Denis Crowdy and his amazing music recording machines

By Emmanuel Narokobi

Not to make the title sound too fantasy like but I think Robert@PNG will love this posting from a fellow Open Source Software developer. Oh and Danger commented to me on Google Talk that he was amazed at the sound quality of the recording too. So music lovers I’m talking about Denis Crowdy, who is based in the Solomon Islands and is doing some very interesting work on developing village based music studios.

Besides Denis’ blog he also runs a great website called Melanesian Music where he has lovingly collected stories and links related to Music and Copyright issues in Melanesia, so yeah Kudos to his efforts.

Now to one of his amazing machines. Below is an excerpt from his blog about it. It also has a video to show in motion his recording system.

“Over the last couple of years I have been putting together a portable recording system that I can use in places without electricity as part of a project funded by Macquarie Uni to develop appropriate archiving tools for use in Melanesia. It was first used in a pretty remote village called Taramata on the island of Small Malaita (the southern bit of Malaita) in the Solomon Islands. I travelled there with Adriel Tahisi, a graduate of the music section at UPNG where I used to teach, and we recorded various panpipe, bamboo and vocal ensembles. We took some great video there but I lost the camera on a marathon trip back to Honiara so the following video shows the gear in use in a small village near Honiara called Ohiuola.”

Even more exciting too is the fact that just as we are now talking about the OLPC being used here in PNG for educational purposes. Denis has already been tooling around with success at using one of the OLPC laptops for musical recording. He’s got a post on it here from his test run in Vanuatu. So obviously giving more space for the OLPC’s expansion as an affordable and versatile tool which should be able to attract more funding from grants related to cultural developments in addition to education.

Denis other Open Source efforts can be read about here and OLPC efforts here.

All in all though I think what I’d be interested to see after Denis’ research begins to mature is attempts made to be able to create musical recording packages of these tools so that they can be easily purchased at a music shop or hardware shop anywhere in the Pacific or the world for that matter. On the local scene I see great potential for church groups, youth groups, musicians, teachers, researchers and aid workers using these recording tools.” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Oh na mi laik for wishim yufala evriwan lo Solomon Islands Happy 30th Independence!


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