DIGITAL LIBRARY/ARCHIVE FOR CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FROM THE NORTHERN REGION OF GHANA
Due to the very low level of literacy and school education among musicians in Tamale and the Northern Region in general, the use of modern technology like computers and related accessories including the internet in the archiving and dissemination of their recordings turns to be correspondently very low. Although computer based technology is used in their recordings and performance, they fail to extend the use of this same technology to the preservation and to some extent the dissemination of their works.
In the Recording Studios and on the Public Address Systems (used for public performances by the artistes), only one or two individuals (the Studio Engineers and DJs) are usually computer literate and takes charge of the recordings and Disc Jockeying. Hence the musicians themselves don’t usually understand the process.
When final recordings are put on CDs they do not last due to the poor culture of keeping these CDs. As a result, many popular and contemporary recordings (songs and albums) over the last few years have been lost to even the artistes who recorded them. The recordings of popular/contemporary music in Northern Ghana only started in the late 1980s in to the 1990s, and today only a few of those recordings can be found. Most of the artistes themselves cannot even trace their own recordings.
In the long-term, it is important for the artistes to get the requisite education and capacity to keep and preserve their own recordings. However, as a temporary measure to solve this problem of loosing contemporary recordings, I propose to set up a computer-based archive/library for these recordings. This can also be linked to ongoing efforts to set up a professional recording and video studio in Tamale.
Tools and Equipment:
The tools and equipment for this archive/library will include:
1. A computer with CD/DVD ROM for ripping and organizing the recordings.
2. An External Hard drive (At least two terabytes capacity) to store the data.
3. A Scanner to scan pictures and CD inlays where applicable.
Mode of Operation:
1. We will trace as far back as possible (to the beginnings in the 1980s) to recover as much as we can of old recordings of popular music in the Northern Region.
2. This archive/library will be publicized and all artistes in the Northern Region informed and given access to it.
3. We will stay in constant touch with all contemporary/popular artistes to provide us with copies of their new recordings for archiving.
Access to Files/Data from the Library/Archive:
1. Access to files/data from the archive/library will only be granted to the owners (artistes) themselves and persons who have the permission of the owners.