As the oldest audio archive in the world, what is the role of the Vienna Phonogram Archive in the history of sound research? What recordings about Southeast Asia are stored in the institute? In this episode, meLê yamomo speaks with Gerda Lechleitner – former archivist and researcher at the Sound Archive of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Gerda tells about her career in the intersection of sound archiving and sound scholarship. She also reflected on the ethics behind audio documents made during the colonial period and the idea of sound heritage repatriation.
Gerda Lechleitner is co-chair of the Study Group on Historical Sources and a member of the RILM Commission Mixte of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM). From 1996 until 2020 Gerda worked at the Phonogram Archive of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She had been curator of the historical collections, and together with Christian Liebl, she had been editor of the CD-edition “Sound Documents from the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The Complete Historical Collections 1899-1950” and the Yearbook of the Phonogrammarchiv “International Forum on Audio-Visual Research”.
Sonic Entanglements is hosted and produced by meLê yamomo. Thijs van den Geest is our sound engineer and sound editor, and Jean Barcena is our publicity manager. Our theme music is created by Markus Hoogervorst. Many thanks to the Phonogram Archive of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for the permission to use the archival audio materials. This podcast is funded by the Dutch Research Organization. For more information, visit www.sonic-entanglements.com