Flying Nun Records and the Alexander Turnbull Library are delighted to announce that they have partnered with the Alexander Turnbull Library to preserve a huge collection of Flying Nun master tapes, and keep them safe and accessible for future generations.
The record label and many of the recorded artists had become concerned that some of the tapes were at risk of deteriorating, and that the recordings place in history might – figuratively – have ended up with some serious scratches and skipped tracks.
Roger Shepherd and Ben Howe, the label’s co-directors, say that they are relieved and pleased that the Alexander Turnbull Library will safely house all of the master tapes that have been donated, and that the Library will work with them and the artists to digitise the music, with a view to future reissues and other opportunities.
Roger Shepherd, founder of the label, says that many of the artists he’s been speaking with were concerned that the master tapes of the music that has meant to so much to them and their fans over the years could have deteriorated or – even worse – been lost forever, unless steps were taken now to bring them together in the Library’s climate-controlled and earthquake-proofed environment.
“The artists are aware that they have a huge fan base that extends well beyond New Zealand’s shores and crosses several generations, and many of them feel they have a responsibility to make sure the music lives on in good condition, and that it can be opened up to new audiences as well,” he says.
“We’ve found it really great working on this project with the Turnbull Library and talking with the artists about it – it’s great that the Library is also open to collaborating on new projects once they have safely digitised everything.”
Martin Phillipps of The Chills is a strong supporter of the project. "I’m relieved and excited to know that these poor, long-suffering recordings will now be retired to a comfortable and compassionate home while we, their carers, can plan safe outings for those that still appear up to it,” he says.
Flying Nun co-director Ben Howe says that he is looking forward to creating more great memories for fans, and ensuring that the label remains contemporary for generations to come.
“It’s especially great that we’ve been able to land this at the beginning of the Turnbull Library’s centenary year, too. I’m laying odds that people will still be listening to Flying Nun music – whether from this collection or from new music still to be created over the next 100 years.”
All Photo Credits: Mark Beatty, National Library of New Zealand