Distributing Music Over Telephone Lines

1909mus2

This 1909 article from Telephony magazine details services offered by a company called Tel-Musici in Wilmington, Delaware.

The idea was simple: a special phone receiver was installed at the subscriber’s home and the subscriber was given a telephone directory in which phone numbers were assigned to pieces of music. The subscriber could then, for a fee of three cents per piece (or seven cents for grand opera!), dial up the desired music and a switchboard operator would play the appropriate record on a phonograph, transmitting the sound over the telephone line to the subscriber’s home. A megaphone attachment was provided for the home receiver in case more volume was needed. Tel-Musici boasted of superior sound quality free of “metallic, rasping, and grating features.” 

 

Before iTunes or Google..

John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail, 1780.

I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.

film music

hanke

So music has a fiction in that kind of film, but in most films, music is only present to fill in emotions that are lacking. Most films claim to be realistic and the use of music in them is therefore a lie. In real life we never hear music in our lives unless it’s played on the radio or television or a musician is present. But music is used then to make up for lack of tension that the director hasn’t managed to create. I have nothing against musicals—for example, I love the films of Fred Astaire and the films of Hitchcock, but those aren’t realistic films. The use of music in conventional cinema is usually used or almost always used to make up for what’s lacking in emotion because the director has not done his job properly.

Chris Marker 1921-2012

marker

Chris Marker, the influential French filmmaker whose career spanned six decades, has died, France’s Culture Ministry confirmed Monday. He was 91.

Chris Marker’s death seems to have occurred on the same date as Bergman and Antonioni’s, dead five years ago today.

Chris Markers large body of work includes the 1962 classic "La Jetee" – an award-winning post-apocalyptic movie that’s often ranked among the best time-travel films ever made.

Set in a post-World War III nuclear-devastated Paris, "La Jetee" tells the story of a prisoner sent to the past and future to save the present. The film was one of the first to use sci-fi notions of circular time and has since spawned a myriad of references.

La Jetée (1962)  on Vimeo.

 

Who said that time heals all wounds? It would be better to say that time heals everything – except wounds. With time, the hurt of separation loses its real limits. With time, the desired body will soon disappear, and if the desiring body has already ceased to exist for the other, then what remains is a wound, disembodied.

 Sans Soleil

 

Chris Marker has been credited with inventing the "essay film," a style of documentary popularized by other filmmakers like Jean-Marie Straub, Danielle Huillet, Jean-Luc Godard, Errol Morris and Michael Moore. Despite his long legacy spanning from the early 1950’s, the eccentric filmmaker was still actively working well into his 80’s.

Coming from a fiercely polemical and intellectual political background, Marker experimented with film’s narrative and evocative possibilities in more ways than one. While it is difficult to trace the genealogy of modern cat videos, for instance, his 1990 documentary short "Cat Listening To Music" helped solidify the form.

A noted cat-lover himself, as well as something of a recluse, Marker would rarely allow himself to be interviewed or photographed for the press, offering pictures whenever asked for a photograph.