Hello to everyone that has been following the progress of the In Deep Music Archive since ‘Phase One’ and extraction from Penzance (haha, sounds military). That was quite an operation after more than 15 years there but as the landlord had bequeathed the building to another organisation it was time for us to leave. In the wake of this imminent move, Olivia and I relocated to Portugal where we have planned to establish The Archive in more suitable surroundings. Porto is Portugal’s second city and is a vibrant place always packed full of tourists whatever the season and seems a more appropriate place to have this cultural collection rather than tucked away in the far corner of south-west England, despite its magical beauty. Porto has a magical beauty of its own and we are happy to report that we can now begin ‘Phase Two’ as we have secured premises right in the centre of the city.
This new location is situated at Rua de Coelho Neto 17 between Rua de Fernandes Tomás and the Largo de Padrão square. It has big windows at the front and approximately 200 square metres of space (about 2100 square feet). It’s three times larger than In Deep Penzance and consequently needs work to make it ready. It used to be a lab and has some strange features that need sorting out, some additions, some subtractions. It has partitioned rooms with sinks that need to be removed and a lot of pipes funnelling water to all corners. Despite all this, it has no hot water boiler and the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen have no taps. The walls are all beige and need rendering in places and most desperately need some colour. We need to add more safe power outlets and we have had a consultation from (as it happens) a builder from Australia (Brad) who has a Portuguese wife, Filipe, a plumber and Marco, an electrician. We need to get the kitchen plumbed in, electrified and operational, the bathroom sorted, electrics safe, some attention to floors and security. We have already installed new security gates at the front, fixed the security gates at the back and have some motion-sensitive cameras in there that we can view remotely from here in Dallas.
Walk-through from around 2019 (footage by @Monoteur) + an impression from storage:
We are trying to have it painted in South American colours, yellows, blues, reds, greens, turquoises and pinks, something like a musical kindergarten, or think Frida Kahlo. We’re trying to make this a creative space for people to come and work on projects and we have a studio section where I can work with the sessioneers and whatever other musical projects reveal themselves, whether it be as mentor, producer, collaborator or if I choose to follow a passion for Musiqué Concrete. The plan is to have all the necessary work done whilst we are here in the USA on sessioneer duty, helping Brian, Jed, Rajan, Fred and Craig with their projects whilst working on the mystery project and being around for Salim’s album release that I co-produced and play guitar on.
The six million dollar question is how do people have access, that’s a good question because what we are doing is creating a very homely atmosphere and visits might involve tea and cake for those who would like to come and peruse the collection. In another section of my brain, I see the closed-up shop next door as the In Deep Music Archive vegan café connected to the main beast with music piped through and some events that involve live music and record launches, although this could be possible on a smaller scale with what we have. All the admin involving The Archive and all projects will be done from here, it’s commercial premises and ultimately the flat upstairs, also for sale, is on our lottery winnings list.
The fact that this GoFundMe has landed on my 65th birthday and two days after arriving in the US is purely coincidental and leaving the ongoing work in progress was a bit sad as we had just got the electricity on, the internet, water, one working toilet and a sink with a tap (luxury, northern accent). Another reason that we are trying to get moving on this renovation and attacking what will be ‘Phase Three’, the transportation of the Archive parts from England and introducing it into our new location, is that from now, we are paying rent for the space in Portugal and we are paying rent for The Archive in storage in England, so we have to fix that quick sharp. As far as entry into Portugal it is ultimately personal belongings and we have tried to move it there before within the first year of moving our domicile but the pandemic closed all the borders and stopped our original plan of shipping everything and putting it in storage in Portugal till we found premises, at least now we have the premises if not the content. We do have a letter from the mayor’s office declaring this collection of ‘cultural significance’ so when it comes to ‘Phase Three’, we hope to be able to bring it all in hassle and duty-free.
The Dream, explained to Carlos Rico of SIC TV Portugal in early 2021 (in Portuguese):
Last but not least moving records needs special attention to climate so we are researching the most cost-effective way to transport everything safely and damage-free. On a final note, I have not stopped adding content to The Archive on my travels and with visits to record stores wherever I can find them. Carrying everything on planes and across borders has been a challenge with excess baggage costs. Also, I’d like to thank everyone who is constantly supporting The Archive generally, either financially or with donations of all formats of music, including, magazines, books, posters and yes, even ticket stubs. One day in 100 years someone will be grateful for this collection and that it exists in the world, sadly I won’t be here to see it but I do intend to make it a little further yet. What follows is an overview of The Archive’s raison d’être and some videos that show what we have and where we are at with the dream as of this day, my 65th birthday, May 7th 2023.
Thank you for all your support in the past and in advance, ‘Phase Two’ is underway, ‘Phase Three’ is beckoning.