Interview with Mark Schofield on September 12, 2013.

Interview for the SpokenWeb Project on September 12th, 2013. The interview is concerned with the historical apsects of the Sir George Williams Poetry Series which took place from 1966 till 1974 in Montreal, Quebec. Post-Doctoral Fellow Christine Mitchell discusses the technical aspects of taping the poetry readings of The Poetry Series with Mark Schofield who was Coordinator of Technical Operations at Sir George Williams University during the period when the reading series took place (1966-1974). Schofield discusses how the recording equipment was built, used and transported during the poetry series. He discusses many of the room locations that the poetry readings were held, which was mainly, as he recalls, in the cafeteria of the Hall building.

Interviewer: Christine Mitchell
Interviewee: Mark Schofield
AV: Ashley Clarkson

Mark Schofield Interview, September 12th, 2013

Ashley Clarkson

00:00:02.99

Interview on September 12th at 11 o'clock at Concordia University in Concordia Universities Oral History Department. Interviewer

Christine Mitchell

00:00:10.63

Christine Mitchell

Ashley Clarkson

00:00:10.73

Videographer and audio tech support is Ashley Clarkson and interviewee

Mark Schofield

00:00:17.78

Mark Schofield

Christine Mitchell

00:00:22.60

Ok so I will just start things off here. Thank you for being here Mark. As you know this interview is part of the SpokenWeb project, which is like a digital poetry archive, and um, what I am interested in, and what the project is interested in doing is sort of investigating the technology that also brought this poetry series to light. Reel to reel tapes, and we want to find out how they came to be here and so that is why we asked you to share your recollections.   You were the coordinator of technical operations at Sir George Williams University in the instructional media office and the other audiovisual departments that followed. So I am very excited to hear about your recollections from that time.

Christine Mitchell

00:01:08.06

So I thought we could start off with maybe you could tell us about how you came to find yourself working at the instructional media office and then we can move into more about the poetry readings and other things

Mark Schofield

00:01:19.56

Um, 1968 I arrived in Canada to marry my wife and um, who I met in London to travel around and to work and so on. My background, I worked for the BBC in London for four years and I started off in the technical service and then gradually moved into the production, mostly in radio, although in London we were also responsible for television sound and so forth. So I had a strong background in broadcasting and when I came to Montreal the options were to go into broadcasting, but I didn't find that particularly exciting. The small stations were basically talk radio and CBC was really concerned more with getting their signal around the country than doing innovative programs. It was a bad time to arrive in Montreal; Expo had just finished, so there weren’t many job opportunities. However, having this edge I applied to both McGill and Sir George Williams and both of them had just started their audio-visual services and ere looking into such things as incorporating technology into teaching.

Mark Schofield

00:02:47.04

The Hall building had just opened the year before and that was an extremely innovative building, it was a wired building. As a result they were looking for staff that had some knowledge of production and the application of television and audio in supporting teaching. So it was a nice fit. So I arrived here in the spring of 68, as a technician in fact, which didn't last very long. I became um, the supervisor of the technical section and then moved over to technical operations, really based with my experience with the BBC and how to organize support services.

Christine Mitchell

00:03:26.38

So what was your earliest-when did you first hear about the poetry readings? Or the poetry series in connection to your position?

Mark Schofield

00:03:31.35

Well I guess that was um...pretty well from the beginning because that was an event that was very complex because they were generally held in open public spaces. It was either the Cafeteria I think was the most used space, not the Cafeteria as such, but in those days the 7th floor of the hall building had both cafeteria and recreational space, it had Ping-Pong tables and that sort of thing and lounges, so it was a natural space for a poetry reading where you could have a fairly informal setting of chairs and so on. Also of course because it was in the evening and Sir George was primarily an evening school so there really wasn't any academic spaces available to use. So it was a good setting

Christine Mitchell

00:04:15.08

So I have heard from Nick Ostokavich (name check spelling) I think he participated in some of the recordings prior to 68?

Mark Schofield

00:04:27.86

He worked in the Learning Lab and the language classes in the Drummond building as a student

Christine Mitchell

00:04:32.76

So at that time the reel-to-reel machine that belonged to the language lab was moved back and forth to the galleries?

Mark Schofield

00:04:45.69

It was not used for that long; it was an Uler Report L (check name)

Christine Mitchell

00:04:47.92

Ok

Mark Schofield

00:04:48.12

It had five-inch reels, came with the microphone and was standard issue to broadcasters. You had half an hour at max, during the lowest speed and about fifteen minutes at a decent speed, because it was designed for the broadcast industry. So it wasn't a great choice, pretty soon after the Hall building opened, we were able to use the machine they had in the rack there which was primarily intended to make four track language tapes to mount on a seriously wired piece of technology that allowed you to dial up your language programs and these were reel to reel decks with four exercises recorded on each tape, but you needed four recordings to do that. It was a Crown 800 I think

Christine Mitchell

00:05:40.02

So this point there weren't- it wasn't done in a mobile way?

Mark Schofield

00:05:46.75

Oh yeah it was, we took the Crown out of it's rack

Christine Mitchell

00:05:46.85

Oh ok

Mark Schofield

00:05:47.53

We would mount it in a trolley and then it could be moved around. Besides being used in the poetry readings, it was used for the early music recordings in the music department and for any other production that we needed a mobile recorder for. Later on I had a Rebox 36 (verify Name) of my own and in fact it got brought into the mix as well, it was a bit more compact

Christine Mitchell

00:06:14.62

For poetry readings? or...

Mark Schofield

00:06:14.82

I think it was used for some of those yeah. It became a floating machine that went between the sounds studios and other mobile use

Christine Mitchell

00:06:25.06

And um, who’s trained in doing that? Did you do it yourself or was there a range of people? How did that breakdown?

Mark Schofield

00:06:32.78

The audio visual services had a very minimal staff, it sounded like a lot of people, like when I was the director we had thirty-five full timed staff, but they worked in ten different sections within the AV services. So we had between seventy-five to hundred part-time workers, mostly students, but fortunately we had a very strong technical program, CUTV before that SGWU, they were really enthusiastic students who knew a fair bit about technology and that was our main source of labor. So students recorded primarily the poetry readings, trained by us. However, the full-time staff did the set-ups because they were often different and very awkward. They were either awkward or not set up for that so everything had to be portable.

Christine Mitchell

00:07:40.91

So if I am understanding right, set ups were done by full-time staff and students came in like....

Mark Schofield

00:07:49.15

Students were generally involved in the set up as well

Christine Mitchell

00:07:50.06

Oh ok

Mark Schofield

00:07:50.95

They had part of it and help from the full-time as well

Christine Mitchell

00:07:58.02

Can you describe or choose one from your recollection and describe what you've brought, whether you did something earlier in the day, if you had a sound check?

Mark Schofield

00:08:13.87

Well the cafeteria was actually also very advanced in its concept, but in technical execution it left a great deal to be desired. The sound systems were set up to cover the entire cafeteria, but it was also designed to be chopped up into sections so you could devote different sound sin different spaces. So the lounge area where the poetry readings were held could be separated from the main feed for the cafeteria, which was generally a feed from Radio Sir George, which trumped along all day. The cafeteria had mic sockets in the walls and they were unusual, they had four pins, most professional mics have three pins. The fourth pin operated a relay so when you plugged a mic in it cut off the speakers in the immediate vicinity of the microphone to stop feedback. IN those days you didn't have the kind of sophisticated PA that you have today with anti-feedback. You didn't have the multi-directional microphones that you have today

Christine Mitchell

00:09:17.31

This is all new details to me

Mark Schofield

00:09:20.22

The EV 365A was the standard broadcast mic of the day but it was Omni directional, but later on you had the directional had. Most microphones you use today are directional so there were technical limitations and the cafeteria system didn't work that well for a number of reasons and so we got together and got a mobile set up and we didn’t have any money to do this sort of thing. A huge amount of money was put into the phone installations in the Hall building. There was no money for mobile equipment and in fact, there wasn't even a space available for technically maintained, or technical service. The technical service department was tucked away under the TV studio, people just hadn't thought this through, all this stuff was just suppose to work, but obviously it didn't. It needed maintenance and upkeep and so on.

