Luigi Nono, Prometeo, Sketch (Archivio Luigi Nono, Venedig)


Reworking of the digitalisation of Luigi Nono’s Manuscripts

Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel, Switzerland

It was consideration of how to preserve Luigi Nono’s output in the most original way and thus enable access to those interested in his works that brought about this initiative from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. In the first phase during autumn 2015, the Luigi Nono archive along with digitalisation specialists from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Paul Sacher Foundation (one of the leading research foundations for contemporary music) worked intensively for approximately three months to digitalise over 60,000 pages of Nono’s original scores, notes and drawings. The results of this first phase, over 1.5TB worth of data, was handed to the Paul Sacher Foundation on 29th June 2016. In future, researchers and others interested in Nono’s work will have access to this digital database not only in Basel, the headquarters of the Paul Sacher Foundation, but also in the Luigi Nono archive on the island of Giudecca in Venice. In a second phase, Nono’s letters (estimated to cover 30,000 sides of paper) will be scanned in.

It was clear in autumn 2015 that there were certain discrepancies between the actual digitalised documents of the current process and their associated references (i.e. names and descriptions) as found in the database of the Luigi Nono Archive. This latter database was built more than 25 years using now outdated technology for a completely different purpose – i.e. as a tool for critical analysis of Nono’s work rather than an inventory store-holder. The compatibility of these two systems (that of the Luigi Nono Archive and the Paul Sacher Foundation) is thus now compromised. Additionally, international norms and standards in academic research can no longer be supported. As such, the necessary analysis and adaptation of the outdated database to current international technical standards will be financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

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