The old record listening sessions and the debate club will be organized twice in the first year, and four times in each of the subsequent three years of the project. We anticipate that they will strengthen and expand the existing groups of lovers of music captured on shellac records. Old record listening sessions and the debate club are a mode of dissemination, but also a potential research context, as the visitors, and in particular the regular visitors, will eventually be identified as a focus group of sorts.
For the programmes of Croatian Radio, once in four months, we will prepare radio features dealing with the project topics, highlighting elements of overlap between the record industry and radio. Same as in the case of the old record listening sessions, the radio features aim to contribute to the public awareness of record releases as an important part of cultural heritage.
The premiere of the music documentary stories “Twenty meters of gramophone records – the collection of Ivan Mirnik” was presented in the radio feature Oda-birano, edited by Iva Lovrec-Štefanović. The radio feature revealed some interesting details about the rare collection of shellac records gathered by the eminent archaeologist Ivan Mirnik. Ivan Mirnik started collecting a large collection of shellac records (vinyl predecessor) in the late 1950s, just when they stopped being produced. He himself didn’t continue to count the records, so the collection is now estimated not by the number of records, but rather by meters of shelves. The collection, researched through a conversation with Mirnik by musicologist Nada Bezić, a collaborator on the project, offers rarities such as the oldest recording of composition in Zagreb dated back in 1902, and a short insert of the finale of the opera “Tosca” with an extremely rare recorded voice of Croatian primadonna, Milka Trnina. Ivan Mirnik digitized more than 1,600 of his shellac recording and made them available to the general public through a special YouTube channel.
Listen to the feature here.
Naila Ceribašić, Željka Radovinović and Jelka Vukobratović spoke about the project on September 10, 2020. The show “Nepregledno blago” is edited by Ana Lacković Varga (Radio Sljeme). Apart from the state of research, the availability of the records themselves, incentives to start the project and its goals, they talked about ongoing work on the database of Croatian e-discography. Part of the broadcast was dedicated to Vlaho Paljetko who translated foreign songs to Croatian, and how the foreign hits influenced his authorial songs. Some musical examples were songs “Jedan brodić mali” (Dalmatian folk song arranged by J. Gotovac) performed by Zagreb Vocal Quintet (S. Reinis, Z. Krček, M. Kuftinec, M. With, N. Bogdan) accompanied by pianist V. Mutak, found on the first Jugoton record (J-1001, 1947); “Capinera” (A. Giuliani) performed by Vlaho Paljetko with the Schild-Vlahović Jazz Orchestra (edited by Edison Bell Penkala, Z-1411, 1928 ?, this is one of several Paljetak’s recordings of mentioned 1920s Italian hit); and Paljetak’s most popular authorial song “Marijana” performed by the author himself accompanied by the orchestra Vlahović – Mahalup – Tomin (EBP, Z-2195, 1936?).
The show is available here.
On Friday, January 29, 2021, the second old record listening session with the debate club, titled “Sounds of endurance: the Kraker collection of the Dutch House of the Sisak City Museum”, was held completely online. It was dedicated to the only informative-interpretative center of industrial heritage in Croatia – the Dutch House of the City Museum in Sisak. This famous 19th-century Sisak building houses the impressive music collection of the Sisak collector Velimir Kraker. The collection consists of around 1700 old records and a large number of phonographs, gramophones, and radios produced in the first half of the 20th century. The guest of the virtual audio-visual listening session was the curator of the Kraker collection, Predrag Jelić. The interview was conducted by Dora Dunatov, a P.h.D. student and an assistant at the IEF. Thus, at least for a short while, we went back to the musical past, sounded by a selection from Kraker’s rich collection.
The listening session, held in support of this interactive museum center, which celebrated its first birthday last month, was accessible through Zoom, and Facebook platforms. The recording is still available on YouTube.
On Wednesday, 2020/10/21, at the multimedia hall of Zagreb City Library, the first old record listening session was held as a part of this year’s event Croatian Book Month. The subject of the session was “Popevke je slagal: Vlaho Paljetak in early Croatian discography”. The session was mediated by dr. sc. Jelka Vukobratović, project associate and Igor Mladinić of the Music Department of Zagreb City Library. It was also recorded by CMC TV. In addition to the live session, the participants were able to join in via Zoom. Apart from presenting and analyzing selected songs performed by Vlaho Paljetak, the occasion was used to present the project financed by the Croatian Science Foundation. The interactive approach allowed participants to engage with their comments and questions throughout the session.