MUSIC, MIFOH, AND JANE WIGAN

     -     Committee Member, and Friend. Major contribution: commissioning and donation of the award for excellence (the Jane Wigan Award, created by sculptor Bill Ogilvie). The official master copy of the two casts before the mould was destroyed was donated to MIFOH - and while forcefully claimed to be ‘lost’ be ex members of the MIFOH Board, including all of those on record to have held it, it reappeared and was restored to me in 2016 in the hands of the last recipient, the eminent organist Bruce Steele. The other copy is on display at the Monash Unversity MAMU Music Museum and Archive in the Menzies Building on the Clayton campus.

     -     It was commissioned in memory of my first wife, who was a singer of excellence when a Major Scholar at Somerville College and in the Schola Cantorum of Oxford (then called the Collegium Musicum Oxoniense) under Lazlo Heltay who founded it in 1960, and once under Stravinsky, and later in the Ormond Singers in Australia under Douglas Lawrence both at MIFOH and in Douglas’Laurences’ Bach for Christmas series.

     -     She also sang with the Collegium under Lazlo in the first performance of Kodaly's Ode to the Music Makers at Merton College Oxford’s 700th Anniversary in 1964, a piece written specially for this event and dedicated to the College. Lazlo was made an Honorary Fellow of Merton in 1997. All music was taken back after this performance, and the recording now available to hear on the tutti page was only permitted by his legatee after Kodaly’s death.

     -      We were amongst those who had the good fortune to be part of the very first Messiah From Scratch at the Albert Hall on Thursday 5 December 1974 at 7.30pm. One of my most vivid memories was hearing the conductor, Gavin Park, saying, we’d better try out how things will go, lets try the Hallelujah Chorus.. and as he lowered his baton 4000 voice came in in unison. A powerful, joyous and memorable moment for us all. The original program is  linked to the name of the concert. An significant episode in musical history.

     -      Later Jane was a soloist at a Messiah in Melbourne, shortly before her death

     -     In view of the 17 years of our partnership, a legacy has been included in my will directed to Somerville College Oxford, her College, to be used for travel by students: an expansion of the allocation of my entire legacy from her on her death to this purpose, which was used to set up the Geiringer Travel Fund there in 1981, as noted in the ByLaws in 1987 (an minor oversight in the Deed used her solely maiden name: without her married name, the objective of my donation which comprises the total of the sum donated to found the fund: this will be corrected in due course, with the information and naming protocol when the further legacy in my will takes effect as an adjunct and extension to this existing donation of mine - this time corrected to be in our joint name(s) and with the correct attribution). The terms will not be altered by this, and will remain the same as I specifically agreed with her father, Alfred Geiringer OBE in 1981.

     -     “88. The GEIRINGER Travel Fund, 1987, established by the benefaction of Alfred Geiringer in memory of his daughter, Jane Frances Geiringer (PPE 1961-1964) who was also gifted musically. The income from the Fund is to be used at the discretion of the Governing Body to pay wholly or in part the cost of travel and study in the U.K. or abroad for undergraduates of the College each year. The awards would be offered annually, in the first instance to undergraduates reading for the Final Honour School in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and to undergraduates reading Music or participating in musical events. Grants or awards from the income may also be available from time to time for a graduate of the College to do postgraduate training in the U.K. or abroad in journalism or in some aspect of international affairs, or for a graduate proceeding to postgraduate work in music in the U.K. or abroad. When other considerations are equal, preference will be given to travel applications in the field of politics and international affairs.” [Extract from the Somerville College ByLaws 10-2-2011]

     -     I was also an official recorder of performances vice Peter Lord (who used a very high quality Otani reel to reel tape recorder). I currently hold 40 CD Roms of .aiff transfers and mp3 versions from the master chromium audiocassettes held on the many performances I recorded using a Nakamichi 550 portable, using twin cardioid inserts on a pair of Nakamichi CM300 microphones and rear shotgun insert on a further CM300 Nakamichi microphone. The recordings date from the late 1970s to the early 1980s and were digitised on a Macintosh computer in 2002. Under the applicable Australian Copyright legislation at the time of the original recordings,  held the sole Copyright in these recordings. This has subsequently altered as a result of the 2005 revisions to the Australian Copyright Act imposed by the audit of the AusFta by the US

     -     A PSAudio NuWave PhonoConverter has been purchased (2015) to redigitise all these original tapes at far higher resolution, manage my Vinyl collection conversion to digital format, and under better-controlled conditions, and thereby remove the slew effects inherent in the initial 2002 Analog to Digital conversions.

     -      I am now engaged in a project to recover the magnetic tapes and digitise these and the other recordings made by Peter Lord, document the oral and written history of MIFOH, which had an enduring and catalytic effect on early music in Melbourne, and create an open digital repository of the oral history, the music and the written records.

     -     The First stage of this project i completed focussing on music repositories and magnetic media recovery issues : check my SelectedWorks site for this report

     -     The Second, focussing on the requirements for a genuinely Open Music repository and the IP barriers to this. : check my SelectedWorks site for these several reports

     -     The Third is the construction of a 1000 person database on all performers in MIFOH from 1971-2010. This is now complete

This work is part of a research Masters in Musicology at the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music at Monash University. See ‘Activities Pages’ for Papers and Presentations (so far given at the Sound Archives National Conference October 2013 , and at the National Sound and Film Archives in Canberra, and the Digital Humanities 2014 Conference in Perth in March 2014)).

A presentation was given at the November 2015 2015 IP and Media Law Conference at the University of Melbourne Law School..

MIFOH had a splendid cartoon on the inside cover of the 1983 full Festival Program.. se it <here>

Updated  21 March 2017