Hz #19

In the latest issue of Fylkingen’s journal Hz you will find an article of mine, Electronic music archives in the collection of The Swedish Performing Arts Agency. It is a translation from the Swedish original (which contains a few more pictures) from Dokumenterat no. 45. This text supersedes my earlier post on Swedish EAM archives, although the latter has some additional info.

Thanks to Sachiko Hayashi, the editor of Hz, who also contributes an article to this issue, A brief historical overview of Fylkingen’s journals. Thanks also to Isabel Thomson, who checked the translation.

The other articles in Hz #19 are:

Various stuff

The new issue of Fylkingen’s Hz journal (#18) contains several articles on sound art and electroacoustic music.

Uncollectable – April 2013 issue of ArteEeast journal covers Middle Eastern sound art.

Data Garden “is a journal, record label and events producer encouraging the discovery of electronic music through the windows of history, science and community.”

Kunstradio – a Zürich sound art radio station.

Le Perce-oreilles – French sound art archive and web portal.

Francisco López’s SONM archive

Francisco López has very generously made his private music collection into a public resource, the Sound Archive of Experimental Music and Sound Art (SONM). It’s a free streaming-only archive, but one has to register to listen. According to López,

[t]his sound archive is not the result of a collector’s accumulation (I am not a collector) but is instead the consequence of an intense activity as an artist, and also of one of the most fundamental features of the international community of sound artists: the exchange and collaboration, both physical and telematic. The archive is thus a personal collection, subjective, partial, and particularly focused on the global communities of so-called “independent” or “underground” artists, which I am part of since the late 70s.

In spite of this, however, since my sonic and pesonal interests have always been very wide, the natural result in the collection is a large variety and representation of the inmense universe of sound practices in experimental music and sound art. With nearly 5,000 items on cassette, vinyl, CD, and DVD, at the time of its offical opening, this sound archive is predominantly composed of very small editions -in many cases self-editions by the artists themselves- encompassing all kinds of aesthetics, movements, periods, labels, and sonic manifestations: electronic, concrete, industrial, noise, minimal, improvisation, soundscapes, glitch, turntablism, avant-garde, etc.

Furthermore, the collection is in constant expansion with all the sound materials I personally receive and with the contributions of a myriad sound artists worldwide that want their work to be adequately preserved and promoted with the resources of this sound archive.

The Latin American electroacoustic music collection

The Latin American electroacoustic music collection is a convenient resource compiled by Ricardo Dal Farra. It lists 1723 works by 390 composers from 1956-2007, with an historical introduction, composer biographies and interviews.

A nice bonus is that a selection of 231 compositions is available for listening online, some with scores or sonograms.

I wish we could do something similar with the EMS music archive.

Some sound art papers

The papers from the Sound Art Theories Symposium 2011 papers are now available. For those interested in digital archiving, David Grubbs’ paper “‘Remove the Records from Texas’: Parsing Online Archives” discusses two “very different kinds of online archives”, UbuWeb and DRAM (the acronym stands for Database of Recorded American Music, but the archive holds works from other countries as well).

The archive of EMS and related archives

Note July, 30, 2014: For an updated and extended version, see Electronic music archives in the collection of The Swedish Performing Arts Agency.

The archives of EMS and Fylkingen were donated to the Music and Theatre Library of Sweden in 2009. Archivist Jens Bjurman processed the EMS archive during spring 2010, and the inventory (in Swedish) is now published on the library website (his master’s thesis on the processing can be found here). For EMS’s tape archive, see below. The Fylkingen tape archive is partly digitised and available for research at Fylkingen.

The Music and Theatre Library also holds some other archives of interest to researchers in Swedish electronic music (links are to the inventories, if available. Please note that most of them are in Swedish):

The Swedish Museum of Performing Arts stores some of the former studio equipment of EMSRalph Lundsten and Ákos Rózmann (information only in Swedish).

In addition, the National Library of Sweden holds the archives of Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968) and Åke Hodell (1919-2000), and a small Öyvind Fahlström (1928-1976) archive (the main one is in Barcelona at the Museum of Contemporary Art). For more information, search for these names in Ediffah. The Hodell tape archive is in SMDB. The archive of his father, Björn Hodell, is at the Music and Theatre Library.

The EMS tape archive
EMS’s music archive (“bandarkivet”, the tape archive) has been donated to the National Library of Sweden for long-time preservation (except for commercially released records, which will be kept in the EMS library). The digitised content will be accessible through the Swedish Media Database (SMDB).

There are three ways to search the EMS music archive:

  1. For digitised materials only, search SMDB with ‘collection:”EMS bandarkiv”‘ to see all available items. Currently, SMDB holds only about 80 works, but more will come. One can listen to these works at the National Library of Sweden/Audiovisual Media, but not online, due to copyright restrictions (what else?).
  2. To search the entire archive, use DISMARC, which I’ve blogged on elsewhere. The metadata is limited, and one can’t listen to the music, but one sees all content, whether digitised or not.
  3. Visit EMS and search the full database. It has some additional functionality compared to SMDB and DISMARC, e.g. an hierarchic display of a composer’s works, their versions and audio carriers (based on FRBR). The EMS database is also the most frequently updated, and one can listen to all of the digitised music, including CD:s and DVD:s that haven’t been migrated to the database yet.