photography • field recordings • world music • subconscious
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Field Recording Store

If you listen, they are everywhere. Jamming in alleyways. Performing in remote village ceremonies. They’re the singers at a distant festival. Drummers beating a trance deep in the bush. They are the obscure, producing rhythms few beyond the immediate surroundings will have opportunity to hear. Most often, these artists are in poorer nations, without access to recording studios. Having the honor to experience countless amazing performances, a simple idea naturally evolved: Create high quality recordings for musicians in developing countries who otherwise could not afford to produce an album — and do it all for free. The structure had to be uncomplicated and transparent, focusing as much benefit as possible to the musician: Give the artists a copy of the masters audio files. Let the musicians do as they wish with their music recordings to support their families, their life, their art. Then in a simple but concise agreement — translated in their local language — allow the music to be distributed globally through the Field Recording Store, returning 50 percent of profits back to the artists. Five years have passed since this idea first took root, and I’m pleased to share some wonderful music while supporting artists who otherwise would never be heard ~ John Stanmeyer


I met the members of the Bauza Drummers on World AIDS Day in Lusaka, 2006. They were performing with other bands on a school’s football pitch. Their performance blew my mind. Asked them if they had any CDs to sell. They had none, never being able to afford the studio costs. The next day I recorded their album under a low hanging roof next to a food shop which had excellent acoustics, doing so with binaural microphones in my ears, creating a full stereophonic sound. This experience — hearing Bauza could not afford to produce an album — was the reason for starting the Field Recording Store. I was angry that such talent didn’t have the access to share their passion beyond low paying live performances.
 

Artist : Zambia Bauza Drummers
Album : Bauza Drummers

After purchase, click Return to Stanmeyer LLC to download CD

Preview Tracks
01 Chiduwiti
02 Mama Yama Tywa
03 Matyantya
04 Tamaya
05 Chowongo
06 Chiodah



While on assignment with MSF for a story on malnutrition, I was in a very remote area of Oaxaca State and came upon a group of men performing traditional Mexican brass band music, styles and songs which date back to the colonial era. Banda Experanza del Pacifico were rehearsing for that afternoon’s special performance — a welcoming ceremonies for the new mayor in town. These fellows, all donning fantastic cowboy hats, never had heard a recording of what they sound like when playing together. After delivering them a copy of the masters, the tuba player and his family were shocked that they even sounded in tune — they are frequent performers but primarily are full-time farmers.
 

Artist : Oaxaca Banda
Album : Oaxaca Banda

After purchase, click Return to Stanmeyer LLC to download CD

Preview Tracks
01 Novillo Despuntado
02 La Lola
03 Se Les Pelo Baltazar
04 Panuelito Blanco
05 Hace Un Ano
06 Zenaida Ingrata
07 Fruta Mala
08 Los Males de Micaela.mp3
09 Los Brazos de la Palma
10 Chilena Regional
11 Caminos de Michoacan
12 Que Bonita Florecitta



It was mighty hot that afternoon. Andan and I were driving south in northern Bangladesh after a week of focusing on farmers’ inabilities to grow enough food. We entered a small village. Hanging on the exterior of a small store were tablas. Being a collector of instruments, I had to stop. The shop belonged to tabla maker Bishu Chandra. It was a magical place, dimly lit, dust filled from the passing traffic and gobs of colorful tablas everywhere. After chatting with Bishu, in walked two of his friends, Ratan and Piddut. They were thrilled to record a first album. Performing five short tracks, a crowd formed at the doorway, clapping, singing to old Bangladeshi classics. Listen closely to this binaural recording for the full ambiance of the room.
 

Artist : Ratan and Piddut-Tabla
Album : Ratan and Piddut-Tabla

After purchase, click Return to Stanmeyer LLC to download CD

Preview Tracks
01 Adhunik Gaan-1
02 Adhunik Gaan-2
03 Sadher Lau
04 Tabla Jam
05 Hari Krishna

…more albums coming soon