City of Music going digital

iPad version of City of Music
iPad version of City of Music

Continuing his countdown to City of Culture 2013, Garbhan Downey looks at the potential to Derry....

Three years ago, I had the great pleasure of working with local publishing house Guildhall Press on their keynote cultural anthology City of Music: Derry’s Music Heritage.

The full-colour, beautifully-presented volume is the definitive history of Derry’s music scene from the 1800s to the modern day and has sold in large numbers across the globe.

Everything from Danny Boy to Damien McGinty and lots more besides is packed into 300 pages and 400 photographs.

But now Guildhall Press are to break new ground by producing an updated digital version of the work.

The app will feature pictures and stories from City of Music, along with music and video from some of the modern artists referenced in the book, in a bid to meet the growing trend for iPads and other tablet-based eReader devices.

Guildhall Press designer Kevin Hippsley commented: ‘The print version limits the content so it’s great to be able to include so much more new material in the digital version. We propose to kick start the initial Music App with material from the Undertones era, i.e. the mid-1970s, up to the present day.

‘The content from this more modern era will enable us to build in a wide range of music, video and imagery that will interest and entertain the digital user.

‘We plan to develop the content down the line to include the important contribution made by the hundreds of talented musicians and performers who paved the way for today’s generation.’

Guildhall Press say they intend to work with experienced software developers, journalists, musicians, and other creative artists to produce a high-quality, interactive product.

Hippsley explained: ‘Together we aim to create an innovative multimedia app that will be globally, and instantly, accessible online and become a digital showcase for Derry City of Culture for 2013 and beyond.’

The design and manufacture of the app has been made possible with funding from the Creative Industries Fund.

Guildhall Press have also received Arts Council funding to digitise selected titles from their back catalogue and all future publications. This will make them available to everyone who bought a Kindle or iPad or other similar eReader device for Christmas.

Traditionalists, however, don’t despair, you’ll still be able to get the paper copies.

But it’s great to see Derry publishers pushing the boundaries to ensure the creativity of local authors and musicians can be appreciated across the global arena.

Read more from Garbhan in the Journal every Friday