SABC Record Library
The interview this week is with Elmarie Liebenberg, a Record Librarian in the SABC Record library.
The Record Library houses recorded music, previously unavailable, as well as all genres of recorded music, including Jazz, Gospel, Kwaito, Rap, Rave, Classical, World, Light, Mood, Sound Effects and others. The music is regularly accessed by staff and made available to internal clients.
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 Record Library)
I grew up in Prieska, after matric I became a Matie in Stellenbosch where I got a degree in Physical Education. Married a farmer and lived on a farm in Bonnievale for 20 years, then moved to a farm in the Waterberge area between Nylstroom and Vaalwater. Left the farm in 1992 and started at the SABC Record Library, (my first job), moved to the Sound Effects and Mood Music section, retired and now back on contract until….
Please tell us about a normal day in your office. What music do you give priority to?
A normal day involves: attending to e-mails, filing of CDs, updating the library, assisting the users/compilers/sound engineers, capturing information onto the computer.
Tell us more about your collection and the scope of material you need to preserve in the record library.
We keep sound effects and mood/production music CDs in this section. Sound effects CDs (the sounds you hear in dramas, stories, programmes etc.) are very expensive, most of them imported and not available in shops. The SABC has a selection on transcriptions compiled by SABC sound engineers. No royalties to be paid when using sound effects. At present we have 38 FX (sound effects) libraries.
Mood or Production music is music specifically written for inclusion in audio and/or audio-visual productions. The music is already recorded for convenient synchronization and/or dubbing into productions. It’s range encompasses recorded versions of classical works, fanfares, bridges, stings etc., in fact almost any type of musical accompaniment or backing to almost any scene. At present we have 150 MM libraries in the FX/MM section.
Mood/Production music is less expensive than commercial music and readily available. It is licensed – in most cases – at published rates and pre-clearance is not necessary. You pay a set fee to clear the music and the recording.
By comparison, if you wish to dub a commercial record onto your production, you have to negotiate fees both with the music copyright owner and the record company before making the production.
Tell us why you enjoy doing the work that you do.
I love music and enjoy assisting the users in compiling a production. I often have to try to think what they have in mind and then search for the right piece of music or sound!
Interview with a Record Librarian in the SABC Record Library: William Rapabi
Interview with a Record Librarian at the SABC Record Library: Justice Muthakhi
Interview with a Systems Administrator in the SABC Record Library: Marinda Wolmarans
Questions and post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.