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Open Music Archive initiated by artists Eileen Simpson & Ben White, is a collaborative project to source, digitise, and distribute out of copyright music recordings.

Open Music Archive Projects is a forum for related projects.

Disclosures, London


For Disclosures Eileen Simpson & Ben White create Declose, a project to create a copyleft licensed 12" vinyl scratch tool containing a range of samples, beats and extracts made from the out-of-copyright blues, jazz and folk housed in the Open Music Archive.

The artists promote collaboration and seek to explore its significance and value for creative production. For Declose they invite producers and members of the burntprogress community to create new remix tracks, short vocal snippets, percussive noises, samples, breaks and beats - made entirely from the out-of-copyright music in the Open Music Archive - to make up the battle vinyl.

Declose Launch Event:

Featuring scratch routines, live experiments and improvisation using the Declose vinyl by:

Collection Society
DJ Dysu & Man One
James Kelly (Pedestrian)
DJ Tendraw

Thursday 27th March 2008 10pm - 1am
CHANGE OF VENUE: 333, 333 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LE

The Declose vinyl will be available on the night in exchange for a donation.

More info

Clips, Blips and Loops #2, Geneva

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For Clips, Blips and Loops #2, we are inviting producers, musicians and DJs to contribute to the collection of free source tools available here. This is an extension of a project developed in Stockholm, November 2007. In February 2008 all of the tools will be gathered together to produce a CD that will be freely distributed at a public performance at an event in Geneva on 13th March.

Read more

Mimétisme at Extra City, Antwerp

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25 Jan 2008 - 30 Mar 2008

Screen Tests, in collaboration with Neil Cummings & Marysia Lewandowska, will be part of Mimétisme at Extra City in Antwerp.

An exhibition that probes an alternative conceptual framework for "theatricality" in the visual arts.

Also including; Pawel Althamer & Artur Zmijewski, Elisabetta Benassi, Charif Benhelima, Pierre Bismuth, Lieven de Boeck, Claude Cahun, Mircea Cantor, Andrea Cooper, Mauricio Dias & Walter Riedweg, Harun Farocki, Marlon Fuentes, Tom Holert, Sofia Hultén, Yayoi Kusama, Ted Gaier & Peter Ott, Ria Pacquée, Jean Painlevé, Jean Rouch, Constanze Ruhm, Tomas Schmit, Isabell Spengler, Erik Steinbrecher, Javier Téllez, Barbara Visser

visit Extra City or download an exhibition guide.pdf

guided tours with curator Anselm Franke:
Thursday 21 February at 7.30 pm / Sunday 30 March at 2 pm.

Loose Booty, London

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Loose Booty
24 January 2008 - 16 February 2008
(opening 23 January 2008 6-9pm)

Alexandre Bianchini, Jeff McMillan, Sylvie Rodriguez, Pascal Rousson, Guy Sherwin, Eileen Simpson and Ben White

For Loose Booty, a new exhibition by Pearl Projects, Eileen Simpson & Ben White have brought together a number of different cover versions of Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie, originally written by Clarence ‘Pinetop’ Smith of Chicago (d. 1929). The various out-of-copyright versions, including those by Bing Crosby and Honey Hill, and a new track made entirely from the out-of-copyright elements, are to be burned on CDs and given away for free at the exhibition as a way of disseminating materials that are in the public domain.

Vegas Gallery
64-66 Redchurch Street
London E2 7DP

After Party - featuring Open Music Archive out-of-copyright/copyleft laptop and DJ set
23 January 9pm 'til late at Green and Red Basement Bar 51 Redchurch Street, E2

Downloads coming soon ...

Screen Tests - The Bigger Picture, Manchester

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See Screen Tests and Broadcast Times on The Big Screen Manchester from 12th Jan - 1st Feb 2008.

The Bigger Picture screens on the Big Screen in Exchange Square, Manchester, Monday – Friday, after the news at 9.00am, after the news at 12noon, 2.05pm, after the news at 5pm, 10.35pm, and at various times throughout the weekend. Schedule subject to change. More info

Screen Tests - Neil Cummings, Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson, Ben White
The film unfolds as a series of Andy Warhol-like screen tests, slowly revealing the location and the occupation of those before the camera - students and models from the Manchester School of Art.

Broadcast Times - Neil Cummings, Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson, Ben White
As the exhibition train leaves the platform, we are taken on a journey of 'a happy hunting ground for tycoons' the birth of commercial television broadcasting.

Who Makes And Owns Your Work, Stockholm

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Time: 17 November 2007 12.00 - 01.00
Place: Årsta Folkets Hus, Årsta torg, Stockholm

In an attempt to cross the boundaries of idea and practice, Iaspis and Konstfack initiated a project on production, distribution and ownership of cultural matter and artistic knowledge starting in December 2006. On 17th November 2007 the project will open itself up by letting the gathered knowledge be combined with that of invited guests, in an event aiming at an in-depth look on the making and owning of contemporary culture.

