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ARSCLIST  February 2007

ARSCLIST February 2007

Subject:

Re: offlist archival question from ARSC list member

From:

"Andes, Donald" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 28 Feb 2007 17:20:06 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (248 lines)

This email came to me directly, but on the behalf of others that may
gleam something from this discussion, I figured I'd answer to the list.
 
Hello Chris,
 
I think a company interest is in making a profit, and they would like
re-issue everything they believe will bring them one. Understanding
really what that means, answers tons of questions like" Why don't they
release ___?" "Why don't they just ___?" When you factor the costs of
transferring, production, marketing, AND overhead, some things just
don't add up. For example the music I really enjoy doesn't even exist on
major labels. There's just not enough interested in it, so it remains on
the (very) indie (often personal) labels, just like OOP music, you need
to dig to find.
 
Another major factor with re-releasing materials, is legal issues.
Sometime an artist or estate can't agree on terms. Sometimes elements
are lost, or a photographer cannot be located. If we proceed without
crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's the whole project can be
pulled, or worse; we can lose all profits by being sued.
 
That said, there are some great things on every label that never made it
to the stores in the first place (as well as things that should have
NEVER seen the light of day). Who knows, maybe the band broke up, maybe
the label changed direction, maybe marketing wasn't on board???? At any
rate, that's what makes Archives such magical places.
 
 
On the topic of becoming a "certified" archivist, I should mention I
really don't know what that means, and don't know if I would want to be
one. I myself had a deep interest in music AND audio, so I pursued a
degree in Music Production, luckily at a time when they were teaching
both analog and digital classes. During my schooling, I worked at 2
different places, one creating 10,000's of digital files for sample
libraries, which taught me the importance of metadata structures and
standards, and the second was as a transfer engineer at a restoration
facility called Vidipax, which was started by Jim Lindner, who is easily
recognized as a leader in the field, but not necessarily a "Certified
Archivist".
 
At any rate, after working under Jim for a short while, (he left to
start Media Matters) I became Audio Production manager. I had hands on
experience working with almost every obsolete format of Audio, but I got
to understand the "business" side of archiving by creating Archival
strategies for clients such as the Met Opera, Alan Lomax, and Major
League Baseball. This balance between technology and business sense is
what I feel some "archivists" lose sight of. No one, including labels
such as EMI have multi-million dollar budgets for archiving, so you have
to understand how to prioritize assets, set achievable goals, monetize
some assets to fund the rest, and maximize the whole production without
cutting quality. Otherwise your thought of in the organization as "the
dreamer" who wants to save everything, running around screaming the sky
is falling. It's just not practical in a business world.
(Remember: "NO!" is the easiest response to the request of large sums of
cash.)
 
I started in my current role with EMI at a time when the archives had
been ignored for some time, so I had to straighten up (physical items,
data, etc.) and it took my staff and I about a year. This was all in
preparation for a facility move to a more suitable (central) location,
which included a complete re-scan. That took about another year. As it
stands now, I am the gatekeeper, things are under my control, and I'm
working on more core aspects of my job, such as devolving standards for
the ingestation of things like Pro Tools Sessions, LTO tapes, etc. I
also work with departments like Capitol Studios to develop Archiving
initiatives. I still do the occasion asset search when it can't be found
by my staff, but for the most part, my job is elsewhere.
 
Another major role I play is during the consolidation of company assets.
My staff is constantly ingesting materials from outside vaults, as well
as dealing with the myriad of materials being submitted to the archives
by various departments in the company. I need to understand and
distinguish, which parts are vital, redundant, unique, and endangered.
Also, developing metadata exchange/capture systems isn't outside my
scope, but required $$ to make initiatives come to life.
 
 
I want to note that I do not mean in any way to put down other
archivist, or any/all certification process. My personal means to an end
was more hands on practice, and less ideals and principles. I personally
find that developing your own principles far outweighs adopting the
principles and ideals of others. You results may differ. My current
position is less "archival" and more business practical. In large
corporations it's less about whether your ideas are good, and more about
knowing how to get them done.
 
I'd be interested to hear from those in other (maybe non-corporate)
institutions, about the philosophies in practice there. No need to get
detailed or give away guarded secrets, just an overview of what goes on
in your archive.
 
Thanks,
 
Don Andes
Director of Archives
EMI Music

________________________________

From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
CJA
Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 10:38 AM
To: Andes, Donald
Subject: offlist archival question from ARSC list member


Donald,

Sounds like an amazing job.  I have a question for you.  It is not
really your job responsibility per se, as I understand it, but it is
something you would know about.

What is EMI's relative level of interest in reissuing and remastering
material from your archives?  A colleague of mine claimed that EMI is
one of the large labels that does the least reissuing and remastering,
he claimed there are all these Paul McCartney albums which are OOP, and
so forth.  My tastes are actually somewhat unusual, but I do understand
that those recordings are a big deal, and who knows, there are probably
some very unusual and interesting projects in there that never got
issued...  

I really do not mean to put you on the spot about this.  I am training
to become a certified archivist, would like to work in the field
particularly with sound recordings, so I just want to understand.  In
your role at the company, are you primarily expected to be the "keeper"?
What amount of arrangement and description are you expected to do?  Do
you have opportunities to highlight certain holdings and make
suggestions about what may be of interest fo reissuing and/or
remastering?  (I understand of course that the ultimate decisions about
that are handled elsewhere). 

Thanks for taking the time to read my message.  If you get a chance to
reply, thank you for that as well.

Chris Anderson



On 2/27/07, Andes, Donald <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 

	As the Director of Archives I oversee the collection,
cataloging, and
	storage of all Creative assets (Audio/Video/Film/Photo/Artwork)
for EMI
	in the US. I don't deal with any legal, accounting, or
contractual
	paperwork as that is stored in paper vaults under someone else's
careful
	watch.
	
	I do have metal parts, 16" transcription discs, 78's LP's, ect.
as well
	as analog tape, digital tape, cd's, dvd's, and most other media
storage 
	formats. I also keep session notes, recording logs, release
books, etc.
	
	If it came out in the US with EMI/Capitol/Virgin/Blue Note (or
any other
	subsidiary label) then technically I should have the masters and
2 
	copies of the finished product.
	
	The job keeps me pretty busy, which is why I lurk more then I
post in
	this forum.
	
	Don Andes
	Director of Archives
	EMI Music
	
	P.S. I don't do the suing.....Legal Affairs gets that job. 
	
	-----Original Message-----
	From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
	[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Lennick
	Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 8:07 PM 
	To: [log in to unmask]
	Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Curious--was: well, this might <snip>
	
	Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
	> ----- Original Message -----
	> From: "Andes, Donald" <[log in to unmask]>
	>> Don Andes
	>> Director of Archives
	>> EMI Music
	>>
	> Your signature caught my eye! Are these archives of
masters/metal 
	> parts, archived recording ledgers, or some completely
different form
	of "archive?"
	>
	> Steven C. Barr
	>
	>
	Or is this the guy who's going to sue me for transferring
51-year-old 
	Capitols for offshore CD reissues? I know NUSSING........
	
	xq
	
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Music from EMI 

This e-mail including any attachments is confidential and may be legally privileged. If you have received it in error please advise the sender immediately by return email and then delete it from your system. The unauthorised use, distribution, copying or alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. If you need assistance please contact us on +44 20 7795 7000. 

This email is from a unit or subsidiary of EMI Group plc. 

Registered Office: 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5SW 

Registered in England No 229231.


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