neil cummings

Play It Again


Play It Again Use It Together


15 - 24 November 2018

Play It Again Use it Together

On 14th September I went to see my friends and artists that I've frequenty collaborated with Eileen Simpson and Ben White’s latest Open Music Archive project. Play It Again Use It Together takes as its starting point the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Popular Music (IPM) archive of over 80,000 records, and typical of public resources, much of the material has been gifted over a number of years by collectors and enthusiasts.

With a particular focus on copyright-expired records from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s, Ben and Eileen have temporarily exhibited the IPM archive in one of the galleries at the Victoria Gallery & Museum, making it visible and accessible for the first time.

At the centre of the exhibition is a  beautiful bespoke structure created for archive digitisation, broadcast and remix performance, designed by some other good friends, and collaborators, Catherine du Toit and Peter Thomas of 51 Architecture

Assisted by volunteers, graduates and University of Liverpool students, the exhibition space is  being turned into a production site through which the shellac and vinyl records are digitised and simultaneously - using custom software - the out-of-copyright sounds, words and performances are ripped from their proprietory enclosure and made available at Play It Again Use It Together

Play It Again Use It Together explores the limits of ownership, contributes to the enrichment of the commons, and promotes an expanded usership of public archives through access, copying, creative reassembly and redistribution. The project proposes a different set of relations between artists, institutions and their publics.

To celebrate the creative reassembly of the rich resources of the evolving archive, Ben and Eileen have  invited a number of collaborators to produce and perform  the public domain. Use it Together.

Play It Again Use it Together


Friday 14th September, 7.00pm: Elsa Hewitt

Electronic music producer Elsa Hewitt created a subtle, varied live-set, assembled from newly public domain resources digitised from the 78rpm records in the IPM archive.

Saturday 27th October, 3pm: Oli Carman

Composer Oli Carman will create a new composition, live. The source material will be assembled from out-of-copyright sounds ripped from the 78rpm records in the IPM archive.

Saturday 10th Nov, 3pm: Archive Hack Day

Coders, electronic musicians and producers will make beats and loops from the public domain samples in the archive using the open source code developed for Play it Again! Use it Together.



I've collaborated with Ben and Eilleen, or Peter and Cathi on Screen Tests, Social Cinema, and Enthusiasts.




53.4084, -2.9916

Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
Ashton Street
L69 3DR
United Kingdom

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