We are pleased to announce that Alpine Dreaming: The Helvetia Records Story, 1920-1924, a 2 CD-set produced by Archeophone Records in cooperation with Mills Music Library and the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, with partial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is now here and available for borrowing. Jim Leary spearheaded this project after spending time with the Helvetia 78rpm records in our collection as part of his work on the Local Centers/Global Sounds project. Archeophone Records signed on to help restore and reissue all 36 sides that had been released during the label’s short history, and the 78s we didn’t have were sourced from collectors in Switzerland and the United States. The 2 CDs are accompanied by a 60-page booklet written by Leary, in which he offers extensive background on the label founded by Ferdinand Ingold, a poor but visionary Swiss settler in the small town of Monroe, Wisconsin, as well as the performers.
Alpine Dreaming was featured in a blog and broadcast by journalist Arndt Peltner for Swiss national radio earlier this month. Peltner’s feature is the 5th segment of a larger program, and you can hear the relevant piece about 17:40 into the broadcast and it lasts roughly 4 1/2 minutes.
Archeophone Records includes brief sound excerpts for all 36 tracks on its Alpine Dreaming page. Rich Martin and Meagan Hennessey of Archeophone will join Jim Leary on Saturday, November 17, 7:00pm, at the University Club for a Sound Salon celebrating the Alpine Dreaming project, which will include performances featuring yodeling, button accordion, and alphorn playing by members of the Monroe Swiss Singers. We will share more details about that event in the near future.