• Recording session of 1963 (?)

    Recording session of 1962 (?)

    These are the recordings from the tapes which Noël had kept from what  mum had probably brought back from England, because the sound is quite good, as you'll hear, whereas we had copies at home whose quality was much lower. You'll hear Mummy (Cath), Monsieur Père here and there, and mostly Tini and myself happily reciting nursery rhymes: Simple Simon, The grand old duke of York, Hush a bye baby and many others. What strikes me is Mum's very low, almost husky voice, I don't know whether she changed her voice as she grew older, or if it's what her voice still sounds like when she speaks English (but I've heard her speak English, some times!)

    It's sickening that the last word of the recording, indicating the year, is cut: Grandpa is heard saying "All that was recorded on Monday evening, before you went back to France, on April 8th, nineteen hundred and sixty-" Going back to France: would this departure have been the end of our long stay at 9DR, or an intermediary departure? If it's the first case, then I'd say 1963, but we'll have to ask mummy.

    Here's some more of the same, which was found recorded on the same tape, but after what you have already heard. There's a mention of Margaret's and Andrew's birthdays, so if I'm right, this must mean 1963 (Marg couldn't have had a birthday unless she was at least 1, and I rather think she was born in 1962...)

    Anyway, tell us what you think! Noël promises some more, with Grandma this time.

    « Monsieur Père at Standard Telephone & CablesGrandma's recordings »

  • Comments

    Wednesday 4th December 2013 at 22:53

    Fantastic job done by Noel in extracting this priceless audio record: can't wait to hear more. You say Cath's voice seems low but to me, it's Grandpa who sounds too high i.e. the playback device was running the tape through faster than the original recording speed. But if the audio was slowed down, your Mum would sound even huskier!

    Wednesday 4th December 2013 at 22:58

    You're right, Mark, we did have to set the tape speed at a certain notch, and selected a middle one, but that's certainly the reason why the voices are slightly distorted.

    Helene Pavey
    Thursday 5th December 2013 at 00:25

    Well, I think her voice is just right, besides when you speak to young children, your voice changes. I have observed that myself, with the children I teach. Monsieur Père did have quite a "nasal" voice.

    Thursday 5th December 2013 at 20:45

    Tini's quite right. Cath tended to have a rather deep voice sometimes. Besides, she and Cath do have the same voice sometimes, which is rather normal, for they are mother and daughter. "Elementaire, mon cher Watson".

    Thursday 5th December 2013 at 21:06

    So: distortion or no distortion??!

    Helene Pavey
    Friday 6th December 2013 at 12:59

    That is the question.


    Saturday 7th December 2013 at 00:49

    Not distortion, just the limitation of the original equipment and the age of the tape. I have old recordings from that era and they too sound a bit muddy and unclear, even before you apply any sound processing. But to be able to hear anything like this again is marvellous. That said, I would not have guessed it was GP's voice had you not mentioned it. And such English sounding infants you were.

    Sunday 8th December 2013 at 14:55

    Mum says Cath's voice (singing and talking) sounds right, but it doesn't sound like Grandpa to her! Who could be impersonating him? It's a job for the famous secret seven find-outers of adventure to resolve!

    Sunday 8th December 2013 at 19:31

    I recognize Grandpa all right, but then again, I had heard this tape before, and so perhaps I'm relying on my memory of what I had heard and identified before. I suppose AB would find his voice slightly altered too, again because of the age of the tapes.

    Thursday 20th February 2014 at 12:42

    Hi, you could check here for some more of Grandpa's recordings, this time probably true to life.

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