X-Ray Audio Bone Music

X-Ray audio and bone music


This is a true story of how music has an incredible ability to transcend borders and cultures.

What lengths will music lovers go to get their ‘fix’?

Have you got any “bootlegs” in your music collection?

Have friends ever commented “how can you listen to that bootleg? It’s terrible quality audio!”

Listening to African West Nile music is now easy on streaming services. I can sit in Melbourne Australia and be in Mali with Toumani in seconds.

But what if the border was made of Iron and no internet tunnels existed to subvert the controls. What if Jazz was seen as subversive instead of cool. If Ella was Evil? What if Rock’n’Roll was the “enemy”.

In the late 1940’s the Soviet Stalinist system had put up hard borders and this included blocking “Western” influences which they saw as subverting the national order.

This is where the real music “bootleggers” originated. Some even went to prison for their efforts in getting music.

If you had only the poorest quality source and could only hear the scratchy warbly tones on a flimsy plastic disc how much pleasure could you derive?

Enough to risk getting arrested and thrown into prison?

I encourage you to make a cup of your favourite hot beverage and take a moment to learn about the strange story of Soviet music “on the bone”. I found this on Youtube (which is now itself afflicted by a different censorship controversy) which I’m sure will follow in the same path of all previous attempts to limit knowledge sharing.

The short documentary shows iconic images of gramophone grooves cut onto x-rays of skulls, ribcages and bones. These have captured the collective imagination way beyond the music scene. Now the complete story of the Soviet x-ray record has emerged, as told by the people who made it happen. It is an intriguing insight into the power of music and the human need to experience it.

Having made friends in former Eastern Bloc countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland with wonderful, cultured people who love music, art, fine food and wine and who have “no borders of the mind”, I celebrate their humanity as demonstrated in these documentaries.

Now we see hi-end audio being made in these countries which can compete on the world stage. If passion was in DNA then this surely will explain the source.

A bottle of Vodka goes a long way it seems…

For more information on bone music and the x-ray audio project and book, visit www.x-rayaudio.com and www.thevinylfactory.com/vinyl-factory-films/x-ray-audio-soviet-bootleg-records-documentary.