Tag Archive | Pathe

French version of Raquez sound recordings in Laos article

I’ve very pleased that Philippe Drillien has translated my article in For the Record into French for publication in PHILAO No 104. As I noted in that article, Raquez most likely made the first field recordings ever in Laos. He used a Pathe phonograph in extremely difficult terrain. Fortunately, there are two photographs still in existence (as postcards) of these recording sessions; and Raquez wrote about playing European music for local peoples in his articles in Revue Indochinoise. Unfortunately, his recordings, apparently more than 300 cylinders, are now lost.  If anyone has any information about phonograph cylinders from Laos, please contact me.

R phonograph


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). http://www.clpgs.org.uk/our-magazine.html

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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