We have five departments which fall under the SABC Media Libraries here at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. It is the SABC Music Library, the SABC Record Library, the SABC Information Library, the SABC Radio Archives and SABC Audio Restoration.
We work with different types of collections and different formats, and we are not always aware of what our colleagues are doing on a daily basis. This is a way of getting to know each other a little bit better with regards the work we do, and the importance of our collections in the broadcasting sector.
My first interview is with our intern that we have at the Music Library. Ignatia Madalane started to work with us just short of a year ago. She is unfortunately leaving us at the end of the month.
The SABC Music Library has musical instruments of the highest quality, as well as printed music scores which they rent out to professional orchestras or music organisations on a daily basis.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. (Where you grew up, where and what you studied and your work experience before you joined the SABC Music Library)
Hi, I, Iggy, grew up in Witbank, now called Emalahleni (Place of Coal). I studied Business Practice at TUT for a year, then did Cost and Management Accounting, which I never finished because it was choking me. So I went to Wits where I studied music, majoring in classical voice.2. Please tell us about a normal day in your office.
Before coming to the SABC, I worked as a tutor at Wits. I also did some office admin work occasionally for the Music department. For the 4 years of my undergraduate studies at Wits, I worked in the SRC office as an office admin assistant. I have done a lot of performing, also as a solo artist. I joined a marimba band in 2005 and with this band we did a lot of performances, such as concerts, theatre productions, workshops, etc. We’ve just returned from Mexico, from participating in the international Marimba Festival which took place in Chiapas in November, 2010. I also had the privilege of working with some of South African’s most revered artists such as Professor Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, with composer, story-teller, ethnomusicologist, Pedro Espi-Sancis, as well as Jeff Maluleke and world renowned and award winning percussionist and composer Lukas Ligeti.
Providing our clients with the best service are our main priority, therefore we do our best to ensure that we provide them with their requests as effectively and efficiently and as promptly as possible.3. Tell us more about your collection and the scope of material you need to preserve.
I think I can safely say that we need to preserve everything we have, and we need more material. One of these days, I am hoping that we will be able to digitize out collection seeing that everything and everyone is going digital. Companies like Apple and Blackberry are inventing digital music stands, which means that musicians will be moving away from the conventional way of reading music from a piece of paper, to downloading the music directly to their music stands. It’s only a matter of time before the frenzy hits South Africa and I am afraid if we do not get on with the programme we might be left with no business to run.
4. Do you struggle with technical difficulties, and if so, what?
Struggle? Are you kidding? I can go to campus square, buy groceries, come back and bake a cake while the computer is trying to log on.5. If you have an anecdote about a specific piece of interesting music or musical instrument, please share it with us.
Secondly, since our catalogue is not digitized, we always find ourselves having to either keep our clients waiting on the phone, or call them back (an expense which can be avoided), because we need to put the phone down and go search the carded catalogue to see if we have the music they require.
Did you know that The Ride of the Valkyries, which is a music except from Richard Wagner’s opera Die Walkure was apparently used by some German soldiers during World War II. They played it just before they attacked in the Battle of Memel. This story was incorporated into the 1979 film Apocalypse Now where the music accompanies the ride of the helicopters while they attack a Vietnamese village. Therefore you might want to think twice before playing Wagner when having your Jewish friends over for dinner.6. Tell us why you enjoy doing the work that you do.
It is only in this field where you can learn something new every single day.
Questions and intro by Karen du Toit (SABC Radio Archivist)