Play it Again! Use it Together

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Play it Again! Use it Together
Open Music Archive feat. 51 architecture

Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool

Private View: Friday 14th September Time 6.00 - 8.30pm
Opening Performance Friday 14th September, 7.00pm; Elsa Hewitt

Exhibition Dates: Saturday 15th September – Saturday 24th November 2018

Curated by Rose Lejeune


Eileen Simpson and Ben White’s project takes as its starting point the Institute of Popular Music (IPM) Archive of over 80,000 records, an exceptional and rich research resource, gifted over a number of years by collectors and enthusiasts.

With a particular focus on copyright-expired hit records from 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s, the artists temporarily re-house the IPM archive in the public gallery - putting the archive on public view and making its contents available for public use.

The project explores ownership in the archive, investigating what is owned and how it is owned and promotes expanded usership of the archive through replay, live events, digitisation and distribution

At the centre of the exhibition is a bespoke open source structure for archive digitisation, broadcast and remix performance, designed with 51 architecture. Animated by University of Liverpool students and graduates, the exhibition space is transformed into a production site where out-of-copyright sounds are ripped from archive records, to generate an evolving public resource. This resource is used as material for a series of public events with invited guests and collaborators.

Free Events

Friday 14th September, 7pm:

Join us for the opening event with award-winning musician and electronic music producer Elsa Hewitt, who the artists have invited to create a new live set, assembled from sounds digitised from the 78rpm records in the IPM archive.

Saturday 29th September, 2-4pm

An afternoon of activities for young people and children. 4-11 year olds design album covers in response to the collection. Plus a drop-in for young people who are invited to come along and play with sounds and make beats by sampling the public domain sounds digitized from the 78 rpm records.

Saturday 13th October, 2-4pm

The ‘original teenagers’ are invited to pop in for a special listening social event and to request old favourites from the IPM collection.

Saturday 27th October, 3pm:

The artists invite Oli Carman, an electro-acoustic composer based in the North West, to create a new live composition assembled from sounds digitised from the 78rpm records in the IPM archive.

Saturday 10th November, 10am-3pm:

Coders, electronic musicians and producers are invited to come along and make beats from the public domain samples in the archive using the open source code developed for Play it Again! Use it Together and the public domain sounds digitized from the 78 rpm records. Event with Queen Mary University of London.


photos by Jim Stephenson

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photos by Neil Cummings

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Download samples to use at:


This project is supported by: University of Liverpool, Queen Mary University of London, FAST IMPACt Project, Manchester School of Art

Technics SL-1200G kindly provided by Technics

Arnold Circus Stools kindly provided by Martino Gamper

Code written by Florian Thalmann, Thomas Wilmering, Alo Allik and Ben White

Typeface and graphic design by Ismini Adami

Thanks to Anderson Inge, Mark Sandler, Marion Leonard, Mike Jones, the team at VG&M, Colin Roberton, Joshua Fawcett, Georgina Hall, Megan McEvoy, George Mulvihill, Joseph Roberts, Gaorui Sun and Tina Wood