All Scripture

by John Harvey

Part 1 23:57
Part 2 24:02


This two-track album is an adjunct to my ‘The Biblical Record/Y Record Beiblaidd’ (2019). The CD is the third in The Aural Bible series of releases by the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales [GENCD004]. Both albums engage the first complete acoustic capture of the whole Bible. It was read by Alexander Scourby (1913-85) and produced by the American Foundation for the Blind in July 1964. The recording, which represents over 170 hours of spoken text, was released in five volumes of seventy 10-inch long-playing records.

For the purposes of composing ‘The Biblical Record’, I made a digital recording of each of the 140 sides of the disc set. In ‘All Scripture’, these recordings are superimposed and played in parallel for the duration of nearly forty-eight minutes. (The composition is, here, divided into two parts due to the restrictions imposed upon the size of the sound file’s sample rate and bit size by the website.)

‘Part 1’ opens with the sound of multiple tone-arms being placed upon the lead-in groove at the start of each record. Immediately after, a complex of indecipherable voices, sounding like a prayerful glossolalic utterance, emerges. ‘Part 2’ closes with progressively fewer and fewer voices in play, until only one is heard, reading the concluding verses of Matthew, Chapter 24, which were recorded on the longest side of the disc set.


released April 14, 2020

All compositions ℗ and © 2019 John Harvey

Personnel: Alexander Scourby and John Harvey

Instrumentation: Adobe Audition CS6, Allen & Heath Xone:23C mixer, and Stanton S.150 turntable

Source: American Bible Society, 'The Talking Bible', The Talking Book series, USA: American Foundation for the Blind, 1964


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

Harvey is a historian of art, visual culture, and sound art, and also a sound- and visual-art practitioner. His research field is the visual and sonic culture of religion, principally. He explores non-iconic attitudes to visualization and sonic articulations of religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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