Mark Schofield

00:10:31.65

We built column speakers; again this was no something available off the shelf in those days. So we had the carpenters make black columns and we mounted speakers in them and that was the portable equipment. The amplifier, believe it or not, was dated from the 1950s and I got the job to make it work. It was an old tube with a recorder player mounted on top. I just took the recorder player on and that was basically our first portable PA system. Home made speakers, home made amplifier

Christine Mitchell

00:11:08.81

So that was kind of the complex of stuff that would be moved to the cafeteria, the mic, the speakers and the reordered

Mark Schofield

00:11:18.91

Microphones were a problem, um, the public address systems at the time had one standard and broadcasters had another. I never quite figured out why, another of stories as to why, but if you look at a modern microphone you'll see that the connector on a microphone is male and the socket in the wall was female. The Public address system for some reason the socket on the wall was male and the microphone was female. So we couldn't use professional microphones with using and adapter, and most of the PA mics were broadcast standard so they didn't match with the equipment. Things settled down in the mid-eighties to the broadcast standard, but it took awhile to get past these technical gliffs.

Christine Mitchell

00:12:13.75

So umm, I was wondering if we could set the scene in some of the poetry readings, like when you would bring the equipment into the room and do the set up because they were always on Friday nights, did you do that in the afternoon? Or just prior? Or did you ever meet the poet? Earlier on the in the day? We did the set up earlier on and generally because it depended on the style of the poet and the set up they wanted. Some were happy to just stand at a podium and therefore we could put a fixed mic on a stand while other wanted to be able to wander around

Mark Schofield

00:12:48.21

We did the set up earlier on and generally because it depended on the style of the poet and the set up they wanted. Some were happy to just stand at a podium and therefore we could put a fixed mic on a stand while other wanted to be able to wander around

Christine Mitchell

00:12:48.21

Oh so you have a discussion with the poet before--

Mark Schofield

00:12:50.45

We generally met with the poet and the, well Howard Fink who was our contact, I think it was professor Hoffman who was actually the name, but he showed up for the reading and he never got involved in the organization. Howard Fink would generally come with the poet and introduce the poet to one of us to find out what their needs were. Some just wanted just a mic stand, some wanted a podium and some wanted to walk around so you had to cater to the needs. If they wanted to walk around you'd have to put a Lavaleer Mic (Verify Name).

Christine Mitchell

00:13:23.65

Oh ok

Mark Schofield

00:13:26.18

And if it was a podium reading then it was pretty straightforward

Christine Mitchell

00:13:33.21

Do you have any recollection of poets who did any different things? I do have a list of the poets I don't know if that would-

Mark Schofield

00:13:39.05

Well most of them were pretty standard except for...um Blue Birds. Which was a multi-audio extravaganza

Christine Mitchell

00:13:50.04

I will just say that when we were just talking before the interview started Mark recalls sort of being there for the Jackson McLeod reading that involved a great variety of AV in itself. So maybe you can tell us a little bit about that?

Mark Schofield

00:14:07.72

Well yes-

Christine Mitchell

00:14:09.53

I mean did he alert you to the fat that he'd-

Mark Schofield

00:14:11.06

Well he sent a letter to Howard Fink saying he needed the following equipment and we looked at it and burst out laughing

Unknown

00:14:18.37

Laughter

Mark Schofield

00:14:19.10

Because I imagine he was used to US universities with a lot more money than us. We didn't have anything CLOSE to what he was looking for. He wanted recorders that could be-portable recorders that could be used and played back during the sessions and we didn't have any. We had a simple 70, I don't remember the name, I think it was a 106 or something, reel-to-reel recorder that was used in classrooms for playbacks a brown portable thing. It wasn't good quality, it took cheapey mic and that was basically it, but that's all we had. So we used those and um, we put them on carts with the microphone and we took the outputs of all of these machines and fed them through a big matrix to feed back into the public address system so that we'd be able to mix everything towards the end. That was the set up, it was a mess and it probably wasn't what he was looking for, but I think it worked...there is a recording, I haven’t heard it for many, many years, but he didn't seem to be unhappy about it, but it was certainly the most challenging of the readings, in my experience.

Christine Mitchell

00:15:43.47

Wow, that's really, really interesting. SO any recollection of sort of just being in the room with that one? Was it a packed-?

Mark Schofield

00:15:52.79

I did actually stick around for that one

Christine Mitchell

00:15:52.99

So was it a packed room, did you usually stay around or did that one sort of--

Mark Schofield

00:15:56.70

I usually stayed around to see they got off to a good start and made sure the poet had all that they needed or make any adjustments and so on, but then I left it to the operator to look after the session. For that one I stayed around, because it just looked so fascinating and was so fraught with crisis

Christine Mitchell

00:16:18.59

Laughs

Mark Schofield

00:16:19.14

He spend his time rushing around the room

Mark Schofield

00:16:22.61

Um, I can't remember if we gave him a mic on a long cord or something, but he was rushing around the room getting the students who were, I don't know where they came from, probably the English department, they had roles to repeat clues that he gave them and then he played them back at some point during the readings

Christine Mitchell

00:16:22.61

Wow

Christine Mitchell

00:16:44.81

Yeah, I think they were called upon to kind of start reading at some point

Christine Mitchell

00:16:48.55

Yeah

Mark Schofield

00:16:48.55

Something like that I don't remember quite what happened

Mark Schofield

00:16:51.10

I guess he drew a big crowd, it was pretty packed and pretty chaotic and it was very participatory

Christine Mitchell

00:17:00.76

Oh neat, so all the audience was milling about as well?

Mark Schofield

00:17:03.25

Yeah the audience was also milling about yes

Christine Mitchell

00:17:05.42

I also found a little piece of paper in the archive that referred to that reel and it was addressed to Heather, which is Heater Dowd I believe who did the editing afterwards I believe?

Mark Schofield

00:17:22.39

Oh ok

Christine Mitchell

00:17:22.39

But it said, Heather there is a lot of-there is a steady hum on this tape, again the air conditioner. I wondered if it was actually the air conditioner or if there was other stuff

Mark Schofield

00:17:32.48

I would imagine there was a lot of stuff, hum pick up just from the mass of wiring and we were using mics which were cheapey, unshielded, off the shelf mics

Christine Mitchell

00:17:47.01

And apparently he was also playing a film during the reading?

