By Doug Boilesen, 2020

Black Rock Portraits on the Playa is a book by Douglas Keister which features photographs of his friends and friends of friends having their portraits taken on the Black Rock playa. The photographs were designed to reflect how each person wanted their photograph taken with text to go along with that portrait.

Two of the photographs in this book have phonograph connections.

One of those portraits with a phonograph connection is mine and as a Friend of the Phonograph my portrait selection was easy. I had been to this magical place and camped under the stars on the playa multiple times in the 1980's. If I was going to pose on the playa for a book then I saw this as an opportunity to share the phonograph and its revolution of recorded sound to a wider audience. I decided to sit on the playa with a 1905 Edison Standard Phonograph and use its morning glory horn to trumpet and celebrate its wonder.



The text which accompanied my portrait on the playa is the following:

The Phonograph is an invention that began a revolution. With the Phonograph, sound could be captured, then repeated at any time, in any place. For many, it was magic. Even the inventor of the Phonograph, Thomas ASlva Edison, was amazed when he heard his tinfoil Phonograph speak for the first time in early December 1877. "I was never so taken aback in my life," Edison later recalled. For me, it's a moment worth remembering. So, with morning glory horn in hand, I take this opportunity to remind all: Do not forget the Phonograph. On December 6th, wish the Phonograph a Happy Birthday. The magic is alive. Doug Boilesen


The other phonograph connection in this book is the portrait of Manu Nado with "his vinyls, the wind and the stars."



The text which accompanied Manu's portrait on the playa is the following:

Music is the medium of universal communication. Somewhere on Earth is a place to channel the musical energy. The desert. This empty, vast land is the ideal environment to spread the message of universal love thru music. Just me, my vinyls, the wind and the stars. The music is infused with the earthy strength and the joy of a spirited message. The Afro spirit rhythms flow into the blowing wind, elevating the sound to the firmament. What a satisfying feeling! It is exotic, and sublime. Manu Nado