Increase your profile through typography

Worried that contemporary composers aren’t getting enough press? Then sex-up their names to increase profile. Thus I give you “funky” Marvin Babbit, and the wonderful Unsunk Chin.

Joking aside, that first article points to some nifty news from Buffalo – the University has just received a grant to start digitising its archive of reel-to-reel tape recordings. This includes recordings of the influential Evenings for New Music concerts of the 1960s and 70s, featuring many important performances from Buffalo’s heyday as a centre for new music.

“Reformatting the reel-to-reel audio tapes in the Music Library has become a critical matter of preservation,” says John Bewley, associate librarian and library archivist.

“Many of the tapes are nearing the end of their projected 50-year lifespan and may already have deteriorated beyond the point where it is feasible to perform this sort of technical work in house,” he says.

Fortunate that US copyright law permits such archival copying then. We wait to see whether similar freedoms will be granted to libraries in the UK.

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3 comments

  1. “[Julius] Eastman was one of the Creative Associates and one of the concerts to be reformatted is his June in Buffalo performance (June 4, 1975) of John Cage’s “Songbooks” that famously incensed the composer so much that he delivered a furious lecture about it the following day, which also is being digitized.”

    Cool cool cool.

    I’m guessing this will also include some of those Morton Feldman pieces of which UbuWeb used to have cassette dubs for download, until the University asked to take them down.

  2. It’ll never happen, but I’d love it if the following:

    BBC
    Radio France
    RAI
    the various regional German Rundfunk’s

    would open their archives. There has to be an astonishing number of tapes of new music and performances of rarely heard operas/symphonic pieces that would make collectors drool.

    As Morrissey once crooned, “Oh very nice, very nice, but maybe in the next world, maybe in the next world”.


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