Mark Schofield

00:17:50.71

Oh maybe, I don't remember that, but that was quite likely, quite likely

Mark Schofield

00:17:56.23

Yeah it was the cafeteria so air condition was a big problem and I guess it didn't really affect the recorders where the mics were close to the reader, but it certainly would have affected when you had ten to fifteen microphones open or connected together in a big mess

Christine Mitchell

00:18:17.80

So did you, I mean were you- you brought up your interaction with Howard Fink. Did you ever get a sense of what the purpose of the recordings was for, other than just to, you know, have the tapes? Was there any talk about what they were used for? We did end up finding that there were copies made. We found copies in the English department and I have a note where some were sent to the Norris libraries

Mark Schofield

00:18:49.73

Oh yeah, I think that any event like that would have ended up as a resource in the non-print library. I was heavily involved with the non-print library,

Christine Mitchell

00:18:57.80

Ok

Mark Schofield

00:18:58.56

Um, because the non-print could generally in libraries was way down at the bottom of the list in terms of priorities. With the growing music department and the poetry series, guest lecturers and video came in of course that material had to go somewhere. It didn't make any sense leaving it with us because we couldn't get public access to it. So it went to the library and the department that requested it and generalized paid for these services got copies.

Christine Mitchell

00:19:33.19

Oh ok

Mark Schofield

00:19:35.34

These were generally paid for; we had to pay our staff

Christine Mitchell

00:19:40.08

Mhmm

Mark Schofield

00:19:40.93

Things were not free we were only paid to support direct academic things in the classroom

Christine Mitchell

00:19:46.27

So these were considered an extras curricular-

Mark Schofield

00:19:48.43

An external event yes

Mark Schofield

00:19:50.57

And they probably had a grant to support it

Christine Mitchell

00:19:50.57

Ok

Christine Mitchell

00:19:52.96

Any recollection about the cost?

Mark Schofield

00:19:56.50

I have no idea, not a clue. I mean it was basically the cost of the part-timer and some nominal rental fee for the equipment

Christine Mitchell

00:20:07.58

For the tapes and-

Mark Schofield

00:20:10.28

Yeah whoever did the bookings they just read the prices off the list that was it...but I don't remember what they were

Christine Mitchell

00:20:21.15

So after he did do the recordings what was the process with the tapes? Were they edited or gone through back at the lab?

Mark Schofield

00:20:34.19

It would be in the lab yeah they ere topped and tailed and. Some of them were two reels if they were a long sessions. It depends on what machine was being used if it was the crown or the rebox then we were using 10inch reels so you didn't need to stop the reels, but if it was the Uler (name?) of course you ended up with maybe four reels

Mark Schofield

00:20:54.06

So that was a bit of a constraint and there were pieces missing probably. Someone would have probably topped and tailed them and made copies for the library and um, put labels on the boxes and so forth.

Christine Mitchell

00:20:54.06

Mhm

Christine Mitchell

00:21:13.11

Was that the procedure for any tape? Poetry recordings or other lectures or music? To always make a copy?

Mark Schofield

00:21:22.40

Um, I guess so. If it was a sponsored event, we'd make one for the library and one would have gone to the sponsor, pretty well. I think the whole objective to recording the event was to make it publicly accessible. It wasn't just for somebody to stick on his or her shelf

Christine Mitchell

00:21:38.40

No, any thought about- or was there any discussion about trying to make a series for sale or-I found some memos from Bernard Queenintimes (name?) that were sort of talking about that the CIT were in a crisis time? I got a sense from the memos when he was talking about sort of ways of selling the stuff

Mark Schofield

00:22:03.71

Oh yes, well I mean we were always in a crisis. The AV services were not considered a very high priority, but we did have a lot of freedom. Summer time was quiet and there were a lot of services for which we could charge. So in actual fact we were semi private and we had a commercial side and we did a lot of external productions. I think at the height of our-of that side of our operations we were bringing in about a quarter of a million dollars a year in external revenues.

Christine Mitchell

00:22:40.55

Was that later-could you put a year on that?

Mark Schofield

00:22:44.43

Umm, the high point um, late eighties maybe early nineties it was at the highest. Some of those were quite prestigious and innovative external projects. We could compete with commercial providers because that would have gotten us into trouble, but we could do things that nobody else could handle and we had the edge because we were an academic institution. We had a lot of researchers and expertise within the university that could actually do this thing; one of our most innovative projects was for Bell telephone. When the Centrix system was introduced, which was quite innovative in terms of what you now expect with the various calling services that you now have on your phone. The various bells and whistles that you can add, when that was first introduced people had a really hard time understanding how they could do three way calling, how they could leave messages, retrieve messages, how they could forward calls. We made a um, built a mock phone exchange to represent what would happen if you actually called on the phone system and had videos, that were on 12inch video disk, on various scenarios and this was used for training. You could actually sit down at a computer screen and you had a real phone as an interface and whatever you did on there appeared on the screen. You could call people and leave messages and leave messages and go into conference calling and all of that. We hired actors to act the scenarios and it was quite humorous and the technical side was really quite innovative, it was done by Concordia simply because, as the engineers of Bells explained, it would cost them about ten times as much, because of their corporate structure of doing something and then sending it for approval and then doing something else and sending it for approval.

Mark Schofield

00:25:03.98

There were two people in the technical services division who just set their minds to building a repro or a model of a phone exchange and it was just the beginning of the highest sophisticated circuit and a thing called an e-prompt, which was a programmable chip. They actually sat there and programmed these things from scratch, this was all using machine language it was now interface, it was all very primary computer programming.

Christine Mitchell

00:25:37.94

So what year was that?

Mark Schofield

00:25:38.04

I would think about 86' or something and that was pretty innovative

Christine Mitchell

00:25:44.64

So a lot of innovating and a lot of do it you

Mark Schofield

00:25:48.56

A lot of do it yourself and innovative stuff yes and a lot of money. That was really good cause we could plow that back into the operational department

Christine Mitchell

00:26:00.41

Interesting. I want to maybe ask or follow up on what you said about the tape library, just because one of the aspects that we're trying to fill in around the poetry series- and because it's focus is on sound recording, we're trying to get a sense on how faculty and students interacted with sound recording at the time. For instance, whether it was kind of, you know, "out". Whether people were familiar with reel-to-reel recording and tape decks and stuff like that? Because I have seen that those types of recordings were available to borrow and also I know for certain videos and other things that I have read that the CIT and instructional media office were- part of the mandate was to make things with faculty and assist and also to train students in how to use this stuff. So I am wondering with the enthusiasm for television whether sound recording were kind of neglected or whether people were into that outside or outside campus?

Christine Mitchell

00:27:10.19

Ok

Mark Schofield

00:27:10.19

Well...everyone wanted to do TV of course

Mark Schofield

00:27:10.19

But that wasn't necessarily that easy, sound was much simpler. Did students use sound equipment? Certainly I think they did in their presentations, a lot was borrowed, and we had a-there was no sound studio designed for the Hall building when it was opened

Christine Mitchell

00:27:29.71

There wasn't?

Mark Schofield

00:27:29.91

There was no sound studio just a big television studio and that was one of the first things I got involved in

Christine Mitchell

00:27:37.83

So where was the topping and tailing done?

Mark Schofield

00:27:41.12

In the language lab

Christine Mitchell

00:27:41.12

Oh ok, so-

Mark Schofield

00:27:43.69

They had the basic editing equipment because they had to prepare the tapes for- and if you want there is a little bit of history about the language labs

Christine Mitchell

00:27:50.75

Yeah I would love it

Mark Schofield

00:27:50.95

Ok, well in the days of the um, the building on Drummond street the Language Lab was owned and operated by the French department so it tended to be specialized resources run by the academic department to which they were important. When the Hall building was opened there was a concept to have a central service centre and many academic departments didn't like this necessarily because they lost control

Christine Mitchell

00:28:27.31

Oh I see

Mark Schofield

00:28:28.44

But on the other hand, we provided good service that in fact after awhile they really quickly realized that it was much easier to have a third party to run the services for them rather then them trying to do it themselves. Which meant they had staff and supervision and stuff like that. Also they could complain and blame somebody else if anything went wrong

Unknown

00:28:51.60

Laughter

Mark Schofield

00:28:52.44

The original um, Language Labs were, I think, made by Viking. They were basically every student position had a tape recorder which was backwards, the tape reel was on the left and the main spool was on the right. Why I don't know and I tried to remember if the heads were actually reversed so the arc side was on the outside.

