Focus on Sonic Archive: 12 November 2013

A one-day compact seminar that engaged with trans-disciplinary approaches to sound archives, organized by APC research fellow Dr Anette Hoffmann.

Liz Gunner : Crime, Magic, Retribution: Yiz' Uvalo and the 1980s

The paper argued that this specific serial tapped into the structure of feeling of listeners in Natal during a time of civil war. 'In a decade when the field of talented performers and writers for drama produced a wealth of dramatic fare, the combination of forces caught in this single long serial - of magic, modernity and the sheer soundscapes of the episodes - meant it became a classic of the era,' she writes.

After the lunch break, as part of the APC seminar series, Liz Gunner presented her paper on the isiZulu radio drama series Yiz' Uvalo, Inqob' Isibindi (In Spite of Fear, Courage Wins Through). She asks how a serial, which had over 80 episodes and included some of the most loved actors and actresses on the airwaves, achieved its status as compulsive listening in the last months of 1986 and into the first half of 1987. Gunner argues that the serial by Morris V Bhengu tapped in to the structure of feeling of the times, when civil war gripped parts of Natal and when the apartheid era was beset on every side.Both the programme and the papers will be circulated.

Niklas Zimmer

The seminar began with a paper on 'archiving a deaf spot' in which Niklas Zimmer presented his recent work on the Kirby collection of musical and voice recordings.He traced the particular sense of loss involved in creating and archiving phonographic historical records.

Marieke Martin and Sheena Shah

Short presentation on PRAAT software, which visualizes recorded sound, even in cases where words have become irretrievable (due to damage, for instance).

Memory Biwa

Before lunch, newly appointed post-doctoral fellow Memory Biwa introduced her research project on the 1950s Namibian recordings of Ernst and Ruth Dammann.