The Gramophone, December, 1929
who is one of the gang and is ready to advertise anything or anybody except himself, I shall hesitate before I venture to go and see him next in Clerkenwell Road, for fear that he may blame me for having drawn him from his seclusion. He is the most modest and the hardest worked man that I know. He knows more about jomnalism than any. of us will ever know and regards us with a gentle amusement.
Mr. Raymond Langley, who completes the group, is the Manager of the Artists' Department, which means (to put i t baldly) that there isn't an arti st in the country whom he does not call by his or her Christian name.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have only introduced you to a very few of the personalities that help to supply you with gramophones and records. You may know some of them already, and be able to judge for yourselves whether their portraits are faithful, or you may know and care nothing about any of them. In either case, I trust that you will allow me, on behalf of THE GRAMOPHONE, to offer our distinguished visitors very sincere good wishes for the prosperity of themselves and of their work in 1930.
Lissenden is still in hiding.
EXILE By ERIC DUNSTAN
Xa rule, exile from England has i ts compen. sations ; either the pay is so good, or the climate so lovely, or the taxation so light, and one or more of these considerations outweighs the inability to smell the exhau st fumes in Piccadilly, or join in the scrum on the· underground. The gTeatest privation of all in years gone by must, however, have - been, to musical people, the impossibility of hearing good music once one left the confines of Emope. Ten years ago even, when I was for two years in one of our remotest colonies, the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific, I felt musically starved, although we had gramophones. Ten years ago the gTamophone was a poor substitute for the real thing, but now, with the marvellously improved methods of recording, the records are as like to the original as t inned apricots are to the fresh variety. In some respects I prefer them.
I spent 1927 and 1928 in India , where the opportunities for hearing good orchestral music are practically nil, except in Calcutta, but with my gTamophone and a monthly supply of records, both from local dealers and from kind friends at home, I really got to know quite intimately music which, even with years of concert going, would have been almost impossible.
Like the t inned apricot, the gramophone record is always ready for use. I t can be kept indefinitely, but on this point I should like to see an improvement. In a tropical climate, even exercising the greatest care, you cannot prevent your records warping. I tried many ways of keeping them, but although some remained perfectly flat, other s persisted in developing waves, and I think the record-making companies might, with advantage to their overseas trade, experiment with other materials not so easily affected by the high temperatures. The record s are not unpJayab'e, but they are not at their best .
With the advent of long-distance short-wave broad casting, another bar has been removed from musical isolation, but until both transmission has been vastly improved and a method has been found of getting over the t ime difficulty, broadcasting cannot rival the gramophone as the purveyor of musi c to exiles. For instance, i t is now possible, on favourable a tmospheric occasions, to l isten in India to the Promenade Concerts; but one has to sit up until two in the morning before reception becomes really worth li stening to, and this difficulty of t ime difference is one to which I can only see two solutions. Either the programme must be recorded in some way a t the reception end and re- broadcast from the r ecord at a suitable t ime for local listeners, or the broadcasting agent at the fa.r end, e.g. in India, wil1 have to organise i ts own programmes in London or Europe, and have them broadcast at i ts own t imes, which at present is not feasible, because reception during daylight is so unreliable, and the expense prohibitive.
The gramophone, therefore, remains the exiled music lover's only solace for some years to come, though i ts scope may be enlarged by the local broadcasting of records.
You, who have never lived out of reMh of good music, ca nnot conceive what i t means to receive a parcel of the la test records from home. I have a cou sin who is British Vice-Consul at Kashgar, th~ most remote consulate in the service, three weeks' journey by horse from Kashmir over some of th.e most difficult and highest passes in the worlq. Kashgar is the westernmost city of the Chinese Empire, and wireless is forbidden, but not the gramophone. By every caravan goes a box of