028 > Conversation at a Party
A socially distanced party on a Friday night in 2021. Guests include a 4 track reel of music (c. 1969) and a Stellaphone ST458 (c. 1963).

028 > Conversation at a Party

Track 1:

The ‘Tony Pritchett Project’ is sparking off lots of dialogues.

> Conversations between myself and other kind folk helping research Tony’s animation.
> Between us and Tony’s work.
> Between us, Tony’s work and interested others who are getting in touch.
> And by myself and people I meet along the way, like Keith and Dave.

Keith restored and sold me the Stellaphone.

Dave (who also worked on the restoration), sold me a cable which allows the Stellphone to output to PC and vice versa – but more about this later on in this post.

In the clip above, the sound is recorded on my rubbish iPhone. Half way through I edit in the sound as output through the Stellaphone.

It doesn’t sound super warm, but then that’s more the iPhone’s fault not the Stellaphone’s. I’ll carry on experimenting anyway. Maybe I’ll use the mic a lot more too.

Cheers to Random Hippy for the camerawork.

Track 2:

Tony’s career seemed to involve a lot of interfacing challenges. For example:

> Getting a tiny Tektronix to chat to a Cray when making the Ch4 logo…
> Getting a BL120 Microfilm Recorder to speak to the Atlas…
> Creating GRAM – a system for producing simple graphics for the OU.

Nb. I’m researching GRAM at the moment. Prof David Duce and Bob Hopgood, plus Dik Leatherdale and Terry Froggatt are doing the clever bits. I’m mostly photographing listings. Anyway, it’s all getting very exciting and I am infinitely grateful to the aforementioned for all their time and expertise.

It is possible to go from PC to Stellaphone (phono) and from Stellaphone (phono) to PC thanks to Dave. The Mic socket also works, so thanks Keith.

Track 3:

Tony created used his friend Hugh Ras Riddle’s sisters Phillips reel to reel recorder to create the foley for Flexipede, so I thought it would be fun to create some of the audio for the ebook using ¼ inch tape.

Neither Ras nor Tony could remember the model name, so I searched for any old domestic Phillips model, c. 1960s. I thought I’d find one easily but I was wrong. There’s a fair few on eBay, but I couldn’t find any in good working order.

Dr. Victoria Marshall helped me do a shout-out at a recent RAL lecture. People kindly got in touch but Covid put a stop to me borrowing equipment.

But then I found Keith’s Ebay Store. Keith sold me a 1963 Stellaphone and put me in touch with Dave who sold me the necessary lead and jack. Thank you Keith and Dave!

One of 11 reels of 1/4" tape in the archive.

Track 4:

Right, before I kick all you interfacing hippies out, I just want to show you this…

One of the things I’ve enjoyed recently is listening to the traces of tracks left on this second hand tapes that I bought to use as recording material.

Strange noises and mystery voices from the past. I love it!



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