A new open-access record label is being launched at the Australian National University’s School of Music that will release recordings online of work by its students and alumni together with work commissioned from outside musicians, the University has announced.
ANU Press Music plans to issue up to a dozen recordings each year from 2019 across the genres of classical, jazz and popular music, and to make them available at no cost. It follows the same open-access model pioneered by its parent publisher, ANU Press, which makes available books and journals free of charge online to readers.
The School of Music will bear costs associated with the label, and recordings will be made in its new $1 million recording studio which opened last year. Copy editors will be hired to provide liner notes. Accompanying materials including scores, papers and webcasts, will also be published under the label, and artists will have the opportunity to have their work peer reviewed.
The idea was conceived by Kim Cunio, composer on staff at the School of Music, as a means of serving the needs of musicians who are overlooked by established record labels and supporting them at minimal or no cost.
“As far as we know, we really will be the first in the world with this model of complete subsidisation of the artworks, which is pretty astounding,” Cunio told The Canberra Times. “I don’t think that’s really been seen since the days of the Medicis in the Renaissance – the idea that there was an organisation of very rich patrons who just paid for everything to happen and made sure it was disseminated. That’s the model we’re trying to move into.”
“If someone’s doing good stuff, we’re interested,” he added. “We’re looking purely in the here and now, not later.”