Andrea F. Bohlman
- Assistant Professor
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Intermediate Polish: Jagiellonian University
Fragile Sound, Quiet History: Music and Unofficial Media in Communist Poland
This project illuminates the intersection of creativity and materiality across three vibrant amateur sound recording networks in twentieth-century East Central Europe: reel-to-reel recordings in the 1950s, homemade records in the 1960s and 1970s, and cassette tapes in the 1980s. Responding to the material losses of World War II and the constraints of state socialism in Poland, untrained recordists took recourse to sound media to command agency. Amateurs embraced the impermanence of these flimsy and malleable materials in order to create places for music in everyday life. Their work issues a challenge to the assumption that recording is a tangible means to counter sound’s ephemerality and exposes the importance of aural culture under communism.