Thursday, January 19, 2012


I read in The Wire today that the British Music Collection, containing some 30,000 scores, will re-open to the public this month at Huddersfield University. It used to be housed at the British Music Information Centre in an anonymous but quite grand building opposite Chrysalis Records in Stratford Place, a tiny cul-de-sac off Oxford Street in London. 

I worked just across the road from it in the late 80s and used to go there every now and then for the odd impromptu concert, usually organized by and featuring Laurence Crane, Graham Fitkin and chums. (I remember Crane performing the world premiere of David Elliott's Record Collection - a typically minimal piano piece rarely played these days). Afterwards we would adjourn to The Cock & Lion on Wigmore Street or the The Golden Eagle on Marylebone Lane. Those were great evenings.

Anyway, the Collection continues to expand, part of the reason I think for its relocation to bigger premises up north, and is now managed by something called Sound And Music. There's every chance that the concerts will continue, given the on-the-doorstep presence of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the UK's largest international festival of new and experimental music.

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