Panels: „Find the File“-Festival

Haus der Kulturen der Welt

From record collections to streaming services, from ethnological sound archives to remixed tracks, from audiotapes of wartime radio stations to reissue hype – the way we handle musical material from the past is changing. A discursive music festival on the questions: How is music collected, preserved, selected and reactivated today? What do collections and archives represent? And what can be found in them?

The transition from collected objects to stored files creates new possibilities as well as new problems. Every second the amount of data accumulated in the “infinite archive” of the Internet increases; everything seems to be accessible via streaming at any time. But who’s listening to all these MP3s, how can the material stay alive? User-generated content and a new market for recycled sounds as well as amateur archivists and collecting institutions determine which music survives. How are decisions made about what to preserve? And what are the resulting tasks regarding accessibility and provenance research?

Four panels accompanied the festival which I all moderated (in English):

Keeping Track(s): Saving Sonic Heritage

With Ahmed Adan (Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism, Somalia), Brigid Cohen (historical musicologist, New York University), Lucy Ilado (music journalist), and Michael E. Veal (ethnomusicologist, Yale University). Moderation: Florian Sievers (journalist)

Piles of Files: The Infinite Archive

With Simon Reynolds (author, music journalist), Elodie A. Roy (Music and Cultural Studies, University of Newcastle) and Pelle Snickars (media scientist, Digital Humanities scholar, Umeå University), Moderation: Florian Sievers

Informal Archiving: Crate-Diggers, Selectors, Reissues

With Mark Gergis (Sublime Frequencies), Temi Kogbe (Odion Livingstone, Lagos), Brian Shimkovitz(Awesome Tapes From Africa), Elodie A. Roy (Music and Cultural Studies, University of Newcastle), and Michael E. Veal (ethnomusicologist, Yale University), Moderator: Florian Sievers (journalist)

Enter and Revive: Conditions for Accessibility and Reuse

With Diane Thram (ethnomusicologist, Rhodes University), Marisella Ouma (expert in intellectual property law), Cornelia Sollfrank (artist and researcher), Gregory Markus (RE:VIVE, The Netherland Institute for Sound and Vision), Moderator: Florian Sievers (journalist)