Humankind’s most culturally significant music may soon have a new home: a vault buried beneath 1,000 feet of permafrost.
The Global Music Vault‘s mission is to safeguard “the most important living musical expressions” with a high-tech, bomb-proof shelter. Buried 1,000 feet beneath a mountain somewhere in the Svalbard archipelago north of Norway, the vault is built to withstand man-made and natural disasters.
Svalbard’s unique location makes it perfect for such an ambitious project. 42 nations have declared it a demilitarized zone, meaning there’s little chance of it being affected by conflict. For added security, the vault will also be impervious to electromagnetic pulses resulting from potential nuclear explosions.
Furthermore, Svalbard’s unique climate creates the perfect environment for storing sensitive information. Its dry, arctic weather provides consistent temperatures and an added layer of natural security thanks to its dense layers of permafrost.
The vault’s goal isn’t “to just project a certain genre and certain era,” according to Global Music Vault Managing Director Luke Jenkinson. Music ranging from The Beatles to worldwide indigenous stylings will be stored. Individual nations can submit compositions to the vault as well. No formal criteria for deciding what makes the cut has been decided upon as of yet.
Music in the vault will be stored using technology from Piql, a Norwegian firm specializing in preserving digital data.