Simon Belshaw Elevates the Library Checkout Experience to New Heights with Music Machines

October 14, 2021

Belshaw has collaborated with three UK libraries to create a unique musical barcode for each user using Raspberry Pi computers.

EXETER, UNITED KINGDOM, October 14, 2021 / -- Composer Simon Belshaw is pleased to announce he is supporting three libraries in creating an engaging user experience for their patrons with his Library Card Music Player Project.

Simon Belshaw is a music composer from Exeter, United Kingdom. He studied composition with the renowned Gavin Bryars and completed his PhD at the University of Hertfordshire in 2005. Belshaw has had numerous pieces performed by various ensembles in various locations, including New York, Montreal, Belfast, and the UK. Additionally, Belshaw has produced multimedia installations and has had pieces sited on Sonorities, Audiograft, and other festivals.

In his most recent news, Belshaw has been executing his highly anticipated pursuit, the Library Card Music Player Project, which is funded by the Arts Council England. The idea for Library Card Music Player Project is to build three music-generating devices (Music Machines) that will be installed into three different libraries in the UK. Each device will produce and play a short melody created from a borrower’s library card and, every time a borrower uses the card, they will hear the same delightful tune. Users can choose from any number of melodies generated by the Music Machine and select the one they enjoy the most.

“Most libraries now have self-issue card machines and, in a similar way, users can scan their library card to produce a melody, almost like self-issuing their own tune,” says Belshaw. “Once new library users find a melody that resonates with them, this tune will be played every time they use their card. We hope that by engaging borrowers in such a unique way, this will attract more users to brick-and-mortar libraries.”

According to Belshaw, Music Machines will be bespoke for each library and workshops will be hosted to outline the possibilities, to discuss the technology used (Raspberry Pi computers), and to even create a unique device based on audio contributions of their own if desired. By doing so, libraries will feel they have contributed in some way to the development of the work and will have a sense of ownership of the project.

For more information about Simon Belshaw and his Music Machines, please visit

About Simon Belshaw

Born in the UK, Simon Belshaw is a celebrated composer, having been the recipient of the Francis Chagrin Award and Oppenheim John Downes Memorial Trust, and has received funding from The Arts Council, Exeter Arts Council, and RVW trust.

For the past few years, Belshaw has been working on his Music Machines project, with over 40 machines being utilized across the country, including during live performances.

Belshaw is currently a resident of Kaleider Studios, a DAISI artist, and is an associate of the University of Exeter.

Simon Belshaw
+447759814102 ext.