Each week on our socialmediaaccounts, we post an Object of the Week from our Physical Objects Collection or Research Library. This week’s object is a new acquisition that we are also publishing here due to its extensive text-based content, which we are presenting as a free PDF.
This week’s object is an original 1979 pressing of Disc 9 of the famous Environments™ series of field recording albums produced from 1969–1979 by Syntonic Research, Inc., a company created by field recordist Irv Teibel. Our copy still contains the original shrink wrap including a promotional sticker that says:
The front and back cover of the LP include numerous testimonials which can be seen in the first two pictures above. It is the inner sleeve, however, that we have decided to publish here as a PDF, since it contains a lengthy, fascinating essay about the origins and potential uses of the Environments™ records.
This essay provides great insight into the thought process behind the Environments™ series, covering topics such as noise masking, solitude, and the use of field recordings as aural atmospheres conducive to concentration and meditation. It is at this point that the essay begins to take on more adventurous topics such as Alpha waves, natural highs, and the use of Environments™ during sexual intercourse – resonating (perhaps somewhat uncomfortably) with the statement on the inner sleeve’s reverse side mentioning how Environments™ field recordings were “test[ed] in university dormitories near New York City” (see “How it all Began”, page 7 of the PDF).
Though great pains are taken in the text to emphasise the scientific nature of Syntonic Research, Inc, the essay also includes some possibly controversial material that may serve to undercut this assertion, such as an inference that humans and dinosaurs coexisted (see “Listening for the Dinosaur”, page 6 of the PDF).
We hope you find our publication of this material useful for your own research.
We’re pleased to announce the release of a new printed book and digital audio box set, The 4′33” Museum! This deluxe printed book and digital audio set includes nearly 4 hours of sounds from 50 different museums around the world, and the book contains full-colour photographs, notes, and an essay on collecting. Our Director and Chief Curator John Kannenberg has been collecting these recordings for more than a decade, and we’re proud to be able to bring this stunning collection to you as part of our new publishing branch, Museum of Portable Sound Press.