Emerging contemporary artists from Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the West Midlands will be among the first in the country to have samples of their current work permanently stored in the British Library music archive. This is because they have been selected for a new website which showcases the very best new independent music from the West Midlands, as chosen by a panel of local music experts.
The PILOT PROJECT website – www.pilot-project.co.uk – goes live Thursday, November 18 in Birmingham, at 7pm.
The launch represents the first public step of an ambitious UK-wide scheme. It follows a six-month period of curation, working with a panel of West Midlands music experts. Music on the site will be accessible to stream, and the site database is fully searchable. The music and data will also be stored permanently in the British Library’s music archive as part of the British Library’s New Music Network. This aims to document contemporary British independent music of all types as it is made available through websites, blogs and other digital platforms.
Project co-ordinator, Birmingham radio veteran Robin Valk, said: “The Web has changed everything. Musicians now have access to tools that give them real control over the production and distribution of their work. They can exchange ideas and collaborate, instantly, worldwide, and this opens up huge new areas of experimentation and creativity. There is more good new music, more experimentation and more creativity than ever before, and most of it is online. This is a vital new part of the culture of our country. We owe it to ourselves to preserve it for future generations of music lovers.”
The launch will feature performances from West Midlands musicians Jo Hamilton, Vijay Kishore, and Friendly Fire Band, and representatives from the British Library and the Pilot Project advisory team (listed below) will be available for interview.
Andy Linehan, Pop Music curator for the British Library Sound Archive, said: “This is an important step in archiving new music at a local level for the national collections. So much new and innovative music is being made at grass roots level which bypasses the traditional business model, and it can be difficult to be aware of such activity.
“Successful local activity such as the Pilot Project means we will be able to provide a detailed picture of the diverse and creative output of West Midlands musicians for future generations.”
About the Pilot Project
The Pilot Project has been organised by Robin Valk, veteran radio expert and one of the founding members of staff at BRMB. Music for the project has been selected by a panel of regional advisors, broadcasters and music experts, including:
Chris Downing, Brumcast brumcast.podomatic.com
Richard Elms, Herbert Media, Coventry www.theherbert.org/index.php/home/herberrt-media?
Shelley Atkinson, Arts Deville www.artsdeville.co.uk/?
Clare Edwards clareedwards.wordpress.com/about/
Marc Reck www.marcreck.com/
Apache Indian en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Indian
Tony Dudley-Evans, Birmingham Jazz www.birminghamjazz.co.uk/
Kate Southall, Wolverhampton www.myspace.com/katyjaywcrfm
This website will stay live for six months, showcasing the very best new music being developed in the region. Music selected for the site will be also be saved in the permanent British Library sound archive. Following a period of evaluation, the organisers hope to launch more regional pilots in 2011. The Pilot Project is supported by Digital Content Development at Arts Council West Midlands.
About the British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and one of the world’s greatest research libraries.
It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation. It includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.
For further information, images, recordings and pre-launch interviews contact:
Robin Valk robin at radiotogo.com
Andy Linehan andy.linehan at bl.uk
Musicians appearing at the launch