Read more

Feedback #4


We contributed to Feedback #4 Ideas that inform, construct and concern the production of exhibitions and events. Edited by Elpida Karaba & Nayia Yiakoumaki

Read our contribution

Free-to-air (Cornerhouse, Manchester)



From 15-25th July 2007 Open Music Archive will be resident at Cornerhouse, Manchester's international centre for contemporary arts.

For two weeks Eileen Simpson & Ben White will be producing a series of live events and programmes for a temporary FM radio station broadcasting across Manchester. (106.5FM

We’re inviting bands and musicians to respond to the rare out-of-copyright folk, blues, and jazz from the Open Music Archive; to work with forgotten lyrics, chords, melodies and beats, and to make new cover versions of forgotten tracks.

For two weeks the gallery will host live plugged and unplugged performances and one-off broadcasts by Manchester’s finest upcoming and established bands and musicians.

More info

Long Night - Cornerhouse, Manchester

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Long Night 13/07/07

As an introduction to the Free-to-air project, Eileen Simpson & Ben White invited guest DJs Jon K (Eyes Down/Fat City) and Upstate Rockers to explore sampling, reworking and exchange via the cover version - from Reggae Elvis and a Dubstep Prince, to a kid's cover of Slade via Detroit HipHop. Both DJs presented special sets made entirely from cover versions, bootlegs and mash ups. More info

If Elsewhere - Scatter Projects

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Simpson & White will present a DJ set featuring out-of-copyright material from the archive, live electronic remixes, and a sneak preview of cover versions of out-of-copyright blues, folk, music hall and jazz recorded by a range bands for their upcoming project Free-to-air – part of ARTRADIO at Cornerhouse, Manchester in July '07.

If Elsewhere
14th June 2007

The Media Centre
7 Northumberland Street
0870 990 5007

More info on the Scatter Projects page.

Screen Tests at Varsalongen, Stockholm


26 Jan 2007 - 18 Mar 2007

Screen Tests will be shown as part of the annual Varsalongen [Spring Salon] exhibition, curated by Maria Lindt and Leira Vergara in Liljevalch's Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden

See the Varsalongen website or visit the exhibition at

Liljevalch's Konsthall, Djurgardsvagen 60, Stockholm, Sweden.

Canal Plus

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Eileen Simpson and Ben White were invited to play a selection of out-of-copyright early blues, jazz and folk recordings from the archive alongside copyleft licensed electronic remixes at:

Canal Plus at Vilma Gold:
25b Vyner Street
E2 9DG

Films, performance, music
Sunday 17 December, 5-8pm

More info

Alternative film/video festival Belgrade

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Screen Tests, Dragline and Broadcast Times are showing at Alternative film/video festival Belgrade.

6th - 10th December 2006

More details on the festival website

Screen Tests @ Brighton Film Festival


Screen Tests 1/4, a film by Neil Cummings, Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson & Ben White, will be shown as part of Cine City 2006: Brighton Film Festival

Thurs 30 Nov 6pm £2.50

More details on the festival website

Leverage @ OpenLab3


Leverage will be presented at OpenLab3, an exhibition engaging with the aesthetics and politics of Free Open Source Software Culture.

Autoitalia South East London
82-86 Queens Road, Peckham

4th - 11th November 2006

Opening Event - Sat, 4th November from 4pm
Closing Event - Sat, 11th November from 4pm

Generosity: Broadcasting House, at Kunsthaus Graz - Live Event



Open Music Archive hosted an evening of free music in the living room of the Generosity Broadcasting House

part of Protections

Generosity Broadcasting House, Kunsthaus Graz
7th October 2006

more info . . .

British Art Show Symposium Bristol - Live Event


Outdoor screening of Broadcast Times, Screen Tests, and Dragline with live musical accompaniment by Ben White. The music, which has been sourced from out-of-copyright early 20th Century 78rpm records will be manipulated in real-time using samplers and DJ turntables.

Friday 15 September, 7:30 pm

Spike Island at A Bond
Smeaton Road, Cumberland Basin
Bristol BS1 6EE
More info: 0117 929 2266

The A Bond building is approximately 10 minutes walk from Spike Island

Part of British Art Show Symposium: Curating Post-Nation Rethinking the Survey Exhibition for the Biennial Age

Futuresonic 2006

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Leverage, a new project for Futuresonic 2006, centres around the creation of copyleft licensed 12 inch vinyl records containing a range of samples, beats and extracts from the archive in a format referencing scratch tools, breaks compilations and battle records. Read more . . .

