February 8th, 2013

South East Asia Council’s 2013 Lecture Series: Burmese Music Recorded Before 1962: A National Discography in Context

Christopher A. Miller
Curator of Collections
School of Dance
COOR 186

With support from the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, U.S. Department of State, Christopher A. Miller and Ne Myo Aung have worked with a small team of professionals and scholars in Myanmar/Burma to digitize 78rpm records made in the first half of the twentieth century. As the team surpassed 3,000 recordings processed, the resulting discographical work began to reveal a clear narrative around the production of recorded sound in Burma during this period. In this presentation, Christopher charts the recorded Burmese musical past, from the very earliest efforts of western recording companies, such as the Columbia Graphophone Company, the Gramophone Company (primarily on the popular “His Master’s Voice” label), and Parlophone to the exchange of technical expertise and establishment of local companies such as A.1, Burma Butterfly, The Twin, Freedom, Diamond, and Karawait. All are considered in conjunction with copious audio examples.

Christopher A. Miller is Curator of Collections in the School of Dance at Arizona State University and a Trustee of the Burma Studies Foundation. In the recent past, he has served as Curator of Audiovisual Resources at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix and Bibliographer for Southeast Asia at ASU Libraries. Christopher’s audio and document digitization projects have been funded by the U.S. State Department Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (early Burmese recordings); the British Library Endangered Archives Programme (Archive of the Pa’O Literary and Cultural Council Library); and the Center for Burma Studies (Burmese Field Recordings of Muriel Williamson). He also worked closely with Prof. Thoams Hudak to digitize the Tai Linguistics Field Recordings of William Gedney with support from the National Science Foundation. Christopher holds degrees in Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Northern Illinois University and Library Science from the University of Arizona.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by the Southeast Asia Council as part of the Southeast Asia 2013 lecture series.