Record label/publisher Dust-to-Digital -- creators of Victrola Favorites and Take Me To The Water, have just released what appears to be another exquisitely-packaged book and CD set. I Listen To The Wind That Obliterates My Traces is a collection of vintage vernacular photographs related to music paired with a selection of 78rpm recordings that are from the same era as the photography. From Dust-to-Digital:
The subjects range from the PT Barnum-esque Professor McRea - “Ontario’s Musical Wonder” (pictured with his complex sculptural one man band contraption) - to anonymous African-American guitar players and images of early phonographs…I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces: Music in Vernacular Photographs 1880-1955 (Amazon)
The two CDs display a variety of recordings, including one-off amateur recordings, regular commercial releases, and early sound effects records. there is no narrative structure to the book, but the collision of literary quotes (Hamsun, Lagarkvist, Wordsworth, Nabakov, etc.). Recordings and images conspire towards a consistent mood that is anchored by the book’s title, which binds such disparate things as an early recording of an American cowboy ballad, a poem by a Swedish Nobel laureate, a recording of crickets created artificially, and an image of an itinerant anonymous woman sitting in a field, playing a guitar.
Dust to Digital