Christine Mitchell

00:29:15.16

Was this like a tape recorder you could pick up or was it built into the table?

Mark Schofield

00:29:17.26

It was mounted to the console

Christine Mitchell

00:29:19.42

Oh ok

Mark Schofield

00:29:22.59

Mounted into the console and a pair of headphones so you went in there and took a tape of the shelf if you wanted to do an exercise and you just stuck it on the machine if you wanted to do it yourself.

Christine Mitchell

00:29:32.13

And these were compact machines?

Mark Schofield

00:29:33.58

No big reel to reel

Christine Mitchell

00:29:35.25

So self serve

Mark Schofield

00:29:36.00

Yeah, but it didn't work that well. The operation was organized around scheduling classes in for the language labs at specific hours and an operator would sit at the main console and put the master tape on and when everybody would be ready it went clunk and then students could then answer and then the local decks were recorded. They were actually voice activated so that when students spoke the machine started and when there was a little beep on the master, that's right, there was a little beep on the master tape that activated the student machines. So the student didn't have to listen to the questions they could listen just to their answers that saved a lot of time. Of course for exams, for the oral exams, the markers would just have to listen to the student responses and not have to listen to the questions.

Mark Schofield

00:30:29.28

Technically it was a nightmare, absolute nightmare, not a very flexible way of offering a service to the students. Especially in an evening institution, the next phase was to buy a monstrous piece of equipment from the states and I think it was called the Omni lab, it's called the Omni lab, and this comprised of I think, fifteen/twenty decks which are four track and they all had four language exercises on them. This went through a massive telephone exchange switch system and the student position had to dial in at a push button coding system where you could dial in for your program and it would then--the switches were wrapped around finding the appropriate deck and plays you your recording. Unfortunately, if somebody else was already using that deck for one of the other programs or on the one that you were on you'd come in half way through the exercise and you'd have to wait till the whole thing cycled back to the beginning, it didn't really matter that much, I think this was born in mind when the recordings were being done.

Mark Schofield

00:31:36.82

So this thing clucked along, but it was clumsy and you couldn't do examinations on it. The examinations all have to be done in the aging Viking lab which

Christine Mitchell

00:31:46.85

Which was back in the--

Mark Schofield

00:31:48.28

No actually it got moved to the Hall building which didn't do it much good (laughs). It was. It was...one anecdote was getting a call from Gilbert Taggart one night saying "help the machine, the playback machine has stopped working!" (Laughs). So I rushed in from home, and we sat there with a pencil in the hole in the take up reel, pulling the tape through to try and get it to continue working at constant speed for the tape playback for the students. We were exhausted by the end of the evening, but we couldn't stop and repaired the equipment we just sort of had to make due

Unknown

00:32:24.65

Laughter

Mark Schofield

00:32:25.21

Anyhow, in the sixties early seventies late sixties I went over to the UK and I went to see a company that um, primarily was in the business of making the black box flight recorders at the time, but for some reason or another they launched into making interactive um, language learning equipment. I think the thing was called a cyber box, I think it was cyber box. So this meant that each of the student positions had a cassette recorder. It was very sophisticated one, and that was all fed from a central console and you could pick your cassettes up and plop them in and have your own private session. So this became just a free um, access lab and students could just come and pick up their cassettes. We had some video positions in the early days; we actually had some video monitors.

Christine Mitchell

00:33:30.74

I have seen some photographs of that yeah

Mark Schofield

00:33:32.57

Yeah, and people could actually have video, little seven inch screens

Christine Mitchell

00:33:36.32

Yeah-individual ones, right-

Mark Schofield

00:33:38.10

Yeah individual ones just, yes exactly

Christine Mitchell

00:33:39.89

And I also saw some photos with two-

Mark Schofield

00:33:41.82

Big monitors

Christine Mitchell

00:33:42.02

Yeah, sort of the exam, I saw a headline with Gilbert Taggart doing the-

Mark Schofield

00:33:47.33

He was very audiovisual so there was-beside the audio stimulus for his exams, he also had video and he had his- he would use a lot of cartoons. His interests were actually, when he, as a kid was in animated film and somehow he got into languages. Actually I have his original 8mm projector that he got as a present

Mark Schofield

00:34:20.07

That he got when he was about ten years old and when he left Montreal he said that maybe I would like to add it to my collection

Christine Mitchell

00:34:20.07

Oh really? Wow

Christine Mitchell

00:34:27.76

Wow wonderful

Mark Schofield

00:34:28.50

So he was quite innovative, one of his daughters did all the cartoons for his animations. Secretly he did the main outline and then he did the animation himself. So besides having the audio stimulus they also have the video stimulus so that was that the monitors were for

Mark Schofield

00:34:56.00

Now the language labs became the learning labs over the course of the time

Christine Mitchell

00:34:57.74

Because of the TV?

Mark Schofield

00:34:58.38

No because of other interests

Christine Mitchell

00:35:02.52

Ok

Mark Schofield

00:35:02.72

And one of the very early users was an engineer in the faculty. One professor decided he could give a lot of information to his students using cassettes and that was in-

Christine Mitchell

00:35:18.03

Just audio?

Mark Schofield

00:35:18.03

Just audio, and that was in the late nineteen sixties and the only cassette recorders that were really available at the time were the Phillips which of course, Phillips had invented the format and they had a little portable recorder that had a joy stick for up recording, down play and spool to the left, spool to the right

Christine Mitchell

00:35:40.44

So these were compact cassettes

Mark Schofield

00:35:41.74

They were, they were ordinary cassettes

Christine Mitchell

00:35:46.55

With a joy stick

Mark Schofield

00:35:46.75

With a joy stick

Christine Mitchell

00:35:46.85

And that was on the recorder itself?

Mark Schofield

00:35:50.55

Yeah it was a little portable unit

Christine Mitchell

00:35:51.04

Hm

Mark Schofield

00:35:51.21

He first one that Phillips made. Cassette wasn't big in North America; the 8 tracks was the norm because the auto industry put 8 tracks in everyone's car so everyone had 8 tracks at home as well.

Christine Mitchell

00:36:07.69

So for the learning lab, just to get the time line, so the Viking and the Omni Lab were there at the same time?

Mark Schofield

00:36:18.57

Together yes

Christine Mitchell

00:36:18.67

And then replaced by Cyber Box?

Mark Schofield

00:36:20.23

Yes

Christine Mitchell

00:36:22.06

Completely? Both of them?

Mark Schofield

00:36:22.52

Pretty much completely, yes.

Mark Schofield

00:36:25.38

That was sort of at the time of the merging with Loyola, the beginning of Concordia, so the new labs that we put into Loyola were all Cyber Box labs

Christine Mitchell

00:36:34.33

Oh ok, so the poetry series, since it sort of ended in 74 might have been-

Mark Schofield

00:36:39.61

Might have been just at the end of that

Christine Mitchell

00:36:39.81

Yeah, might have been a-

Mark Schofield

00:36:44.01

Well I don't think we ever-I don't know if we ever made the readings available in the learning lab

Christine Mitchell

00:36:51.30

No, but the editing and stuff would have

Mark Schofield

00:36:53.25

That would still have been on reel-to-reel. The original materials were still on reel-to-reel. There was a little recording studio in the language-learning lab, the office doubled as a recording studio

Christine Mitchell

00:37:06.24

And was this where all the language exercises were done and where any kind of host productions on poetry-

Mark Schofield

00:37:14.53

At that time yeah

Christine Mitchell

00:37:17.28

The poetry series

Mark Schofield

00:37:17.38

Yeah

Christine Mitchell

00:37:17.82

Is that, I have some photos, is that the little room that is like between the two language labs?

