Recording pioneers- Part 8, William Conrad Gaisberg

 

“We realised how many different degrees of smells there are in the world”

-William Gaisberg’s observation of Hyderabad, India

 

Name:              William Conrad Gaisberg

Born:               26th June 1877

Resident:        Born in Washington DC, USA

Occupation:   Recording engineer, managing director & head of London Recording Department

Loves:            Travelling, opera, pushing the boundaries of music and his brother (Fred)

 

William Gaisberg

 

Upon completing one’s education, following in your brother’s footsteps in the recording industry would not seem at all unusual, but, in the case of William Gaisberg, their father thought otherwise. As William recalled in his later years, “My father…did not think that he should let two of his sons start their careers in such an uncertain business as the talking machine.” Instead William was put to “selling coal.” Eventually however, despite his father’s reticence, he allowed him to join elder brother Fred.

In 1894, Fred Gaisberg came to work at Emile Berliner’s laboratory in Washington D.C. In 1902, younger brother William [Gaisberg] and William Sinkler Darby, came to join him. It was during this period that Berliner imparted his knowledge of the secrets of disc record-making to these young men. Within a few years the three of them moved to Europe, where, as recording engineers, they became the most important figures in The Gramophone Company’s staff.

 

William Gaisberg vatican

    -Recording in the Vatican, Recording in the Vatican, April 1902. Left to right: William Michaelis, the castrato Alessandro Moreschi and William Gaisberg

 

William Gaisberg’s enthusiasm and enterprising nature led him to take over many of his brother’s duties, which included managing and leading the third recording tour of India. The third tour began at Calcutta in 1906, and then proceeded onto Lucknow, Delhi, Lahore, Hyderabad and Madras.

Despite the Gramophone Company’s dominant position and success in the talking machine and disc record trade in Asia, It could not rest on its laurels of achievement, as American recording companies such as The Columbia Phonograph Company began making great advances. This motivated William to record artists of a higher repute and achieve a product of a much higher quality.

Gaisberg sought to record vocalists associated within the theatrical circuit, which resulted in him making the first recordings of Miss Janki Bai of Allahabad. He also placed emphasis on recordings of Gauhar Jaan, whose status had grown significantly, earning the reputation as a ‘Gramophone celebrity’.

In 1910 at the age of 33, William became manager of the Recording department, where he provided a vital link between the head office and its overseas territories.

In October 1918, a month before the Armistice was signed, The Gramophone Company became involved in a project to record the sound of the war. The reasoning behind the venture was that if there were to be no more war, then for the benefit of posterity, it was important to record and document the sounds of battle.

The Company elected to send William to the Western Front. It was in the French city of Lille that he recorded The Royal Garrison Artillery firing off a gas barrage. By the time the recording was completed, the war was over. Gaisberg had been slightly gassed during the expedition, and fell victim to the flu pandemic and tragically died a month later in November 1918.

50th Anniversary of the Moog Modular Synthesizer

October 12, 2014 marks the 50 Year anniversary of the unveiling of the Moog modular synthesizer at the Audio Engineering Society’s (AES) New York convention. On that day in 1964, Dr. Robert Moog introduced the world to a completely new type of instrument that would go on to change the course of music history and influence decades of future instrument design. Told by a Moog engineer, Moog Historian, and Bob Moog himself, this mini-documentary explores Moog Music’s quest to resurrect the original methods, materials and designs used in the foundational modular synths. Through recreating Keith Emerson’s modular system, Moog Music rediscovers the power, elegance, and enduring legacy of its first instruments.

Find out more at http://www.moogmusic.com/products/mod…

Footage of Keith Emerson from the film “Isle Of Wight” used with permission of Murray Lerner.

Photo of Keith Emerson & Bob Moog at by Mark Hockman

 

Chinese Rhythm by Alfredo Campoli

Chinese Rhythm, 78rpm Decca shellac disc by Alfredo Campoli and his salon orchestra

Thank you to our friends from the EMI Archive Trust for sharing this great piece from their collection.   The EMI Archive Trust holds an extensive collection of 78 rpm shellac discs from accross the Gramophone Company, EMI and other privately donated collections.

This is Chinese rhythm by Alfredo Campoli and his salon orchestra F.6659.

The Trust and the Hound welcome any factual information you may have about the disc. So please feel free to get in touch.

emiarchivetrust.org
twitter.com/EMIArchiveTrust
facebook.com/EMIGroupArchiveTrust

© EMI Group Archive Trust

Usage Rights
All usage to be cleared by EMI Group Archive Trust

 

 

Documentary – Recording the Kings Speech

Tune in tomorrow early 03:32 GMT or stay up late 23:32 GMT for BBC WORLD SERVICE documentary – Delivering the King’s Speech! This programme explores the fascinating history of royalty releasing records, and incorporates rare material from the EMI Archives and an interview with EMI historian Tony Locantro.

