MEMORABILIA. COLLECTING SOUNDS WITH... Jonny Trunk. Part I
Produced by Matias Rossi
Creator of a collection of some eight thousand records, Jonny Trunk admits that he has never ceased to follow a maxim that his parents instilled in him at a very young age: 'If you buy something new, you lose money.' Nonetheless, it isn’t the figures that make his record collection exceptional and worth sharing, but the two thousand records of archival or library music that it includes.
It isn't easy to sum up the concept of library music or to explain what it is and what it's like. Library music, 'sonorizzazioni' (another of the terms used in this fascinating musical underworld), or archival music, refers to sound recordings produced for professional use in the context of film, television and radio. It is a prolific industry that, according to its scholars, achieved its greatest splendour from the sixties to the mid-eighties, and is governed by series of aesthetic, production, marketing and distribution rules that lie outside of the established channels.
It is utilitarian music, created for commercial purposes, in which, paradoxically, musicians and composers take on a professional role and find themselves forced to resolve highly abstract matters and situations, such as developing a narrative that is subordinate to images (in soundtracks) or coming up with an entire imaginary without any pre-existing references. Library music is also a poorly documented genre, full of oddities and bristling with strange experiments.