Mark Schofield

00:37:23.99

It was a little room between the two language labs and at the back, with the window looking out onto the street, was the office. There was a desk in one corner and there was a console in another corner and that's where the person left, whoever was in the office got out and the person doing the recording sat in their cubicle and it was recorded outside in the main room.

Christine Mitchell

00:37:52.48

One, I just wanted to follow up when you mentioned about the engineering car

Mark Schofield

00:37:56.49

Yes ok,

Christine Mitchell

00:37:58.64

Was that also in that period pre-75?

Mark Schofield

00:38:00.20

It was late sixties, yeah, yeah, late sixties.

Christine Mitchell

00:38:03.78

And so the Phillips cassette recorders that the prof brought in, were they just kind of used in the learning labs

Mark Schofield

00:38:13.38

They were used for the students to take home

Christine Mitchell

00:38:14.58

Oh so they were taking them all around, that's interesting

Mark Schofield

00:38:19.38

On our side the problem was that we had to make copies and there was no such thing as a cassette duplicator in those days. So the students would borrow the cassette recorders, bring them back to the lab, we'd string them all together in a massive chain and we'd play our best reel-to-reel tape to make a recording simultaneously. Then we'd have a spot check to make sure they had recorded and the students could run along and the students could take them home and do their exercises.

Christine Mitchell

00:38:48.21

So those were borrowed from the CIT

Mark Schofield

00:38:51.85

I don't remember how we bought them. I don't remember whether we financed them or whether it was professor or...(mumbles). UM, I don't know if we had a grant to buy them or something, but they were the only cassette recorders available at the time. It was the kind of Walkman or IPod of the sixties 62-62 and they came on the market and in Europe we went on a film set, they'd be wandering around with them. It became the standard for logging recordings for journalist and people on film sets. If you wanted a quick recording, not great quality, but if you wanted a quick recording with a little joy-stick, kind of neat

Christine Mitchell

00:39:43.43

I like this idea of the joystick; I have to find a photo

Mark Schofield

00:39:45.75

I am trying to remember now, I think the play was down, the left and right spooled this way or the other way and the up you couldn't press unless you pressed the little button to prevent you from accidently recording over your recording

Christine Mitchell

00:40:02.26

Wow it is so wonderful hearing about this; I just want to make sure I am not...

Mark Schofield

00:40:05.69

Diverting to far from where you want to go

Christine Mitchell

00:40:09.75

No it's all-fantastic.

Christine Mitchell

00:40:14.60

Um, oh yeah I guess this is, I just wondered whether the poetry readings ever became a topic of conversation in the office at all?

Mark Schofield

00:40:27.56

I don't think so necessarily

Christine Mitchell

00:40:27.76

Do you have any anecdotal memories about that?

Mark Schofield

00:40:31.62

No, not really no. It was just another, we did a lot of events so that was just one of them

Christine Mitchell

00:40:40.35

What were some of the other events? I wondered if the poetry series, you know, because we are studying it so we sort of focus on it, but what were some of the other things that were happening at the same time? Or-

Mark Schofield

00:40:50.06

Endless guest lectures

Christine Mitchell

00:40:51.02

Ok

Mark Schofield

00:40:52.15

They were all topics, yes; H-110 was used during the day, when it wasn't really used, that was where people had events, the big auditorium. In the evening it was used for the very large classes, it wasn't available.

Christine Mitchell

00:41:10.71

And were those also considered like the poetry readings were the English department would have to pay for the part-time staff. Would the other guest lecturers also be sort of treated?

Mark Schofield

00:41:20.08

Yes

Mark Schofield

00:41:21.09

Anything outside the strict academic mandate had to be paid for

Christine Mitchell

00:41:21.09

So anything outside

Christine Mitchell

00:41:26.02

Right, hm

Mark Schofield

00:41:26.02

And these were generally imported by; you had an internal or external grant. So it wasn't as though there wasn’t money available, it just kept the thing much cleaner or otherwise you'd see us being partial to one thing and impartial to another thing

Christine Mitchell

00:41:43.02

Right

Mark Schofield

00:41:43.02

We had a mandate to support the academic program, this other stuff fine, but you had to get your speaker in, you had to pay the transport, and so you could also pay the AV department. I think that was the idea.

Christine Mitchell

00:42:02.66

Mhm

Mark Schofield

00:42:04.46

No all of the stuff from there ended up in the library, some of it just ended up on somebody's shelf in their office unfortunately. Fortunately, the poetry readings were an exception

Christine Mitchell

00:42:14.55

Well they, two things are true for; they were in the archives and on the shelf in the English department so they were sort of re-discovered. They were sort of just a surprising find at the back of the shelf in the English department and the other ones were in the archive

Ashley Clarkson

00:42:48.94

Yeah Jason, Camlot, the head researcher on the project, when he first started at Concordia he first encountered them in the office of the Dean, I think

Mark Schofield

00:42:53.51

AH yes, that was always our fear, that materials like that would just end up in somebody's office. Later on everybody wanted to have his or her guest lecturer video taped. They'd come to me and think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread and I would say, frankly you're wasting your money where is this going to go? It is going to go onto your shelf; you're spending all this money doesn’t bother. If you want an audio recording we'll happily do that.

Mark Schofield

00:43:20.86

Actually, part of the set up in the Hall building allowed us to record any auditorium without us actually having to go there, and that I had forgot that detail. The- in the learning lab there was a large jack field that had all the auditoriums; we could plug into any of them and hear what was going on

Christine Mitchell

00:43:44.12

Wow

Ashley Clarkson

00:43:44.32

Would that be H-110 too?

Mark Schofield

00:43:44.40

Yes

Ashley Clarkson

00:43:44.96

Ok, because that is where Ginsberg had his reading right?

Mark Schofield

00:43:49.16

Oh ok, that would make sense

Ashley Clarkson

00:43:50.79

So that would be just basically-

Mark Schofield

00:43:52.68

That would have probably been a remote recording

Ashley Clarkson

00:43:55.87

Ok so there would have been nobody onsite?

Mark Schofield

00:43:58.47

No, there would have been someone there to set up the microphone and maybe someone there just to make sure nothing went wrong, but primarily I think it would have been done in the learning lab. The feeds also repeated in other places in the department

Mark Schofield

00:44:18.65

The feeds from the auditorium appeared in other places so we didn't just have to do it in the- the remarkable thing about the Hall building was that every single classroom was wired. There was a television in every classroom and an overhead projector in every classroom. That was incredibly unusual, and also you could put a TV camera in the classroom and a microphone, and you could feed that back to the central studio in the basement, but the insulation was done during Expo and anybody who could operate a pair of screwdrivers and wire cutters got a job. The project with the university was pretty low priority. So in fact, we discovered pretty soon on in the 1960s that nothing worked.

Christine Mitchell

00:44:18.65

Sorry the feeds?

Christine Mitchell

00:45:13.03

Oh...

