Local public transportation scioperi aside, my penchant for trying new forms of transport were rewarded by taking the funicolare (below) which climb the sides of Naples much like the cable-cars in San Francisco but instead go through tunnels up the hills of the city and are unhindered by traffic.
Now onto one of the conference presentations: a new (French) portal to contemporary resources. Michael Fingerhut of IRCAM presented (http://www.musiquecontemporaine.fr/) which was a joint venture between IRCAM, the Cdmc - (Centre de documentation de la musique contemporaine), Cité de la musique, the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, and the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler. With the goal of creating a single portal for contemporary music, the website serves as a virtual catalogue (with facets for text, score, audio, video, biography, event, training and programme notes) as well as pulling together performance, lecture and exhibition information at the various institutions. The main interface is now available in bilingual versions of French and English.
Running a search in the interface one can initially only search by one facet (in the recherche express). Once you have a search result you can further refine by the facets listed above. Materials which are accessible from your location are denoted with a green circle. (Most files, particularly the audio and video files, are only fully accessible on-site in one of the institutions due to licensing restrictions.)
I can get excerpts to play in IE, but have had problems with Mozilla which may be just a script issue. In any case, in spite of the time restrictions, it is nice to hear excerpts of recent premieres and other works that may not even get recorded and read the notes and thoughts of living composers' latest compositions. I hope that the powers that be at IRCAM and the various performing societies will allow a license for academic institutions outside France so that those in the EU and throughout the world can fully benefit from this digital resource.