THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Sound and vision blog

2 posts from July 2008

11 July 2008

Digital views

I read in today’s Guardian that a government-commissioned report on youth violence is due to be published on Monday.  It proposes that parents should be more responsible for controlling the bad behaviour or their children.  Causes of violence and crime in young people are also the topic of discussion in this recording from the Archival Sound Recordings St Mary-le-Bow Public Debates. It is remarkable that many of the issues we are contending with now were evident in 1973.

Digitisation of the Bow recordings presents a unique opportunity for researchers to look at the way issues were debated in a public space during the 60s and 70s and how social issues evolve (or do not evolve) over time.  Listening to the debates provides insights into the language and mores of a particular time but also offers an additional perspective on the here and now.

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02 July 2008

For Your Urgent Attention

Very Urgent is the first of several planned reissues by Fledg’ling Records  of South African pianist Chris McGregor's 1960s and 70s albums.  Described by The Guardian as "joining the raucous all-night dialogues of the townships shebeens to the American free-jazz of Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler", Very Urgent was recorded in London in 1968 with McGregor's longtime band The Blue Notes (here unusually credited as The Chris McGregor Band).

Archival Sound Recordings features a great many performances by Chris McGregor and The Blue Notes (often accompanied by singer Patience Gcwabe) and with McGregor as part of the Gwigwi Mrwebi Band.  It also features interviews with McGregor himself and discussions of his work by critic and essayist Lewis Nkosi.