Category: Archival Collections (page 1 of 5)

PLAY THIS RECORD LOUD

DMZ. The Neighborhoods. La Peste. Watching punk bands in the early days, Arthur Freedman realized that each show was unique. He witnessed set, song, and personnel changes, different arrangements for some songs and, tragically, untimely deaths of band members. Believing that the energy and exuberance of a live performance could never be reproduced within the recording studio, Arthur bought a cassette deck and microphones (and eventually a video camera) and started to record many of the shows he attended. Often sighted in front of the stage, video camera in hand, he became a familiar figure in the local Boston area rock scene for over four decades.

A box of cassette tapes from the Freedman collection

The Arthur Freedman audio collection came to Loeb Music Library in late 2011, and over the last year we have been working hard to finish digitizing all the original compact cassettes in the collection. Providing a window into an essential era of Boston rock history, it contains over 720 hours of live performances by primarily local rock and punk bands, most of which were recorded between the late 1970s and the mid-1980s. The majority of these recordings were made in storied Boston clubs that no longer exist, and the collection contains many unique performances unavailable elsewhere. Some of the tapes contain accompanying material such as set lists, tickets, and flyers, and others include technical notes or anecdotes about the performance.

Ticket, Boys Say Go, August 1, 1984 at Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Flyer, The Primevals and The Classic Ruins, July 20, 1985 at The Boston Food Co-op

We’d like to celebrate the completion of this project by making the first digitized performances available in the Freedman finding aid. These are two performances by the all-female band Bound & Gagged, recorded at Baba O’Reilly’s in New London, CT on January 29, 1981 and the following night at Hurrah in New York City. The Hurrah show was also filmed by Merrill Aldighieri, but Freedman’s audio version contains two encores.

 

Hear the shows

 

Bound & Gagged formed in 1979 and released an eponymous EP in 1980 on the Boston-based Modern Method label (a small, unassuming note on the rear of the jacket suggests: “PLAY THIS RECORD LOUD”). Members featured in these performances are Martha Swetzoff on guitar, vocals & percussion, Wendy Stone on guitar, Trude Koby on bass & vocals, Marcia Maglione on keyboards, vocals & percussion, and Deni Ozan on drums. Special thanks to Martha Swetzoff for helping us to make these the first streaming performances available from the collection.

Flyer for a benefit show (Sept. 28, 1980) held for Bound & Gagged after their equipment was stolen following a gig at Cantone’s. Courtesy of Martha Swetzoff.

Freedman also recorded over 2000 hours of video during these years, which are a part of his collection held at the Harvard Film Archive. “Artie” still makes recordings and he was recently on hand at screenings of the documentary film “Boys from Nowhere,” which chronicles the Boston garage punk scene of this era. At the Cabot Theater in Beverly, MA in April, the film was followed with sets by the Nervous Eaters and Willie Alexander & The Boom-Boom Band, as well as a panel discussion featuring JJ Rassler of DMZ. Artie was again there to capture it for posterity.

Are you a member of a band Freedman recorded? Did you attend these shows? We want to hear from you! Get in touch with Peter Laurence.

-Peter Laurence, Lesley Bannatyne

Happy 125th Birthday, Lili Boulanger!

In celebration of Lili Boulanger’s 125th birthday on August 21st we are sharing an arrangement of her work Cortège held in the Merritt Room of the Isham Memorial Library. Lili wrote this piece for piano while at the Villa Medici in Rome as the first female winner of the Prix de Rome in June of 1914. It was published for violin or flute and piano in 1919 by Ricordi with a dedication to violinist Yvonne Astruc. The manuscript is held at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris (BN Ms.19439 and Ms.19440), along with a transcription in Nadia’s Boulanger’s hand.

The arrangement was by Nadia, her sister, for solo violin and 18 other musicians: flute, harp, celesta, triangle, violin I (5), violin II (3), viola (2), cello (2), contrabass (2).

Manuscript, page one of Cortege.

Merritt Mus 631.856.200

While some of the writing was determined to be by Nadia Boulanger, a portion was also completed by a copyist. Notice the variations in handwriting on these instrumental parts.

Example of handwriting, 1st violin part.

Merritt Mus 631.856.200

Example of handwriting, contrabass part.

Merritt Mus 631.856.200

Example of handwriting, 2nd violin part.

Merritt Mus 631.856.200

While the date is unknown, visit our catalog record for more information.

Additional information about Cortège and Lili and Nadia’s works and relationship can be found in:

Potter, Caroline. Nadia and Lili Boulanger. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006.

 

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