Reel to Real Resources

British Library 1 IMG 6465An Edison Bell phonograph at the British Library Sound Archive studios.During the course of the Reel to Real project we were able to conduct interviews with a number of leading ethnomusicologists, sound curators, audio engineers, and other related experts, as well as record talks from the three workshops that took place as part of the project programme. These multimedia outputs are available via the menu links on the left.

The audio section contains recordings of interviews and talks including discussions with members of the British Library and Profile Video, who were both responsible for helping us to digitize our collections of wax cylinders, reel to reel cassettes, and DAT tapes. There are also several recordings of presentations and discussions at the two key workshops organised as part of this project, "Sound in Museums" and the OeRC Workshop, "Delivering Ethnographic Sound", that was held at the end of the project. We are also privileged to be able to share David Toop and Max Eastley's talk on their engagement with sound and instruments at the Pitt Rivers Museum, which was the keynote speech at the 2012 British Forum for Ethnomusicology one-day conference, which was also held at the Pitt Rivers Museum.

The video section contains an interview with Louis Sarno, divided into 8 parts and accompanied by related playlists of his recordings and images from his photo archive.

We are enormously grateful to Soundcloud for partnering with the project and allowing us to upload our audio files to their service. All of the playlists on this website can be found on Soundcloud at:

Sound Galleries

Musical torchlit trails at the Pitt Rivers Museum

On Friday November 23rd 2012, the galleries of the Pitt Rivers Museum were plunged into evening darkness and bathed in Bayaka music and sound from the Central African Republic. Visitors were given torches to explore the galleries that were transformed into a rich forest soundscape with sung fables, snatches of laughter, beautiful variations on harps and flutes, and the stunning polyphonic singing of Bayaka women. Hidden surprises included mini projections from the rainforests and a visualiser designed by Nathaniel Mann, the PRM's Embedded Composer in Residence. The evening was filmed By Mike Day of Intrepid Cinema as part of the Reel to Real project, and complemented the Oxford City-wide Christmas Light Night organised by Oxford Inspires. A four hour playlist of Bayaka music from the PRM's sound collections, originally recorded by Louis Sarno, was curated on the evening by Nathaniel Mann and Dr Noel Lobley. The event was streamed online, and was watched live in the Central African Republic by Louis Sarno and some of the Bayaka community.





Copyright 2012 The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford