of the Ogooué-Congo Mission

A few months ago, I had the chance to meet the French ethnomusicologist Gilbert Rouget in his apartment in Paris. Rouget joined Paris Musée de l'Homme in 1942 as the assistant to André Schaeffner and was appointed Head of the Ethnomusicology department in 1965. His most famous work is his book "Music and Trance" ("La … Continue reading In the footsteps of the Ogooué-Congo Mission

A guest post on the British Library’s Sound and Vision blog

A large collection of early record catalogues is available on The British Library's website. I was invited to write a guest post about it for the BL's Sound and Vision blog. Follow this link to read it. Thanks to Jonathan Ward and Suresh Chandvankar for their help and to Andrea Zarza Canova for the invitation!

Acajou et Palissandre: guitar, ukulele and cavaquinho on 78 rpm records

A new 78s mix for 716lavie.com, this one is made of guitar, ukulele and cavaquinho records (solo or accompaniment) from my collection. It features 14 tracks from Spain, Congo, Vietnam, Brazil, Guadeloupe, Zambia, Tahiti, Portugal, Japan.. Big thanks to Guillaume Le Roux from 716 La Vie and to JiHoon Suk who translated the title of … Continue reading Acajou et Palissandre: guitar, ukulele and cavaquinho on 78 rpm records

Pathé sleeves from around the world

Here are some (unfortunately empty) 11.5" Pathé sleeves from around the world, including some examples from Morocco, Algeria, India, Siam, Cambodia, China, Russia, Hungary, Spain and Italy. What kind of records were included in these sleeves? Local music? Foreign music? I never came across any Pathé records from Cambodia so far, did they ever exist? … Continue reading Pathé sleeves from around the world

A Christmas concert for the penguins…

Antarctica, Christmas 1904. French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot playing a cylinder of Baryton Jean Lassalle for a public of penguins. The program of this Christmas concert included "Ouvre tes yeux bleus, ma mignonne" (Jules Massenet) and "Connais-tu le pays où fleurit l'oranger?" (Ambroise Thomas). Source: Le Monde Colonial Illustré, January 1939 - Gallica.

Lecture about early sound recordings in North Africa and the Middle East at Paris Music Library

I was recently invited to make a lecture about early sound recordings in North Africa and the Middle East at Paris Music Library. For those who can understand French, the video of the lecture is now available online. Thanks to all those who helped me preparing my presentation: Jonathan Ward, Mehdi J Blige, Henri Chamoux, Will … Continue reading Lecture about early sound recordings in North Africa and the Middle East at Paris Music Library