Author: Mickey Hart with K.M. Kostyal

Editor: Lisa Lytton

Publication date: 2003

National Geographic

Songcatchers documents both Mickey Hart's early musical influences and his personal quest to record and release traditional music from around the globe. Also summarises the work of pioneer song collectors such as Franz Baos, John and Alan Lomax, Jesse Fewkes and others.

"For 30 years now, Mickey Hart has been on a quest&#!51;to search out and record the wealth of different musics in the world, many of them little known. Hes also been fascinated by the recordists who came before him, themselves pioneers in the sound-capturing field, and the extraordinary technological developments that have made their work possible. Songcatchers looks at our universal appreciation of music and the reasons why, over the past century, technology and curiosity have carried the shamanic chants of Siberia, the dying folk music of isolated European villages, and the ecstatic gamelan sounds of Bali to music lovers all over the world. The personal tales of the songcatchers are full of romance, derring-do, and intrigue: some of them were scholars, others adventurists, and a few full-fledged spies. The machines that made their work possible progressed from the early treadle-powered phonographs that allowed sound waves to imprint wax cylinders to magnetic tape that captured sound in iron oxide particles to the digital domain of today. Hart ventures across time and continents in following the songcatchers and their machines, and throughout it all he celebrates music and its ability to transcend the mundane and transport the human spirit"
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