Malawi is resource centre for music digitisation—Nedland
Norwegian music producer and presenter, Sigbjorn Nedland, has said Malawi is a hub for music digitisation following the success of the digitisation project by his Nedland Kultur with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) with support from the Norwegian Embassy in Malawi.
Nedland said other neighbouring countries can learn from Malawi and also have their music digitised as MBC is continuing in the project.
“I am happy that close to 4,000 tracks have been digitised and we are now moving to 5,000. I hope that this project is going to continue as part of preserving old songs. Through this digitisation project, we have established a centre of knowledge in Malawi. A resource centre for Malawi as well as neighbouring countries,” he said.
Nedland said a major part of Malawi’s music heritage from the 1940s up until the 1980s has been resting in the archives of MBC and that for years it has been inaccessible and in danger of extinction.
“This is why Nedland Kultur partnered with MBC to rescue this national treasure of music. There is a lot of music that has been recorded in most African countries but is unavailable to people. You may recall that there were no commercial studios in many countries and so recording was done by national radios and the recordings are on tapes but tapes are no longer in use,” Nedland said.
He added: “It’s important to take care of the recordings. Actually, we have not only concentrated on the digitisation process alone and this is why I also thought of making this music accessible to the people by creating a group known as Takula and the main contact was Peter Mawanga.”
Apart from Mawanga, the band has members such as Omex Chimpeni and Faith Mussa.
“So, the band listened to the songs and reworked them. The idea was that I wanted them to be inspired. The songs have actually been finalised only that I am struggling to get them mixed here but it will come in due course. We have new music and compositions but we also have music which has the original songs so we will have two albums,” Nedland said.
The music producer, who hailed African stars for putting up impressive performances during the Forde Traditional and World Music Festival over the weekend, said Malawi has talent but its artists have to refrain from the trade of copying.
“There is a lot of talent in Malawi. All I can say is that artists should not copy much from outside because they cannot do better than them. You can only do better and stand out with your own music,” he said.
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