Mark Schofield

00:45:13.23

(Laughs) I arrived and, I arrived in the spring, and over the summer everyone was panicking because the previous year the Hall building had opened and it was a big fanfare and they switched switches and plugged plugs and nothing happened

Unknown

00:45:32.10

Laughter

Christine Mitchell

00:45:32.44

Wow

Mark Schofield

00:45:33.05

So actually, one of my first jobs with my technical background was to take all the wiring out of the Hall building.

Christine Mitchell

00:45:38.96

Wow

Mark Schofield

00:45:39.21

We took everything out, massive amounts; it was so long that the wires stretched all the way up McKay Street and along Sherbrooke Street for a bit. These massive bundles of cable and then we put it all back, but not that wiring. We adopted standard, professional, and telephone technology.

Christine Mitchell

00:46:05.43

Hmm

Mark Schofield

00:46:07.16

And it is probably still in the walls if you look in the electrical room. So every classroom had an audio feed, a video feed and an RF TV feed and a phone which was all fed to a central operating area and this is how people got their videos played back. So if you wanted a video or a film even in your classroom you had the option of having someone wheel a projector in or it'd be played back from a central office.

Christine Mitchell

00:46:40.42

And did you coordinate all of those requests?

Mark Schofield

00:46:43.40

Yes, technical operations

Christine Mitchell

00:46:46.70

And what did people prefer using or did they just use both?

Mark Schofield

00:46:51.43

They were quite happy with less disruptive, if you could just phone up and say I want my film started, instead of someone crashing in with piles of equipment.

Christine Mitchell

00:46:59.25

Yeah

Mark Schofield

00:46:59.64

It was also a lot cheaper from our point of view. We even had a feed to the Norris building; we actually had video cables and audio cables running under the street. The Norris building, so the business school ended up there, pretty much. That’s how their videos and audio were played for many years

Christine Mitchell

00:47:22.68

And so this massive re-wiring project was this one of the first tasks

Mark Schofield

00:47:27.20

One of the first jobs that I-

Christine Mitchell

00:47:28.92

You were involved in? So 68 springs

Mark Schofield

00:47:31.15

It was actually 69, I guess, after we had another nightmare in the 68 school year. Then we completely re-wired the whole place, it was a massive, massive job, but it pretty well stayed in use until the advent of the inexpensive VCR and color of course came in and black and white wasn't good any longer.

Christine Mitchell

00:48:05.19

Aw that is fascinating

Ashley Clarkson

00:48:06.32

I was just curious, I have one little question. Loyola had their own poetry series at one point, but all we have from their readings is photographs. So it is interesting from those readings all they took were photographs while from Sir-George we have these audiotapes. Was there a reason why Loyola didn't audio record and just photographed?

Mark Schofield

00:48:30.55

Oh yeah, it had to do with the way Loyola was organized, going back in history a bit, 1964 G.A.B Moore, who was a PhD candidate at Syracuse, he was Canadian and an elected church minister. He was very interested in Educational Technology and he was hired to start the instructional media office, which had its offices in the apartment building on Drummond street north of De Maisonneuve, and remember there used to be a building with a tunnel through the middle of it?

Ashley Clarkson

00:49:15.14

No

Christine Mitchell

00:49:15.14

No

Mark Schofield

00:49:15.34

No? Sorry (laughs) well you couldn't look down De Maisonneuve, there was a building in the way and sometime, at some point the ground floor was taken out and there was a tunnel, De Maisonneuve went through a tunnel and the top floors had classrooms for Sir-George and Concordia for many years. That's where they started, and it was actually set up as a semi-academic department, under the instructional media was the film history program, and the film production program and the educational technology department and then the services for the university. So there was a bit of a push pull there. The name change and the Centre for Instructional Technology was when the academics were sectioned off and put under a faculty. So originally the IMO was semi-academic and then CIT became purely service, but then many people in CIT, I was involved in the Educational Technology program, and I taught the radio program there for years just because of my background. Garry Boyd, whose name might come up, was the assistant director of IMO and CIT and AV. He was our last academic link, he was a professor in the Education department, but he still kept the liaison between the service and academic side. So, that was the structure it was very centralized and we provided services to all the faculties, and as I mentioned, when the Hall building was opened the French department lost their language lab, but it became available to everyone else. Loyola was not organized that way, their AV department was located in the F.C. Smith auditorium and was basically the staff that looked after the theatre and the cinema and that was it. If you wanted service you had to go along and talk to them nicely and they might provide it or they might not. So there was not centralized service. From what I gather it was actually who you knew and what your influence was, and I think that's the reason. So the photographs were probably taken by whoever organized the event and they didn't have access to the audio equipment. The language departments again at Loyola ran the language labs, it was only when the two institutions merged that we had this kind of battle, where bits and pieces were given and taken. Different tings were set up and yeah; at the time of the merger Loyola would suddenly develop an audiovisual department. Janet Tripp was hired to head that up and all the various pieces were pulled together to form a single organization that could then interface with CIT at the time. Otherwise it would have been really hard to do anything at Loyola, it would have been a battle to rest the resources, because COM studies had a lot of resources. The big event at Loyola was the F.C.Smith was the weekly public film showing, in the F.C.Smith auditorium. Then there were also actors in the theatre, so it was just a very different kind of structure, but I think that was the reason

Christine Mitchell

00:52:57.22

I just want to pick up back on one of the things about the staff turning in, when you were telling about the students who were doing the-

Mark Schofield

00:53:10.58

The various recordings and so forth

Christine Mitchell

00:53:10.76

Yeah, I mean was there a big, obviously if they were students, would there be a quick turnover?

Christine Mitchell

00:53:18.75

With training and re-training

Mark Schofield

00:53:18.75

Yes

Mark Schofield

00:53:19.80

It was constant re-training, yes constant re-training. I mean some students would be with us for the three, of course don't forget it was a five year university program; people were around for a long time. It was only in the beginning of the Cegeps about 72-73' that the five year program was then cut down to three, so students were around for a long time. They got to be really skilled. We trained the worker or they trained themselves or they were trained by one another. They'd probably start off with fairly simple tasks and then they'd receive training and I think you mentioned to me that you have photos of the lab. It was called Mighty Avista

Christine Mitchell

00:54:02.31

Oh yes

Mark Schofield

00:54:07.21

That came, actually, that was one of Janet Tripp’s bright ideas, her background was nursing, nursing training and so they actually had learning labs within nursing training which were actually just the practicum settings. So she brought that concept in and that meant we could make a workspace available for both faculty and students for production of media.

Christine Mitchell

00:54:35.34

And that was maybe about 75'?

Mark Schofield

00:54:36.76

Um, I think it got it's final- I think it was really in existence before that, before that yeah. It meant that people could come and just put together their own presentation; it was a directed faculty as well. So if you wanted to have photos of things you could come bring them in and make slides, or you could hire a student to do it for you. If you wanted to do audio recording you could. The students loved it, because people were moving into media presentations, especially the business school.

Christine Mitchell

00:55:11.82

And where was that located in? That lab, did it take over from some things that CIT already occupied?

Mark Schofield

00:55:23.75

It was on the third floor of the Hall building

Christine Mitchell

00:55:24.50

Ok

Mark Schofield

00:55:25.62

Out at Loyola it was in the AV building which is now occupied by...I am not sure-the basement.

Christine Mitchell

00:55:32.83

I am not sure about Loyola very well

Mark Schofield

00:55:38.37

Yeah well it was there and it basically had a small TV studio and various facilities for audio, film, a lot of film, copy stands. We loaned out cameras and all sorts of stuff to students, it was, students were encouraged to produce multimedia presentations for their courses. It wasn't just print based or hand written.

