Synthesized Speech Bell Labs 1961 7" pic-flexi+magazine
Bell Telephone Laboratories Presents Synthesized Speech-- The computer speaking / The computer reciting a soliloquy from Hamlet / The computer singing
label & cat. no.:
Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated [private pressing, no cat#]pressed in:
7" 33rpm picture flexidisccondition:
Record: ex (record has been removed from magazine and thus is not unplayed, but the grooves have no visual flaws; plays with minor background noise like any flexi; all corners of the soundpage were cut in accordance with the playback instructions)
Magazine: ex (few minor wrinkles/bends on outer cover; inner pages are virtually flawless)description:
This amazing ultra rarity is the earliest version of the famed "Computer Speech" ep, as included as a tear-out 1-sided picture flexidisc soundpage in the June 1962 issue of The Reporter, a monthly magazine for Bell Telephone Laboratories employees and A.T.&T. shareholders. This artifact presents the first ever recordings of electronic speech synthesis, as researched at Bell Labs by scientists D.H. VanLenten, John L. Kelly, and Louis J. Gerstman using an ancient punchcard-fed IBM mainframe computer. A narrator discusses the wonders of speech artificially constructed from the basic building blocks of the English language and the issues of timing, pitch, and accents, and provides several computerized speech examples including the "to be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet and the song "Bicycle Built for Two" (which directly inspired filmmaker Stanley Kubrick in his staging of HAL's death scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey when HAL sings the same song). The disc itself is labeled 'copyright 1961' and has a different narrator than the more well known later release from 1963, as well as gorgeous punchcard art and notes exclusive to this earlier issue, though the actual computer speech recordings seem to be the same, and the flexi has a shorter overall running time. This auction also includes the 24 page magazine it originally came with, which has a 3 page article on Bell Labs' synthesized speech research called "The Building Blocks Of Words" which went along with the disc, in addition to other interesting articles on underwater filming, nuclear physics, seat belts, an AT&T shareholders meeting, and more, an amazing time-capsule of early 1960s corporate-backed state-of-the-art scientific research.
Starting in the late 1950s, Bell Labs hosted the first artists and scientists to experiment with computer music and speech, including Max Mathews, John R. Pierce, Newman Guttman, Jean-Claude Risset, James Tenney, Roger N. Shepard, and Edgard Varese; they produced several lenegdary lps of early electronic music, including Music From Mathematics and Voice Of The Computer. This record will be of interest to fans of electronic and computer musicians like Herbert Eimert, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Paul Lansky, Jon Appleton, Cylob, Rephlex, Robert Moog, Bruce Haack, Vocoder, Italo, Luke Vibert, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Mu-Ziq, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Laurie Anderson, Skinny Puppy, Invisibl Skratch Piklz...Check out my other auctions this week for more avant garde experimental early electronic electroacoustic microtonal 20th century classical free jazz artist records. US Shipping - Media Mail is 5.00 for 1-2 single records, then 0.65 for each additional; Priority Mail is also available but pricing depends on zipcode (you can check eBay's calculated shipping price at the bottom of this page); other expedited shipping options and insurance are all available on request. Combine multiple items to save on shipping.
International Shipping - 1 12" lp to Western Europe/UK/Scandinavia/Japan/Taiwan/Australia is 15.00 for First Class Airmail; to Canada is 8.71 for First Class Airmail; other international destinations vary, please email for a quote. 7" records will cost less; heavy box sets will cost more. Insured Priority Airmail with tracking and other expedited methods are also available but pricing depends on destination country and will be calculated after auction closes (or you can email me with your address for a quote). Combine multiple items to save on shipping; I can hold records to be combined with a future purchase if desired. Note: I can also offer international buyers the super-cheap M-Bag bulk airmail rate for orders of 8 or more lps; to most destinations this costs 38.00 for up to 16 lps, a huge per-record savings over standard rates for smaller parcels! Feel free to email with any shipping questions.Payment - I prefer Paypal (which allows for fastest possible shipment) and also accept money order (from US financial institutions only, including US Postal, certified US bank check, etc., international bidders please take note!). If you are paying by Paypal and have won multiple items, please use a single Paypal payment. I will send an invoice email to all winners shortly after my auctions close, and another email after payment has been received to confirm item shipment.Packing - I pack professionally and with the utmost care drawn from years of experience trading vinyl internationally. I use new record mailers from Cameron Packaging (which I have determined are the best and most protective) reinforced with cardboard inserts and bubble wrap padding. All records are shipped with poly plastic sleeves. All packages are completely sealed with strong packing tape covering all openings. Unless requested, no paper invoice is included in the package, both to save trees and to avoid customs difficulties. If you'd like your package done any differently, just let me know.Other Info - Feel free to email me if you have any questions (need more info, want more pictures, etc.); you can use the 'ask seller a question' link above. Records are visually graded unless otherwise noted; my condition rating scale is M (sealed) / NM (unplayed) / EX (barely used) / VG (some evident wear from prior use but no major flaws) / G (major flaws). All included album inserts are pictured in the listing; what you see is what you get, if I know an insert is missing I will mention it in the description. Satisfaction guaranteed; if you have any problems with your order please contact me directly.This item description is (c)opyright 2008 keymap records; please contact keymap records for permission before reproducing any text.