About

What is Sound Beat?

Got 90 seconds?

Then you’ve got time for a trip through the history of recorded sound!  Sound Beat is a daily, 90 second show highlighting  the holdings of the Belfer Audio Archive.  The Belfer is part of the Syracuse University Libraries, and is one of the largest sound archives in the United States. Each SB episode focuses on one particular recording from the Archive, and provides a back story detailing its place in recording history.

What kinds of recordings? Popular and classical music performances, film scores those from distinctly American musical forms like jazz, bebop, country, and bluegrass. Old favorites, rare gems, and some we guarantee you’ve never heard before… from Cab Calloway to the castrated stars of Italian opera, you’ll hear it all on the Sound Beat!

And it’s not just music. Sound Beat episodes also feature speeches and spoken word performances from some of the great thinkers, political figures and luminaries from the late 19th and early- to mid-20th centuries. People like Thomas Edison, George Bernard  Shaw, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Who is Sound Beat?

Brett Barry is a voice-over performer whose long list of credits includes national television and radio commercials, promos, and audiobook narration. He is the owner of Silver Hollow Audio, an independent production company and audiobook publisher. Brett and his wife, Rebecca, live with their two daughters and Fibber, a small terrier of some sort in New York’s Catskill Mountains. In 2013 Brett graduated from the prestigious Newhouse School’s Television Radio and Film program.

Jim O’Connor is the head writer and producer of Sound Beat, and has written professionally in many different capacities. He is an avid appreciator and player of music. His consuming love for both is tolerated daily by his wife Kelly. They live with their son Jed and his dog Otis in Syracuse, NY.

Patrick Williams is the specialist librarian for English, Writing, Linguistics, and Communication & Rhetorical studies at Syracuse University. He writes for the Sound Beat blog and participates in the Sound Beat Class Partnership through his work with students and instructors in Syracuse University’s Writing Program. He is a record collector and long distance runner, and can usually be found between a pair of headphones. Before joining the Syracuse University Library, he worked as a graphic designer, an information architect, a community technology consultant, and a dj. Check out the blog right here!

Rachel Fox von Swearingen is the librarian for music, dance and musical theater at Syracuse University. Rachel participates in the Sound Beat Class Partnership Project by introducing prospective faculty partners, coordinating library involvement, and assisting students with the research side of writing their Sound Beat episodes. When not at the library, Rachel enjoys attending concerts, communing with her three cats, and tromping through parks in Central New York with her partner Daegan.