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    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Having fun with History

    Yesterday I purchased and downloaded Handel’s Israel and Egypt off of iTunes. It is of course purely for the need to hear it as I write scenes of CA. The reason is that I’ve decided to place a “Perfected Phonograph” into a scene and as luck would have it Edison completed his Perfected Phonograph and sent it to Colonel Gouraud in London in 1888 to generate oversees sales. That same year Colonel Gouraud took the phonograph to The Crystal Palace and at 100 yards away recorded an unknown number of cylinders (2 min a piece) of a 4000 member choir singing Handel’s Israel and Egypt at the Handel festival that had been held roughly every three years since 1857. As of today, only three of the original cylinders still exist and there is no accounting as to how many were originally made. They are the earliest musical recordings still in existence and reside in New Jersey at The Edison National Historic Site.

    I haven’t figured out what exactly is on the five I’m bringing back to life, but that’s the joy in doing it. No one can ever say with certainty that they did not at one time exist. I envision the montage sequence I'm writing to begin with the phonograph playing, which would be diegetic sound and then becoming non-diegetic sound of an actual performance suffusing the scene with a mood of foreboding.

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