National Library of Norway

  • vulacon-records-projects-norway2008
  • to take the 200+ cylinder moulds from the Christian Leden collection that have been in non-archive storage for over 50 years, and make records from them so they could be played and archived.
  • We photographed and cleaned the moulds, made two custom mouldings of each in plastic resin, catalogued and boxed the finished records for later archive transfer to digital media and long-term storage for future research. We then repacked and returned the original moulds to Norway.
  • All the moulds were processed and are now in safe storage and robust playable copies of the recordings are available for transcription and analysis. As a bonus, around 20 of the moulds contained recordings made in Canada, of the Cree Indians, in 1910.  By arrangement with the National Libriary of Norway, we were able to make copies of these available to the xx Museum in Canada
  • (testimonial, photo, audio)

Royal College of Music, London


  • 2014
  • To recreate the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 1913 recording session of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, using original techniques for recording and a full modern symphony orchestra. Part of the academic intention of this project was to understand the problems and limitations of the early acoustic recording process when recording large numbers of instrumentalists.  These limitations affect not only the technical sound but to some extent the interpretation and playing style of the orchestra.
  • Manufacture of suitable recording wax, wax discs, shaving machine, recording lathe, recorder boxes, horns, and testing all of the above. Transporting and setting up for acoustic recording on location.
  • Recordings made and transcribed on the day. The results of the technically and academically involved project are the subject of a paper entitled The Art and Science of Acoustic Recording (published in the Science Museum Group Journal, Spring 2015), co-authored by Duncan Miller, Dr. Aleks Kolkowski and Dr. Amy Blier-Carruthers.