Commission on Audio-Visual Materials

The Commission held two sessions in Edinburgh.

The first session was a themed one, covering music in the Baltic republics. We were very fortunate that IAML was able to assist a speaker from each of the republics to attend. This was thanks in part to the IAML Outreach Fund and the generosity of IAML(UK) as well as other sponsoring organizations.

First session

Our first speaker was Antanas Auškalnis from the Lithuanian Academy of Music in Vilnius. He gave us an interesting perspective on the current state of sound archives in Lithuania. Following Antanas, Ieva Cepurniece from the TILTS Music Library in Riga gave an overview of the position of music recordings in Latvia, and concluded with a showing of parts of two programmes on Latvian music which she helped to make for Latvian Television. (One suspects that the image of a chicken being decapitated - in a programme about folk traditions and the music associated with them – will stay with some members of the audience for a long time!) The third speaker was to have been the AV Commission's Secretary, Avo Kartul from Tartu, but unfortunately he was unable to be with us. We were therefore especially grateful to Katre Riisalu from the National Library of Estonia in Tallinn for agreeing to speak to us at short notice about the history of sound recording availability in Estonia.

Second session

Although on the face of it, a much more heterogeneous group, the three presentations in this session worked together well. The first speaker, Laura Dankner from Loyola University, New Orleans, gave a presentation on the British years of the popular black American bass Paul Robeson, using photographs, sound, and video clips from his films to bring it to life. Michael Fingerhut from IRCAM in Paris followed her with a fascinating presentation showing us the capabilities of the IRCAM multimedia library, including digitized images of modern music scores synchronized with sound recordings of the pieces. The third paper, presented by Per-Erik Brolinson from the University of Stockholm, used sound illustrations from some well-known pop music recordings to illustrate the increasingly diffuse nature of intellectual responsibility (and hence IPR) in popular music. This is a consequence of the increasing sophistication of the recording process: producers and engineers might make significant contributions; samples of earlier recordings can be used; and new material can be overdubbed onto existing tracks. This was a timely reminder for the cataloguers amongst us of the problems of attribution in this field.


Antony Gordon, Chair