Christine Mitchell

00:56:03.06

I have seen some of the theses, the thesis components of people who earned their master's in educational technology

Mark Schofield

00:56:10.31

Oh yeah the tech program, absolutely yes, that was part of the requirement actually, well it was an option, you could go with the formal paper or you could produce something and many of them chose to produce stuff and that was all done in our facilities obviously. At that time the Educational department couldn't afford to have it's own facilities, but that changed over time when the facilities became less expensive and less problematic to maintain. Then when things moved over to the computer era then everybody could have their own video editor on their laptop so the world has changed a lot since then.

Christine Mitchell

00:56:53.55

Um, do you have any other questions about the poetry series?

Ashley Clarkson

00:56:58.62

The only thing I was thinking about was the spaces where the readings were held. I know you mentioned the cafeteria, but we heard also that there was an art gallery on the first floor of the Hall building.

Mark Schofield

00:57:10.43

Yes absolutely

Ashley Clarkson

00:57:10.43

And supposedly they sometimes had readings in there

Mark Schofield

00:57:14.45

That makes sense. Oh yes you're right, yes

Ashley Clarkson

00:57:16.24

Was it hard to have AV in that room?

Mark Schofield

00:57:20.12

Well it had no facilities obviously, so that was all portable equipment and the acoustics were not the greatest. It was where the..I haven't been in the Hall building for years, but I think where the cafe is now, right beside the freight elevator. There were two galleries there.

Ashley Clarkson

00:57:36.55

Yeah exactly

Christine Mitchell

00:57:36.75

Like the side of Reggie’s?

Mark Schofield

00:57:41.16

Yes it became Reggie’s too; there were two art galleries. One small one and one bigger one that exited onto the outdoor campus. So yes, that was another one of those spaces that would have been available in the evening when all the academic spaces were taken up. Like for Ginsberg, he was a big name, so it makes sense that he would be put in H-110. You'd need a space that would be able to accommodate people from outside, because I am sure a lot of people came and- because these were public events. Generally there was limited interests, so the art gallery would have been something small, and I wonder if it had some other component maybe, I don't remember.

Ashley Clarkson

00:58:28.04

Yeah, like an artistic show at the same time as the reading

Mark Schofield

00:58:30.76

Maybe, we did have a mobile video dolley which was just a truck made of dexion, and there were one inch recorders, that you were wondering about

Christine Mitchell

00:58:46.43

Oh ok, the IBC?

Mark Schofield

00:58:46.43

Yeah IBC was mounted at the top and there was a pole at the back with a camera at the top and it had a little sure mixer at the front for the mic imputes. That could be wheeled around and used as a mobile.

Ashley Clarkson

00:59:03.21

So some of the events were videoed?

Mark Schofield

00:59:03.41

Yes, some of the events were videoed, although I don't know if the poetry readings ever were, but some of the events.

Christine Mitchell

00:59:14.28

Yeah I wonder if that video that I just showed you a couple of minutes, maybe would have been videoed with this mobile? It looks like it is just in a classroom?

Mark Schofield

00:59:23.45

Yes it is in a classroom, yes, yes I don't know-

Christine Mitchell

00:59:23.45

Cause everything else would have been in the studio A in the basement

Mark Schofield

00:59:28.72

Yes, I don't know...um. Well we had portable recorders by then

Christine Mitchell

00:59:38.83

Oh yes, ok they actually did talk about the port pack and

Mark Schofield

00:59:39.40

Oh yes, ok then it wouldn't have been- it was either done on a portapack or a we had three quarter inch recorders that could be wheeled around. They were big and clumsy, but half inch was a fairly standard medium, so that's what it would have been done with

Christine Mitchell

00:59:57.01

Yeah, I don't think there is any video of the poetry readings

Mark Schofield

00:59:59.33

I don't think so, I don't remember video being, but 74' is pretty early on, a few more years before the port-a-pack came into being and that would have been a whole different thing. We weren't well equipped for that.

Christine Mitchell

01:00:20.26

Oh other question I was just curious about the break down of staff. I know this is sort of a stereotype, but this idea that tech is sort of a guys thing and I do know that Admore had hired two women, Alison and Heather who did a lot of the reel preparation and processing and I was wondering what the breakdown was and what the draw towards, on the part of the students, in terms of getting involved in tech between them or...

Mark Schofield

01:00:54.60

Well it was actually quite interesting, I came from the BBC and the BBC always had an equality policy back from the days when it was set up and during the wartime they saw a lot of women get involved and then they didn't leave. So there was quite an even split, a lot of women technicians. Not in the tech/tech side, the people pulling wires and putting connectors, but the operations side was probably 50/50 and in fact some areas even higher. In some areas like schools you'd have a lot of women, I guess because a lot of them were schoolteachers who decided they didn't like teaching, that sort of background. Here, yeah there were women and it was kind of interesting. I have a tape of myself at my retirement party talking to much, it was a bit of a roast, and Nick roasted me over my lack of involvement at a project at Fairview which went on for many years and the university promoted itself in the Fairview mall but taking all of its technology out there and putting on a big show to attract students. I don't remember why I wasn't there, but what I did do was hired a woman to look after the whole thing and this created a bit of a stir. She did a good job, but no...We did hire women, but it was a male area, so women were rare, but women were interested in working in the AV department on the technical side.

Christine Mitchell

01:03:00.10

And the part-time...

Mark Schofield

01:03:00.30

Yes certainly the part-timers

Christine Mitchell

01:03:01.70

Yes I have seen a lot of women’s names on the recording slips

Mark Schofield

01:03:06.47

Yes we accepted anyone who wanted to do the work and show some inclination towards it. The television stuff was a bit heavy duty, meant a lot of physical moving about, but that changed over time as well. Yet, initially women didn't seem to be particularly fond of climbing around on a lighting grid or that sort of thing

Christine Mitchell

01:03:38.86

I was just curious to hear again, just because it was the sixties with the hippie sort of thing. We were talking before we started to record about James Joyce one of the producers that worked there for a while

Mark Schofield

01:03:59.73

Well he was a student for quite awhile and he was head of Sir. George television, he started it and that comprised of a lot of wires around the Hall building, they got some cheap equipment from somewhere and they borrowed stuff from us and what was more important was they were a source of labour because they had technical knowledge and yes he went on to be the producer. He got hired when he graduated and continued for a number of years and I think even his successor Andrew Criton went on to be a fashion photographer in Toronto. Yet again, he was the producer and he was also from CUTV, so there had always been that link and there was the radio club and Radio Sir. George. The radio clubs were those with the antenna on the roof and they were more interested in ham radio then actual production. There were people around with a good technical background, which they acquired through self-taught and our staff

Christine Mitchell

01:05:25.39

Did you participation in the radio club given your background?

Mark Schofield

01:05:26.61

Not very much, we didn't have to. They didn't do much, they just played music and spoke into a microphone, and it was very high tech

Unknown

01:05:37.38

Laughter

Mark Schofield

01:05:39.41

But you know, I am thinking of staff. When Chom first started up it was in a storefront on Green Avenue in Westmount, I think three or four of the students were actually working in the AV department and then they'd go work at a shift there. So we were also a source of low paid staff of start-ups like Chom.

