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New Zealand music safeguarded in Global Music Vault - DIA

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Works by New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn will be the Alexander Turnbull Library’s first deposit to a new archiving initiative the Global Music Vault.

Based in Wellington, New Zealand, the Alexander Turnbull Library holds the heritage collections of the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa.

"The Turnbull Library is one of the foremost institutional collectors of New Zealand music," says Alexander Turnbull Library Curator Music Michael Brown.

"The Global Music Vault is an exciting opportunity to be involved in innovative solutions for the long-term preservation of our musical taonga."

The Global Music Vault will be an offline facility located underground on Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Circle. Using cutting-edge ‘Project Silica’ technology developed by Microsoft, digital copies of music will be stored on glass tablets that can survive thousands of years. The Global Music Vault will have a fraction of the carbon footprint of a standard data centre. 

The Lilburn works will be in the form of recordings of electroacoustic works and images of original scores. Also contributing to the Global Music Vault are music and audio/visual material from the likes of pioneering innovator and artist Beatie Wolfe (UK), International music award Polar Music Prize (Sweden), and International Library of African Music (ILAM) (South Africa). 

The International Music Council (IMC), one of the Global Music Vault’s founding partners, has also facilitated the inclusion of material by two Music Rights Awards laureates, the Orchestra of Indigenous Instruments and New Technologies (Argentina) and Fayha Choir (Lebanon), as well as from Ketebul Music, a Kenyan organisation led by IMC Music Rights Champion Tabu Osusa.

"While the Library has its own digital preservation programme, the Global Music Vault will provide even more backup for some of our most iconic music," says Brown.

"It’s great for New Zealand music to be included in this international collaboration. Over time, we hope to add more New Zealand music to the Global Music Vault in consultation with donors, kaitiaki, and rights-holders."

The Alexander Turnbull Library began systematically collecting New Zealand music in the 1960s and now holds over 55,000 published music recordings. In 1974, the Archive of New Zealand Music (ANZM) was established to preserve unpublished material at the suggestion of Douglas Lilburn. It includes unique collections of material created by New Zealand musicians, composers and songwriters, and the archives of record labels and other musical organisations and companies. 

"Music offers an incredible glimpse into the history, culture and mood of a country on a unique and expressive level. Being part of the Global Music Vault will add to a greater understanding of what makes New Zealand and Pacific peoples tick."

The Global Music Vault is the initiative of the Norwegian company Elire MG, with support from UNESCO’s International Music Council and the Arctic World Archive. Media contact:

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