Image for Delivering the King's Speech

Marking the 75th anniversary of King George VI’s declaration of war against Germany, Louise Minchin relates the untold story of how the King’s Speech reached the entire world.

Inspired by the discovery of the original pressing of the speech in the EMI Archives – mounted in goatskin leather and signed by the King himself – Louise uncovers how the King’s words reached the furthest corners of the British Empire. Starting with the fascinating history of royalty releasing records, and incorporating rare material from the EMI Archives and interview with EMI historian Tony Locantro.

Delivering The King’s Speech delves into the earliest days of the BBC Empire Service (later to become the BBC World Service) to find out how the King’s message was sent across the globe and how it enabled the Empire Service to win the fight against the anti-British propaganda broadcast by the Germans.

If you’re neither an early bird nor a night owl you can also tune in throughout the day!

8:05 GMT – 14:32 GMT – 19:05 GMT

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p025gvd5

A TBI Media Production for BBC World Service.

Entertaining in Antarctica- Captain Scott Style!

Thank you again to our friends from the EMI Archive Trust for sending this great picture of Sir John Mills playing the role of Captain Scott in ‘Scott of the Antartic’ 1948.

Sir John Mills as Captain Scott in the film 'Scott of the Antartic' 1948

Sir John Mills as Captain Scott in the film ‘Scott of the Antartic’ 1948

When Captain Robert Falcon Scott embarked upon the Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica and the South Pole in 1910 he took with him two HMV ‘Monarch Gramophones’, loaned by The Gramophone Company, and several hundred 78rpm shellac discs specifically chosen to boost the team’s morale. Read more about it here! http://www.emiarchivetrust.org/captain-scotts-gramophone/     Usage Rights All usage to be cleared by EMI Group Archive Trust Image  of Sir John Mills as Captain Scott in the film ‘Scott of the Antartic’ 1948 from The Voice Magazine

On this day: 7th July 1944

Seventy years today,  7th July 1944, a German V1 rocket landed on the EMI factory in Blyth Road, Hayes, as a result a concrete shelter roof collapsed, killing 34 and injuring a further eighteen.

Today we honour the men and women based at the EMI Factory and Hayes, whose contribution was essential to the British War effort, in both civilian and military roles. We particularly remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on that fateful day.

A memorial to those killed in the bomb attack on EMI can be found in Cherry Tree Lane Cemetery.

Memorial at Cherry Tree Lane Cemetery, Hayes. 7th July 2014

Memorial at Cherry Tree Lane Cemetery, Hayes.
7th July 2014

 

Photographs: Courtesy of The EMI Group Archive Trust
Speech: Winston Churchill – War of the Unknown Warrior – Broadcast July 14 1940
Recording: The Gramphone Company, Hayes Middlesex – HMV C.3209
Usage Rights
All usage to be cleared by EMI Group Archive Trust

 

 

 

 

 

Special screening of ‘Memories of EMI’ Sunday 22 June

Hayes Past, Present and Future

Our friends from the EMI Archive Trust have been invited to screen a selection of material from their ‘Memories of EMI’ project,  Sunday 22 June 2014, as part of this year’s ‘Calling the Tune Film Festival’ at: The Old Vinyl Factory, Blyth Road, Hayes, Middlesex. 

After the screening Joanna Hughes, Curator for the EMI Archive Trust will be on hand to film your Memories of EMI.

12-2pm (Doors Open 11.30pm)  £Free but booking essential

A presentation from Hayes students of their projects on the history of Hayes, followed by a screening of ‘At Your Service (1962)’, a comedic short film made by Hayes Town Council in the 1960s about the services provided in the borough. The event will also feature a selection of material from The EMI Archive Trust ‘Memories of EMI’ project. GET TICKETS

2014-06-15 14.46.26
All screenings take place at: The Old Vinyl Factory, Blyth Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 1HA Train 20mins from Paddington to Hayes and Harlington, First Great Western Service. Bus 140, 195, 350, 696, 698, 90, E6, H98, U4, U5 to Hayes and Harlington Station. Car There is free car parking on site for all visitors with a valid ticket to the festival. Accessibility The Old Vinyl Factory is fully accessible to wheelchair users and there are disabled toilet facilities on site. Please contact a member of staff prior to your visit if you have specific access requirements.

Memories of EMI – Brian Kehew at Abbey Road Studios

Thanks again to the lovely folks from the EMI Archive Trust for sharing another great piece. They recently met up with the legend Brian Kehew (Co-Author of the Recording the Beatles book) for their Memories of EMI Campaign.

In this short video he shares how they found one of the key pieces of technology used on many Beatles recordings and the software model that followed that discovery.

If you are interested in taking part in this campaign you can contact the EMI Archive Trust: info@emiarchivetrust.org.

Music: “Everybody’s trying to be my baby” by Carl Perkins

Photo credits:
Abbey Road Studios and Equipment. Photographer: A.C.K Ware Ltd, 1930s – 40s. Copyright: EMI Music Ltd
Altec Compressor and “Recording the Beatles” book cover with permission from Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan