Songs in the Key of L.A. is a multi-platform collaboration between the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Public Library, and USC professor Josh Kun that brings to life the Library's extraordinary Southern California Sheet Music Collection. Consisting of sheet music pieces that range from the 1840s through the 1950s, the Collection offers a singular portrait of Los Angeles history and culture rendered in music and visual art. The motto of the project: archives should not just be preserved and maintained. Archives should come back to life.
Because so much of the sheet music in the Library's collection had never been recorded before, a few pieces were taken into the recording studio. Bedrock L.A
generously donated some studio time with engineers Tyler Gardin and Eric Rennaker, and five L.A. artists representing a range of sounds, scenes and genres -- Aloe Blacc, La Santa Cecilia, Julia Holter, I See Hawks in L.A., The Petrojvic Blasting Company -- were invited to pick some sheet music, study it, and then interpret it in any style of their choosing. The finished products are now available for free download
from the website of the Los Angeles Public Library, and Artbound produced short documentaries on the process.