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Morning Concert:
Prospero's Pens

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 116 min
Event Type: Other Finds Program Origin: KPFA

Fountain pens were the early 20th Century equivalent of the laptop computer. Allowing individuals the ability to write without being tied to a desk and inkwell, this unique American invention came to symbolize literacy for the man or woman who owned and carried one. Recently, as computer technology has threatened to wipe out the individual personality of the handwritten word, hoards of collectors have rediscovered the joy of writing with new and vintage instruments which can vary the width of the letter with subtle hand pressure. The many exotic and attractive designs in which fountain pens have been made, and their unique characteristics, are explored by Charles Amirkhanian and his guests in this program. The music used in this program comes from Michael Nyman’s soundtrack for Peter Greenaway’s film “Prospero's Books”, in which the sound and sights of quill pen writing figured prominently. Among guests featured are Saul Kitchener, the expert pen restorer of Michael's Art supplies in San Francisco; Nancy Olson, managing editor of Pen World Magazine; Larry Klein, who taught himself to write in 17th Century calligraphy with a quill pen; and Menashe Murad, owner of Manhattan's famous specialty store, Menash, which supplies rare and unusual fountain pens to ordinary citizens and celebrities alike. (from KPFA Folio)

Part 1 of 4:  
Musical Selections:  [excerpt from “Prospero's Books”] / Michael Nyman
Subject:  Schaeffer Pen Company; Parker Pen Company; L.E. Waterman Company; Fountain pens; Penmanship; Calligraphy
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Nyman, Michael; Greenaway, Peter; Krinke, Fred; Kitchener, Saul ; Schneider, Stuart L.; Klein, Larry
First Broadcast Date:  2/14/1992
 
Part 2 of 4:  
Subject:  Schaeffer Pen Company; Parker Pen Company; L.E. Waterman Company; Fountain pens; Penmanship; Calligraphy
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Murad, Menashe
First Broadcast Date:  2/14/1992
 
Part 3 of 4:  
Musical Selections:  Full Fathom Five [text by William Shakespeare] / Michael Nyman
Performers:  Sarah Leonard, vocals (Full Fathom Five)
Subject:  Schaeffer Pen Company; Parker Pen Company; L.E. Waterman Company; Fountain pens; Penmanship; Calligraphy
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Olson, Nancy; Nyman, Michael; Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616; Greenaway, Peter; Leonard, Sarah; Rodriguez, Gustavo; Kitchener, Saul ; Klein, Larry ; Fingerman, Edward B.
First Broadcast Date:  2/14/1992
 
Part 4 of 4:  
Musical Selections:  [excerpt from “Prospero's Books”] / Michael Nyman
Subject:  Schaeffer Pen Company; Parker Pen Company; L.E. Waterman Company; Fountain pens; Penmanship; Calligraphy; Fountain pens -- Collectors and collecting
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Klein, Larry ; Coach, Terry; Taft, Bob; Kitchener, Saul ; Nyman, Michael; Greenaway, Peter
First Broadcast Date:  2/14/1992
 
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