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Open Music Archive, initiated by Eileen Simpson & Ben White, is a collaborative project to source, digitise, and distribute out of copyright music recordings. The archive website will launch on 9th January 2006 and will be open for anyone to use, edit and contribute to.

Open Music Archive Projects is a forum for projects using material from the archive. We want to engage in future collaborations and distributive projects.

OMA @ Open Congress, Tate Britain

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Open Music Archive presented at Open Congress (Tate Britain 7th-8th October 2005)

Open Congress was Inspired by Free Software: software that challenges conventional practices of authorship, ownership and distribution. The innovative congress explored these implications for art, visual culture and cultural production in general.

For Open Congress, Ben played a short DJ set of music made entirely of samples of out-of-copyright music recordings, mainly sourced from 1920s 78rpm records. An accompanying slideshow uncovered the process of tracking this material.

Open Congress performance images

Tate Online Events Archive (video of the performance will be available here shortly)

Listen to an excerpt of Ben White's live performance: MP3 (5.3MB) | Ogg Vorbis (3.7MB)

DJ Performance of Screen Tests, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

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For British Art Show 6 we were invited by artists Marysia Lewandowska and Neil Cummings to collaborate and develop Screen Tests. Working with out-of-copyright film material from the regional film and television archives of the BAS6 host cities we created a new film. Using public domain recordings, Ben created the soundtrack for Screen Tests and performed a remixed version live at the BAS6 launch at BALTIC. Further live performances are scheduled for Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol.

Photos of the performance

Open Music Archive presents an Evening of Free Music and Films

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We are planning an event of live music and visuals at My Goodniss vintage clothes shop in Manchester's Northern Quarter. The event coincides with a live performance of Screen Tests showing at British Art Show 6 (29th Jan-April 2006).