Alexis Charpentier: How record collectors find lost music and preserve our cultural heritage
Alexis Charpentier - Record digger, DJ, music entrepreneur
Alexis Charpentier believes record collectors, music curators and DJs serve a crucial role as cultural preservationists and alternative voices to mainstream music platforms. Full bio
when I was about 12 years old.
a record at the end of the week.
that's about half my leg --
vinyls and CDs just kept growing.
in a record store for many years
that I had thousands of records more
as we like to call ourselves.
rummaging through warehouses,
forgotten for decades.
from about the '30s to the 1960s
so many important records
cultural and public institutions
to preserve these treasures.
throwing them into the garbage.
with obscure records,
that go with each release.
about the vinyl revival
these last few years,
to mention this community
and the tradition and the culture alive
but competitive society, a little bit,
for extremely rare records,
ever in your life.
truly impressed by record collectors
oddball group of individuals.
are obsessive maniacs.
a little bit more like this.
would do anything to get our hands on,
our "holy grails."
and by all these dreams --
who were destined to be legends
were just overlooked.
only exist in a handful of copies,
the value of the work of record diggers.
Montreal musician and composer.
was born and raised in Haiti,
in the US and in Belgium.
what was supposed to be for two weeks,
staying for the next 40 years.
he learned to play piano
of playing his instrument:
of his Haitian influences and folklore
that he grew up hearing.
of compas mixed with funk and jazz.
in the US and in Europe,
or a song before moving to Canada.
his first album called, "Piano."
on Henri-Pierre Noël Records.
2,000 copies of the record.
a little bit of airplay,
in Canada and in Haiti,
on mainstream radio,
or if you weren't invited to play on TV,
as an independent artist
than it is today,
and just distributing the thing.
he released a second album,
in various clubs in the city,
to accumulate dust slowly.
in the span of 30 years
in the world remained.
that goes by the name Kobal
of just hunting for records.
of other dirty, dusty, moldy records.
it sort of found him.
of record digging every single week,
for finding the gold.
the back, the liner notes,
that this Haitian musician made a record
plastic, portable turntable
whenever he was on these digging quests
the backstory behind it.
inside the record sleeve.
inside the record sleeve --
the number didn't work anymore.
that knew the artist personally
sat down with the artist,
find a way to get the album rereleased.
called Wah Wah 45s
to find the master tapes --
by fires, floods, earthquakes,
DJs and listeners worldwide --
received in 1979.
to revive his music career,
and play for new audiences.
and on Radio Canada and more."
for the first time.
the work of record diggers at its best.
we're totally obsessed by that --
is to give art a second chance;
is a constant loop of three phases.
dirty and dusty record bins.
to find our hands on the gold.
and into the wild.
and not record clicking.
we do is we gather.
expertise, personal agenda,
little thing we can about that record --
on track three?"
to close the loop is we share.
have some sort of a way
and elevate the artist
their rightful place in music history.
I've encountered in 20 years,
have some sort of an outlet
and sort of sense of purpose
because it serves the human need
actually hinders discovery.
something on Netflix,
through a catalog of 6,000 titles.
something to listen to,
of 30 million songs.
the effects of this.
in the UK are actually earning 77 percent
inside the music industry.
I'm sure you're happy.
to listen to music than ever before.
at their disposal than ever before,
of the same music than ever before.
record digging and curation,
"Music Is My Sanctuary" in 2007.
"Future Classics and Forgotten Treasures."
for discovering music
with a massive audience
10,000 pieces of content,
than what's being offered to them
have 20 hours a week like us nerds,
of everything we do.
recommendations over algorithms.
of record digging for days,
becomes sort of his autobiography.
that it was the collection
who passed away a few months earlier.
of inviting different people
and to create something new from it,
of going through the collection myself
got the chance to meet him,
about records for a few hours.
collections are there
shared and rediscovered.
to the mainstream music channels,
radio shows, DJs, record stores out there
to share their discoveries with you.
is open your ears and take risks.
About the speaker:Alexis Charpentier - Record digger, DJ, music entrepreneur
Alexis Charpentier believes record collectors, music curators and DJs serve a crucial role as cultural preservationists and alternative voices to mainstream music platforms.
Why you should listen
Alexis Charpentier (also known as Lexis) is the founder of the Music Is My Sanctuary website and collective, one of the most respected and trusted voices in the independent music community.
He is also the creator and producer of 24 Hours of Vinyl, a project that celebrates the love of vinyl culture by gathering DJs and collectors from different cities worldwide. During a 24-hour music marathon, participants share some of the best music discoveries from their vinyl collections.
A music lover above all, Charpentier is passionate about projects that that champion musicians from the past and present, while creating alternatives to commercial platforms. Through thousands of content pieces, interviews, radio sessions and events, his projects connect music lovers in a more profound manner than what’s possible with algorithm-driven suggestions.
Based in Montreal, Canada, Charpentier runs the projects that fall under the Music Is My Sanctuary umbrella. He works as a music programmer at the PHI Center, a multidisciplinary arts and culture center. He also tours worldwide as a DJ and has regular club nights in his home city.
Alexis Charpentier | Speaker | TED.com