Alfred Raquez and the first audio recordings in Laos

I’m excited that my article on Alfred Raquez’s use of a phonograph in Laos has now been published in the magazine of the City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society, For the Record, (summer 2016, No. 58).

The article details Raquez’s use of a Pathe phonograph to make (or so the experts I consulted believe to be) the first ever sound recordings in Laos. He would record in the field and claims to have made more than 300 separate cylinders. These were brought to Marseille for the 1906 Colonial Exposition there. After his death there in 1907, they seem to have been lost. If recovered, they would create an amazing record of the sounds of Laos at the turn of the century.

If anyone knows anything about these cylinders from Laos (they would have been recorded in 1905-1905), please contact me.

As noted in previous posts, my scholarly translation, with Paul Bruthiaux, of Raquez’s first book, Au Pays des Pagodes [The Land of Pagodas], will be published this year by NIAS Press. My research into a biography of Raquez continues.



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