Recording

Melting Crayons to Make Records

Since the age of 10, Shawn Borri has tried to duplicate the wax recording techniques used by the North American Phonograph Co. founded by Thomas Alva Edison in 1888, beginning with melting crayons ar 5/01/2004 8:00 AM Eastern

Since the age of 10, Shawn Borri has tried to duplicate the waxrecording techniques used by the North American Phonograph Co. foundedby Thomas Alva Edison in 1888, beginning with melting crayons around aroll of toilet paper. Fast-forward 15 years: Sound engineer Borri hasreopened the North American Phonograph Co. (Freehold, N.Y.; http://members.tripod.com/**Edison_1/) as a waxcylinder recording studio.

Using 1880s technology (recording horns and spring motors; nomicrophones or electricity), tracks are recorded on wax and digitallytransferred using an Archeophone, a state-of-the-art digital cylinderplayer designed by Henri Chamoux. The company also re-issues classiccylinders, some recorded a century or more ago, in their originalcylinder form for $25 each.

Borri's recordings also appear under his Borri Records label, whichincludes .moe's Wormwood and Al Duvall's Hey Rube. Albumproceeds are donated to the Save our Sounds Project, which preservesoriginal wax cylinder recordings in the Library of Congress, TheSmithsonian Institute and others.

“Acoustic sound recording on the phonograph gives a presenceto the recording that no other method can duplicate,” says Borri.“We invite any recording artist to our studio for a free trial ofthis method to discover the possibilities and potential.”

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