Over the last few days I’ve been re-reading interview transcripts from the fieldwork I did in Iceland in 2010 and 2011 as I try and finalise a chapter on the working conditions of Icelandic musicians following the financial crash of 2008. The interviews I conducted in Reykjavik covered a lot of territory and I spoke to people from across the music sector. While the chapter I’m writing is completely unrelated to this current project on DIY archives, revisiting the interviews I did with people interested in Icelandic music heritage reminded me of an interesting conversation I had with one of my interviewees about the current status of popular music preservation in that country.
Thursday, 28 February 2013
Friday, 8 February 2013
The fieldwork continued today with a visit to the British Library to interview Andy Linehan, the curator of the popular music collection in the library's sound archive. I met with Andy in order to learn more about the history of the archive and its DIY beginnings. The British Library Sound Archive is an excellent example of how a grassroots-style institution, in this case the British Institute of Recorded Sound founded by Patrick Saul, can become legitimised to the extent that it amalgamates with a national institution with the gravitas of the British Library.
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
It has been a jazzy start to the DIY Archives project. Following my visits earlier this week to the Nederlands Jazz Archief in Amsterdam, today I travelled to Loughton in Essex, UK, to meet with the wonderful folk at the National Jazz Archive.
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Over the last two mornings I've been at the Muziekgebouw aan't IJ to visit the new office of the Nederlands Jazz Archief, a DIY institution founded in 1980. The NJA is still in the process of setting up their office following the closure of the Music Centre Netherlands at the end of 2012 (the NJA had been part of the MCN for the past 4-odd years). The cessation of the MCN has led to a separation of the people at the heart of the archive's activities from the archive's collection which will now be housed at the University of Amsterdam (where Ditmer Weertman will continue its curation). This is a very new situation and as Paul Gompe described it, the NJA is in something of a "twilight zone" as they start figuring out how the "new" enterprise will move forward.
Friday, 1 February 2013
Today I presented a paper (co-authored with Alison Huber) at the "Popular Music Heritage, Cultural Memory and Cultural Identity" (POPID) conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.