A box of 78s

The story of a box by Dinah Bird


It is an honor and a privilege to be part of Dinah Bird's work A box of 78s and to be just one of many stones that are composing this travelling radio relay. But what is it exactly? It is the story of a box:

"A leather box that is over eighty years old and has lived in three different countries, and on two different continents. It contains over fifty 78 rpm recordings of classical music and opera hits of the day. The box and its contents were inherited by my grandmother who was born on the Gulf Islands, British Columbia, in 1910. She grew up on Salt Spring. She took the box with her when she left the island in 1925 and carried it to her various adult homes until her death in 2000.

In September 2012 I retraced the box’s long journey and took the records back to the island where they were first played. Using my great-grandfather’s diary and daily notes on the weather as a guide, I played the records outdoors, on a portable gramophone in spots around Salt Spring where my grandmother and her family had picnics, played tennis or danced, and I recorded what happened. I also talked to today’s Salt Springers, and my late Great Uncle, about their memories and reasons for being on the island. This composed sound work blends memories, observations, field recordings and music. This piece is about rekindling lost, and perhaps forgotten, sounds. Are they so very different to those my grandmother heard ? It is a personal response to the people and places of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia." [Dinah Bord] 

STREAMING on radiopapesse.org on monday May 4th at 6pm and on Tuesday May 5th at 6pm

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