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  • Near Mint – sharing old vinyl with Robin the Fog

    In early April, I had a fine evening going through my old vinyl collection with Robin the Fog, radio producer and tape loop wrangler extraordinaire. Hear some of my favourite LPs from…

  • The Bird Fancyer’s Delight – background notes

    For those of you who would like to know more about The Bird Fancyer’s Delight, the topic of my recent Radio 4 documentary, here’s a bumper crop of references I’ve found over the last few months. These include transcripts from the British Library, music excerpts, photographs of a serinette and details of contributors to the show. I hope you find them interesting…

  • Sound ‘recording’ before the Edison phonograph? (BBC Radio 4 doc 1:30pm Tues 5 July)

    We know we can teach birds to talk and sing. Here, for example, is an astounding recording of Sparkie Williams, champion talking budgie, 1958. But were birds ever used as primordial, feathered music recorders? Did we use them to bring popular music into our homes on command before the advent of the phonograph, the gramophone and radio?…