Harvesting the digital Music Revolution – The Case of Sys Bjerre

Harvesting the digital Music Revolution – The Case of Sys Bjerre

Purpose: Using the Danish female pop artist Sys Bjerre as our main case, the aim of this project was to test to what extend the Danish Internet Archive would be a useful source when describing this so-called digital music revolution from 2005 to 2012.

In recent years streaming technologies and social media have changed the production, distribution and use of recorded music radically. The long predicted shift from cd’s and other physical media to Internet based platforms for music is now a reality, and music is uploaded, streamed, heard and shared across platforms and borders on various devices, and a general destabilization of the “old” system has already taken place.

When breaking nationally with the hit single “Malene” Bjerre was launched and recepted as a Danish “Myspace”-star, referring to her being signed by a major record company after already building an audience through this social media. Bjerre has since established herself as one of Denmarks most popular pop acts. In all steps of her career social media seem to have had a major focus to Bjerre, making her a representative case for how musicians of her generation interact with their audience. The fact that her hit single “Malene” was met by a large number of answer songs on Youtube.com posted by amateurs adds an important element to the case, as the existence of both official videos uploaded by an artist or a music company and unofficial versions on the same platform is a major aspect of this new digital reality.

By comparing the result of a reconstruction of Sys Bjerre’s career described only by the use of resources in the Danish Internet Archive with a similar reconstruction from online sources, our main purpose was to describe the consequences if central sources are missing. From our preliminary research it seemed evident that activities on digital platforms had been of great importance in Bjerre’s musical career, and without good sources to describe this part of her musical career, important elements would seem to be missed.

Project Team:
Henrik Smith-Sivertsen and Kristoffer Brinch Kjeldby (Royal Library of Copenhagen)