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ARC funding to create WA music archive

Tuesday, 01 November 2011


ECU researchers and their industry partners have been awarded $220,000 to create an archive of contemporary art music from Western Australia.

Faculty of Education and Arts researchers Dr Cat Hope and Professor Lelia Green received the funding through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage scheme to establish the Western Australian New Music Archive (WANMA).

It will be a digital collection and database of Western Australian music composed from 1970 to the present day.

The WANMA project is considered to be the first of its kind in Western Australia (WA). The ECU researchers will work in collaboration with Tura New Music, State Library of Western Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and National Library of Australia.

The creation of WANMA will preserve WA’s cultural and artistic musical heritage, which Dr Hope believes could languish in obscurity due to is relative inaccessibility compared to other states.

“This project involves the discovery, collection, collation, digitisation storage and dissemination of music recordings, video documentation, scores and other evidence surrounding Western Australian new music,” Dr Hope said.

WANMA will house evidence of heritage musical works and installations. In addition, performances and recordings will be made on both a local and national scale and feed back into the project. Original hardcopy material will not be gathered by the project, however it will be incorporated into the archive and users of WANMA can be directed to their locations. The project has developed from an extensive pilot project supported by Tura New Music, using their collection. This demonstrated the need for such a resource.

Dr Hope believes that as WA grows, so should its cultural, artistic and creativity-supporting infrastructure.

“There is currently limited accessible repositories for Australian music, many of these are either not accessible to the general public and/or contain very few WA materials,” Dr Hope said.

 “The creation of the specialised archive will provide musicologists, performers and the broader music industry with access to information and works previously unavailable, thus actively encouraging research and development.”

Materials catalogued by WANMA will be stored on a digital database accessible via a streaming server at the State Library of Western Australia.


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