University of Missouri-Kansas City: UMKC Libraries “Shining a Light” on underrepresented composers. “With UMKC Libraries’ new online exhibit, ‘Shining a Light,’ you can now discover many 21st century composers from historically underrepresented groups…. ‘Shining a Light’ allows people to listen to a variety of scores and learn more about the composers who come from marginalized communities.” There are over 70 composers here (with the possibility of more coming) with extensive bios and in many cases links to compositions.
Iceland Review: Oscar Win Leads Thousands of Icelanders to Genealogical Site. “Nearly 3,000 Icelanders have visited … a database containing genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland – to examine their kinship with composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mbl reports. Hildur became the first Icelander* to win an Oscar on Sunday, February 9, for her original score for the film Joker.” The * is because someone who has lived in Iceland and applied for citizenship, but apparently is not an Icelander, won an Oscar in 2007.
Library of Congress: Announcing the LC Commissioned Composers Web Archive. “It is with great excitement that I announce the availability of a new web archive collection from the Library of Congress – the LC Commissioned Composers Web Archive! This digital collection contains archived websites of composers commissioned with Music Division funds. Of course, not all composers we’ve commissioned since 1925 have websites, including living composers, so this collection is a sampling, albeit rich with research potential.”
Stanford University: Stanford launches new free online course on Beethoven. “A new online course explores Ludwig van Beethoven’s music and development as a composer. The class, led by music historian Stephen Hinton, features performances by and discussions with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Stanford’s ensemble-in-residence.”
The Pitch: A Kansas State grad student has reconstructed a piece of Vatican music that’s not been heard since 1542. “[Patrick] Dittamo came to the project after learning that the Kansas City Chorale was looking to perform a piece that hadn’t been done in modern times. He started researching underserved composers and came across Escobedo. Only a handful of his pieces had survived, but ‘Missa Ad te levavi’ was one of them, and it had been digitized in the Vatican’s online library. Despite the damage to the document, Dittamo was confident he could transcribe the manuscript. (Last summer, Dittamo completed Yale and Cornell University’s Historical Notation Bootcamp, and he’s currently wrapping up his master’s in music history and compositions.) Still, Dittamo says he underestimated the difficulty of the undertaking.”
Engadget: AI brought a 60-year old music-making machine to life. “If you’ve seen Looney Tunes or The Simpsons, you’ve probably heard Raymond Scott’s music — which was adapted for those and other cartoons. But there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Scott himself. A musician and inventor, Scott was ahead of his time. As early as the 1950s, he began working on the Electronium, a kind of music synthesizer that he hoped would perform and compose music simultaneously. While Scott invested $1 million and more than a decade in Electronium, he died before it was complete. Now, Fast Company reports, Pentagram partner and sound artist Yuri Suzuki has picked up where Scott left off.”
From a Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg press release translated by Google Translate (Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg has an English-language Web site, but apparently has not yet translated this press release): Mozart’s notes in the digital age interactive, individual and free for everyone. “With DIME , the Digital Interactive Mozart Edition , a new era in dealing with the musical works of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart is breaking. So far, the notes on Mozart’s music were available on the Internet exclusively as pictures of printed editions. The new portal DIME , which was developed by the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg in collaboration with the Packard Humanities Institute in Los Altos, California, for the first time provides digital data that the user can adapt interactively to his needs. This includes a variety of options for selecting works’ excerpts, which can also be synchronized with existing sound recordings or played back as MIDI files.” The DIME site itself does have an English version.