Tableau of a Lithotomy

Category : Sound Design

Many many things are happening these days, despite the apparent silence on this blog. You can check the Lucky Frame blog for some examples of the stuff I’ve been up to. I’m working on a few videos and things to post here, in the mean time I wanted to share an amazing record I found.
Tableau of a Lithotomy
This 45rpm record is called “Tableau of a Lithotomy by Marin Marais”, and I found it in my partner’s grandparent’s record collection. I was drawn to it because I’m a big fan of Marais, and because the cover design seemed incongruous with the content. It turned out to be a promotional record for pharmaceutical company Norgine, advertising Enzypan and Muripsin. Side 1 is a performance of the Marais piece “Le tableau de l’opération de la taille”, which is (according to the liner notes) “the only musical description of a surgical operation” (this is in the pre-matmos era). This record purports to be the first modern performance and the first ever recording.

There are several versions of this piece on youtube in the original French, though I must admit that I find this version to be much more compelling, perhaps because of the lack of reverb and the dispassionate voiceover.

The reverse side a radioplay-style recording of a doctor and a patient discussing the merits of various Norgine medications.

The sleeve design is also amazing. I’d like to scan it all at some point, but for the moment here are some photos.

Tableau of a Lithotomy Tableau of a Lithotomy Tableau of a Lithotomy

I’m bound to use this record for some sort of project in the future…if you have any ideas let me know! In the mean time, please download the recordings and use them for anything you like. Could make some creepy hiphop samples or something…

Comment (1)


You find the Teamocil recording too?

13 years ago

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