Christine Mitchell

01:06:11.29

Um, well I am kind of, I feel like we have covered a lot of the questions that I had. I guess the last thing I can is ask if just if you have any more memories of any of the particular poetry readings or if you'd like to hear a few minutes

Ashley Clarkson

01:06:34.69

Yeah

Christine Mitchell

01:06:34.89

Yeah maybe we should play a couple of minutes

Mark Schofield

01:06:37.12

Yeah it'd be interesting to see what was-

Christine Mitchell

01:06:37.24

Especially because you were at this one

Christine Mitchell

01:06:45.06

I just have to download it

Ashley Clarkson

01:07:02.11

When the AV department became involved with the poetry series was it Howard Fink who came to AV and asked-

Mark Schofield

01:07:03.11

Yes

Ashley Clarkson

01:07:03.11

Oh ok

Mark Schofield

01:07:03.11

It was his request

Ashley Clarkson

01:07:08.29

Oh ok, because had had a background in-

Mark Schofield

01:07:08.29

Well he was, his big project, which I didn’t get too involved in, was the Canadian Radio History Project, and I found that fascinating. Except that he didn’t not have that much funding for the project, he was-it was a really interesting project but nobody seem to want to fund it. The library had the same problem, he was always trying to get them to do things, but they were backing off because they didn't have the staff or the money to support it that well and I had the same sort of feeling, it was kind of sad because he had some really fascinating stuff. I think it is all-available in the library now, finally it is in the archives, and he had the scripts of all the radio drama stuff and the days when it started to be a service on the transcontinental rail. They're in the baggage car putting on dramas, just the CP staff, it was hilarious, that sort of thing. He had the scripts so he has a great archive, but nobody seemed to want to support it, which was quite sad

Ashley Clarkson

01:08:28.33

Yeah that can definitely be a problem sometimes

Christine Mitchell

01:08:30.29

Ok I found the Jackson McLeod reading, there are three separate files here. I know I have listened to it; it's quite long so we will just listen to the beginning to see how it starts

Unknown

01:08:47.26

Plays recording

Mark Schofield

01:09:02.56

I wonder if that was live, I think so, yes

Christine Mitchell

01:10:18.09

I can find the part where all the students are all talking

Mark Schofield

01:10:25.40

I think it was later on

Christine Mitchell

01:10:25.40

Well they have all been annotated so I can just jump to that part

Mark Schofield

01:10:25.60

Ah I see

Mark Schofield

01:13:27.51

I am sure it was better if you were actually there (laughs)

Christine Mitchell

01:13:31.51

Well it sounded to me-it is that time when he is obviously passing out papers and maybe giving instructions, it was probably quite packed

Mark Schofield

01:13:42.19

Oh I think it was

Christine Mitchell

01:13:44.10

There is not a lot of chitchat. I feel like the crowd today would be sort of-

Mark Schofield

01:13:48.35

No it was very participatory and there were various students who had already been picked and they all have a machine and I guess, from what I remember, they were sort of in a semi-circle. That was one of the reasons for using the cafeteria because you could set it up any way you liked. You could make it very intimate with the poet at the centre of the circle or you could set it up in another way. In an academic space everyone sits in rows and looks at the front, which is a completely different atmosphere. Well yeah, it is amazing that it actually exists

Christine Mitchell

01:14:27.50

Well yeah you can listen through about twenty of them available to be listened to online. You can listen to the other ones with a password, we don't have the permissions.

Mark Schofield

01:14:43.76

Ah

Christine Mitchell

01:14:43.76

Oh and I wondered too, because I managed to find some of the waiver forms, but only for one year. So I have waiver forms signed by poets for 70-71. I was wondering what was the procedure?

Mark Schofield

01:14:58.72

We used to have a very strict, another of my broadcast backgrounds, begin very aware of copyright and waivers. So we had standard forms and I did find, that is probably the book that I gave to the library when I left. I don't know what happened to it. Yet, I did find a binder when I was clearing out the office, which had just a couple of years, so, that might be what you found.

Christine Mitchell

01:15:22.75

But that wouldn't be--Because they looked like they had been witnessed with the signature of George Bowering or Michelle Mah? Do you know that person?

Mark Schofield

01:15:32.43

Hm, no idea. We did have a standard form. Very often it was the technician that was the witness, rather than anyone else

Christine Mitchell

01:15:42.37

So it wouldn't have been the recording person that night?

Mark Schofield

01:15:42.37

Might have been, whoever was around. It might have been the person who sponsored it. It didn't really matter; very often the operator would give it to the sponsor who'd take it to them to get signed. I think one of the funniest ones was, who was it...I forget his name...the great American environmentalist of the eighties/nineties he was sort of thought of running for president at one point.

Christine Mitchell

01:16:12.44

Oh um...

Mark Schofield

01:16:12.44

Very like....Nader

Christine Mitchell

01:16:23.21

Nader

Mark Schofield

01:16:23.21

Yes, Nader came to give a lecture and we needed a release and he said, "that's fine" and we said "ok hold on let me get the form" and he said "oh you don't need to do that and he takes his coffee cup and flattens out the Styrofoam and signs "I give permission to have my talk reordered" and hands the flattened out Styrofoam to the operator.

Unknown

01:16:49.63

Laughter

Christine Mitchell

01:16:54.67

I noticed on two of the waiver that two of the poets wanted a copy

Mark Schofield

01:17:04.61

Yeah they probably did, we probably would have. Another funny one was, um, what was her name, part of the Chicago five. They all went to jail, black activists..um.

Christine Mitchell

01:17:31.15

Angela Davis?

Mark Schofield

01:17:31.15

Yes! She came and recorder her on video, that is probably in the library

Christine Mitchell

01:17:40.40

I think it might be in the archives, I might have seen it.

Mark Schofield

01:17:40.60

Yup, and she re-wrote the form to say that "I give permission to be recorded, but my talk cannot be extracted and it can only be played in its entirety from beginning to the end"

Christine Mitchell

01:17:59.03

Wow, interesting

Mark Schofield

01:18:02.35

Yeah, because she was so, she suffered from being taken out of context, inflammatory quotes being taken out of context so that was her stipulations (laugh)

Christine Mitchell

01:18:20.37

Wow, I wonder where that one is

Mark Schofield

01:18:20.57

It must be there somewhere

Christine Mitchell

01:18:20.67

I wonder if I could show you some documents if you could shed some light on them. They have to do with requesting the poetry readings be recorded, but I am not sure whether they are forms to show work has been done or...

Mark Schofield

01:18:52.66

Oh yes I recognized that, ok so that is the recording, poetry reading, March 19th 1968, 9pm, Art Gallery, use the UF-4000 and three quarters, that gave them half an hour to record.

Christine Mitchell

01:19:07.31

So these were instructions for the operator?

Mark Schofield

01:19:07.61

Yes to the operator and it would have been from the person in the language lab. This would have been the learning lab; this one is probably internal to them.

Unknown

01:19:48.07

Begins looking at documents and describing photos-please view video

Unknown

02:27:31.28

Ends looking at documents & photos- Please view video.

Christine Mitchell

02:27:49.23

Well I think we should wrap up here, we have taken quite a bit of your time.

Mark Schofield

02:28:14.97

Oh that's all right!

Christine Mitchell

02:28:15.17

It has been wonderful hearing everything. Did you have anything else you wanted to add?

Mark Schofield

02:28:19.35

I don't know I can go on forever

Unknown

02:28:21.79

Laughter

Christine Mitchell

02:28:23.81

Well I will probably have more questions for you in the weeks to come. Thank you for much.

Mark Schofield

02:28:27.79

My pleasure, have fun putting that together into something that makes sense.

Interview: Mark Schofield – September 12, 2013

Interview
Speakers
VenueOral History Centre- LB 1042
Date2013-09-12
Recording
Duration02:28:35
Sound qualityGood