In partnership with the Claude Nobs Foundation and with the support of numerous sponsors, EPFL is in charge of the project to digitize and enrich the collection of Montreux Jazz Festival recordings, as well as its long-term preservation.
Recorded from the beginning in the highest quality professional formats, both in video and multitrack audio, the collection built up by the festival and its visionary creator Claude Nobs has brought together 5,000 concerts since 1967, representative of the greatest artists and musical trends of the last 50 years. It was inscribed in UNESCO’s Memory of the world Register in 2013.
The EPFL Cultural Heritage & Innovation Center has been in charge of the Montreux Jazz Digital Project since 2010. Made up of a trans-disciplinary team integrating competences in several fields such as audio/video engineering, software development, databases, archiving, documentation, musicology and sociology, the centre directs the operational aspects of the project (inventory, digitization, quality control, indexing, storage, preservation, valorization) and defines the innovation projects carried out within the various laboratories, start-ups and partner institutions, both academic and private.
For EPFL, this audiovisual heritage represents an innovation platform, a unique database made available to the numerous researchers and laboratories working in fields such as acoustics, audio/video signal processing, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, musicology, sociology or artistic fields, as well as museology, design and architecture when it comes to creating spaces that allow the public to immerse themselves in new experiences of immersive concert reproduction.
A Montreux Jazz Café was created in 2016 on the EPFL campus. Integrated into the ArtLab building, it allows for a public showcase of the archive and new technologies developed by the EPFL and the numerous partners or associated startups.
For more information:
- Article published in the “Journal of Digital Media Management”
- Paper in French in “Revue Electronique Suisse de Science de l’Information” (RESSI)
- Explanative Video created by one of the sponsors of the project
- Keynote Presentation at the Digital Directions 2019 conference, National Film & Sound Archive (NFSA), Australia
The following pages (under development) provide extensive explanations about the project, according to the following articulation:
- The audiovisual collection and its history
- Digitization and preservation tasks
- Research and innovation projects
- Education and students’ work
Public presence of the Montreux Jazz Digital Project during the festival in 2019
Montreux Jazz Memories Studio
Consultation of concerts and recording studio for the collection of testimonies from the public. Collaboration with notreHistoire.ch
Designed by the EPFL+ECAL Lab for an immersive discovery of the concerts. Partnership with the ALICE laboratory and the Illusonic company.
Concerts in virtual reality
360 degree video / 3D audio capture for a live VR experience from the stage. Collaboration with PRG Lab, Rayshaper, Tsinghua University, Sphereo and EPFL’s MMSPG laboratory.
Montreux Jazz Artists Galaxy
Artistic data visualization for the network of Montreux Jazz Festival musicians. By Kirell Benzi in collaboration with LTS2 Lab
DNA data storage
Two songs from the Montreux Jazz Festival stored onto DNA. Project with Twist Bioscience in collaboration with University of Washington and Microsoft Research
The fulldome Jazz Luminaries, a new immersive experience to discover the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Exposition Infinity Room 2, ArtLab. Collaboration with EM+ Lab, Andrew Quinn and ekino