Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Ernest Uitermark, who’s name I probably spell wrong, send me this record:
It was still sealed, so I had to remove the plastic time barrier to get an echo of the experience that some very lucky kids had in the early seventies, when these Magic Disks were sold:
I have already written about these hand record players, sometimes known as Minifoons. I have now four of them, and I know of at least one other to exist (a record with the voice of Andre van Duin on it, who advertises a car; if anybody has this Minifoon, please let me hear it!). Nowadays we are so familiar with recorded sound that not much people realise that less than one and a half century ago the whole idea, that sound can be recorded, didn’t exist. Today there is recorded music and other forms of audio everywhere, but many of the best composers and musicians, that ever walked this planet, have never heard a recording of their own music. To make people aware of the magic that recorded sound is, the Minifoon is the best instrument. Well, this gift from Ernest is called a Magic Disc, but it works the same: you fold the paper open, there is a needle on the bottom of the part that is fold out, and when you place that needle in the groove and let the record spin with your finger, you hear this:
The hand played record is a gimmick. It was never intended for serios audio reproduction. That makes it rather funny to see and hear it being used in this way. The Walt Disney Studio’s needed 90 minutes to tell the story of Peter Pan in their movie, but on this Magic Disc the story is abridged to 30 seconds, depending on your ability to spin this hand record player. Maybe therefore you get the same story twice: as a record and as a comic, in case you might not get it.
This Magic Disk, published by the German division of Walt Disney Productions, has number 1, so I guess there more waiting to be re-discovered. To be continued!