The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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    Making sound searchable, many voices at a time

    Nov. 19, 2014, 6 a.m., Posted by Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith

    Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith are co-founders of Pop Up Archive, a winner of the 2012 Knight News Challenge: Data and one of the companies in the portfolio of the Knight Enterprise Fund.

    Since we launched Pop Up Archive in 2013, we’ve made almost 1 million minutes of sound searchable. This is just the beginning.

    A question we ask ourselves a lot at Pop Up Archive.

    In the past year, we’ve helped hundreds of radio producers log raw tape, get audio stories online faster, and optimize their stations’ sites for search engines. We’ve worked with the Hoover Institute at Stanford to index interviews with founders of the Communist Party, processed thousands of hours of sermons for the Princeton Theological Seminary, and helped WFMT and the Studs Terkel Digital Archive catalog Terkel’s 40 years of radio interviews with everyone from Janis Joplin to Shel Silverstein. We’re experimenting with some of the most innovative digital media properties to make sure that audio and video content are indexed by Google and just as easily found and shared on the Web as text. Anyone can search over 10,000 public audio items at Pop Up Archive.

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    Launching Symphony in D: A collaborative symphony by and for Detroit

    Nov. 19, 2014, 12:01 a.m., Posted by Tod Machover

    MIT Media Lab composer Tod Machover. Photo by Priska Ketterer.

    What does Detroit sound like? Today, Knight Foundation is announcing a new partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Composer Tod Machover of MIT to find out by creating a collaborative symphony by, for and with the people of Detroit. Below, Machover writes about the process that will be unveiled today at an event in the city.

    "Announcing 'Symphony In D' " on YouTube

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to be starting on the Symphony in D project, which proposes to create a musical portrait of Detroit using both notes and noises, and created by me in collaboration with everyone in Detroit who wants to participate…and I hope that means you! The project starts this week, will develop over the coming year, and will be premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra almost exactly one year from now (all thanks to the support of Knight Foundation). One year seems like a long time, but I promise you that it will go by very quickly. So I invite you to join me as soon as you can in this adventure to create Symphony in D together.

    I have learned a lot while working on four such collaborative symphonies over the past two years – for Toronto, Edinburgh, Perth, and currently Lucerne– and will build on these other projects to make our Detroit collaboration even more fun and satisfying. And it is so very exciting to bring the City Symphonies project to the U.S. for the first time, and especially to Detroit. No city in the world has such an opportunity to study its proud past, to reflect on current possibilities and to boldly build a different future.

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    A closer look at six young leaders in Miami’s classical music scene

    Nov. 18, 2014, 3:44 p.m., Posted by Valerie Nahmad

    By Sebastian Spreng, Visual Artist and Classical Music Writer In uncertain times, when the music world faces conditions more precarious than usual, it is important to recognize the young people who play important artistic roles in our city, a city that needs to make good use of their enthusiasm, impetus...

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