Sample Leverage at Instrument, an exhibition of artist-made instruments, noise-generators, audio-visual manipulators, and head twisters by sound artists and noise-makers.
20-29 July at 1830 Warehouse, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Friday 21 July 11am
Eileen Simpson & Ben White talk about Leverage and the Open Music Archive project.
1830 Warehouse, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
More info

Futuresonic 2006 runs from 20 - 22nd July at various venues around Manchester

Video of Parkertron (Fingathing) testing the Leverage records using Serato Scratch Live.

Icon mov.png Download quicktime Duration: 13 mins / 43.1 MB (right-click/ctrl+click to download)

Read the entry for this video on

Shot and edited by Kid Jenson Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5

Broadcast Times: British Art Show Bristol


Broadcast Times: The Birth of Westward - a film by Neil Cummings, Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson, and Ben White - is showing as part of the British Art Show Bristol.

As the exhibition train leaves the platform, we are taken on a documentary journey of “a happy hunting ground for tycoons” the birth of commercial television broadcasting.

15th July - 17 September 2006

Spike Island at A Bond
Smeaton Road, Cumberland Basin
Bristol BS1 6EE
More info: 0117 929 2266

British Art Show website

Screen Tests @ Canal

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An evening of short films and a party to celebrate the opening of:

Canal 29 Vyner St, London E2 9QD

Friday 2 June 2006
Screenings from 8.30pm

The Light Fantastic - Ken Russell, 1960

Behive - Jim Self and Frank Moore, 1985

Screen Tests - Neil Cummings, Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson, Ben White, 2005

Party to follow

Canal is a temporary project room and studio run by Matthew Darbyshire, Anna Colin, Sarah McCrory, Olivia Plender, Melissa Franklin, Djordje Ozbolt and Celine Condorelli.

Screen Tests DVD

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A project in collaboration with Neil Cummings & Marysia Lewandowska that evolved from British Art Show 6.

The Free DVD was launched at the Anticipating the Past: Artist: Archive: Film conference on the 12th-13th May, at Tate Modern.

The DVD includes three new films - edited from archive film material, with a soundtrack made from out-of-copyright records - along with the original material and source files. The material is released under a Creative Commons license, enabling anyone to use and re-use Screen Tests for future creative exchange.

Screen Tests 1/4 Screen Tests
The film unfolds as a series of Andy Warhol-like screen tests, slowly revealing the location and the occupation of those before the camera - students and models from the Manchester School of Art.

Screen Tests 2/4 Dragline
Dragline stumbles across an autonomous event, and echoing 1970’s structuralist film, returns the default setting of contemporary digital practice - sampling and looping - to its industrial roots.

Screen Tests 3/4 Broadcast Times: The Birth of Westward
As the exhibition train leaves the platform, we are taken on a documentary journey of “a happy hunting ground for tycoons” the birth of commercial television broadcasting.

Screen Tests 4/4
The Northern Region Film and Television Archive, based in Newcastle did not respond to several attempts at contact, eventually we spoke over the telephone and they declined any involvement.

Arts Council England funded the production of this DVD through Grants for the arts.

If you would like a copy of the Screen Tests DVD email infoATopenmusicarchiveDOTorg

Dragline: British Art Show Nottingham

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Dragline and Screen Tests are showing at Angel Row Gallery as part of British Art Show 6, Nottingham (21st April - 25th June)

Angel Row Gallery
Central Library Building
3 Angel Row

Catch a live performance of Screen Tests in Nottingham at 7.30pm on 19th May at Powerhouse, Victoria Studios (part of the Nottingham Trent buildings)

more details

Dragline @ Swiss Institute NY


Preview of our new film Dragline - remixed archive material, with a soundtrack made from out-of-copyright records, produced in collaboration with Chance Projects showing at:

Swiss Institute 495 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012

Thursday March 23, 7pm

Open Music Archive presents an Evening of Free Music and Films

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Archive playlists, remix samples, and photos

British Art Show 6, Manchester (28th Jan -2nd April 2006)

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We were invited by artists Neil Cummings & Marysia Lewandowska to collaborate on Screen Tests for the British Art Show 6 in Manchester. Screen Tests is a film composed entirely of material found and released from the North West Film Archive. The ten minute film is accompanied by a sound track made from out-of-copyright recordings. These source recordings are available in the Open Music Archive to download:

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

See Screen Tests at Urbis until 2nd April 2006

On 18th February (6-8pm) at The Whitworth Art Gallery a DJ remix of Screen Tests was performed live by Ben White.

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, Open Music Archive presented a 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)

Listen to an excerpt of the live performance: MP3 (5.3MB) | Ogg Vorbis (3.7MB)

DJ Performance of Screen Tests, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

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Ben White performed a live remixed version of Screen Tests for the launch of British Art Show 6 at BALTIC, Newcastle.

Photos of the performance

Future live performances are scheduled for Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol

Screen Tests is at BALTIC from 24th Sep - 8th Jan 2006

Future Projects


Future collaborations and distributive projects.