Tune up your ears for Alaska’s original sounds

Samples from Riemann's collection.
Samples from the collection.

On this week’s Hometown Alaska, composer, engineer and producer Kurt Riemann of Surreal Studios shares his latest passion—saving and archiving Alaska’s original music before it’s lost forever. From Ruben Gaines to Gary Sloan to T.S. Scream to Robin Hopper to Lulu Small, and more. How about a full recording of the 1964 earthquake? We’ll hear some samples and the stories behind finding them.

Sample from archive
Sample from archive

Riemann is partnering with the University of Alaska Anchorage library. Not only is he searching for physical CDs, records or cassettes, but he’s also seeking copyright permission to host the music on the university’s SLED site.

All music recorded in Alaska in the last 80 years, even if just 20 copies were made, is welcome for the archive. So are all genres—classical to punk to country, Christian, rock, Native American, etc. LPs, singles and cassettes are perfect, and cover art and other details are most appreciated.

Samples from archive
Sample from archive

Riemann has already collected 600 recordings, but he estimates that’s only a quarter of the treasure still out there. Not that it’s all golden; some of it will make you wince. But, hey, it tells our story at one time and place.

Listen to the songs and sounds of old Alaska, and tell us about some of the tunes you’ve hung on to through the years. Wednesday at 2 p.m. on Hometown Alaska.



HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Kurt Riemann, Surreal Studios



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  • LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)
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