Research Library Catalogue Now Available

What kind of research goes into the design, creation, and maintenance of a museum dedicated to the culture and history of sound? Now’s your chance to find out, as we unlock our Research Library and present the Museum of Portable Sound Research Library Catalogue: 1,400 books, articles, patents, manuals, audio recordings, and more – including links to those available online – organised into over 50 subject areas! These are the items we have collected since our museum opened in November 2015, and cover a diverse range of cross-disciplinary topics from the worlds of sound studies and museum studies – available now as a FREE downloadable PDF.

Object of the Week: environments 9

Each week on our social media accounts, 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:

‘ENVIRONMENTS™ are aboard NASA’s Voyager spacecraft as an accurate representation of Earth’s primal sounds.’

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.