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The Montreux Jazz Digital Project: From preserving heritage to a platform for innovation

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Since 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival has brought together the greatest musicians of the modern era. Thanks to a partnership between EPFL and the Claude Nobs Foundation, over 5,000 hours of historical audio-visual footage from the festival has now been digitised. The Montreux Jazz Digital Project aims to preserve and transform this heritage into a unique archive of raw material for researchers to innovate in the field of music technology, signal processing, acoustics, multimedia, design, architecture, neurosciences, museology, social and human sciences. Adding value to the collection, a substantial metadata enhancement programme has been devised for schools, musicians and musicologists. In the recently built Montreux Jazz Café, innovative user-interaction tools are placed at the archive’s disposal to transform it into a living collection. This paper describes the archive and its digitisation and preservation schemes. It also provides examples of the research and innovation actions that have been undertaken at EPFL to enrich the collection and provide new types of platforms and experiences for the public to discover the concerts.

Keywords: archive; audio-visual; cultural heritage; digital humanities; digitisation; innovation; preservation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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