AES Berlin 2014
Tutorial T16

Monday, April 28, 16:00 — 17:30 (Estrel Hall C2)


T16 - Special Challenge Metadata: Preserving the Collection Oskar Sala or … How to Safeguard Hitchcock's Birds

Nadja Wallaszkovits, Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Science - Vienna, Austria

Oskar Sala (1910 - 2002) was a German musician, scientist, and a pioneer of electronic music. He played and further developed the trautonium, a predecessor of the synthesizer. By enhancing and modifying this instrument Sala was able to create totally new sounds and effects. He composed the scores for more than 300 films and created the effect soundtrack for Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds, receiving many awards for his works. After his death he left, among others, a collection of about 1200 analog magnetic audio tapes which are stored in the archives of Deutsches Museum in Munich.

Oskar Sala fully exploited all the possibilities of the analog tape technology, using impressive experimental approaches. His tapes have become artworks themselves, as they comprise a unique richness of very special and specific metadata: most of the tapes are cut up to 200 times per reel, and he used them as a (more or less readable) notebook. Such and many more surprises made the adequate safeguarding and digitization of the collection a unique undertaking. The collection has been successfully digitized, financed by KUR – Programme for the Conservation of Moveable Cultural Assets (Germany) and under the consultancy of the Phonogrammarchiv Vienna.

The workshop outlines the various challenges of this project and discusses the parameters and practical problems of the audio transfer, as well as the strategy of safeguarding the richness of metadata by use of high definition video recording. Finally a database is shown that merges the complete digitized works of Oskar Sala and provides comprehensive access to the material for the first time.

AES Technical Council This session is presented in association with the AES Technical Committee on Archiving Restoration and Digital Libraries

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EXHIBITION HOURS April 26th   10:00 – 18:30 April 27th   09:00 – 18:30 April 28th   09:00 – 18:30 April 29th   09:00 – 14:00
REGISTRATION DESK April 26th   09:30 – 18:30 April 27th   08:30 – 18:30 April 28th   08:30 – 18:30 April 29th   08:30 – 16:30
TECHNICAL PROGRAM April 26th   10:00 – 18:00 April 27th   09:00 – 18:00 April 28th   09:00 – 18:00 April 29th   09:00 – 17:00
AES - Audio Engineering Society