184 page hardback book with 2 CDs, 150 sepia photographs reproduced in full-color, the CDs feature 51 vintage recordings from 1925-1955. Publication Date: August 2, 2011

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Compiled by Steve Roden

… i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces brings together a collection of early photographs related to music, a group of 78rpm recordings, and short excerpts from various literary sources that are contemporary with the sound and images. It is a somewhat intuitive gathering, culled from artist Steve Roden’s collection of thousands of vernacular photographs related to music, sound, and listening. The subjects range from the PT Barnum-esque Professor McRea – “Ontario’s Musical Wonder” (pictured with his complex sculptural one man band contraption) – to anonymous African-American guitar players and images of early phonographs. The images range from professional portraits to ethereal, accidental, double exposures – and include a range of photographic print processes, such as tintypes, ambrotypes, cdvs, cabinet cards, real photo postcards, albumen prints, and turn-of-the-century snapshots.

The two CDs display a variety of recordings, including one-off amateur recordings, regular commercial releases, and early sound effects records. there is no narrative structure to the book, but the collision of literary quotes (Hamsun, Lagarkvist, Wordsworth, Nabokov, etc.). Recordings and images conspire towards a consistent mood that is anchored by the book’s title, which binds such disparate things as an early recording of an American cowboy ballad, a poem by a Swedish Nobel laureate, a recording of crickets created artificially, and an image of an itinerant anonymous woman sitting in a field, playing a guitar. The book also contains an essay by Roden.


Disc One
1. Wind – HMV Weather Effects c.1935
2. John Henry – John Jacob Niles 1940
3. Untitled – Anonymous (Société Anonyme)
4. Then We’ll Need That True Religion – Reverend Edward Clayborn 1927
5. In the Baggage Coach Ahead – Ernest Thompson 1924
6. Blue Blazes Blues – Emery Glen 1927
7. Walking on Ice – Gennett Sound Effects c. 1936
8. Kind Lovin’ Blues – Clara Smith 1923
9. If You Hadn’t Gone Away – Nick Lucas 1925
10. Beautiful Mansions of Gold – Anonymous (Knight Home-recording Disc)
11. I Seen My Pretty Papa Standing on a Hill – Eva Parker 1926
12. The Rosary – Pale K. Lua 1914
13. Mocking Bird – Gennett Sound Effects c.1936
14. Froggie Went A-Courting – Bradley Kincaid 1928
15. Damfino Stump – Sylvester Weaver 1927
16. Montana Call – Seger Ellis 1931
17. When They Ring the Golden Bells – Alfred G. Karnes 1928
18. Mandolin – Anonymous (Recordio Home-recording Disc)
19. The Stranger – Anonymous (Recordio Home-recording Disc)
20. Brother Noah Built an Ark – Ex-Governor Alf. Taylor’s Old Limber Quartet 1924
21. A Little Love a Little Kiss – Ed Lang 1927
22. Canadian Geese – Standard Radio Sound Effect c.1948
23. Reaching for the Moon – Roy Smeck’s Trio 1931
24. I Want to Go Home – Roland Hayes 1941
25. The Old Grey Horse – Obed Pickard of Station WSM Nashville Tennessee 1927

Disc Two
1. Walking in Snow and Thin Underbrush – Gennett Sound Effects c.1936
2. Rovin’ Gambler – Kelly Harrell 1926
3. I’ve Got to Go and Leave My Daddy Behind – Sara Martin & Sylvester Weaver 1923
4. Pinin’ Hawaii for You – Frank Ferera’s Hawaiians 1928
5. Going My Way – Gabriel Brown and his Guitar 1943
6. Rainfall and Thunder (Thunder Not from Life) – Gennett Sound Effects c.1936
7. It Don’t Do Nothing but Rain – Lew Childre 1936
8. Graveyard Love – Bertha Idaho 1928
9. Pretty Polly – Frank Luther 1940
10. Canary Birds: Several Hundred – Gennett Sound Effects c. 1936
11. Xango – Roland Hayes 1941
12. The Girl I Left Behind Me – Dick Reinhert 1929
13. Yes I Know – Rev. Calbert & Sister Billie Holstein 1928
14. Bib-a-lollie-boo – Chubby Parker 1927
15. Winnebago Love Song (Duet) – Thurlow Lieurance & Clement Barone 1929
16. My Good for Nuthin’ Man – Clara Smith 1925
17. Stack O’Lee Blues – Sol Hoopii’s Novelty Trio 1926
18. (I’m Cryin’ ‘cause I Know I’m) Losing You – Ukulele Ike (Cliff Edwards) 1927
19. William & Mary – Marc Williams 1934
20. Way Down Home – Anonymous (Recordio Home-recording Disc)
21. Night Noises – Gennett Sound Effects c.1936
22. Ya Gotta Quit Kickin’ My Dog Aroun’ – Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers with Riley Puckett 1926
23. Cripple Creek and Sourwood Mountain – Stovepipe No. 1 (Sam Jones) 1925
24. Cowboy’s Prayer – Goebel Reeves 1934
25. Precious Memorys (sic) – Bill Kearney & Earl Bush (S.O.S. Recording and Radio Service Disc, Honolulu, November 3, 1955 “to Dotty from Bill Kearney”)
26. O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie – Carl T. Sprague 1926