Listen Along With the 1959 Monaco GP
There is something beautiful about an imageless audio recording such as this. I don’t know that I’d want to sacrifice the immediacy of the live video from the track, but there’s something about simply hearing the audio that is lost in the satellite feed. Maybe, by leaving something to the imagination, we’re a more active participant; taking the information we have, and filling in the gaps with our mind. I’m surprised that in the age of the podcast this type of field recording hasn’t made a resurgence.
As you know, I’m a huge fan of old racing film. Often they’re homemade 8mm film canisters with no accompanying audio. They’re lovely. Audio recordings such as this LP from the Sound Stories series are much the same. For me, these audio recordings are every bit as precious as the film canisters. Often, I think they communicate more than the film does.
But enough media philosophy—let’s get on with the 17th Monaco Grand Prix. In this first recording, it’s the run-up to the race, with recordings from the pits and brief interviews with the drivers. Stirling Moss tests and discusses the BRM. Von Tripps whips the new Porsche F1 effort around the bends. Phil Hill gives us his impressions of the track—amazing that 50+ years ago, there was still this notion of ‘only in Monaco’. It was already considered by some drivers an outdated racing course even then, but the romance of Monaco continues to win out half a century later.
Nevil Lloyd’s narration of the qualifying is excellent, noting the pieces of audio where we hear gear changes or hard braking. Listening along, it’s amazing how much easily you can imagine yourself sitting behind the giant steering wheel of a ’59 BRM.
Ok then, let’s get down to business: it’s race day, and I won’t spoil the drama by telling you too much. Throw on your headphones and give a listen.
Via Valve Bounce, where you can download the files as well.