The Royal Oculus & Gramophone Company does not design or replace oculi; does not sell, buy or repair gramophone players and discs. …nor is there any admittable link to any monarchy, past or present. So, if you’ve arrived here looking for such, you’ve come to the wrong place. It’s just a name.
What the ROGC does deliver however, is a showcase of cultural documents of the easily digitized sorts: images and sounds, often creatively interpreted, or as in the case of the collage style radio shows, perhaps just plain made up.
LIVE, online radio shows on Shirley & Spinoza Radio sparked the genesis of the ROGC, a natural evolutionary step from the type of freakout multi-layered sound & music radio that I’d done for ages prior. Specifically, the name and spirit were inspired by the early sound archiving expeditions by early gramophone companies during the first decade of the 1900′s. Imagining camel caravans porting supplies and very primitive recording equipment for months and years at a time over then merciless, grueling routes provided a romantic visual. The notion of the archivist then putting together the pieces brought back by our returned sound explorers sealed the spirit. Those guys were hard core.
What were all these mysterious noises etched onto the surface of these discs and cylinders? What stories did they reveal?
Not all the radio shows came in this flavor or channeled that narrative, some barely even resemble it. But searching and gathering source material for a show, then discovering in real time ‘stories’ in sounds and music was the kind of mental expedition in any direction I could afford to take solo over a few evenings and a beer.
In the case of the Xinjiang section of the site, you’ll find a contained collection of media and compositions (photographs, sounds, music, video) of the distinct cultural landscape which I currently, along with the millions of indigenous locals and ‘inland’ transplants, call home.
These days, I live in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Automomous Region, northwest side of the PR.China – so the photograph & sound galleries currently found here reveal scenes of the area.
My hope is that at least some of the elements in this section- what I like to think of as ‘artifacts’ will have some worldly value for a region, people and tradition that I myself can see changing by the day…and In many respects, simply slipping into history. A government orchestrated transformation that has no intention on slowing down is taking place and many traditions I’ve experienced here are plainly in their last generation.
Many of the most notable photographs in the galleries section, in my opinion, are via the golden eye of my talented local friend and collaborator, Miradil Hassan. The others are by myself as are design and all sound recordings (unless otherwise noted).
If you are interested in using anything from these pages, or would like to inquire about publishing, broadcasting or reproducing in any form, please contact me via the contact page. Thanks.